This February, Dynamite is hosting the “family reunion from Hell,” featuring new bloodthirsty characters in the Vampirella Universe. Draculina: Blood Simple #1 written by Christopher Priest (Black Panther, Deathstroke) and drawn by Michael Sta. Maria (Vengeance of Vampirella) will introduce and flesh out even more of Drakulon’s finest (or most frightening?!). 
Priest chatted with us about the upcoming title and how much fun the writer has been having in this bloody sandbox.
Deanna Destito: How has it been expanding the Vampirella universe and adding even more dynamic characters to her world?
Christopher Priest: Fun, actually. I got here, looked around, and could not find Lois or Jimmy or Lex Luthor. There really wasn’t much infrastructure to play with as every Vampirella writer has been, to whatever extent, granted free reign to mix up their own pot of stew. This just happens to be mine.
Draculina was actually the first character we saw on the first page of my first issue, Vampirella #0, released for Free Comic Book Day 2019. Katie, our pre-teen Vampirette, is an alt-reality version of Draculina (or is it vice-versa?). To a fairly large extent, my entire journey on Vampirella has been telling, and now continues to tell, the story of Draculina, Lilith’s lost child.

Destito: What prompted the decision to give Draculina her own series?

Priest: Pure greed. (Laughs) I don’t know. Somebody called me. I was happy because I had asked Dynamite to end our Vampirella run at 25, but I really had not finished Katie/Draculina’s story. So we’re getting to do that now.

The adult survivor of child abuse, Draculina is, ultimately, a deeply wounded person who manifests her sadness and hurt as maniacal scheming. Perhaps the greatest irony is the parallelism between Draculina, who is consumed by hate, being the daughter her mother Lilith is so passionate about. Meanwhile, Vampirella, the child Lilith conceived only in an effort to find the daughter she’d lost, is the more balanced and, I guess, “normal” of the two, despite having been repeatedly abandoned by her own mother (see our Vampirella Year One series, now shipping).

Destito: What can readers expect to see between Draculina and Katie?

Priest: To our new readers: the preteen Katie previously enjoyed a kind of Billy Batson-Shazam relationship with Draculina, with the two sharing a singular existence here in our reality. The mystic linkage between the two was severed at the conclusion of our previous series, so now both “selves” exist at the same time.

At the climax of our previous volume, Katie snaps at her alt-self Draculina, ostensibly telling her to get a life and stop wallowing in grievance over perceived wrongs.

In this series, Draculina concludes Katie was right and sets about to do just that: free herself of the dark cloud she’d been under. But, her being Draculina, she chooses to go about this in the most dysfunctional way imaginable.


Destito: There are a lot of big Vampi names appearing in this book. Are there plans for another series to branch off starring another from her family?

Priest: Oh, that’s a Nick Barrucci question. We have major plans for Vampirella in our upcoming Rage book, which begins after Vampirella Year One concludes this spring. You can expect Draculina to play a major role in that series, and there is also a yet-to-be-titled book featuring yet another version of Draculina, Vampi’s ex-girlfriend Victory, who cameos here in Blood Simple.


Destito: Why do you enjoy playing in the Vampirella world?

Priest: Well, if you figure Draculina’s nihilism makes her a short car ride away from being The Joker in a string bikini, Vampirella’s sweetness and, well, her normalcy, enables me to build stories around universal themes of family, community, and belonging. Everybody wants community, everybody wants purpose and acceptance, love and fulfillment. Everybody has experienced rejection and failure, mourning and defeat. Everybody has been afraid of the dark.

Vampirella has historically been a fairly undeveloped character within an underdeveloped creative universe. That creates an almost boundless frontier of exploration, discovering concepts that have been waiting for us all along.

I’m really grateful to have the amazing Michael Sta. Maria and [colorist] Ivan Nunes along for the ride. Their work inspires me, leading me to many of those discoveries with the magic they employ in bringing words to life. I often don’t even know who a character truly is until Michael and Ivan animate them and have them walking or flying, biting or eviscerating. Honestly, to me, it’s just magic to see this stuff come to life, and Draculina then starts talking to me, writing her own story.

Look for Draculina: Blood Simple #1 on store shelves in February.