11/06/13 @ 3:41 pm EST
In another peer to peer interview from Dynamite Entertainment, Nancy Collins chats with Devin Grayson and Gail Simone about taking on Red Sonja as part of the new Legends Of Red Sonja series being released during the characters 40th anniversary.
First Devin Grayson:
NANCY COLLINS: What inspired you to give your Red Sonja story in LEGENDS OF RED SONJA #1 a nautical spin?
DEVIN GRAYSON: I haven’t played with magic much in my comics writing, but it’s been factoring heavily into some prose work I’m doing now–a YA novel series about a young ghost hunter and her friends, one of whom is a mage. So the chance to work with an artist who could bring some of those themes to life was irresistible. Magic in Sonja’s world—as shown so beautifully in your story– is dark, powerful, raw and dangerous…essentially a force of nature in and of itself. So I wanted something that would echo that visually, a setup in my story that would lead to people being visibly out of control of their environment, such as fire at sea. And the moment I seized on that, a whole mood and tone and antagonist for the story fell into place.
Or maybe I just watched that Science Friday “Where’s the Octopus?” video on YouTube too many times.
NC: Did you have an interest/background in heroic fantasy prior to being brought on the Legends of Red Sonja project?
DG: Not in my reading or writing life, but I’m an avid RPGer, and when you’re gaming—whether online or in traditional pencil and dice campaigns—you’re going to end up submerged in heroic fantasy. Most relevant to this project was the online game Age of Conan. I never actually played it, but before the game officially launched, the role playing crowd took over one of the Beta message boards to use for Conan-themed round robin story-telling. I was very active there, playing an Aquilonian guard, so Sonja’s world felt like a place I’d already lived.
NC: You’ve worked in the video game industry in the past. How does writing for games compare to writing comics?
DG: There are a lot of similarities. Both start as blank pages but grow up to be primarily visual media, both have a commitment to inviting the audience to identify with the characters in as immediate a way as possible and both are shaped by external story limitations—continuity in the case of comics and game mechanics in the case of video games. Both are also unusually social experiences for a writer. Unless you’re working with a partner, writing is usually a pretty solitary exercise. Being alone with a story is one of my favorite parts of the writing experience. But with both comics and video game scripts, you’re just a cog in the wheel, working as part of a team and relying on those other team members to bring your vision to life. I love finishing a manuscript and eventually getting to hold an actual book in my hands, but it’s a whole different kind of thrill to finish a script and eventually get to see the characters acting out the dialog.
NC: Do you have anything on deck for 2014 that your fans should keep an eye out for?
DG: In addition to the YA novel series I briefly mentioned –which won’t make its debut in 2014–I’m currently working on a radio play, which will, and a few other projects it’s too early to talk about. I’m really enjoying being back in comics though and, who knows, there may even be some more work with Dynamite in my future.
And now over to Gail Simone:
NC: What inspired you to propose an All-Woman jam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Red Sonja?
GAIL SIMONE: I have to give a lot of credit for this to Dynamite and to Nick Barrucci. They are just fantastically open to ideas, and consequently, you don’t feel like the doors are all shut and locked before you even try to open them.
I had what I thought was a fun idea, to have all the covers of my run on the ongoing RED SONJA title be drawn by women, all my favorites, and it’s just worked out amazingly well…they all turned out beautiful. And it made this nifty little side statement, as well, that some of the very best artists in the business are female, AND could draw this sword and sorcery stuff beautifully.
It was such a success, it made me think of how fun it would be to invite a bunch of my writing heroes to try the same thing, women who had provided inspiration to me with the quality of their work.
It turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of, we were all collaborating immediately. And we brought back people like Devin Grayson, Tamora Pierce and yourself, Nancy, to comics, who have been gone for too long. And we got Mercedes Lackey’s and Meljean Brook’s first comics stories, and a-list artist Nicola Scott’s first scripting credit…it just makes me happy. I am proud to be in this company, even if I cheated and put myself in!
NC: Did you have an interest in heroic fantasy prior to landing the monthly RED SONJA gig?
