When you hear that two strong, bad ass characters like Vampirella and Red Sonja are going to be in the same comic, you expect an epic girl battle never seen before. With Eisner-winning writer Jordie Bellaire (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Redlands) in charge, however, don’t expect a cat fight. Along with artist Drew Moss (Star Wars) colorist Rebecca Nalty (Xena Warrior Princess, GLOW), and letterer Becca Carey (Planet of the Apes), Bellaire is taking a different approach in September’s Vampirella/Red Sonja.
The new ongoing series begins in 1969 as Vampirella explores her new earth home. Here she meets a young, time-displaced Sonja, and the two embark on a journey together to figure out how they got there. Bellaire shared with The Beat some insight into the crossover comic Vampirella/Red Sonja.
Deanna Destito: You’ve written and colored quite a few bad ass female characters so far. Did it just make sense to add Vampi and Sonja to the list?
Jordie Bellaire: It’s not something I ever considered to be honest! I think they are such big icons and as far as I know, mostly written and drawn by men because of that…I never really thought it would be an opportunity I would have. I’m just grateful I have them on the character sheet now, though!
Destito: How much of a fan were you prior to this series or are you new to their worlds?
Bellaire: I really love what the two brought to comics and their genre, especially Vampirella, but I didn’t grow up reading too much of the material. But Vampirella definitely has a place in my heart for being this adventuring, horror goddess that was something really fresh when she first debuted.
Destito: Many might expect these two characters to be at odds, but it sounds like they are getting along quite well in the series. What made you take the “buddy cop” route instead of the “fight then friends” option?
Bellaire: I think it’s easy to assume that these two women could hate each other and I would much prefer they come to the table, acknowledging their strengths and weaknesses (even if they are brutally honest about the latter) because they are focused on just being their best selves. I’m much more interested in characters that support each other and try not to lean into much “them vs us” mentalities. I think it’s more interesting if we’re all together, whether or not we want to be, enduring each other respectfully and with compassion, rather than being dismissive or cruel. I think it can add a lot of interesting character developments and growth because right now they get along…but now there’s room for them to feel disappointment because of that! And disappointing someone has always felt worse than just upsetting someone, hasn’t it?
Destito: How has it been working with the rest of the creative team?
Bellaire: The team is a dream – [Editor] Nate [Cosby], Rebecca Nalty, and Becca Carey are friends of mine with The Becca Crew being two close friends of mine from my time living in Ireland. The Becca Crew™ are driven, independent, creative women, and I couldn’t be happier to know them and really excited for them to be on this book with me. Nate, my encouraging editor who is a great writer himself, I knew from living in NYC when I first started in this industry…him approaching me so many years after knowing me when I first began coloring comics to write this crazy thing is humbling and flattering all at once. He is such a delight to work with. And Drew! This is my first time working with Drew, but he is an outstanding artist with great attention to storytelling and comedic timing. I’m so lucky we have him here with us and I’m sure after enough issues the whole team will feel like a family!
Destito: Any other iconic characters you’d like to pair up?
Bellaire: Oh boy, I think there are too many for me to consider. I love when two people find friendship when they least expect it, so give me that Jean Grey and Emma Frost team up anytime, though I’ll probably have them fist fight each other over the tiniest disagreement…but it’ll end with lots of hugging because sometimes you gotta forgive and forget to get through the day (but just the day, y’know).
Vampirella/Red Sonja #1 will be released in local comic shops in September as well as online at Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more. Look for covers by Terry and Rachel Dodson, Julian Totino Tedesco, Babs Tarr, and Leonardo Romero.