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Frank LaPerch talks Eve: Vampire Diva

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Eve is a vampire whose current human guise is of Jessica Evelyn Murphy, pop diva singer & actress. At night she battles werewolves, vampires and witches and during the day she faces an even scarier lot . . . Hollywood.

We spoke with writer, Frank LaPerch, about EVE: VAMPIRE DIVA.

Christine Caprilozzi: How did you get your start in Comics?

Eve Vampire DivaFrank LaPerch: After submissions on various projects, Arcana showed immediate interest in Eve and became my first published work.

It was really cool because I had been given Sean’ O’Reilly’s (Owner and Operator of Arcana) email from someone who saw the Eve project and I just took a chance and crossed my fingers. Once Sean saw the first 7 pages he immediately wanted to publish it and has shown nothing but faith and support in the character.

Christine Caprilozzi: Who or what was your inspiration for the “Eve” character?

Frank LaPerch: I had a bunch of characters I was working on pitches for, but they were all male protagonists. My wife said, “Why don’t you create a female super-hero?” And that was it – I had to meet that challenge.

From the start I had an idea of what she’d look like and that she’d be a vampire, but I knew it had to have more. If she was going to stand out and be really interesting as a character, there would HAVE to be a twist.

And then it hit me when I thought about today’s celebrity culture and supermarket tabloids. What if one of the aging pop stars or Hollywood actresses who always deny the accusations of rounds of plastic surgeries was actually telling the truth? What if the reason they barely aged was because they were a vampire!

So in the end, Eve was inspired by my wife’s challenge and an interesting “what if?” when looking at today’s celebrity obsession.

Christine Caprilozzi: Eve is a character who struggles with her double life, almost an inner turmoil. Is this an area you plan on exploring in further issues?

Frank LaPerch: Absolutely! That’s one of the things I find inspiring when writing the character. It really gives you something to sink your teeth into (no pun intended – really J . She’s not just some vapid pop star and the music is much more than a cover for her alter-ego. Heck, if she wanted to keep a low profile, she’d do something far less conspicuous than be a paparazzi attracting pop star.

Music is what she always wanted to do until life or “death”, in her case, forced her on a completely different path. The beginning of this crossroads for Eve will be shown in Origin special out later this year.

Eve’s always fought with the Council and its leader, Edgar Van Strauss, about her playing music. The Council has little respect for such a trivial mortal hobby. For Eve, it’s one of the few things that remind her of her humanity and she refuses to give that up. Music also provides a release and is a therapy for someone who’s lived for over 200 years and has seen a lot of blood spilled and loved ones lost.

The thing that irks her in the first mini-series is that for all her life experience, a superficial bimbo like Barbie Moore dominates the charts. It’s one thing for Eve to lose in a battle, but to be bested by a brainless bubble-gum pop star without a fraction of Eve’s talent or life experience really aggravates her. In the first series, she starts to question whether or not the years of suppressing emotions to deal with her battles has actually affected her music.

Eve’s desire to keep her humanity and to play music will always be contrasted by the war she fights when protecting humanity. She also knows that there will come a day where she won’t be able to burn this candle at both ends and will have to make a choice.

She knows that the choice will have far more significance than simply retiring from the music scene.

Christine Caprilozzi: There are some really great, quirky supporting characters in the series, like “Herbie” and “Girdy.” How did you come up with this cast of characters? Eve comic

Frank LaPerch: Herbie was a necessity for the plot, but also took on a life of his own. For the first series, I tried to think about what would complicate her double-life even more. Well, what if her slimy agent, Herbie, signed her up for a reality show camera crew to follow her every move?! That was how Herbie was born.

Herbie is concerned about one thing and that is keeping Eve in the spotlight and making money. As much as Eve despises his obnoxious self-interest – she reluctantly agrees that it’s sometimes necessary for her career. That makes Herbie’s antics even more frustrating because on some level she agrees with them and is ashamed for it.

I wanted Herbie to be a personification of Eve’s Hollywood lifestyle. The series needed to show that for all the monsters Eve battles as a vampire, the humans sometimes are just as calculating and dangerous.

Girdy (short for Girdron) is a wizard and Eve’s mentor. He’s the closest thing she has to a father figure. I also wanted a mentor that was more than just a sounding board or guiding voice, and as we see in the first mini-series, Girdy is often right in the middle of a fight.

Christine Caprilozzi: The artwork by Ash Jackson is incredible, especially the fight scenes. How did you hook up with him?

Frank LaPerch: Incredible luck, LOL! Ash breathes life into these stories and has the perfect style for the tone of this book. I found him by posting an ad on Digital Webbing. He liked the concept and we did a 7 page pitch. When Arcana wanted to publish we moved ahead with the 4 issues.

We both love the character and want to tell more Eve stories. I’m really lucky to have found an artist that not only is talented and dependable, but who enjoys working on the character.

