[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8009:]]As if she were not busy enough elsewhere, the comics industry’s most iconic horror heroine will be venturing down South in a new five-issue limited series, Vampirella: Southern Gothic, arriving in stores in August.
A tale of dark magic and mystery set against a Mississippi backdrop, the series features the writing talent of Nate Cosby and illustrations by Jose Luis. The first issue will be available in two cover editions: an art edition by Johnny Desjardins, and Subscription-Only photo variant featuring model Kitana Baker.
After seeing the photo variant, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer was most anxious to exclusively discuss the book (and perhaps the cover model?) with Cosby.
Cosmic Book News: Nate, tell us how this miniseries came about.
Nate Cosby: That’s all Dynamite’s fault! I’d been talking to Joe Rybandt and Nick Barrucci about doing some stuff for them … they had me write a Green Hornet one-shot, and I assume they didn’t hate it, because Vampirella was the next thing they offered me. I think this may actually be the first miniseries I’ve ever written.
CBN: We hear you are from Mississippi. Tell us how this adventure came to be down in your neck of the woods.
Nate Cosby: It’s set in Mississippi because I’m a coward. I knew essentially nothing about Vampirella before I started researching, so I figured if I’m going to get to know this character, I might as well bring her down to somewhere I’m familiar. As a kid, I always loved reading comics set in the South; most stuff’s set in a big city or space, etc. Not tons of kudzu in Batman or Flash stories.
CBN: I myself am from Kentucky, so at least I get the kudzu ref. (laughs) So … when Vampirella’s mini first begins, she encounters a demon. Tell us about this big-bad as well as the strange wound it inflicts on our heroine.
Nate Cosby: DEMONS, plural. A TON of ‘em, not just one big-bad. Vampi’s caught in a routine fight with demons that seem like pushovers, until she’s gotta fight an ocean of them. And something happens to her that’ll affect her for the rest of the story.
CBN: Nate, the story is there might be a little romance with an old flame down in the South. What can you tell us about this?
Nate Cosby: A fun thing about Vampi is her messed-up origins and past. She can remember SOME things, but other stuff’s a bit foggy. She distinctly remembers an extended encounter with a private detective named Jacob. They met each other at the right time, when both were unsure of themselves … but they were both stubborn, and it wasn’t meant to be. But now Jacob’s called Vampi because he’s done something bad. He’s lost something that only she can help him to get back.
CBN: Will this miniseries be isolated for new readers or will it fit into the overall Vampirella continuity?
Nate Cosby: I’m not looking to upset the apple cart. This’ll tuck nicely into the ongoing book’s continuity, but people that’ve never even heard of Vampirella will be able to read this easily.
CBN: Besides healing herself of course, what other mysteries will your protagonist find down South? We hear there might be a murder involved?
Nate Cosby: There’s a BUNCH of murders. Problem is, all of the murders have been done to ONE person. That’s the main problem … a particular person’s been murdered dozens of times and comes back, except this last time. She’s stayed dead, and Vampi’s gotta figure out why.
CBN: Are there any Vampirella stories from past adventures that are your favorites? Some of whose strands may rear their heads is this adventure?
Nate Cosby: Honestly, I’d never read a Vampirella issue before getting this gig. But I was able to go back and read a bunch of them by some great creators.
CBN: What does the art of Jose Luis bring to the table? Are you a fan of his work and why was he right for this assignment?
Nate Cosby: Yeah! When Joe (my editor) told it was gonna be Jose, I was pumped! His stuff’s got great pop and life to it. It’s motivated me to give him a bunch of fun, pulpy, sweaty stuff to draw.
CBN: Can you tell us of any circumstances from this mini that may spin out into other parts of Vampirella’s mythos?
Nate Cosby: Well, continuity’s always a slippery thing, so I can’t say that direct effects of this tale will be felt elsewhere. But there’ll be a few sacrifices made, and Vampi has some pretty messed-up experiences. So we’ll have to see where things stand after Issue #5.
CBN: Nate, do you have any projects new or in the future that you would like to discuss?
Nate Cosby: Sure! I’ve got Cow Boy Unconquerable coming from Archaia later this year. It’s the sequel to mine and Chris Eliopoulos’ Eisner Award-nominated book about a 10-year-old bounty hunter rounding up his entire outlaw family. Pretty excited about it, and you’ll notice some similarities between it and some of the characters in Southern Gothic. Because I can’t seem to stop telling Southern stories.
Cosmic Book News thanks Nate Cosby for taking time from his busy schedule and before the holiday weekend to answer our nosy M.E. We also thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.
“Vampirella: Southern Gothic” #1 (of 5) will hit store shelves in August!