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ďSheís A Monster Too.Ē Ė Corinna Bechko Talks Aliens / Vampirella

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  • ďSheís A Monster Too.Ē Ė Corinna Bechko Talks Aliens / Vampirella

    Byron Brewer caught up with Corinna S. Bechko to talk about the battle between horror icons Vampirella and the Aliens Xenomorphs. Cover art by Gabriel Hardman.


    AliensVampi02CovAHardmanBYRON BREWER: Corinna, we are at the penultimate issue for this wonderful miniseries. Looking back, what innovations in storytelling did you make here that worked out and what would you undo about this mashup if you could?


    CORINNA S. BECHKO: I donít know about innovations, exactly, but I was very happy that I was able to tell this story from a couple of points of view. Of course Vampirella is our main character (at least our main character who has dialogue, the Xenomorphs tending to be a rather taciturn bunch) but I felt it was important to have a little distance from her since sheís a monster too. So we donít spend any time in her head to find out what sheís thinking, but we do get to see what other characters think about her. Some trust her, some fear her, some like her. This would be a very different book if we stayed only with her the whole time.


    As to undoing anything, I think it would have been nice if there had been room to see more of what life was like in the past, when the Nosferatu ran their own base, using humans as food animals. The story isnít exactly about that, though, so we will get just a little taste of that in this issue.


    BB: OK, Aliens or Vampirella: Which would you as a writer like to follow into a solo series?


    CSB: Hmm, thatís a tough question! I think that everyone who writes Vampi falls in love with her a little. This story is very action-oriented and there wasnít a lot of downtime to spend with her, so it would be fun to explore more of her adventures. On the other hand, few monsters can rival a Xenomorph for horror and intrigue, so that would be exciting too. Vampirella gets the edge, though, since she can talk, and that makes my job easier.


    AliensVampi03CovAHardmanBB: We may have tread this ground before, but what was your inspiration for this tale of space horror?


    CSB: Iím very interested in space exploration, and I truly hope that humanity really can colonize Mars eventually. In reality, I think it will be a lot harder than most people imagine, so all the more reason to write fiction about it!


    BB: How big was the use of Lars in this mini for you?


    CSB: I think heís a very important character. Itís really through him that we understand Vampirella, and heís the human that carries my hopes for what people can be like as we venture into the future. He doesnít always make the right decisions, but heís trying. Without him in place I think Vampirella might have just given up on the other humans at this point in the story.


    BB: How did you enjoy artist Javier Garcia-Mirandaís interpretation of your script?


    CSB: Javier is just terrific! I mean, look at how heís handling the action: itís always clear and exciting, and the Xenomorphs are scary as hell. Itís important that we can infer what Vampirella is thinking during the quieter scenes too, since thereís no voiceover. I worried about that until I saw his art on the first issue. Since then, Iíve been able to relax and allow him to just work his magic. In short, I couldnít be happier to be collaborating with Javier.


    For more on Aliens / Vampirella, click here.


  • #2
    Originally posted by DynamiteKevin View Post

    Byron Brewer caught up with Corinna S. Bechko to talk about the battle between horror icons Vampirella and the Aliens Xenomorphs. Cover art by Gabriel Hardman.


    AliensVampi02CovAHardmanBYRON BREWER: Corinna, we are at the penultimate issue for this wonderful miniseries. Looking back, what innovations in storytelling did you make here that worked out and what would you undo about this mashup if you could?


    CORINNA S. BECHKO: I donít know about innovations, exactly, but I was very happy that I was able to tell this story from a couple of points of view. Of course Vampirella is our main character (at least our main character who has dialogue, the Xenomorphs tending to be a rather taciturn bunch) but I felt it was important to have a little distance from her since sheís a monster too. So we donít spend any time in her head to find out what sheís thinking, but we do get to see what other characters think about her. Some trust her, some fear her, some like her. This would be a very different book if we stayed only with her the whole time.


    As to undoing anything, I think it would have been nice if there had been room to see more of what life was like in the past, when the Nosferatu ran their own base, using humans as food animals. The story isnít exactly about that, though, so we will get just a little taste of that in this issue.


