As Wasted comes to an end after eight issues and joins comic magazines such as Dodgem Logic and DFC with those other titles that looked so brilliant such as Toxic, Blast and Deadline in the great comic book Library in the sky, James Bacon looks at a story that seems to have captured the imagination.
Vampire Vixens of the Wehrmacht is one of those stories that shouts out at the reader, stunningly illustrated funnily told, it is a snap shot of brilliance, that deserves to be seen, issue number 7 of Wasted sported a most incredible cover and that issue sold out; it’s now in restock with limited availability along with the final issue, with the second part of the story (check the Wasted site for more up to date info).
(cover to Wasted #7, featuring the Vampire Vixens of the Wehrmacht by Alex Roland)
Artist Alex Roland gives us the low down; ‘I pitched the idea of a Nazi Vampire babe to the editorial team and they said to give it a blast. As I was working on this cover I had all sorts of ideas going through my head about her and how she could fit into a war comic scenario. Prior to this I’d been working on visuals for the combat/horror film Outpost 2 and knew there was a market out there for this type of genre.’
This insight from Ronald is indeed inspired, as the comic and prints of The Vampire Vixens sold out at Kapow!, and it rapidly became a comic that was highly sought after in quick order.
The story itself, by the small press writer only known as Emperor, is quintessential British humour mixed with a classic war adventure. The two episodes so far published tell of how The Evil Germans have found a new weapon, Vampire Vixens, but one of them happens to have been turned to fight against Jerry and so heads off on a mission with a Chaplain to capture a spherical piece of human tissue, of legend and soldiers songs. This hilarity means the story is not too serious and is reminiscent of the likes of the Goons or Monty Python lampooning the subject of the second war.
The creative team is complemented by Jim Campbell who not only letters the strip but also brings some editorial input, and one can see that this team take serious care in their efforts at telling a good story.
The comic is beautifully drawn, the artwork fully painted in style and tremendously accurate, and of course, the Vampire Vixens are immediately iconic in their look. Ronald admits that he is drawing on many different sources of inspiration, ‘exploitation cinema of the late 70s and early 80s… Rock album covers, war comics like Battle and Warlord and Italian exploitation mags like Terror Blu and Hessa. Episode two has a panel that echoes the Bond poster, For Your Eyes Only and some of the promo images take their cues from the movie title sequences.’
The detail here is indicative of the calibre of the story, and one hopes that the final part and further stories will be picked up, if ever there was a marketable product this is it, although Ronald does say he is in negotiations – we can only hope for more.