GS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I often see people who object to the blood or flesh in this genre, particularly in the Robert E. Howard-inspired stuff, but really, I like it. It feels very primal, very ill-mannered. It’s not like the Tolkien stuff that I also love, it’s sweatier and lustier. But you can tell very sophisticated stories with the genre, heartbreaking and heart-soaring stuff. I love it.
C: How does it feel being the first woman to write for Red Sonja in the 21st century?
GS: Is that actually true? I believe one of my other heroes, the great Jen Van Meter, did a Sonja one-shot just a couple years back.
But as ONE of the first, what can I say, it’s one of those joyful things that happen that could never be predicted. I always loved Sonja, now I get to do ferocious things with her.
NC: What up-coming comics and special appearances can your fans look forward to in 2014?
GS: A lot, and some things I can’t mention yet, but the hugely successful Kickstarter graphic novel I did with co-creator and artist Jim Calafiore, LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS, is finally out to backers, and I am thrilled about that. I’m writing the TOMB RAIDER comic for Dark Horse, which has all the good history and travel stuff I love so much. I’m writing BATGIRL and THE MOVEMENT for DC Comics, both very close to my heart.
And of course the LEGENDS OF RED SONJA anthology and the ongoing Sonja monthly title for Dynamite. There may be a few surprises, as well, it’s been a year of big changes for me.
As for appearances, yikes, my convention calendar is mostly filled up until 2015, but very few have been announced yet, so I have to keep mum about that.
Legends Of Red Sonja #1 goes on sale November 6th and features a cover by Jay Anacleto and interior art by Jack Jadson, Noah Salonga and Carla “Speed” McNeil.
Nancy A. Collins is the author of numerous novels, short stories, and comic books, including DC Comics’ Swamp Thing. A recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award, The British Fantasy Society’s Icarus Award, as well as a nominee for the International Horror Guild, John W. Campbell, James Tiptree, Eisner & World Fantasy Awards, her works include Sunglasses After Dark, Lynch: A Gothik Western, and Knuckles And Tales. Legends of Red Sonja #1 marks her return to comics, and her newest novel is Magic And Loss, the 3rd book in the Golgotham series, scheduled to be released November 5th.
09/24/21 @ 10:27 am EST
Vampirella is bringing the heat to the NFT collectibles sphere today, with a hotly anticipated launch of digital comics, graphic novels and more on Terra Virtua. Featuring the work of critically acclaimed industry legend Christopher Priest (Black Panther, Deathstroke), Ergün Gündüz, and superstar J. Scott Campbell (Gen13, Amazing Spider-Man), there is something for every kind of collector.
Front and center for this drop is the 50th anniversary prestige comic series of Vampirella. Written by Christopher Priest, drawn by Ergün Gündüz, and lettered by Willie Schubert, its historic first issue will be available now as a non-fungible digital collectible. Upon its initial release in comic book stores, it quickly became the highest selling full priced periodical in Dynamite's history. Terra Virtua will also be offering the Seduction of the Innocent graphic novel, compiling the first six full issues of the series, plus the #0 issue originally released for Free Comic Book Day 2019. A deluxe Director's Cut edition will also be available, with a more limited run and additional extra features only capable in the NFT space.
Both of the two previous Director's Cut deluxe NFT graphic novels, for The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani have already completely sold out. While collectors are already selling and seeing incredible returns on the secondary market, with a Dynamite record of $5,000 for one of these resales.
Writer Christopher Priest will also be conducting an AMA, "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit for fans looking to learn more about his work on Vampirella, his broader career, the NFT collectibles space, and much more. Read More Here
09/23/21 @ 4:34 pm EST
Dynamite is excited to announce some of the early success and surprises in the NFT collectibles collaboration with partner Terra Virtua. With sell-outs and impressive secondary market sales, this is a growing exciting space for comics and artwork.
Beyond the initial lithographs rollout, the first major NFT comics release through the partnership was a unique digital edition of hit The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The more limited Director's Cut versions of the NFT comic have completely sold out, though additional versions remain available for collectors to purchase.
