The following is an interview with artist Rachele Aragno regarding the return of Leonide the Vampyr in Leonide: A Christmas for Frows, a new comic book series from creator Mike Mignola through Dark Horse Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Aragno about her shared creative process of working with Mignola to bring this story to life, the experience of crafting all-new characters for the adventure, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: This month will see the release of your new holiday-themed comic, featuring the return of Leonide the Vampyr (first brought to life by you and Mike Mignola earlier this year). For returning readers, where will this story find Leonide in her adventures?
Rachele Aragno: In this story, Leonide will face old “enemies” but will also experience a sort of Christmas ghost story that will arouse the desire to read it to all lovers of the genre. Our protagonist has a crazy way of having adventures with the lightness of a young girl, but at the same time she can be razor sharp.
BD: Do you find that there is an ease to the creative process in reuniting to your collaboration with Mignola, and is there a creative shorthand that you have developed together?
RA: Surely now we know each other better, and, therefore, we are able to connect our minds more directly. But I must say that we hit it off right away, perhaps because we have very similar tastes and this brings us closer when creating stories. I think the only creative shortcut is precisely the desire to make Leonide better known to readers; this makes us concentrate on what to show and what could be superfluous.
BD: What continues to make Dark Horse Comics the perfect home for this world and its characters?
RA: The stories published by Dark Horse are always dark, powerful, and dramatic at just the right point. I think this is possible because over the years they have developed a crazy team that researches the right dose of creepy and modern in the stories they publish. In addition, the authors who work there are of the highest level and it could not be otherwise!
BD: Are there further plans in development for additional Leonide adventures or perhaps in pairing her with other Mignola-created properties?
RA: For now I don’t know much. The thing I can say for sure is that I would like to continue drawing more of her adventures. She has a really big world behind her that we could develop, so fingers crossed!
BD: Are there any additional projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
RA: At the moment, I’m working on the third volume of Melvina for Bao Publishing (Mel the Chosen in America) and on a comic (still top secret) with screenwriter Matteo Casali. I also have some projects that are coming up, but we’ll see what time will give me!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Leonide: A Christmas for Frows and your other work?
RA: Read Leonide and let yourself be carried away into her world. She is a very particular vampire; she does not use violence, but very delicate methods even when she takes your soul away. I think this is one of the qualities I love most about her. She’s smart! But above all, immerse yourself in the story; she is one of those things to read in front of a fireplace, with the pouring rain outside and a lit candle.