Christopher Priest and Ergün Gündüz Launch Vampirella Ongoing Series For Her 50th Anniversary

2019 is the 50th anniversary of Vampirella, created by Forrest J Ackerman and Trina Robbins. And Dynamite is launching a new ongoing series on the same day and date of the original Vampirella Magazine #1 from 1969 for the same day as San Diego Comic-Con begins.

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It will follow Vampirella's Free Comic Book Day #0 issue written by Christopher Priest. Dynamite says the issue is 'shrouded in mystery' but we have a preview of it right here.

And it will also be by Priest, one of Bleeding Cool's favourte comic book writers, with art by Turkish comics creator Ergün Gündüz and lettered by Willie Schubert/

"This version of Vampirella is set in the real world, as real as I'm allowed to make it," said Christopher Priest. "What if an alien from another planet were stranded here? What if that alien looked like one of the Kardashians and wore barely any clothing at all? And had fangs, drank blood and sprouted bat wings? We'd assume she was a vampire. But she's not a creature of occult origins. She's a Martian who's now stuck here with us idiots who stereotype her as this THING because she looks and functions a certain way. That would seem to be an allegory for how we treat each other; for racism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious persecution."

"I'm having a blast writing this thing and artist Ergün Gündüz is an absolute gift to me. His intuition, sensitivity, and stellar sequential art chops are simply amazing; a refreshing break from the superhero house style. His amazing color rendering takes the work to an even higher level, making me look and sound smarter than I actually am."

"Priest's powerful storytelling pierced through my heart like a stake," said artist Ergün Gündüz. "The story is so thrilling and delightful that I've set my hand free, it's drawing by itself. Neither I nor readers can have enough of this Vampirella."

The series will include covers from Frank Cho, Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Guillem March, cosplayer Erica Fett and Adam Hughes recreating his own cover in an homage to 1992's Vampirella #1 for an incentive variant. As well a s a classic limited edition Sanjulian variant.

Here's a look at those covers and preview of the comic.

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Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci told the story, saying,

This is one of the proudest accomplishments that Dynamite has ever achieved. I cannot emphasize enough what this announcement means to me personally. At Dynamite, we've been fortunate enough to work with some of the best and most critically acclaimed creators in the industry. I'm proud each and every time we are able to bring distinct voices for our characters to fans. One of the most brilliant writers the comics world has ever had is Christopher Priest. I first became aware of his writing with the Falcon mini-series he wrote in the '80's. The cover to issue #4 with Electro holding Captain America beaten, with the Falcon behind him, drew me in and I had to find issues #1 to #3 after that.

I followed his career, and got to know him a bit when he launched Quantum and Woody at Acclaim/Valiant Comics.  One of the nicest people I've ever met.  We hadn't stayed much in touch and saw each other when he started appearing at conventions when launching Deathstroke with DC.  It was as if the 20 years since we'd seen each other was barely a few months.  We spoke about working together, but I thought with his success that it was the longest of long shots.

But with Vampirella's 50th Anniversary looming, and her being one of the most iconic characters from comics, I knew that someone of Christopher's creative ability would be able to tell a story that would outlive us all and be remembered forever.  I had no choice but to see if he would be happy writing a series, and if so, push him to do so.  After speaking for a few years, and nothing coming together, I saw that he was a guest at Terrificon. At that moment, I decided to go and I drove to the show specifically to speak with him. I ambushed, I mean surprised him ;-) by waiting in line to speak with him. We had a discussion and I gave him my pitch on why he was the one and I emphasized that this was going to be her 50th Anniversary, and neither one of us would be around for her 100th Anniversary ;-) I asked him to think about it over the next few days and on his flight home.  When I called him that Wednesday, he finally agreed.  His story is hands down brilliant.

But this was only half the job.  Now that we had a writer who would shine, we needed an artist who could render the story in such a way as to not only complement Priest's work, but take it up a level.  When Matt was looking through potential artists, Ergün Gündüz stood out.  I can't believe how fortunate we are to have someone of Ergün's artistic ability to work with Priest.  It's a match made in heaven.

All of this is circle's back to say, in a way, sometimes dreams do come true.  I thought signing Priest was a longshot, basically a dream, but with some percistence, it came together.

This is one of the proudest announcements I've made in my career.  And I'm  extremely happy to share it with you and the world.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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