Challenging Taboos

Challenging Taboos

Vampirella Archives - Volumes 1-3

Taken straight from the scoop newsletter:

Vampirella, a character celebrating her 45th anniversary this year, has a storied publishing history that begins with her creation by horror fandom icon Forrest J. Ackerman and designer Trina Robbin and has continued to the present. Vampi was developed to be a host character for Warren Publishing, akin to their Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie for Creepy and Eerie, respectively, or like EC’s Crypt-Keeper, Vault-Keeper, and Old Witch before them.
The cover for Vampirella #1 was by Frank Frazetta, and it had more of the spirit of the character most readers would recognize than any of the stories in the first seven issues. It wasn’t until Archie Goodwin arrived as writer with Vampirella #8 that the character really began to grow.

But it would be a significant mistake to write off those first seven issues, and thank goodness that Dynamite Entertainment has made them so accessible with their New York Times best selling Vampirella Archives – Volume 1.

In addition to Ackerman and Frazetta, the book features the work of Don Glut, Tom Sutton, Neal Adams, Ernie Colon, Billy Graham, Alan Weiss, and Jeff Jones, among others. The stories fit right in with Creepy and Eerie of the period. Even better: the beautiful Vampirella Archives volumes will fit right next to Dark Horse’s excellent Creepy Archives and Eerie Archives editions.

In Vampirella Archives – Volume 2, Archie Goodwin arrives. Remembered as the founding editor of Epic Illustrated and Marvel’s Epic line, a longtime group editor at DC Comics, and for his great stints on the Secret Agent Corrigan and Star Wars newspaper strips, Goodwin’s work on Vampirella Vampirella #8, kicks off the second volume in the series.
crystallized her character and more than a decade of how she was interpreted. His first issue,

Goodwin would most likely have succeeded anyway, but the series found its voice and style with artists such as Jose Gonzales (for many, the definitive Vampi artist), Ken Barr, Wally Wood, Jerry Grandenetti, Barry (Windsor-) Smith, Berni Wrightson, Ralph Reese, Dave Cockrum, Frank Brunner, Sanho Kim, Bill Dubay, Mike Ploog, Sam Glanzman and Estaban Maroto, among others. The lead stories featuring Vampirella began to find their direction and the secondary stories demonstrated the twists, turns and artistry for which Creepy and Eerie were known.

Supporting players Adam Van Helsing and Pendragon the magician are more firmly established in Vampirella Archives – Volume 3, which kicks off with Vampirella #15, an issue that started off with a Richard Corben frontispiece and didn’t stop. It includes work by Goodwin and Gonzales, Doug Moench and Gonzales, Don McGregor and Luis Garcia, and more.

The rest of the volume, anchored by the exquisite matchings of Goodwin and Gonzales, is equally diverse and consistently worthy of the reader’s attention.

Nick Barrucci, Joe Rybandt and the rest of the team at Dynamite Entertainment deserve our thanks for producing these great volumes and the ones that have followed in the series. We’re truly living in a Golden Age of archival collections, but it would have been easy just to concentrate on the Vampirella lead features. If they had, we would be missing out on some truly great stories.

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