Jason Martin talks about VAMPBLADE
Jason Martin: Katie’s a young woman that’s grown up in the Detroit area as a comic book fan, who now manages the comic shop she frequented for years.
1st:: How does she become Vampblade?
Jason: One night some mobsters come in the shop and execute the owner while Katie’s working. So she takes up some dusty old replica blades from the back of the shop to protect herself. Turns out they weren’t props but actual mystical weapons that reveal other-dimensional parasitic invaders!
1st:: Where do the powers of the blades come from?
Jason: The blades don’t just reveal these invisible parasites, but they also transform the wielder into “Vampblade”, what was a local indie comic from the 90s about a bad girl fighting “space vampires”. So, much of the series is Katie and the readers learning how all this works and why.
Right now, with the first story arc and Katie’s origin tale, we’ve shown that these elements were part of this fictional comic book story too and that there’s some sort of larger cosmic explanation. But we’ve yet to discover all the answers.
Just that it involves things outside our dimension and universe, and there’s a larger story behind that. Which all creates havoc on poor Katie’s life!
1st:: Katie is wearing clothing when she transforms into Vampblade, why is she nude when she transforms back to Katie?
How does Katie deal with finding herself nude in public?
Jason: Well the conceit of the concept is that the blades transform the wielder into Vampblade, a latex clad S&M style comic book bad girl, and for that to happen to Katie, she dons the Vampblade outfit, forcefully, and whatever she’s wearing is in essence obliterated in the process. So it stands to reason, when she puts down the blades, she’s left without clothing.
Just one of the many effects that she’s learning to deal with. She certainly doesn’t want to keep being put in that predicament.
But is that its part of using the blades means she has to work out how to best manage that.
1st:: How does she detect the Glarkians?
Jason: Through the Vampblades.
At this point, we know they somehow are connected to the Glarkians (the name for these mysterious hidden invaders feeding on human hosts according to the fictional Vampblade comic books), and that only the blades reveal them, and they also somehow feed off them.
We can only assume at this point that they were a weapon created by someone to fight these mysterious creatures.
And no one else can see the Glarks because they exist on a different plane of reality from ours, a different dimension (yet somehow crossed over and feed on ours).
1st:: What do the Glarkian want and where do they come from?
Jason: The 90s Vampblade comics (that Katie digs out and rereads in issue number 3) explain that they came from another dimension simply as a force that breeds and feeds on host organisms from our dimension.
So they’ve reached Earth, and attach themselves to human hosts, somehow unknowingly feeding on them.
1st:: How does Katie kill the Glarkians without hurting the human hosts?
Otherwise, the blades function on our physical plane… and slice and dice just like normal.
Also, they’re big and sharp!
1st: Don’t the Glarkians look a little suggestive to you?
Jason: You bet! …but also creepy and unsettling.
I knew I wanted a creature that would morph through a face and give a snout-like appearance, and they would also be similar in look to microorganisms – those things are disgusting, and live all around us… and on us!
We played around with some other looks, but the more phallic appearance seemed to be the most grotesque and demented!
Jason: As I’ve mentioned above, in our story we’ve established there was a Vampblade comic book series in the late 90s. And as Katie explained, having read it herself when she was young, it mirrors everything that Katie experiences once she uses the replica blades from the comic. So the comic is, just like ours, about a young woman using these blades to kill hidden vampiric creatures from outside our world.
1st:: How does the Vampblade comic relate to Katie as Vampblade?
Jason: That’s something we’ll explore more as the series goes on. There’s more to be revealed and for Katie to learn. Key in that is the creator of the old Vampblade comics. They’re local to Detroit, and still living there. So Katie will be looking them up to see how it’s possible they could’ve written these stories that appear to be actual accounts of otherworldly events.
If the events were real, was there another Vampblade before Katie?
Much more to come there!
1st:: Is Katie in control when she becomes Vampblade?
Jason: Yes. And no.
Though she physically transforms, she doesn’t mentally become someone different. Though we see that she has knowledge of using the blades somehow, and the blades seem to talk to her. Mostly, at this point, the voice of the blades coincides with her physical need to use the blades, and feed on these creatures.
Very much like a drug, and a junkie needing a fix. Katie is, in essence, a junkie that, though she doesn’t want to, needs to keep slaying these things to keep feeding the blades.
The blades and the Glarks are symbiotic like that, and Katie’s caught in the middle.
And she’s caught wanting to stop the crazy train, but being connected to the blades and unable to.
1st:: The Vampblade is three feet long, where does she keep it when not in use?
Jason: At the start, the blades are just hanging in the shop. But once Katie used them, they’ve remained attached to her. Disappearing when she puts them down and reappearing when she needs them, or when she answers their call to her.
So we can only imagine they toggle between dimensions possibly.
1st:: How would you classify the genre of Vampblade, is it a comedy, a sci-fi or a horror comic?
Its a blend of genres.
I love “genre” stories, most any genre. And I love fun stories, and mashing different influences together. So Vampblade is a product of that, a blend of genres out to have a good time.
And also obviously it’s kind of low brow or grindhouse, subversive. 😉
1st:: Is Vampblade in an eternal battle with the Glarkians, or is this just one story arc?
Jason: Good question.
Depends on how long the book can go I suppose.
But yeah, certainly, for now, it’s the story of the battle between the two.
But we’ve got some other elements that will quickly come into play. And we’ll have more stories like that where Vampblade crossed over with Zombie Tramp (Zombie Tramp issues 9-11, Zombie Tramp VS Vampblade).
Right now we’ve just finished the first story arc, issues 1-4, which is Katie’s origin as Vampblade.
Issue 5 comes out soon (end of June) and that second story arc will continue Katie’s story, and reveal more about what we laid out in arc one.
You’ll see right away, things will expand more in scope!
1st:: If you missed the first few issues, when is the trade coming out?
Jason: Issue four just came out, and the first trade collection with issues 1-4 is due out the end of May.
Plus all four issues are in stock with Diamond and can be ordered by comic shops.
Also, as you know, the single issues have multiple variants covers each month, which is something the fans love. So for the first time, we’re offering a trade collection with multiple covers too, and the first Vampblade trade will have three covers to choose from.
Thanks so much for the interview!
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