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A Writerís Commentary: CHRIS SEBELA on KISS/VAMPIRELLA #3, on sale NOW!

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  • A Writerís Commentary: CHRIS SEBELA on KISS/VAMPIRELLA #3, on sale NOW!

    A Writerís Commentary: CHRIS SEBELA on KISS/VAMPIRELLA #3, on sale NOW from Dynamite!

    Hey, welcome back to Issue 3 and my endless commentary upon it. Lotta stuff happens in here, so letís dive right into it, shall we?

    Page 1
    - Iíve said it before but it turns out I really really like writing song lyrics for fake bands. This issue has plenty, but this particular Witchkraft song I like most for the chorus. Which is not on this page. But Annapaola really excels at drawing exciting rock shows. Plus we get a quick and dirty Witchkraft origin story.

    Page 2
    - So I donít know where Vampi gets her money and I kind of donít care. Money is what makes life possible on this planet, so I feel like itís the first and best lesson she would have gotten after landing here from Drakulon. Vampiís a fighter, so sheíd gather the best weapons she could and money makes for a pretty good attacking point. I like the idea of her paying off Witchkraftís bass player to go away so she could slide on in. Oh and hereís that chorus, I like that saying about ďWe are the witches that you never burnedĒ and felt like it would make for a good rock song. Turns out I was right.

    Page 3
    - Vampi not knowing who KISS is, that made sense to me, but Lily not knowing, that was a little suspect. But Lily has literally been through a lifetime of weird stuff in the past couple of days so it makes sense sheíd forget about some band who only has one album out now. But Calliope going nuts over them also makes sense, so we get the whole spectrum that an early version of KISS would get, including complete indifference. They had yet to really set the world on fire.

    Page 4
    - Finally, the title of this book is starting to make a little more sense now, right? Kiss has met Vampirella. I could have written a whole issue just of KISS and Witchkraft hanging out, talking about rock music and L.A. and whatever else pops into their heads. But time is money, so we gotta move this party off to a jam session. I mean, it just made sense that they had to jam at some point.

    Page 5
    - Vampi probably could have fit in the van, but I wanted to show off her wings a bit, give her a second to herself, so this planning conundrum seemed like the perfect time to handle both. Plus it gets Lily out of there, because weíve got a LOT of characters going on and need some breathing room.

    Page 6
    - And I liked this idea of Vampi trying her hand at songwriting and sucking at it. I mean, she can do everything else perfectly, sheís gotta have at least one deficit. Plus, we set up Ulysses ó KISSí driver ó as hiding near the venue, and spotting her. So much stuff getting set up, conflicts dead ahead.

    Page 7
    - With all the buddy times happening, I wanted to come back and remind everyone that thereís a bunch of Satanists with swords out there doing creepy things for creepy reasons. Like wanting to get Aceís guitar pick, especially a used one. Now they have Paulís Flying V, Geneís bass, Aceís pick. What could be going on here?

    Page 8
    - This page was stupidly fun to write, just getting each counterpart off with one another, talking about their specialties with someone whoíd truly get it, I like that. It happens in every industry, so I figure with two bands like this, this is how bands jam before they jam. First itís one or two small notes and they build into something bigger.

    Page 9
    - But FYI, itís not all fun and games, bands are still vanishing, and thatís kind of important. I like to draw out the tension here, just to make you anxious, make you want to see what Iíve been promising you for the last 4 pages. Getting to write a two-drummer countdown is something I didnít know was on my bucket list but it turns out it was and Iíve gotten it handled.

    Page 10-11
    - And here it is. A double page spread because we need this much room to fit in our 8 band members. Song lyrics, I knew we wouldnít get into anything too deep here, so I just wanted something that kinda summed up how KISS feels about L.A. and how Witchkraft, living here, feels about whatís happening to the scene. Plus it sounds cool. Thatís paramount. On the bottom tier I put in some more Satanists rushing in, and being driven back by the power of their rock. The idea of music as a magical spell, Iím definitely not the first to get there, but I like to think mine is a bit more explode-y.