Christine Caprilozzi: In issue #4, without giving anything away, we see a few of Eve’s issue’s come to a conclusion. Can you give us a preview of what’s next for her?

Frank LaPerch: The ongoing tension between her and Council leader, Edgar Van Strauss, will continue with a new twist as we see in issue #4.

Eve’s career will continue to roll on, but there will be other music stars that she’ll cross paths with and the supernatural beasties won’t be far behind. She has also ticked off some powerful foes in this first arc and there will be consequences.

While I have plans for some multi-issue arcs or graphic novels, we will be releasing some one-shots before the next big event in Eve’s life.

Christine Caprilozzi: When can fans expect the next “Eve” issue in their local Comic Shops?

Frank LaPerch: I believe the next issue will be either The Origin or the team-up with Koni Waves and that will be probably the middle to the end of 09. We’ll shout it pretty loudly when it’s hitting Previews, LOL!

Christine Caprilozzi: She’s definitely a character that would lend herself well to other mediums, such as movies, or video games. Has there been any thought, or interest in that?

Frank LaPerch: That’s where it helps that the owner of Arcana, Sean O’Reilly, is a really big fan. He’s working on a few things, which I can’t talk about, but certainly if they pan out will expand Eve into other mediums! Sean has been instrumental in bringing Eve to the next level in terms of other media and he’s been working really hard on this front. We hope to have some news to report soon!

Eve Vampire DivaChristine Caprilozzi: You mentioned a crossover with “Koni Waves” in the works. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Frank LaPerch: Eve and Girdy go to Hawaii on a mission and they run into Koni and the Black Bear Clan (Vampires). This is also very early in Koni’s career while she’s still an officer and hasn’t yet been made aware of the supernatural side of the island.

Eve has to recover a certain magical item, but finds that Hawaii is more than a vacation hotspot. Koni will be on the cusp of a promotion in the Honolulu police force when all supernatural hell breaks loose.

. . . and Eve won’t be the only musician as there’s also an appearance by a real famous King – nuff said?

Christine Caprilozzi: Will this be just a one shot crossover?

Frank LaPerch: Right now, it’s the only one in the works, but we’re all good friends and it’s been a blast, so there’s definitely the possibility we’ll do more.

Christine Caprilozzi: How is it working with Mark Poulton on the “Eve / Koni Waves” team up?

Frank LaPerch: It was great. The inspiration came from Jimmy DaSilva, Head of Arcana’s Marketing. He’s even gone on to have a lovely collection of commissions done teaming Arcana heroines, Eve, Koni & Banzai Girl. This got Mark and I to talking about how Eve and Koni were a natural fit.

In fact, the great thing is that this isn’t just a random team-up without consequences or that doesn’t fit into the continuity of the characters. For Eve, this team-up takes place directly before the first mini-series and you catch a glimpse of the trouble that’s brewing for her.

But the really cool part is that Mark Poulton, Steve Sistilli and Dexter Weeks (the Koni creative team) were kind enough to allow this team-up to tell an untold and pivotal moment in Koni’s history.

It’s almost an origin story for how she became involved with the supernatural and why she got thrown off the Honolulu Police Force. It was an honor that they agreed to have Eve play such an important role in the history of their already well established character.

I would do another team-up in a heartbeat! And the pages Ash has been turning in are amazing! Dexter Weeks will be lettering and coloring and Steve Sistilli will be doing an alternate or back-flip cover with his take on the characters.

Christine Caprilozzi: When can readers expect to see the crossover published?

Frank LaPerch: There will be a 5 page preview in this year’s Arcana Free Comic Book Day offering with the issue expected for release in mid to late 09.

Christine Caprilozzi: Do you have any other Eve related projects lined up that you would like to mention?

Frank LaPerch: You bet! We always try and do pin-up specials or other exclusive books for cons. So far we’ve done 2 pin-up books and an issue containing 3 short comic stories.

In the plans is a pin-up/prose issue illustrated entirely by Ash. Each pin-up on the left will be depicting a scene from the short story prose being told on the right. This story will flesh out Eve’s relationship with The Council over the years and how it ties into her music career.

There are also several other Eve plots I’m developing for one-shot specials and longer arcs. In the meantime, it’ll be the Origin one-shot special, the Koni Waves Team-Up special and the pin-up/prose story which we’ll make available at an upcoming con.

Christine Caprilozzi: Where can our readers find out more about Eve: Vampire Diva?

Frank LaPerch: All Eve news will be posted on:

www.vampirediva.blogspot.com

And of course, we’ll be visiting the forums with sneak peaks on all of these projects! Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to talk about Eve!

Christine Caprilozzi: Thank you for your time, Frank! Best of luck with Eve: Vampire Diva!

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Published on: 2009-02-12 (15798 reads)

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