This month Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, creators of the Black Cherry Bombshells, added a second Zuda strip to their writing duties — LaMorte Sisters, drawn by Christine Larsen. The story follows Maddie, a new student at the LaMorte Home for Lost Girls. The orphanage is run by a strict order of Catholic nuns who offer sanctuary and salvation to young women afflicted with vampirism.
Zito and Trov stopped by earlier this week and shared a list of vampires they’d like to have drinks with, and with today being the second anniversary of when Zuda officially launched, plus it being the day before Halloween, it kind of made sense to see what they had to say about their new vampire tale.
JK: One of the things that really struck me about the first pages of your new strip is how different it looks than Black Cherry Bombshells. How did you guys meet Christine Larsen?
Johnny: Christine is a fellow Philadelphian. She lives on the other end of the city in Fishtown.
Tony: We have many, many mutual friends in the art and film community. Johnny and I were both fans of her work on Teddy Scares.
JK: What’s the new strip about?
Tony: The story follows Maddie, a new student at LaMorte Home for Lost Girls. The orphanage is run by a strict order of Catholic Nuns. They offer sanctuary and salvation to young women afflicted with vampirism.
Johnny: La Morte Sisters is a much more personal story for us. It’s about South Philly, frienemies and growing up fast.
Tony: This is especially true for me, being Zito’s public frienemy No. 1.
JK: I like the “twist,” that these vampires are living in a Catholic School. Where did that idea come from? And did either of you attend Catholic School?
Tony: We both did some hard time in Catholic school. Although we attended different schools, I did eight years and JZ did 12.
Johnny: There were always creepy urban legends about statues coming to life, dead janitors and saints that walk the halls at night.
JK: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that since you guys teamed up with Zuda again on this one that you probably like it there. What’s the appeal of having your second strip there, versus going somewhere else or out on your own?
Johnny: Aside from the creative support Zuda provides, I champion any product or business that starts with a “Z.” Say … pass the Zima.
Tony: The staff is great. Ron Perazza (@perazza) would let me use his toothbrush if I asked. All of our fellow creators are full of fantastic advice, too.
Johnny: Yeah, follow the hash tag #makingcomics. Lots of great advice from Zuda staff, creators and even readers.
JK: What was the process like to become an instant winner?
Johnny: Start with a clove of garlic, a statue of Saint Joseph and eight screens of amazing art. Wait for the summer solstice, or it won’t work.
Tony: Then head over to ZudaComics.com and submit your brilliant ideas. Every comic on Zuda goes through the same submission process, but it doesn’t hurt to say your prayers.
JK: What are you guys doing for Halloween? Any plans to dress up?
Johnny: Raphael. Cool but crude.
Tony: Shredder. Tonight I dine on turtle soup.
Johnny: Frienemy indeed.