The Art Of Vampirella (artbook review).

January 4, 2015 | By | Reply More

ArtOfVampirella  Who hasn’t heard of Vampirella, the alien vampire stranded on Earth in the scantily dressed bikini? She’s also a rare character in being created for Warren Magazines and when they closed their doors in 1983, given more, should we say because she isn’t undead, unlife in Harris Comics and even a Roger Corman film in 1996. I’ve got that one around here somewhere, so expect a review of it in the future.

 

Although the opening eighteen pages of ‘The Art Of Vampirella’ is devoted to her history with many Warren Magazine covers and a little art, the rest of the book is devoted to her modern day artists from the Harris Comics and including interviews taken from there with the likes of Joe Jusko, Amanda Conner, Kurt Busiek and Alan Moore, although the latter is more about a new interpretation of Dracula than of Vampi.

If you flick Google for pictures of Vampirella, chances are many of them ended up in this book because they are the covers san logos from the Harris Comics, but why have small images when you can have a complete book. There are a variety of artists who’ve all taken Vampi to their heart, better that than her to take yours literally, as an occasional pose shows that I’m going to say look at the art first than who painted it. I’m not going to pick favourites, suffice to say that there are a lot of them including Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Mike Mayhew, Jae Lee, Arthur Suydam, and Mark Taxeira.

In many respects, Vampirella is the enticing cheesecake model but with a bit more bite, especially when a gothic atmosphere is added. Seeing the different interpretations here from near photographic like to more comic imagery, you would think the artists would be stuck coming up with different poses but she endures. Over the pictures, there are odd changes, like fingerless gloves, thigh-high boots a couple times and one which I would have loved to have seen explored more giving her a long skirt which made her rather fetching. Quite how her bikini stays in place is never explored and although never shown here, I guess the fewer clothes you have when you might turn into a bat, the less weight you have to carry.

The book has been available for four years now and still in a first edition. I can see some married men out there wondering how they might explain owning the book to their wives but remind them a woman, Trina Robbins, actually designed Vampirella’s costume so it can hardly be called sexist. Even more so, when she’s been painted by both men and women. If nothing else, Vampiri doesn’t go beyond the costume, making her the safest good girl around.

GF Willmetts

January 2015

(pub: Dynamite Entertainment. 231 page large hardback. Price: $29.99 (US), about £12.00 (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 978-1-60690-176-2)

check out website: www.dynamiteentertainment.com

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Category: Books, Comics, Illustration

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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