Mike Mignola is creating a universe yet again, with two connected one-shots following a new character named Leonide the Vampyr.
In October, Dark Horse Comics will release Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow's Head #1, written by Mignola, drawn by Rachele Aragno, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Clem Robins. Then in December, the publisher will follow up with Leonide the Vampyre: A Christmas for Crows #1 by the same creative team. These take place in a brand new universe, outside both Hellboy and the Outerverse.
These one-shots are the start of a series of planned collaborations between Mignola and Aragno, who began talking after he saw her art on social media.
"I pretty much fell in love with Rachele's art the moment I saw it — especially these little drawings she was doing of a little vampire girl," Mignola says in the announcement. "They have the perfect balance of innocent charm and weird creepiness. Sometimes you just look at a character and you know their stories. That's pretty much what happened here."
Aragno tells Newsarama she's been familiar with Mignola's work since she was a child. "I discovered Hellboy as a young girl in a comic store. It was the American issue of Seed of Destruction," she says. "I fell madly in love with those bold lines, the deep blacks, the characters, the settings, and the stories. Everything I was looking for in a comic was there, and I never stopped buying and loving it."
Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle at the Crow's Head #1 introduces the titular character after her ship wrecks on the shores of a small, coastal village where nothing strange ever happens.
"Leonide is a vampire girl who was born from the encounter between my small black-and-white illustration and the exceptional mind of Mike Mignola," Aragno says. "There is a vast world around her and already, and in a short time, you will be able to see it. You will surely love it if your favorite atmospheres are dark, creepy, full of bats, crypts, and decadent villages.
"Some favorite moments are those in which Leonide appears for the first time and glimpses of the village. Dave Stewart did an amazing job with colors, and when I saw them after he’d worked his magic, they seemed alive to me."
Check out the designs for Leonide and her world below.
Aragno has a wide range of horror influences, from prose and poetry to comics, to film. "Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and then all the Italian horror films of the '70s by directors Avati, Fulvi, and Argento," she tells us.
"Also the films of Vincent Price and those of masters such as Lynch, Lars with Trier, and Eggers. For comics, obviously Mike Mignola, Alan Moore, Garth Ennis... but I've forgotten so many for sure!"
With Leonide the Vampyr, Aragno is finally "launching [herself] into the world of horror." She hopes "readers can love Leonide and the atmosphere around her with the desire to learn more."
As of now, there are only two announced Leonide the Vampyr one-shots, which you can preview in the gallery below. However, with the world of Hellboy always expanding and Mignola and Aragno already making plans for future collaborations, there may be room for more.
Leonide the Vampyr: Miracle At the Crow's Head #1 will be available October 5. The next one-shot in the series, Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows #1, will be available December 7.
The Hellboy universe is one of the best non-Marvel or DC superhero universes.