What is behind all the paranormal murders threatening the residents of Riverdale? To figure it out, a most unexpected team joins forces to solve the mystery.
This May, writer Amy Chu (Red Sonja, KISS: The End, Poison Ivy) and artist Maria Laura Sanapo (DC Comics Bombshells, Charmed) bring you Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica. The epic crossover will also feature covers by top artists from each world as well as a collectible enamel pin set starring the four main ladies.
The Beat chatted with Chu and Sanapo about the series and why fans of all the women will enjoy it.
Deanna Destito: This is an unexpected teamup, with females from very different backgrounds and worlds. What has been the biggest challenge weaving this together?
Amy Chu: Well, it’s actually not just one crossover but many. The challenge is to come up with a good, engaging story that not only makes sense for them as a group, but also gives each character a substantial role to play. It’s a form of extreme Jenga. I love it.
Destito: Amy, you have experience with Red Sonja and you’ve said you’ve read Archie comics. How much research did each of you have to do to nail down the voices and looks of these iconic characters, specifically those you don’t know as well?
Chu: It’s a lot of research, because each of these characters have evolved over time, as they should. I am least familiar with Vampirella, so she’s the one I had to do the most digging. I’m quite enjoying some of the Warren Publications stories. They have a real Twilight Zone storytelling feel to them. I was fortunate to meet Rudy Nebres one of the original artists at a show in Dallas, so I’m going to try to get some original Vampirella art from him.
Maria Laura Sanapo: Luckily I already knew the characters because I love them so much but of course your work of research never ends. For this reason it required me a bit to find references, especially for the high school, which is so different from the one we have in Italy (I’m Italian indeed).
Destito: How does a crossover book of this caliber come about?
Chu: Good question! Both Archie Publications and Dynamite have a strong history of wild and wonderful crossovers so it’s not hard to imagine that they’ve batted this idea about for a while. I mean, four wildly popular female characters together for the first time is not a hard sell I would imagine.
Sanapo: I’ve been working for Dynamite for four years and after a lot of projects like Charmed, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and covers for Vampirella , Barbarella and Dejah Thoris. Matt, the editor, asked me if I wanted to be the artist for this project. I obviously said yes, since the story was written by the super talented Amy Chu and it talked about four comics women that I love. I really thank Matt for giving me this awesome opportunity!
Destito: How has it been working with this creative team?
Chu: It’s absolutely wonderful. Maria gets this story perfectly. And Matt Idelson has had years of editorial experience at DC so he knows when to step in with advice, and when to get out of the way and let the story do its thing.
Destito: Maria, do you find yourself attracted to more female-led books?
Sanapo: Well, it depends on the character. I’m attracted to very strong characters, male or female. No matter the gender.
Destito: Which of the main four is your favorite to bring to life and why?
Sanapo: I love each one of them because they have their own physical appearance and personality. Vampirella is mysterious and enigmatic, the queen of seduction. Red Sonja is strong and ironic at the same time. Betty is sweet and polite, and Veronica is posh but soft-hearted.
Destito: What has been your process working with Amy and Dynamite?
Sanapo: When I get the script I do the layouts of all the pages to be sure that everything–characters, places, costumes–are as coherent as possible. I try also to figure out the place for the balloons, in order not to create difficulties for who will place the text later. Then I send them to Matt and Amy for the approval and to have their advice, and sometimes to ask them if I missed something. Their feedback is very important for me. We’re a team and everybody’s feedback is vital. Then, with their green light, I proceed with the inks and I send them the low res for a second approval. After that, they’re ready to be colored.
Destito: If you could bring together more worlds and characters, who would you pick and why?
Chu: You’re not talking about this storyline, are you? Because it’s complicated enough already! Although… in my heart, there is absolutely room for Aliens or Predator characters. Or Aliens AND Predator. Or Godzilla…
Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica #1 is slated for release in May. Ask your favorite comic shop in March to preorder your copies. Look out for the companion pins in May.