Lia Scott Price – Bloody Disturbing

 

It’s all about savvy women on Razberry Juice, and of we all like to be a little bit scared – just now and again of course!  So when we came across Lia Scott Price and her comic book series ‘Vampire Guardian Angels™’.

We were very interested to know a little more about Lia, and everything comic and of course Guardian Angels.

Lia, in the words of someone who could never star in one of your films – ‘let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…..’, can you tell our readers a little bit about you, and the comic book series.

"I’m a horror author, film producer,  and comic book creator. I’m an Atheist, German-American, “recovering Catholic”, and I live in Los Angeles.  I am the author of a Vampire Trilogy Novel called "The Guardian, Revenant, and Dominion".  In this novel, I created my unique characters,   Vampire Guardian Angels™.  After I wrote the novel, I began producing film shorts as a way to promote and feature the characters as a new hybrid of vampire, but one that’s more disturbing, and bring them to life. That’s how I promote my characters:  through producing my own films  and self-publishing through my company,  Lia Scott Price Productions. Then I decided to create a comic book series because the imagery itself would just be fantastic and they would make great comic book characters.  The first comic books  in the “Vampire Guardian Angels™” series were published in 2012 and 2013, so it’s only about a year old now, and I am three issues in,  and I have issues  4, 5 and 6 in the works!   I am continuing to write sequels  with new characters  and storylines to the trilogy novel in comic book format.  For the comic book series, I have two freelance artists who work on the series. It’s drawn by illustrator Andrew Setter,  and  coloring and lettering is done by graphic artist Chad Hammontree. In both my novel and in the comic book series, Guardian Angels from Heaven have become Vampires who kill people who pray for help to them, and both humans and “good” angels have to work to stop them. You can find my novel, films, and comic book series  on my web site,  liascottprice.com.

In the comic book series, I wanted focus on the classic vampire image as something to be feared, but I also wanted to add a dark twist  that would make a vampire even more disturbing.  I wasn’t afraid to push the envelope just a little further by turning a pop-culture icon into something terrifying. I wanted a  fresh, unique story different than what the vampire genre normally focuses on, but more original.   I also wanted my vampires to be different and not the  traditional vampire one can kill with holy water and crosses, since they are still holy beings. I also gave my vampires a more zombie-like appetite for not just  blood, but they can consume the whole body. I gave them swords and a variety of exotic weapons not just for protecting themselves, but because I wanted them to deviate from the traditional biting of the neck, so they use the weapons to slice their victims. I also made them serial killers with very specific victims. They also have to still respond to prayers. It's like their "beacon”, but they cannot target a human unless he or she prayed specifically to a guardian angel. And it has to be a very desperate prayer, not one of joy or thanks.  I made Guardian Angels do things you would not expect them to do. But there is also the classic good versus evil in the stories. There’s also good turning to evil, and character development on their motives, background, etc. How do you kill one? Well, you have to read the series to find out".

The topic is unashamedly very dark and ‘brutal, bloody and disturbing’ – how did you formulate the idea?  Has the idea and concept of guardian angels always been something that has played a part in your life?

"I’m presenting an alternate view, something to think about when you watch my films or read my books. There is a dark side to every belief, and why should we not question those beliefs, particularly our belief in Guardian Angels?  I wanted a Guardian Angel to take over humans and do horrible things. I explore an alternate view to what a Guardian Angel is. I turned them into disillusioned, angry serial killers who are tired of answering our prayers and of playing therapist to humans, who resent human begging and dependence on a supposed higher power to always save them from every life problem they have, and who became vampires later on in the stories.  Not only do they shut you up, but they eat you too.  So the message of the stories is that you never really know who you’re summoning when you pray (or whine) to a supernatural entity for help.  That’s why I question the belief in Guardian Angels as entities that always save you.   I was inspired by a church sermon about how Guardian Angels are always good saviours. It led me to question and challenge their image as our protectors, and inspired me to write the novel.  I gave my Guardian Angels fangs instead of halos! And  since I am a horror writer,  it’s my job to  screw up the image of something we see as “good” and “normal” and turn it into something horrific and abnormal. In fiction and horror, all things are possible".

As far as the look of your comics go, the artwork is very visually striking, can you tell us a little bit about your style and the way you work?

"I write the storyline and dialogue for Vampire Guardian Angels  and it is a challenge to condense a 400-page trilogy novel into a series consisting of 24-page comic books. But I could not have done it without my great creative team: comic book artist and illustrator Andrew Setter, and  colorist/letterer/graphic designer Chad Hammontree. They are both freelance artists and are both graduates of Missouri Western State University. I met them online while I was looking for artists for the comic book and they have been the official artists for the series ever since.

