Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Slant-eyed, black-haired, voluptuous beauty from the planet Draculon, where blood, rather than water, is the life-sustaining liquid. She wears a revealing red swimsuit with tiny wing collars and a gold bat motif across her crotch, plus calf-length black boots. She was created by Forrest J Ackerman and artist Frank Frazetta, with costume design by Trina Robbins, and first appeared in the comics magazine Vampirella in 1969. Her early adventures, in which she comes to Earth to prey on humans, were written, with tongue firmly in cheek, by Ackerman and drawn by Tom Sutton (1937-    ). In 1971 the artwork was taken over by the Spanish artist José (Pepé) Gonzalez (1943-    ): in his hands Vampirella became a cuddly sex object, and her popularity increased dramatically among young male readers. Scripts were now written by Archie Goodwin (1937-    ) and featured the vampire-hunter Adam Van Helsing (a descendant of Bram Stoker's character in Dracula [1897]), with whom Vampirella eventually developed a romance. Later scripts were by John Cochran, T Casey Brennan and others, with art occasionally by Gonzalo Mayo and Rudy Nebres. Some of the cover artwork featuring Vampirella, painted by Manuel Sanjulian, Jordi Penalva, and Enrich, are virtually Icons of Fantasy Art. The magazine ceased publication, however, with other Warren magazines in 1983.

Vampirella, however, remained in the popular memory, and was revived in 1991 with Vampirella: Morning in America (#1-#4) and a continuing series of new stories began in 1992. Novelizations by Ron Goulart have been Bloodstalk * (1975), On Alien Wings * (1975), Deadwalk * (1976), Blood Wedding * (1976), Deathgame * (1976) and Snakegod * (1976). [RT]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.