Vampirella Finds New Blood at Dynamite

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Vampirella is one of those iconic characters that has earned her merits and always stood tall, even when public opinion wanted her skinned alive. Broken Frontier's Richard Boom has been an avid fan of Vampirella for years and he pursued Dynamite Entertainment's Nick Barrucci to discuss the company's plans for his recently acquired darling.

BROKEN FRONTIER: How long did the Vampirella acquisition take to be finalized?

Well, I think it has been five years now. First talks were done with then-editor Yoshi Aino. I believe it was two years later and we were still talking when word came out that Fangoria Comics was going to be publishing Vampirella...

BF: I remember that vividly. It was a shock to me... and then it panned.

Indeed. And so Harris called us to revisit the character and start the talks again.

BF: That is indeed a long haul! So now that you finally háve the character; how are you going to be treating it?

We are going to be taking great care of this property in ways that will do it justice. We are preparing her for both new as well
as old fans.

BF: That sounds like a good start. When did you notice her for the first time yourself?

Back in the Nineties Quesada and Palmiotti had this cover...

BF: Yeah, the foil cover! (Vengeance of Vampirella #1; 1994 – ed.)

Indeed. You need artists like that, who will make it pop. You have to have an image that will say more than a 1,000 words! You can bring it to the shelves without it but I think it needs a great cover image.

BF: Like Joe Jusko?

Joe is truly passionate about Vampirella. I don't think I know an artist who is that passionate about the character. He’s amazing artist, who executes a pieces with such an amount of detail that it’s just intimidating. Seeing his work is witnessing a true labour of love.

BF: It is a long process. When you see his interiors...

For Bloodlust, with James Robinson as a writer. That was truly a defining series in the Vampirella mythos. Comics are fantastical; they are "flights of fancy" so to speak. What Robinson established was a grounding of the character. He, together with Joe doing the visualization, created a true place of Vampirella's birthplace. Drakulon was no longer a distant planet, but it was grounded as being one of the many levels of Hell.

BF: What are your thoughts about the early Warren era?

I think Archie Goodwin was responsible for giving her more back-story, so she could move beyond T&A. Since then it has become great source material for stories to build upon! However, there have been many origins and incarnations...

BF: I remember Bon Alimagno trying very hard to get a true origin story with Vampirella Revelations. Unfortunately it was a time when huge Marvel and DC crossovers ate up all of fandom’s money. How are you going to handling her origins at Dynamite Entertainment?

We are still in the middle of internal discussions, really. It is too early to be discussing her start at Dynamite and it would be presumptuous to even discuss it outside of the office right now. There has been so much source material and we want to distill the best to please current fans as well as convert new fans. Of course, I know we will never be able to please everyone. But we did please a large group of people with Lone Ranger and Red Sonja and more. It is a tough process to truly rebuild and re-establish a character.

BF: You mentioned the internal discussions. Can you speak about who is involved?

I cannot tell you the writers and artists involved at this point, no. I can tell you about some of the cover artists though. Of course, there’s the involvement of Alex Ross, which you might have guessed, but Rodolfo Migliari is attached as well. He’s done some amazing work for DC recently.

BF: Are you going to go back to Vampirella's old characters?

Yes. There are a lot of interesting classic characters as well as more recent ones – both kinds will be re-introduced gradually.

BF: When you look at the publication of the Vampirella character, most fans speak of the times that Warren published  her as a period of a mysticism and mystery. When Harris took over, they added a new persona and gave her more of an edge and added some action to the overall story.

NB: Indeed. There have been many incarnations over the years, but I wonder about the necessity of the different styles of the character. The one thing you can always build on is her mythos, though. I think former editor David Bogart had a great feeling about where to take her and by letting Mark Millar and James Robinson have a go at her, well, that was a great idea. David already knew that Millar would do her right.

BF: If you look at Red Sonja and trying to get her back into comics, was it a gamble or faith that drove

NB: A little bit of both I think. You must realize that Red Sonja was seen as a poor cousin of Conan at that time. We took a hard look at not only the Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith material, but also at the rest of the material that was already out there. We then decided RT/BWS was the best material to base a blueprint on and we took it from there to the next level.

BF: What are you bringing to the market with Vampirella? How will you take her to the next level?

NB: We start out with some really nice reprints. We will be starting a new HC series, which will reprint the original Vampirella magazines. Also a Master Series will begin and those will be soft cover trade paper backs and we will start with Warren Ellis/Mark Millar. We will be using this material as a means to re-introduce her to the public and let her find a new balance.

BF: In closing, I want to get back to Vampirella as a character. Since you also have the Chaos! Universe at your calling, well, should I say more? I remember the crossovers Vampirella had with Chaos! and I loved them. I can still remember the moment I heard about the passing of the great Steven Hughes, right at the exact moment I was reading his Vampirella/Lady Death...

NB: That was a sad time indeed. About your question though, we will not be crossing over soon. We will be looking for each universe to get its own audience first before spinning them together. Let’s solidify the plans surrounding Vampirella first, and then... all bets are off.

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  • Jason Wilkins

    Jason Wilkins Jul 17, 2010 at 11:38am

    Hey Richard, this was a great interview!

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Jul 18, 2010 at 1:08am

    Thanks Jason! Had to cut it from 45 minutes of sheer fanboyish outcries though :)

    Damn I miss Vampi :D

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