Fantasy Friday – Vampirella

From time to time we dig into our art bag to revisit some of our favorite works and art created that shaped our early years of collecting comics and related items.  Previously on Fantasy Friday we took a look at the art of Earl Norem who was an incredible artist that painted for pulp magazines as well as the most famous barbarian in Marvel history, Conan. This go around we take a look at the queen known as Vampirella who since 1969 continues to grace the pages of comics as well as a regular in the Cosplay world. When it comes to collectibles, original posters from the 1970 are highly sought after not only for the sheer beauty but also the artwork created for them.

Vampirella initially appeared in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror-comics magazine Vampirella #1 (September 1969), running to issue #112 (March 1983). The title was a sister magazine of Warren’s horror anthologies Creepy and Eerie. Like those magazines’ respective mascots, Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie, Vampirella hosted horror stories, though unlike them, she would also star in her own story, which would headline each issue. Vampirella was initially edited by Bill Parente. It would later be edited by Archie Goodwin (issues #7–12, 34–35), Billy Graham (#13–16), Bill DuBay (#21–50, 87–95, 101–102) and Louise Jones (#51–86).

As comics historian Richard J. Arndt describes, “Forrest Ackerman created, or at least had a strong hand in creating, Vampirella and he clearly had a major influence in shaping the lighthearted bad-girl story style of this issue as well.” Her costume and hair style were designed by comics artist Trina Robbins. The character’s first story artist was Tom Sutton. Artist Frank Frazetta’s first-issue cover “was a substitute for the original cover by European artist Aslan.”