    Page 12
    - Exit Witchkraft. For reasosn that will become clear and reasons you have no idea about until you read issue 4. Sorry. But now weíre fully back to the missing, crazy and broken bands that lay at the heart of all this. KISS has motivation now. Vampi has extra motivation with her bandís name in the book, everyoneís onboard for this adventure.

    Page 13
    - Selling out is a concept that gets bandied about a lot in creative industries, especially in music. So I wanted the ultimate sellouts, the ones who ditched rock music to record bland mid-70s beach rock. What sounds wimpier than THE BREEZE as a band name? Oh, and here comes Ulysses again. Itís been awhile since anyone fought, so letís just shoot Vampi right in the chest, shall we?

    Page 14
    - Vampi is pretty unphased. Sheís an alien badass, so nothing Ulysses throws at her thatís that simple is gonna stick. I wanted her to seem monstrous, angry, to give KISS a reason beyond her ability to take a bullet and keep standing to attack her. Ulysses is there to give them one last nudge over the edge.

    Page 15
    - And KISS is coming from a good place, so I didnít want Vampi kicking and punching them around like she would anyone else. I wanted her to almost be disappointed that they were going along with this guy, that they had just jammed an hour ago and now itís come to this? Vampi is bummed, not pissed off. She just unfurls her wings and sadly watches them run off.

    Page 16
    - And here we find out who Ulysses is really working for. Beyond KISS. And a nice flamethrower burst to really mess with Vampi as the band speeds off. The kind of parting note thatís gonna make Vampi a lot less apt to go easy on Ulysses if they should happen to meet again.

    Page 17
    - Peter and Ace are definitely my wild cards in this book. Theyíre the ones who are apt to go the furthest out there if the circumstances get wonky and they canít get much wonkier than this, so having Peter choke Ulysses for answers while heís driving seemed like the right thing to do. Plus we get Ulyssesí take on who Vampi is, driving a wedge deeper between her and KISS. Will they ever be friends again??

    Page 18
    - Lily playing the bass, the roadie/assistant who has to sit home and be ready for when the boss needs her. Having her boss walk in singed and smoking seemed like a good crisis for Lily to handle. Just draw a bath and fill a nice glass with some blood. And I know people like some cheesecake with their Vampi, so hereís a hint at it. Iím not a prude, but I think thereís a lot more to Vampi so I wanted to kind of honor that past here and there, but do my own thing.

    Page 19
    - And here comes Lilyís secret origin. The girl who shows up to L.A. looking to break big and be a star is a pretty common narrative but I feel there are a lot more people who run to places like Los Angeles to get lost, to avoid their past finding them, to try and change themselves into someone completely new. Thatís what Lilyís angling for. But now we know why she was so good at hotwiring a car and speeding after Satanists in issue 2.

    Page 20
    - I know, I know, itís pretty cliche to put the Hollywood sign in your Los Angeles story, but I went for it on this one because in 1974, the Hollywood sign was broken down and missing tiles and it generally looked like a shabby old billboard no one had bothered to tear down. It got restored not too long afterwards, but KISS in this new, uglier version of L.A. finding out about stuff at this massive, now ugly symbol of L.A., it kinda made a lot of sense to me. Oh, and Ulyssesí story is a nod to one of Vampiís old origin stories before it got retconned to the land of wind and ghosts. It seemed like a story that Vatican monster hunters would pass down.

    Page 21
    - Capitol Records is an actual legal entity and weíd likely get sued for using them, so I changed it to Center Records and bam, I can move along with the story. KISS shows up to get some answers and the business sleaze side of the equation is super eager to meet with them. KISS might be small, but people recognized their potential early. Thatís why theyíre huge now.

    Page 22
    - And here is our finale. KISS gets made the same offer that The Empire got made before they turned into The Breeze. Except they say no and you know what you get when you say no, you get a bunch of red demons spilling out of some old executives looking to eat your face off.
    Will KISS still have faces next issue? Gotta come back in a month and find out.