Elvira returns to the pages of Dynamite Comics with writer, David Avallone, and artist, Dave Acosta, at the helm, but this time being funded through Kickstarter! The publisher is no stranger to crowdfunding with statues, collections, and new graphic novels being successfully funded through both Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
This fall, Dynamite presents ELVIRA: THE OMEGA MA’AM, an epic, 48-page comic event that sees Elvira waking up in the midst of a quarantine apocalypse (timely, we know). Watch Elvira’s adventure as she makes new friends, confronts new fiends, and tries to find her way back to a figurative (and literal) land of the living!
Comic Frontline was lucky enough to chat with writer, David Avallone, about the Kickstarter and his continuous saga on Elvira. We discuss his collaboration with Elvira herself, why they wanted to use Kickstarter for this project, and the influences that helped bring this story to life.
Comic Frontline: David, to start off, what made you want to make a story about the pandemic with Elvira compared to any of the other Dynamite properties?
David Avallone: The way it evolved… it wasn’t that I wanted to make a story about the pandemic: I was approached to do an Elvira special in April, and of course the pandemic was much on my mind. I had a phone call with Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, where we pitched some ideas back and forth and she liked this thing I’d been kicking around that was a satire not so much of the pandemic as of the foolish responses to it in some quarters. It was around the time Trump suggested that cleaning products might help get rid of COVID-19. That was too absurd to ignore.
Frontline: And why Kickstarter?
Avallone: The idea to use Kickstarter came from Dynamite. At the time we commenced, in April, Diamond distributing was off-line and comic book shops were closed all over the country. I have to imagine that informed the decision from Dynamite to try it as a Kickstarter. Also, for me, I’ve had a couple of successful creator-owned Kickstarters for my Drawing Blood comic, with Kevin Eastman, so I was happy to return to that format.
Frontline: What was it like working with Elvira herself and Dave Acosta for this book?
Avallone: I’ve been working with Elvira/Cassandra for at least two years now, and Dave for at least four or five. They’re fantastic collaborators, and honestly, two of my favorite people in the world. It’s an honor to write a character as iconic as Elvira, and Cassandra has always been complimentary and gracious about our work together. She’s read every script from the beginning, and offered her thoughts, always in the most polite and helpful way imaginable. On this one, Cassandra was more involved than ever, and we shaped the story together, and it was a delight.
Dave Acosta has drawn more pages I’ve written than any other comic artist, and we have a great symbiotic relationship. He totally knows my sense of humor — I think it’s one we share — and he brings so much to the page that’s not in the script. Together we’ve done Twilight Zone: The Shadow, Doc Savage: Ring of Fire and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Apparently all our work must have a colon in the title, and Elvira: The Omega Ma’am is no exception. And Dave came up with that brilliant title.
Frontline: How has your experience in quarantine helped bring this book to life?
Avallone: The story is a pretty outrageous farce, and doesn’t bear that much resemblance to reality… but it definitely reflects my frustration (and I daresay Cassandra’s) with how the pandemic has been handled, and the inability of a lot of our fellow citizens to grasp the seriousness of the situation and behave like adults for the good of society. That may sound odd for a comedy… but I think this is a comedy in the vein of Kubrick’s DR. STRANGELOVE, which is one of the funniest movies ever made… while also being about the extinction of mankind in nuclear war.
Frontline: What do you think Elvira fans should most look forward to with this one-shot?
Avallone: If they’ve enjoyed the previous Elvira comics from me and Dave Acosta this is definitely more of the same… with the added bonus of more contribution than usual from Cassandra. If anything, this is peak Elvira, and unlike the monthly comic, it tells a completely self-contained story with a beginning, middle and end. No waiting four months to see how it turns out!
Frontline: This campaign is already doing extremely well. Would you want to do more Elvira stories through Kickstarter?
Avallone: There are definitely pluses to doing a project this way, over the grind of a monthly comic. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE doing a monthly comic, but the pressure and the deadlines work differently. I would probably do one again.
Frontline: Will this also be available in comic book stores at some point?
Avallone: Only Dynamite knows the answer to that, but given the success of the Kickstarter so far, I would have to imagine that once the supporters get their copies… we’ll probably be putting it out to the rest of the world.
Frontline: To wrap, why should people back up this Kickstarter?
Avallone: For starters, it’s a very entertaining story created by your very favorite hilarious and gorgeous Mistress of the Dark, and her equally hilarious and far-less-gorgeous sidekick… me. And Dave Acosta, who is also very funny and very pretty. If you wait for it to be in your local comic stores, that could be four, five, six months from now: Kickstarter supporters will get it first. And finally there’s a whole lot of cool swag that you can order along with your book, which you can find on the campaign page. All in all, it’s a sweet deal. It’s a tricky thing to make a satire about the crazy times we’re living in, but I think people are going to really enjoy it.