Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Debutante From Draculon!

Above is Tom Sutton's original for the luscious splash page from the very first Vampirella story from 1969. Forry Ackerman wrote this nutty tongue-in-cheek space fest, creating a very lighthearted vampire, a voluptuous innocent with a bizarre background for sure.

To see the whole story check below, or to see it on Tom Sutton's original pages go to this link.

This is the iconic pose created by Frank Frazetta for the debut issue. But what I just recently learned was that Frazetta was called in to create this piece to replace the cover below by Aslan, rejected because apparently Vampi was too pale. That rejected cover art was eventually used on the 1972 annual. You can see the somewhat more frivolous Vampi tone evident in this rejected cover, whereas Frazetta added his singular gift of sex appeal to his version.

We know of course that eventually Vampi would get a more serious approach, specifically written by Archie Goodwin and others and drawn magnificently by Jose Gonzalez, but this first Vampi story has a vivacious charm all its own.

And here's Forry flanked on either side by two real-world incarnations of his space vampiress.

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  1. Wow! The art on that is really cute! Forry Forever! I personally really like the idea she was from another planet, it seems to me at some point in the nineties, they tried to retcon it so it was actually Hell and she just thought she was from another planet - but to me the original is more distinct.

  2. Good timing. Vampirella is going to be my "Saturday Scream Queen" next week on my Terror Titans blog. This is going to be perfect to link to. :)

    And that's an interesting bit about the famous Frazetta cover.

  3. Yeah. I learned the cover change up stuff when I researching this post and just threw it in. That cover is so famous now, I wonder if Vampi's impact would've been the same without it.

    And I too prefer Vampi as an alien. She's a great blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror and able to wander in all three genres. It's stupid to give any one of them up.

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