Amy Chu has an isolation Writer's Commentary on Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #10, from Dynamite Entertainment before the shutdown came down. She writes,
Soooo…how's everyone doing? Masking up, social distancing, and hanging in there, I hope! I know these are crazy times for the comics industry and especially for the stores and us creators. I've fortunately been kept pretty busy teaching my classes at the Kubert School, working on a super secret project with some amazing folks, and finishing up this crossover. I've been hard at work catching up on a lot of stuff on the back burner like this commentary. It is way overdue, but so is a lot of stuff these days.
Let's dive in, shall we?
Fay Dalton kills it again with this summery cover. I know some people may be like, wait, this doesn't have anything to do with this particular issue. Maybe so, but first of all, if it bothers you, it's almost certainly not the fault of the artist. Sometimes it's a magnificent cover meant for another issue that didn't get published and better to use it than to let it go to waste. Or more likely, FYI – covers need to be drawn months ahead of the actual issue in order to get published in Previews so the stores can order. In other words, more often than not, the script hasn't even been written yet. So there, I've said my piece.
Let's talk about the actual story now…
Hurrah! Finally Betty and Veronica arrive on Vampirella's home planet Drakulon! I've been working towards this moment since having the idea while writing issue 5. Vampirella spends most of her time on Earth so we never got much happening on Drakulon, so why not?
I mean, two humans on a planet full of starving alien vampires…what could go wrong?
But of course, you know Draculina is not one to let others take her lunch.
And… her right hand man Vudosol is back! It's a hot planet so I made sure my artist partner-in-crime Maria Laura knew that he doesn't need a shirt. She agreed wholeheartedly.
One of the challenges of comics storytelling is getting the characters from Point A to B, etc, and only having 20 pages to do so. Logically Vampirella would normally fly but she's saddled with two humans. So Vudosol's appearance here is timely.
And we get to fly! With more and more people reading digital these days, I'm trying to cut down on double page spreads in the script. While they look great and are fun for the artists to draw, they really don't work well on a phone or tablet. In this case, I wanted to show some scale to the planet so I thought it would be appropriate.
Again, frustrated to find very little on Vampirella and Draculina's home town of Gosi Bram, but I did like some of the imagery from the very early stories. Maria came up with most of this.
Sometimes we make decisions that write us into a bit of a predicament later on. It would have been easier in some ways to lock up our Riverdale girls in a cage, but in this issue a pit seemed to make more sense. Draculina could fly in and out leaving her humans below. Getting everyone out is the challenge, but that's for future Amy to figure out…
Introducing a new character! Yes, this late in the game we have a new character: old man Viktor. He is quite possibly my and Maria Laura's favorite! More on him later.
I had to make a Nixon joke here, sorry.
Oh the horror! And a big reveal here.
This page serves as a little recap and more reveal.
I had to make another '70s joke here, sorry! If you don't get which TV show that's from, well… moving right along…
LOL. Those are possibly the most expressive skeletons I've ever seen!
Maybe Maria Laura's favorite page? I know she had a good time drawing it. My only thought is that I think it would have made more sense for Vudosol to be wearing briefs, but oh well.
With vampiri there's always a question of how they move about. They can walk but also fly, obviously. I would have preferred Vudosol to fly here, but the problem for the artist, as you can imagine, is fitting in wings if two people are close together in a small panel.
Now we finally get to Draculina's true ambition.
Aw, sorry, Veronica. I had to poke a little fun at you.
Finally, the gang is back together and not a moment too soon!
So complicated, but at first I really didn't want to drag Dilton into this, but it only made sense…
… because they're going to need everyone to get rid of this new and improved baddie!
My only disappointment at this juncture is not having them all spend more time in space. Unfortunately, we only have 12 issues here, so I had to cut out the spaceship journey and travel by wormhole instead.
You've heard it before, but this is a good time to a) support your local store by ordering back issues and gift cards and b) read through all those comics you keep saying you're going to read.
Or try your hand at drawing or writing. No, really, if you've always wanted to write or draw comics, give it a try. Plenty of professionals dropping advice on social media. I've just started teaching an evening class of aspiring comics writers, and noodling on the idea of starting some kind of blog or podcast myself.
So until next time, hopefully we can get back to our beloved New Comic Book Day soon and I can dig into last two action-packed issues. Cheers and stay safe!