The shadows are usually a safe place for vampires to hide, but when she moves to sunny Los Angeles, Vampirella’s not going to hide anymore. In a new ongoing series from Dynamite Entertainment, Vampi is headed to Hollywood along with her beau Tristan and trusty butler Coleridge. Her goal is to wrangle some demons living there, but when a video of her monster hunting goes viral she’s catapulted headlong into fame and an entirely new stage of her life.
Writer Kate Leth and artist Eman Casallos will guide “Vampirella” through her newfound fame beginning this March, making the character a monster-fighting, demon-slaying star. Leth spoke with CBR News about her take on Vampi and her friends developed, how she got a handle on the character, the “monstrous and sexy” tone she’s shooting for and the character’s redesign.
CBR News: How did your “Vampirella” story develop?
Kate Leth: Gail Simone pitched the original outline, and I helped develop it into the story it is now! Vampirella moves to Los Angeles — something I’m actually in the process of doing. So, as strange and supernatural as it is, there’s a lot of that experience in the story, too.
Your first issue of “Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat!” did a nice job of blending the character’s history with her new direction. Are you pursuing a similar route with Vampirella, or is this more of a clean break?
I like all of the books I work on to be ones you can pick up without knowing the entire history of the character, because then, not only can you enjoy it as is, but it encourages you to look into the history of that character and their world. Vampirella’s history doesn’t tie in as much as Hellcat’s, but that’s just for this story arc. It’s about being a stranger in a strange land, so to speak.
What can you tell us a little about your take on her supporting characters, Tristan and Coleridge?
I loved Tristan in Nancy Collins’ run. I love Vampirella having a werewolf paramour; it’s too fun. Coleridge had to come with them, of course, to set up her spooky new manor up in the hills of Los Angeles, and also because he’s just a delight. They’re very supportive of Vampirella, this strange little family.
What was your first thought when you saw Nicola Scott’s redesign for Vampi?
I love it! This is the thing I get asked about most, which is funny, in a way. I think her new costume is awesome, and I wish I owned it. It suits her, it suits where we’re going with the character, and it just looks great.
What does Eman Casallos bring to the book that makes him the right artist for this story?
Everything! Eman’s art is wonderful, his expressions are wonderful. I love so many things he draws, but especially the monsters. It’s a more realistic style than I’ve worked with before, and I’m enjoying the change. It feels more cinematic that way, which really complements this story.
How did you prepare to write this series?
Reading old Vampi books, watching a lot of “Elvira” clips, flipping through classic horror comics like “Swamp Thing” and even (forgive me) re-watching a bit of early “True Blood.”
What’s the one thing you hope new fans take away from your first story arc of this series?
Honestly, I just hope people have fun with it! It’s monstrous and sexy and wild. I hope people pick it up as their first “Vampirella” book, or one of many!
Kate Leth and Eman Casallos’ “Vampirella” hits shelves March 2.