Dynamite is getting set to launch the first issue of a new Bettie Page comic with Mirka Andolfo leading the charge. The new book, which is slated to release in June, will feature the creative team of artist Elisa Ferrari and co-writer Luca Blengino.
The Beat chatted with Andolfo about the series and why taking the iconic pinup to Italy was the right direction for the team and the character.
Bettie Page
Deanna Destito: How has it been taking on such a cultural icon as Bettie?
Mirka Andolfo: It was a great honor and also a great responsibility. I felt from the first moment the trust in me (in fact, when I received the proposal to write for this character, I was very surprised!), and this gave me the charge to give 101%. It is never easy to work on such icons, and you are not always satisfied with the result in the end. I must admit that I fully am, and I hope that readers will also enjoy reading the results of our work!
Destito: Why is Italy the perfect backdrop for Bettie and this story?
Andolfo: It was a natural choice for us. As Italians, Luca and I felt (together with the entire creative team, all Italian) that we could bring added value with the aesthetics of that period and those locations in our country. Which, let’s face it, often seen from the outside can look a bit stereotypical. And on an aesthetic level, Bettie looked perfect to us.
Bettie Page
Destito: Why do you think she has remained such an icon and why does she translate so easily into things like comics?
Andolfo: This is a very difficult question, and I’m not sure that I have the right answer. The impact that Bettie Page still has today is remarkable, and I’m pretty sure it’s not related solely to looks, as sexy and gorgeous as she was. I think it is also related to the character that shines through so strongly and sharply in her photos.
As for fitting perfectly in the comics, I have to say that I don’t know, but I was surprised myself working on it.
Bettie Page
Destito: Where does this story fit in with the other Bettie comics, if at all?
Andolfo: When we approached the story, we immediately asked whether it should be in continuity or somehow related. In the end, we opted for a story that was stand-alone and allowed us a range of imagination. Of course, to write it, we read a lot of what had been done before and I hope readers will notice!
Bettie Page
Destito: How has it been working with the creative team?
Andolfo: It was all very natural and beautiful. I have been writing for a long time together with Luca, who is a volcanic screenwriter, and I couldn’t have imagined this project without him. From an editorial point of view, the chemistry we have with our editor, Nate [Crosby], helped a lot to make everything go well. Elisa is an amazing illustrator, and the colorists, Mauro Gulma and Francesca Vivaldi, did an impeccable job. In short, a close-knit Italian team (that of Arancia Studio) brought Bettie to Italy. What else?
Bettie Page
Destito: What do you think the real Bettie would say about how her persona has evolved and impacted so many forms of entertainment over the decades?
Andolfo: That’s an assumption I don’t feel like making. Although I’ve read a lot about her, I don’t think I know enough about the person (not the character) to speculate what kind of reaction she would have to see her character evolve in this way. I would like to think that she would enjoy it very much, as would we and the readers.
Destito: Favorite moment or panel so far?
Andolfo: It may sound trite, but I say: the very first scene ever. It’s sexy and funny, it’s kind of the manifesto of what I like to put in my comics (and Luca’s too). And the art team played this scene to perfection. I couldn’t have imagined a better beginning!
Bettie Page #1 hits stores on June 7.