One week later, the same happened with the release of the fan-favorite Red Sonja run by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani. The 100 Director's Cuts sold out almost immediately. With other iterations still available.
The secondary market is heating up too, as fans sell and trade from their NFT collections. A copy of The Boys Director's Cut sold on the market for $5,000, a record for Dynamite's NFT comics.
With more exciting releases coming from the partnership with Terra Virtua, Dynamite encourages fans to check out the current offerings and stay tuned for the latest news on what is coming next in this exciting arena!
The limited edition digital collections are available to purchase on Terra Virtua here:
09/16/21 @ 4:08 pm EST
Dynamite celebrates 30 years of Chaos! this December with an exciting new take on Evil Ernie courtesy of writer Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men, Red Hood) and artist Ariel Medel (Xena)!
Ernest Gleckman is a good kid, coming up on his college graduation. The only asterisk is the rock band he leads each weekend. He may have a bit of a bad boy streak, but nothing like where life is about to take him! One night Ernest is mortally wounded, but barely scrapes by alive. Only now he must pay back his new "lease" on life as an avatar for a mysterious death cult. He must assume the role of... Evil Ernie!
"What happens when you take the most evil entity in all of creation....and bond him with the nicest guy in the world?," Scott Lobdell wanted to know. "I saw this EVIL ERNIE series as a way to explore not only the effect of Ernie's unadulterated evil on an innocent college student... but would Ernie react to having to reside in a vessel of pure innocence in order to achieve his goal. We've all come to accept that power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Is it possible absolute goodness can eradicate evil once and for all?"
"Also, I have to say, I am so excited about working with Ariel on EVIL ERNIE. I've gotten to work with a lot of superstars over the years... and I'm telling you he's destined to become one!"
Ernest and Ernie are polar opposites, as the young man learns as his new alter ego leans into cruelty and sadism as he tortures and murders his targets. As he balances the already ...
09/16/21 @ 11:30 am EST
Christopher Priest's Vampirella saga continues this holiday season with the now married Daughter of Drakulon traveling to Dracula's castle to cheat fate in a new event limited series, Vampirella/Dracula: Unholy. But can love conquer evil?
Fans who check out Vampirella #25 will get to witness the biggest comic book wedding of the year. The story is directly picked up in the pages of this new series, but the backstory behind these monumental events goes back much longer. At the same time, the new series will be perfectly approachable for readers who haven't read a page of Vampirella in their lives.
Legendary writer Christopher Priest (Black Panther, Deathstroke) is joined in this series by bloodthirsty up and coming artist Donny Hadiwidjaja (Barbarella), colorist Mohan, and letterer Willie Schubert.
“We’ve kept Dracula off the board, from day one, because I’d planned to do this,” Priest laughed. “One of my first requests to Dynamite - ‘No Drac for the first year, please.’ When we bring Dracula into our series, we need that to be an event. I realize how over-used a claim it is but, trust me, you’re in for the trippiest love triangle/murder mystery in Dracula history, as well as an all-new vision for the classic character. It’s really tough to hype this book without blowing major plot twists. Donny and I are having a real blast with this.”
This is a Dracula story like no other. Defeated at the hands of a jealous lover, the genetic code of the Lord of Evil has been preserved within a deadly virus and passed on through generations to a young boy hunted by zealots ...
09/10/21 @ 10:57 am EST
Today, entertainment-focused digital collectibles platform, Terra Virtua, launches its first major non-fungible token (NFT) comic collection on its new Polygon blockchain platform. The partnership with Dynamite launched a limited-edition range of fan-favourite comic NFT Lithographs and is now expanding into NFT comics and graphic novels with Dynamite’s ground-breaking series, THE BOYS.
The launch comes fresh off the news that Terra Virtua recently switched its platform from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon in a drive to be more sustainable. By making the change, the NFT pioneer has reduced its energy usage in minting NFTs by over 99%.
The BOYS will be followed by iconic Red Sonja, Vampirella, John Carter and Dejah Thoris, with more to be rolled out throughout the year. The non-fungible digital collectibles feature classic comics from top creators with added animation, in addition to a number of 2D characters. Each comic release will be available in a number of different rarities with unique properties such as text, no text and pencil, all the way up to true one-of-one editions.
