INTERVIEW: Rachel Aragno on the thrill of creation in LEONIDE THE VAMPYR: A CHRISTMAS FOR CROWS

Rachele Aragno possesses the uncommon capacity of capturing darkness and putting it inside character designs which may appear harmless at first look. It’s a high quality that artists equivalent to Edward Gorey and Emily Carroll additionally possess. Characters come off as calm and approachable solely to abruptly give an odd over-the-shoulder look or a chilly glare that reveals one thing hiding beneath, one thing not so good. That is evident in Aragno’s collaboration with Mike Mignola on Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows, a vacation particular one-shot that additionally serves as a second half to the earlier Leonide comedian “Miracle at Crow’s Head.”

The story follows the titular lady vampire as meets a gaggle of people who have stopped close to a wrecked carriage and a wierd coffin. A holy man from the primary Leonide comedian makes an look and warns of the darkish penalties that observe the vampire, particularly because it pertains to the granting of needs.

Aragno excels at making a world the place issues each animate and inanimate really feel storied. All the pieces carries a way of narrative that offers the time period worldbuilding an entire new which means, particularly in terms of key objects that characters produce a powerful response to. Aragno likes to imbue the visuals with expertise. Private histories cleared the path and develop the world, making for wealthy storytelling. It’s a formidable feat that solely sure comics ever handle to attain in the long term reasonably than so near the beginning of a collection.

The Beat corresponded with Aragno to speak Leonide and the analysis course of that led to the creation of the folks horror Christmas story we received simply in time for the vacation season.

RICARDO SERRANO: There’s a darkish fantasy aspect to Leonide that appears to interrupt new floor. It’s deliberately bizarre and weird, requiring readers to place much more on their half to have interaction with the story. What went into giving this guide such a novel strategy? Sure influences, maybe?

RACHELE ARAGNO: I at all times thought that Leonide can be a easy horror comedian with the basic tropes which have at all times represented the style. As an alternative, Mike Mignola managed to create one thing extra: a darkish and creepy comedian that pulls from the traditional folklore and legends. It was as if Leonide was referring to historical artifacts discovered within the darkness of caves. 

SERRANO: What do you take pleasure in essentially the most about illustrating these kinds of horror tales? There’s a lot folklore and classical creature designs concerned in it, and but every thing on the web page is given the time to shine as distinctive and natural to the world.

ARAGNO: I really like drawing this sort of stuff! You may invent worlds and creatures but in addition draw on tales advised by grandmothers or from parables that may solely be present in historical books. Leonide has a universe round her that could be very huge and will cover many new conditions, and I discover all this very stimulating.

SERRANO: You’ve had the prospect to create an entire world with this guide. What do you hope to seize everytime you create your personal worlds? Do you intend issues out particularly or do you go for a extra versatile strategy?

ARAGNO: I often do lots of analysis earlier than beginning work on a guide. I did the identical factor with Leonide, and Mike helped me quite a bit by describing what he wish to see. At that time I began with the character design and it was loopy: you’ve gotten in your arms the potential for growing the issues in your head and your creativity by combining it with horror archetypes. On this case we don’t simply discover unusual monsters, however we additionally create the environment with the countryside, the darkish ocean, and the coffin, which helps you concentrate on the temper of the story.  

SERRANO: Your newest Leonide comedian is a Christmas particular. What do you discover that’s fascinating about the sort of one-shot story?

ARAGNO: I really like Christmas tales which have that sprint of gothic in them. Leonide is the basic story that may be learn within the glow of the fireside when it’s snowing outdoors with an natural tea in your arms and really feel that shiver down your backbone. Mike is a grasp at writing this sort of factor, and drawing it was an honor.

 Printed by Darkish Horse Comics, Leonide The Vampyr: A Christmas of Crows #1 is stocked in shops and digitally now.