Kate Leth On What Makes Vampirella An Icon

Next month Dynamite launches a third volume of Vampirella featuring a character redesigned by Nicola Scott and a direction from Gail Simone. Byron Brewer talked with Kate Leth, the writer of the new series, about her take on Vampirella and why the move to Hollywood. Cover art by Chrissie Zullo.

Vampi Vol 3 2BYRON BREWER: Kate, tell us about your perception of Vampirella as a character. What makes her the icon she has become, and what changes with this new iteration?

KATE LETH: Vampirella's a character with a lot of varied history. She's morphed and changed and evolved over the years, and it's definitely fun to look at her different iterations. I think she's an icon partially because of her look, but also because she's a good bad guy. Like Blade, she's a vampire who hunts vampires, but she's not ashamed of or trying to fight her darkness. We keep that into the new arc, her antihero status, and her flirty attitude, but she's definitely taking back some of her power. She's in charge of her look and her life, even when things start to get dangerous.

BB: Why Hollywood as a backdrop? As a writer, do you do a lot of research into your backdrops for atmosphere, etc.?

KL: I just moved to LA two weeks ago, but I've been visiting for a year and a half. I'm fascinated by how strange and alien it is, while at the same time being more normal than you'd think. There are stores, place names, and locations that I used for inspiration, but I try not to let it take over. As for how the world of extras casting works… I've definitely done my research. Ha!

BB: Tell us a little about Slade, if you can.

KL: Slade is very old, and very dangerous. Her backstory will come up within the arc — issue #3, in fact — but it's all hearsay and rumor. She's the power in Hollywood horror, the silent marionette pulling all the strings. She does not like outsiders, or threats to her well-oiled business machine. Vampirella is definitely a threat.

BB: How is it working with artist Eman Casallos?

KL: Eman's art is great. I love his panel structures and his monsters best of all! I'm so happy this book is so gorgeous, he's really knocking it out of the park. This is my first comic featuring blood and gore, really, and I'm enjoying every piece of art I get back.

For more on the relaunched Vampirella, click here.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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