The world of Archie Horror is about to get bigger as the publisher prepares to launch its newest title, Vampironica. You can get a rough idea of what this one is about by its name. Veronica Lodge is bitten by a centuries-old vampire and brings terror to the streets of Riverdale. Greg and Megan Smallwood are co-writing the title and Greg is illustrating it. They dropped by to share ten influences that led to the look and feel of Vampironica which you can check out below.
Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
The creepiness factor in this book is undeniable. It perfectly illustrates how true evil is unrelenting, and thrives on the perversion of anything which is good. Although the Victorian-era idea of perversion was the desecration of a woman’s purity, the modern-day equivalent would be seen as the unwelcome loss of self-control. Vampironica explores this concept of the existence of true evil and the struggle to maintain control of one’s own self. — Meg
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King (1975)
This slow-burn thriller is about a lot more than just vampires, but the way in which the novel depicts the town's unraveling was a big inspiration for earlier drafts of Vampironica. I love the way the novel creates a sense of impending dread even as the denizens of Jerusalem's Lot go about their daily routines. — Greg
The Hunger (1983)
Finding it difficult to grasp the concept of “love ‘em and leave ‘em,” Miriam Blaylock shows us what eternal regret looks like. She’s part hopeless romantic, part hoarder, and part psychopath. While Veronica’s love triangle isn’t quite like the one exhibited in The Hunger, it can be a little complicated at times. Veronica’s situation does seem somewhat eternal, however, as it has gone on for almost 80 years and not one of them has aged a bit. — Meg
It Follows (2014)
This David Robert Mitchell film manages the difficult feat of invoking ‘80s nostalgia while remaining a wholly modern film. I'm fascinated by the film's aesthetic and my art on Vampironica borrows heavily from it. — Greg
The Lost Boys (1987)
Who knew moving to a new town and making friends could be so terrifying? Only every high-schooler ever! This movie is a great take on modern vampires. It sucks you in with an instant familiarity, from the innate understanding of wanting to fit in to being young and in love. Veronica is more of a natural born leader than the joining type, but we do know she has gone to extreme lengths in the name of love before! — Meg
30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith (2002)
A mean and raw comic that eschews most of the supernatural aspects of vampirism without jettisoning the creepiness. Although Vampironica embraces the supernatural, 30 Days of Night provided us with a template for grounding the more unbelievable aspects of vampires. Niles delivers a taut script and Templesmith brings it to life with just enough darkness to let your imagination run wild. — Greg
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
I can’t hear CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” without mentally replaying the iconic transformation scene from this movie. I also think of it whenever a friend suggests that it would be fun to backpack through Europe. I always reply with, “But have you SEEN An American Werewolf in London?!” All joking aside, it’s a brilliant combination of horror, comedy, and the surreal. Definitely an inspiration for the overall tone of Vampironica. — Meg
Fright Night (2011)
Although it may sound like heresy to some, I honestly prefer the remake to the original. The 2011 film stands out to me because it features compelling characters reacting to the supernatural in a way that I find completely believable. No one in the film embraces the truth too quickly but none of them remain stubbornly Scully about the matter, either. Believability is an essential element to horror and it's something Meg and I considered a lot when developing the story for Vampironica. — Greg
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Joss Whedon has achieved what I had considered impossible: he not only made “Buffy” a household name, he made it synonymous with a force to be reckoned with. It’s already hard for me to think of high school cheerleading without thinking of Buffy, let alone after adding vampires to the mix. Being the ambitious self-proclaimed queen bee that she is, Veronica turns out to have more in common with Buffy’s high-school antagonist, Cordelia. — Meg
Blade (1998) and Tomb of Dracula (1972-1979)
I purposely tried to stay away from the influence of Blade when co-writing and drawing Vampironica, but it didn't work. I just love the character too much. If there are any moments in Vampironica that remind you of Blade, they are purely unintentional but completely inevitable. — Greg
Vampironica #1 will be available on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018. You can order it from the links below.
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.