    BB: OK, Aliens or Vampirella: Which would you as a writer like to follow into a solo series?


    CSB: Hmm, thatís a tough question! I think that everyone who writes Vampi falls in love with her a little. This story is very action-oriented and there wasnít a lot of downtime to spend with her, so it would be fun to explore more of her adventures. On the other hand, few monsters can rival a Xenomorph for horror and intrigue, so that would be exciting too. Vampirella gets the edge, though, since she can talk, and that makes my job easier.


    AliensVampi03CovAHardmanBB: We may have tread this ground before, but what was your inspiration for this tale of space horror?


    CSB: Iím very interested in space exploration, and I truly hope that humanity really can colonize Mars eventually. In reality, I think it will be a lot harder than most people imagine, so all the more reason to write fiction about it!


    BB: How big was the use of Lars in this mini for you?


    CSB: I think heís a very important character. Itís really through him that we understand Vampirella, and heís the human that carries my hopes for what people can be like as we venture into the future. He doesnít always make the right decisions, but heís trying. Without him in place I think Vampirella might have just given up on the other humans at this point in the story.


    BB: How did you enjoy artist Javier Garcia-Mirandaís interpretation of your script?


    CSB: Javier is just terrific! I mean, look at how heís handling the action: itís always clear and exciting, and the Xenomorphs are scary as hell. Itís important that we can infer what Vampirella is thinking during the quieter scenes too, since thereís no voiceover. I worried about that until I saw his art on the first issue. Since then, Iíve been able to relax and allow him to just work his magic. In short, I couldnít be happier to be collaborating with Javier.


    For more on Aliens / Vampirella, click here.

    Hey! Is there anyway to let the Corinna know that Vampirella CANNOT turn people? Archie Goodwin established that about her DNA, if you will, in issue #12 of the Warren Era. And for readers who have been following Vampirella's adventures since the 70s, when a new writer comes along and assumes that Vampirella is just a "run of the crypt" vampire it's WORSE than finger nails on a chalk board!

    NOTE for future writers of Vampirella:
    • Vampirella was born a vampire, hence she is ALIVE. She has working internal organs, that is, a beating heart.
    • She casts a reflection in a mirror and a shadow on various objects, that is, the ground, walls, and so.
    • Because, she is living vampire, she can AND has eaten solid food. I can cite both Warren and Harris issues in which she has done so. Yes, she needs blood, but she still eats.
    • She is immune to silver, garlic, holy symbols, and holy water. She is NOT cursed with vampirism. It is simply a part of her biology.
    • She is NOT nocturnal by nature. She only hunts at night, because that is when most of the monsters she hunts are active.


    I began reading Vampirella in 1973, not because of the silly costume, but because she was unlike any other fictional vampire in books, comic, movies, or TV. She was and is heroic, compassionate, and empathetic. She loathed feeding on humans and would only do so under extraordinary circumstances--usually because the human were the "monsters" of the story. Sorry, for running on like this, but when writer is attached to Vampirella, even one who writes an exceptional tale, but doesn't do his or her research on a long-running, cherished character and gets an intrinsic fact about that character wrong it diminishes the enjoyment of the story.

    Imagine it this way, suppose a new writer who knew very little about Spider-man would begin writing for the title deciding that because spiders spin web from spinnerets in their hindquarters Spider-man should start spinning web from his hindquarters.

    Comment


    • #3
      How did you ever manage to survive the Harris era? It seems like as soon as they started playing around with the origin, continuity with what was established in the Warren era went right out the window.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by pulphero View Post
        How did you ever manage to survive the Harris era? It seems like as soon as they started playing around with the origin, continuity with what was established in the Warren era went right out the window.