These NFT comic, graphic novel and lithograph collections will feature the work of legendary entertainment creators including Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Christopher Priest, Gail Simone, Michael Turner, Peter Steigerwald, Joe Quesada, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jim Lee, Tim Bradstreet, Mark Texeira, John Romita Jr., John Romita Sr., Lucio Parrillo, Joe Jusko, Alex Ross, J. Scott Campbell, Jose Gonzalez, and more.
Gary Bracey, Terra Virtua CEO said, "We are privileged to partner with Dynamite Entertainment for this groundbreaking venture as we kick off a new era with Polygon. Being massive comic fans ourselves, this is a perfect match as we respect not only their democratic attitude towards the creative talent but also the incredible diversity of ...
09/09/21 @ 3:53 pm EST
Following the news of RED SONJA #1 being completely sold out at the distributor level, and due to retailer and fan demand, Dynamite announces a second printing of the smash hit issue by superstar Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy
Rushing back to press to meet demand, Red Sonja #1 Second Printing (Diamond code: JUL218026) will feature on Final Order Cutoff the weekend of September 13. Right alongside the second issue's final orders, then the two will conveniently release together October 6.
Due to the tight timeline and limited paper available, the second print will not have a new cover, and is limited to 2,000 copies. However, the new printing features a cool blue logo treatment to differentiate it from the first printing. This rewards fans for being early adopters, as well as makes it a fun variant for new readers and collectors to add to their run.
Retailers and fans will be excited to learn that Red Sonja #2 also features some exciting variants available this weekend at FOC. Two new covers have been added, and are fully "open order" for retailers, requiring no order thresholds. Logo-free "virgin" editions and more are available as incentives.
Captivating cartoonist Tony Fleecs lends a hand for a Red Sonja cover like no other. His relationship with Dynamite goes back years to his pivotal role in establishing the Lil' Dynamite designs for several characters, as well as work on properties like Rainbow Brite
and Animal Jam.
The Dynamite team have been huge fans of his hit independent series Stray Dogs
and thought it would be neat to have him depict Dynamite's biggest characters alongside some dogs!
Singaporean superstar Lesley "Leirix" Li also turns in another stunner, quickly becoming a Dynamite fan-favorite following her covers ...
08/30/21 @ 4:31 pm EST
The She-Devil With a Sword is slashing through the sales charts this fall, as the yet to be released RED SONJA #1 by international superstar writer and artist Mirka Andolfo sells out completely at the distributor level.
The smash hit first issue comes to comic stores September 1. There are currently no plans for follow up printings, but Dynamite is working closely with retailers and listening to fans to inform a follow up decision as necessary.
Fans won't want to miss this hot title's kickoff, as writers Mirka Andolfo (Mercy, Sweet Paprika) and Luce Blengino collaborate with artist Giuseppe Cafaro, colorist Chiara De Francia, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou for an exciting new take on the iconic sword and sorcery heroine. The team is debuting several exciting new characters, including the co-starring Sitha, who fans may witness in even more stories to come. The first arc "Mother" introduces the young Sitha, and sets the foundation for her relationship and connections to Red Sonja.
Known for her sharp and flirty art style, iconic character design, and wondrous worldbuilding, Mirka Andolfo has made a name for herself around the globe as one of the biggest names in comics storytelling. With bestselling independent creations like Mercy, Unnatural, Sweet Paprika, Un/Sacred, and more, fans flock to her tales that often star strong women. She is the perfect match for the next step in the fiery-haired barbarian's journey.
08/23/21 @ 10:35 am EST
Dynamite announces a licensing partnership with Terra Virtua for an extensive ongoing line of NFT collectibles featuring a range of fan-favorite franchises including Vampirella, Red Sonja, The Boys, Evil Ernie, Purgatori, John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Miss Fury, Jennifer Blood, and more exciting news to come!
The partnership launches today with an initial rollout for a range of limited edition digital lithographs. These nonfungible digital collectibles showcase classic artwork from top creators, with added animation and sound components. Further lines of collectibles in other forms are to follow. Each release will be available in a number of different rarities, with unique properties all the way up to true "one of one" editions.
