ComicBuzz Chats With Rachele Aragno

With the release of Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows this week from Dark Horse Comics, we are delighted to be joined by the artist Rachele Aragno.


Hi Rachele, it’s so wonderful to have you here with us. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

My pleasure! I’m an Italian cartoonist who turned professional about three years ago after a lot of indie apprenticeship. My first long comic was Melvina published by Bao Publishing and in America under the name and Mel the Chosen by Penguin Random House, in France under Dargaud and in Spain under Liana Editorial. I won a few awards and also worked in illustration for a short time. The latest works were with Mike Mignola and a short story with Skottie Young.


How did you get involved with the Leonide the Vampyr series?

One day I posted some ink sketches on Facebook. Mike noticed one of these that featured a very endearing yet fearless vampire girl. He loved it and we started talking about her: a story about her would be crazy! Within a day or two he had already written the subjects of the two issues and I totally fell in love with them. She was dark and archaic, a mix between folklore and gothic, just the kind of mood I love!


How would you describe Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows?

A perfect Christmas ghostly story, which mixes deeply obscure characters in a festive atmosphere. It seems to smell like gingerbread and cinnamon, but also the humidity of a saloon that has been closed for too long with all the darker creatures locked inside.


What’s it like working with Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart?

Crazy! I would have no other way to describe it… Mike has always been in the Olympus of my beloved and favorite authors. Being able to work with him was something magical, like a closing circle. He left me free to express myself as I wanted both in the creation of the characters and in the direction of the table, I could not have asked for better. Dave gave life to our Leonide with perfectly fitting colors. He managed, remaining faithful to his way of working, to approach my style and enhance it to the maximum. A marvel!


Do you have a favourite scene from Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow’s Head?

My favorite scene is definitely the one where Leonide captures the souls of those present. She does it with an almost out of tune sweetness compared to the crudeness of the gesture: she looks like a little girl who enjoys picking flowers in a field but in reality she is sucking the life out of them. And then Dave’s colors made this moment epic.


For any of our readers who are not familiar with; Leonide, what can you tell us about her?

Leonide is a little vampire who is found almost lifeless in a coffin carried by the sea after a shipwreck. She’s actually not the classic being we all expect: violent, bloodthirsty and brutally evil. She performs her gestures with great delicacy and even when she defends herself from the mummy bishop, she finds stratagems worthy of a witty intelligence.


What has the feedback been like for Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow’s Head?

It was a riot of beautiful reviews! People immediately fell in love with our protagonist and, even here in Italy, at Lucca Comics, there were many requests for a drawing of Leonide. I think our vampire already has a lot of fans who keep asking for more stories. And I hope so, there is really a lot to tell.


When you are working with Mike Mignola on a comic, do you get a full script from Mike?

Not entirely. In my case Mike sent me a script in which he asked what he wanted to see on each page, without forcing me to give him a vision of him. It was challenging and terrifying at the same time: I felt free to move the camera and the characters however I wanted but I didn’t want to disappoint Mike and our team with bad choices… in the end, however, everything turned out well.


How long have you been working on Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows?

I worked on the second issue of Leonide for a few months in the spring. We had to give everyone, from letterers to the colorist, the opportunity to then be able to complete their work calmly before the release.


Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?

In the meantime, thank you for reading my words up to here, for me this is a very emotional journey and I hope Leonide enters everyone’s heart and you want to stay with us to get to know her better. I couldn’t be happier to have been able to work with Mike and Dave and with all the Dark Horse team, they are unique!


A big thank you to Rachele for chatting with us. We would like to wish Rachele and the rest of the team the best of luck with Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows.



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