        Simple, I didn't buy anything in the Harris Era. I was disgusted by what was done with her.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ddamaged View Post
          Simple, I didn't buy anything in the Harris Era. I was disgusted by what was done with her.
          Great point about Spidey. I held my nose and bought during the Harris era. Felt like I should help keep it going until something better came along. So far, Dynamite has been better though not perfect. I don't think the sensibilities of the Warren era exist anymore. I'm grateful I was able to experience it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rlvaugh View Post
            Great point about Spidey. I held my nose and bought during the Harris era. Felt like I should help keep it going until something better came along. So far, Dynamite has been better though not perfect. I don't think the sensibilities of the Warren era exist anymore. I'm grateful I was able to experience it.
            I NEVER cared about her costume. What made Vampirella special to me when I read it in the 70s was that she could pass for human far more so than any vampire, but paradoxically was far more powerful than a standard, "run of the crypt" vampire. She was freely active during the day, she ate human food ( I CAN CITE ISSUES), she was immuned to ALL of vampire's, she slept in a bed NOT A COFFIN, she was some Hellspawn or the daughter of demoness, she was an alien (LOVED IT), and most importantly she was not undead SHE WAS ALIVE. Vampirella was a living, breathing, BORN vampire. She wasn't born a human who was attacked by another vampire, died due to blood loss, and reanimated as a vampire--SHE WAS BORN A LIVING VAMPIRE. And now EVERY author since the Harris years wants to pigeonhole her into being a cookie-cutter, run of the crypt, *yaaawwwwnn*, "been there, bitten that" vampire!

            Sorry, this is extremely vexing!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ddamaged View Post
              Simple, I didn't buy anything in the Harris Era. I was disgusted by what was done with her.
              Why isn't that still your strategy then? DE didn't simply jettison everything Harris did and continue from where the Warren comics left off. I wish they had. The only bits that DE has done that I liked (apart from the Vampirella vs Dracula miniseries) was the recent stuff -- Nancy Collins' series, plus the Feary Tales and Dawn/Vampirella series. I couldn't even have enjoyed those, if I were some kind of Warren continuity hardliner. Considering all the comics DE has published, that's still a lot more bad than good. Too bad it seems like they're taking a step backward again, but you can't exactly call it totally unexpected.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                Why isn't that still your strategy then? DE didn't simply jettison everything Harris did and continue from where the Warren comics left off. I wish they had. The only bits that DE has done that I liked (apart from the Vampirella vs Dracula miniseries) was the recent stuff -- Nancy Collins' series, plus the Feary Tales and Dawn/Vampirella series. I couldn't even have enjoyed those, if I were some kind of Warren continuity hardliner. Considering all the comics DE has published, that's still a lot more bad than good. Too bad it seems like they're taking a step backward again, but you can't exactly call it totally unexpected.
                I broke down and decided to give some of the DE write a shot. I've noticed that she's still a congenital vampire and a daywalker who's immune to holy water, garlic, and holy symbols. And I've enjoyed how Nancy Collins has made her a three-dimensional heroine, writing her as smart, sassy, funny, and still compassionate and sympathetic.
                Last edited by ddamaged; 11-12-2015, 04:51 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The new version of Vampirella under Gail Simone's direction seems to evoke a warmed-over reflection of Kate Beckinsale's character from the Underworld film franchise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                    The new version of Vampirella under Gail Simone's direction seems to evoke a warmed-over reflection of Kate Beckinsale's character from the Underworld film franchise.
                    Out of curiosity, when did you start reading Vampirella? Can you remember your first issue? Did you read the issue or just bag and back it as a collector?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ddamaged View Post
                      Out of curiosity, when did you start reading Vampirella? Can you remember your first issue? Did you read the issue or just bag and back it as a collector?
                      Don't remember the exact issue number. Sometime back in the 30's. Of the Warren run, not the 1930s. I do remember being on a mission to hunt down each one of those Paperback Library novels by Ron Goulart by the time those came out, reasoning that the novelizations were my best bet on catching up on backstory continuity of the character that I'd missed, so by that point I was more than just a casual fan of the character.
                      Last edited by pulphero; 11-16-2015, 01:26 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the record - I read a few panels in a German newspaper of "Deaths Dark Angel"
                        and instantly became a fan. (And I was sub-boob age then, so that wasn't the reason. ;-)

                        Improbable that any Harris or Dynamite work could have achieved that, although I'm
                        not of the "everything after Warren is shit" faction.

                        But still, marching up and down before Dynamite writers' houses holding up posters
                        "Vampirella is no vampire!!!" seems a good idea to me :-)

                        Comment

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