These initial NFT collectibles and forthcoming launches will feature the work of creators including Michael Turner, Peter Steigerwald, Joe Quesada, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jim Lee, Tim Bradstreet, Mark Texeira, John Romita Jr., John Romita Sr., Lucio Parrillo, Joe Jusko, Alex Ross, J. Scott Campbell, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Jose Gonzalez, and more.
Terra Virtua has reduced its energy usage in minting NFTs by over 99% in a recent move from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon. The change is part of a concerted effort to move to a more environmentally sustainable NFT ecosystem.
"We're extremely excited to be working with Terra Virtua, and at the forefront of their next wave as they revamp to a more sustainable model in the switch from Ethereum to Polygon," said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO/Publisher. "It is especially rewarding working with Gary and the team at Terra Virtua, as they are comic fans themselves! It was wonderful to be able to speak with new partners who are genuinely invested in our characters, stories, and creators. Working together, we've built in participation for the creators whose work ...
08/17/21 @ 3:14 pm EST
As the days grow shorter and the cool weather comes, this November Dynamite is gifting fans with two exciting holiday specials featuring Vampirella and Red Sonja.
The She-Devil With a Sword's tale is not to be missed, as the exciting new ongoing writing team of superstar Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy) and Luca Blengino present a special story that fits right into their yarn. Rising artist Zulema Lavina (The Little Mermaid) draws the story. Sonja is not usually the type for cheerful festivities, but with her recent "adoption" of the mysterious child Sitha, her usual cold walls have temporarily melted a bit. But will outside forces be able to prod and pillage, putting a pause on the partying?
Writer/artist Will Robson (Fantastic Four) shepherds Vampirella in her holiday escapade. She's being haunted by "The Spirits of Christmas," a clan of hunters with a twisted tradition of tracking down mythical creatures to kill each Christmas Eve. Is Vampi prepared for an evening against the battle-ready manifestations of the Past, Present and Future?
Each issue features three covers. Mirka Andolfo and Will Robson contribute covers to their respective issues. While artist Joseph Michael Linsner and cosplayer Rachel Hollon each have two covers across both specials.
The VAMPIRELLA 2021 HOLIDAY SPECIAL and RED SONJA 2021 HOLIDAY SPECIAL are solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ September 2021 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in November 2021. Comic book fans are encouraged ...
08/03/21 @ 4:37 pm EST
Dynamite is proud to collaborate with fan-favorite cosplayer, model, actress, and host Ani-Mia on a limited edition Vampirella cosplay comic available only on Indiegogo!
Ani-Mia shared, "Cosplaying has always been seen as a homage to a character or fandom that you're passionate about. For me Vampirella, as a character, has always fully embodied the idea of a smart, sexy, and strong superhero with the extra "cool factor" of being a vampire. Her story, starting from the Warren years is so rich and has evolved in so many different fashions creating this very determined and powerful modern woman in the series today."
This special edition release will be presented at magazine size, featuring of course a stunning shot of Ani-Mia in her Vampirella cosplay. Ani-Mia is renowned as an independent cosplayer, as well as a multi-talented host for programming like Diamond Comics Distributors' PreviewsWorld content. She also writes for publications like Otaku USA magazine and Cosplay Central. She's been featured previously on Dynamite cosplay covers.
Underneath the spotlight cover, Dynamite is celebrating the legacy of cosplay of this iconic character by presenting the contents and cover of Vampirella #67. This memorable 1977 issue historically featured the first official cosplay cover for the character, starring Barbara Leigh and photographed by Hank Londoner. An actress, Leigh is known for starring in the film Junior Bonner alongside Steve McQueen, among others. This cover and those that followed on issues #69, 71, 74, 76, 77, and 78 were all in anticipation of a feature film to be produced by Hammer Films, that unfortunately never saw the light of day.
The contents of Vampirella #67, being presented in this limited edition, include over 50 pages across six stunning stories. The lead piece stars Vampirella, as presented by ...