Brian Pulido Launches Four New Horror Titles with Avatar

Sat, June 26th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

"Belladonna" #1
For years the only consistent producer of horror comics in the industry was Brian Pulido. Through his Chaos Comics, Pulido published a wide variety of horror comics filled with colorful characters. He's probably best known for the characters Lady Death and Evil Ernie. Today, horror comics have found a new audience and Brian Pulido hopes those fans will embrace his new work. Beginning later this year, Pulido returns to the world of horror comics with four new creations of his own published through Avatar Press. Pulido spoke with CBR News about his new creations.

First up from Pulido this September are two new titles, "Belladonna" and "Killer Gnomes." Speaking about "Belladonna," Pulido said, "['Belladonna is] set in Wexford Ireland around 950 AD. Colleen MacGrath was to wed Donovan O'Connor and bring together two powerful Irish families and unite Ireland. Instead all their hopes and dreams are laid to waste by marauding Vikings. A year later on Samhain, Morrigan the Celtic goddess forces Colleen to rise up as Belladonna and claim vengeance for all the Celtic people!"

"Belladonna" is a five-issue series with art by Clint Hillinski, featuring an alternate cover by Ron Adrian, and a wraparound and premum cover by Hillinski. If things had gone as originally planned, Pulido told CBR News that "Belladonna" wouldn't have actually had her own title. "For Belladonna, I wanted to create a character who could stand up to Lady Death. Originally I conceived her to appear in a continuing adventure of 'Lady Death; a Medieval Tale,' but the character of Colleen MacGrath took on a life of her own and demanded her own story. Once I settled on the time and place, the story - a revenge story - emerged."

Also in September is the one-shot "Killer Gnomes," with art by Eddy Barrows. This book features a regular and wrap-around cover. "As the story goes, life is going along pretty good for Brad and Penny until the day Brad went to the newly opened nursery on the edge of town," said Pulido. "While there, he bought a smiling garden gnome. Brad hoped he would protect their garden. But Brad didn't know the nursery hid a deadly secret about the gnomes and their diabolical owner. What started out as an innocent present turns into a deadly, relentless nightmare as the Killer gnome takes protecting the garden to the extreme."

"Killer Gnomes" is based on a screenplay Pulido wrote for a short horror film he directed called "There's Something Out There." "This isn't simply an adaptation, it is an expansion of the story," continued Pulido. "The movie leaves several key questions unanswered by design. The comic serves as a template for a feature film version of the story."

Later this year Avatar will publish Pulido's "Unholy," with art by Di Amorim. A preview of the book will be available this September. "Unholy" is set in the seediest parts of modern day Detroit, about a non-believer, rebellious teen named Penny. After Penny is murdered, she's "drafted" by God to be His assassin. As a fallen angel, she finds herself caught in a shadow war waged on city streets, in plain clothes, between Heaven and Hell. Her only allies are a hard-as-nails dominatrix named Victoria Black, an ex-mod hit man named Scalzo and an alcoholic priest named O'Connor. With friends like these, indeed.

"I want to make an over-the-top, blasphemous, big budget action film on paper. That's why I created 'Unholy,'" said Pulido. "Big budget films have squeaky clean heroes. I want to find out what happens when the person you least expect is given the hero's role.

"Unholy" Preview Cover
"For 'Unholy,' I knew right away I wanted to set it in a present day city. I've visited Detroit quite a few times. It is a tough town and fit the tone of the series.

"I suggest this series for lapsed Catholics," added Pulido.

Next up, in early 2005, Pulido is set to launch "Gypsy," with art by Paulo Sequeira. A preview of this book will also be available this September. The series focuses on two gypsy thieves named Antoinette and Liza, who love to trick townspeople out of their money and belongings, as gypsies are want to do. Things stop going smoothly for the duo once a were-beast terrorizes the town and the mayor blames the gypsies for the problems, convinced they were the ones harboring the beast. It gets worse when Antoinette is attacked herself.

"This is a story of two sisters," Pulido said. "In a harsh uncaring world bent on modernization, they have each other and they have their gypsy ways . Oh yeah, one of them has supernatural powers to begin with, but I'm not telling which one"

"For 'Gypsy,' I was looking for a time where a country was in flux between ancient traditions and embracing industrialization. England in the late 1800's did the trick."

When Pulido sat down to create these new series, his intention was to craft stories that would appeal to the Chaos Comics! Fan base.

"These series are similar in tone to my first series of my major creations like Lady Death, Purgatori or Chastity," said Pulido. "After I launched each series I turned the reigns over to other writers. That won't be happening on these series. I learned that the fans want the guy who started the character out or not at all. Also I'm making sure the series stick to their genre and don't spill all over the place into other genres."

As has been widely reported, horror comics once again play an important role in the world of comics. With the work of Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Robert Kirkman and others blazing new ground in horror, interest is higher than ever. While Pulido's work differs from the three previously mentioned writers, he's loath to paint himself with a single brush.

"I don't see myself in any given place. I'm just expressing myself. I love horror and have written a fair share of horror comics like the first Evil Ernie series or later Evil Ernie mini-series like the Trauma storyline or 'Pieces of Me' one shot, but truthfully a lot of my stuff take bits and pieces from a lot of different genres and mixes it up.

"Gypsy" Preview Cover
"I've been influenced by horror, action and cult movies, Jack Kirby's Fourth World, Kamandi, Marshall Law, Warlock 5, Jim Starlin cosmic comics, Simonson's Thor. It is a bizarre and diverse group of influences, but I can see them on the page.

"The first Lady Death series, 'The Reckoning' was a straight forward fantasy with horror elements. The second series 'Between Heaven and Hell' even had a touch of super heroic in there. It's not like the characters were acting heroically, but Lady Death and Purgatori had big, super hero battles. Even later in the series 'Lady Death: The Crucible,' the story was a combination of epic adventure and disaster movie genre."

When Pulido relaunched "Lady Death" as part of CGE, the sex appeal of the title character was toned down for mainstream audiences. Pulido explained that these books are aimed squarely at fans who liked the style of the old days.

"It is not like my feelings have changed. With the CGE 'Lady Death' we agreed on the direction and given that doing 'mainstream' comics was edgy to me, I was and am all for it. It's been a terrific experiment. I love writing the series.

"I believe people reading the current 'Lady Death' will enjoy 'Belladonna' and 'Gypsy.' They are fantasy stories. Unholy is a big budget action film with a rock n roll sensibility.

"These books are different. Boobs and blood and blasphemy are part of the game here. But don't get the wrong impression. Just because the ladies are well built, they are not victims. They are very much in charge.

"We are taking the same liberties with the female form that mainstream super hero creators take with the male form. Do people complain about the size of Hulk's biceps or Superman's chest or for the fact the Superman wears his underwear on the outside of his clothes?

"A couple of our gals are over proportioned. I have no apologies for that. I notice that the guys who complain about this - the male feminists - are the same guys who spend too much time in the bathroom with Maxim Magazine, you know what I mean?"

"Belladonna" #1 Preview
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Updated 6/27/04

"Belladonna" #1
Alternate
"Belladonna" #1
Wrap-Around

"Gypsy" Preview "Gypsy" Preview Alt.

"Killer Gnomes" #1 "Killer Gnomes" #1
Wrap-Around

"Unholy" Preview "Unholy" Preview
Wrap-Around

 
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