'What Can I Say? I'm A Sadist.' – Aaron Gillespie Talks Purgatori

As the new Dynamite series Purgatori moves into its second issue, the character is being drawn into a very bad situation. Byron Brewer caught up with series writer Aaron Gillespie to talk to him about where he's taking the series and why he's got it in for the winged woman.

Purgatori02CovChinBYRON BREWER: Aaron, for this only being the second issue coming out in October, Purgatori seems to be in some dire straits. Why so cruel?

AARON GILLESPIE: Haha. What can I say? I'm a sadist.

When I was brainstorming the first arc I knew that, no matter what I did, I wanted to knock Purgatori down to almost nothing. Purgatori is pretty evil. When we first meet her in Tim's mini, she is a human trafficker. In my mind, you don't get much worse than that. Don't get me wrong, I love Purgatori's unapologetic nastiness, but I felt like we should see her in a more sympathetic light at first.

As Purgatori struggles through the first arc, readers will see what makes her such a great character. Her tenacity and singular drive makes her really interesting and someone we want to root for. We want to see her get what she wants even if it is completely evil and self-serving.

BB: Purgatori is struggling on two fronts, it seems, both the physical as a "ghoul" and the mental in her battle to retain her sanity. Is it difficult to write such juxtapositions?

AG: Not really because both struggles are linked. Purgatori's failing mental capacity is a direct result to her physical need for blood. The more extreme the bloodlust, the harder it is for her to maintain control of her thoughts. All she can think about is her next meal.

Purgatori02CovRuffinoBB: In her cross-company history, has Purgatori ever suffered such an uncontrollable thirst for blood as she is now?

AG: Not really. In Purgatori #0 there are moments where she is struck with pain. She assumes it is from lack of blood so she feeds. But shortly after that she is hit with the same pain.

We find out that the pain is caused because she has returned to Earth. That's really the closest instance I can find to what Purgatori is going through now. It's no secret that Vampires suffer ill effects if they don't feed regularly. I'm just turning it up to eleven.

BB: Can you tell us anything about her mysterious foe without spoilers? Is this someone/thing we've seen before?

AG: Even though I've made a few minor changes, the foe will be recognizable to fans of the classic Chaos line. Trust me, new fans are going to love her too. She's deliciously mean.
And this won't be the last we see of her. Much to Purgatori's disgust, I am sure.

Purgatori02CovSubscriptFleeBB: How does it feel to be part of Dynamite's resurgence of the Chaos! universe?

AG: I couldn't be happier. It's great to not only be a part of it but to also see the other Chaos characters getting the kind of treatment they deserve. There's a fantastic stable of talent working on this whole line and I'm honored to be among them.

BB: I know it is early, but might we see a Purgatori/Vampirella meeting down the way?

AG: I sure hope so. There is a history of Purgatori/Vampirella crossovers, so I would love to see Dynamite continue the tradition. These characters are so iconic it would be great to see them squaring off or teaming up…or both.

BB: Visuals are very important in a book like Purgatori. How is artist Javier Garcia Miranda doing, in your estimation?

AG: I couldn't imagine doing this book with anyone else. Since so much of Purgatori's struggle is internal, this arc provides some real challenges for an artist. Javier seems to have no trouble visualizing that inner struggle. At times Purgatori is vulnerable, other times she is overly confident. She can be tragic and she can be scary. Javier is able to juggle all of that and present it in a coherent (and sexy) package.

For more on Purgatori #2, click here.

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.