Amy Chu & Soo Lee's Comic Based On The Original Vampire, Carmilla

Carmilla is an 1871 Gothic novella by Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu, a vampire story that beat Bram Stoker to the punch by 26 years. Serialised as The Dark Blue in 1871 and 72, the story is told by a young woman who is preyed upon by Carmilla, the vampiric form for the noble lady Mircalla, the Countess Karnstein. And now it is inspiring a new graphic novel, Carmilla The First Vampire. by Amy Chu and Soo Lee to be published by Berger Books at Dark Horse Comics.

Amy Chu & Soo Lee's Comic Based On The Original Vampire, Carmilla

This queer, feminist murder mystery is a riveting tale of identity, obsession, and fateful family secrets set in New York City Chinatown. Written by Amy Chu (Red Sonja, Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death, Netflix's DOTA: Dragon's Blood) and drawn by Soo Lee (Ash and Thorn, Stillwater: The Escape, Vampirella Fairy Tales), Carmilla: The First Vampire is the latest in Berger Books' line of cutting-edge original graphic novels.

Set in 1996, the Year of the Rat and the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, an idealistic Chinese American social worker turns detective when she discovers young, homeless LGBTQ+ women are being murdered and no one, especially the police, seems to care.

A series of clues points her to Carmilla's, a new mysterious nightclub in the heart of Manhattan Chinatown. There she falls for Violet, the next likely target, landing her at the center of a real-life horror story—and face-to-face with questions about her own identity and murky past.

"Everyone is familiar with Dracula, but few know it was inspired by the vampire Carmilla who fell in love with the many young women who became her victims." Amy Chu explains. "Bringing the story to '90s New York let me explore themes of cultural identity, gentrification, homophobia and racism. It's definitely the darkest, most mature storyline I've ever written!"

"Goth, horror, and vampires make up the classic backdrop to 90's New York," said Soo Lee. "Using the colorful ambience of the city and cultural references, Amy and I bring back to life to an old NYC that I know and love in this retelling of Carmilla."

"Not only is Carmilla a mesmerizing, steamy and decadent thriller," said Karen Berger, "but Amy and Soo have delivered a story with important cultural themes which resonate in today's antagonizing times."

Carmilla: The First Vampire trade paperback will be in comic shops January 11, 2023 and in bookstores January 24, 2023. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore. Carmilla: The First Vampire will retail for $19.99.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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