This fall, Vault Comics is debuting Sainted Love #1, a new title written by Steve Orlando (Eisner+GLAAD Nominated writer of Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man 2099, Wonder Woman) and drawn by artist Giopota (artist/creator Mothersea). Simon Bowland takes on letters, Tim Daniel is on designs, and Giopata and Vic Regis provide covers.
In the LGBTQ+ tale, characters Malcolm Irina and John Wolf traverse space and time, encountering famous queer people throughout history and fighting against anyone set on erasing those relationships.
Orlando chatted with us about the upcoming comic and why such a title is so vital in today’s landscape.  
Sainted Love

Deanna Destito: What inspired this story?

Steve Orlando: Sainted Love was inspired by real human history and how it tends to erase or talk over the achievements of folks in marginalized groups. In this case, the idea that LGBTQ+ folks are something new, or some fringe part of society, instead of a part that’s always been there, always achieving, and always contributing. And, during the course of producing the book, as states took steps to further erase and endanger queer people as well as whitewash history in general, the idea of two men fighting back against a monolithic conspiracy as old as history itself just felt all the more exciting and vital.

Sainted Love is about more than celebrating the past, present, and future of LGBTQ+ people–it’s about defending it. And on the way? It’s a rollicking, sexy thrill ride across time that informs, excites, and rivets as much with its fights as its fucks.

Sainted Love

Destito: How do you approach a story that is as layered as this one? (mixed genres, important messages, complex characters, etc.)

Orlando: Scene by scene! That’s somewhat a joke, but somewhat not. No matter how layered a story may be, the characters driving it are always the core. And when it comes to Malcolm Irina and John Wolf, the futurist and the pugilist, their characters are extremely focused. So, as we create new challenges for them and new locations to drop them into, new times for them to explore, it still all comes down to knowing who Mac and Wolf are and how they’d react. Once you know them, they become the key lens to blast conflict through. And from there, we find and manage our story.

Destito: How has it been working with Vault and this creative team?

Orlando: Vault has been extremely supportive of Sainted Love from moment one! Adrian [Wassel] and Der-Shing [Helmer] know these characters, they love them, and they’re doing all they can to make their adventures as vivid and exciting as possible. And that goes double for Giopota on line art. Gio is a dream collaborator. He knows this world; he’s been integral to bringing it to life. How has it been? It’s been a dream–to plant this kernel of story and start this conversation in the script, and pass it on to master collaborators so that it can come back around not as a conversation, but a well-rounded, perfectly honed work of a murderer’s row of collaborators.

Destito: The first issue sets up the story, introducing the characters as well as the sci-fi/romance mashup. Can you tease what readers can expect from the narrative in future issues?

Orlando: Absolutely! Issue #2 will explore much more of the 1950s Celluloid Closet era, and from there, we’ll be exploring Ancient Rome and some very auspicious current lovers and future martyrs. Along the way, you can of course expect a bacchanale!

Destito: Why is this comic significant right now?

Orlando: We touched on it above, but we’re living in an era where those in power wish to rewrite history, erase their crimes, and reframe the struggles and deaths of people from any number of marginalized communities. That goes for LGBTQ+ folks, it goes for black folks, and goes for so many more people. So here, we’ve got a book that fights back, that tells those in power that we’re here, we’ve been here, and we’ll always BE here…achieving, overcoming, and innovating. And to hell with anyone who disagrees.

Sainted Love #1 hits stores on September 27. Check out a preview below!