They do incredible, fantastic work, and for this being their very first-ever comic book series, that makes their talent even more amazing. Andrew creates the  visually-striking, classic black and white art, like a film-noir feel, and Chad adds the deep red to emphasize the blood and gore. And they both create the full-color covers, which really brought the point of what my characters are all about. The way Chad depicts the blood and gore really shows how brutal my characters are. Andrew is the main illustrator and draws and inks each panel, and Chad in turn creates the dialogue boxes and colors the panels and the cover. The artwork is beautiful, emotional, breath-taking. Everyone who has seen the series loves the art. I can’t thank my artists enough. They really brought a whole new life to my characters. And they really enjoy working on the series. It’s amazing how Andrew and Chad can “read my mind” and know exactly what I want.  It takes exceptional talent such as theirs to create a visual “storyboard” and to really connect with my characters and stories. I simply hand them the script and they interpret it perfectly. We all work through text, phone and email. They live in Missouri and I live in Los Angeles, but it works out pretty well. Technology has come a long way in making this possible. We actually met face to face for the first time when I flew them over to Los Angeles for Comikaze, after about two years of pre-production and publishing the series. They are such great friends, and we have great chemistry working together.(And I also want to thank their families for being so supportive and for putting up with me and our production schedules. That’s pretty important too!).

I really hope this comic book series will be a stepping stone to other comic book projects for them. It’s a great addition to their portfolio. Here is a link to a recent interview with us at Comikaze 2013".

As well as the comic, you also produce artwork and graphic novels, do they all fall under the same genre with that very personalised look?

"Yes. In 2011 I published a free online “graphic novel” version of “The Guardian, Revenant, and Dominion trilogy book. Don’t mistake it for the comic book series—this was more of an “experimental” artwork done by me and another friend. That’s when I realized, damn, I can’t draw, I’m going to find better artists who can"!

As well as the drawn and written art, you have also gone down another artistic visual route, of making films, what drew you to this?  The indie film scene seems to grow and grow, is acting and producing something you would like to do more of?

"I always wanted to make films, so I formed my own film company and produced my own features and film shorts. I wanted to  learn everything I could and functioned as cinematographer, director, actor, and editor on my own films, but I also hired professional directors of photography, actors, composers and directors to work on my films. I wanted to bring my characters to life so that’s what attracted me to filmmaking. It was just another way of introducing audiences to, and promoting, my characters.  I also wanted to use visual media to make a more psychological  impact by presenting a more disturbing view of Guardian Angels. I've been heavily influenced by The Twilight Zone, X-Files, Outer Limits, and Twin Peaks so I didn’t want my films to be just a typical slasher movie. I wanted the audience to think about the possibilities of what Guardian Angels could be, like a serial killer in a murder-mystery, and what motivates them to do the horrific things they do.

I would like to eventually do more films, and I am planning on creating a web series".

The comic work is one which has had to evolve constantly, to ensure its own survival – do you think the internet is force for good or evil in trying to get your work seen and bought?

"Social media has been great, the Internet has been a blessing. YouTube for instance has been a great medium to showcase my films. People can see samples of the comic book on the Vampire Guardian Angels Comic Book web site, and online ordering makes it accessible to just about everyone. I do my marketing and promotions mainly through Facebook and Twitter, word-of-mouth, and interviews through online magazines such as this one, through horror genre bloggers who write wonderful online articles on the comic book series and on my artists, and through the comic book fans who run geek podcasts. It’s reaching a far greater audience and new readers. And in addition to hard copies, I can make the comic book available for downloads in electronic (kindle) and PDF format, so that opens up a whole new world as well.

I publish my comic books through createspace.com, and online publishing has also been fantastic. Createspace is awesome, I’ve been publishing my books and DVDs through them and will continue to do so. They do both print and online downloads through amazon.  They’ve really delivered a high-quality print job, and I'm expanding to more downloadable comic book sites as well. For an underground, non-mainstream comic book series, it’s been drawing a lot of curiosity and interest, especially for classic vampire aficionados. I am finding though that the comic book audience prefers hard copies, so although the series is getting a lot of exposure online, people still like to see the actual hard copies, so I've begun introducing the comic books to new readers at comic book conventions.  I was proud to exhibit the comic books at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles this year – and we sold out. I’d consider it very well received.

Feedback on the artwork has been great. People are blown away by it. I'm still blown away by it. I have always approached self-publishing and filmaking a mix and a balance of business and creativity, and you have to wear many hats and play many roles: publisher, publicist, promoter, webmaster etc. I utilize the platforms that are available. And it's online media like Razberryjuice.com that I appreciate and thank  in giving me this opportunity to get the word out about my characters"!

What does the future hold for Lia Scott Price – do you have any great plans or schemes?  Where do you hope to be in five years time?

"The comic book series has so much potential. I plan to keep the series going, continue to exhibit at comic book conventions, market and promote my characters. I’m also hoping to have a video game developed, and I’m planning on producing a web series.  I hope the series continues to gain new fans"!

 

We always like to end our interview with some fun questions, and Lia, even though you are a scary lady!  You don’t get out of it!

Tell us a surprising thing about you?"I’m a death metal and metal fan (Death metal and thrash music inspires me to write, by the way. I have it playing in the background when I work.) I love watching local, independent metal bands play. I even feature my friends’ local Los Angeles Death Metal and Metal bands in my comic book series: Bands like Enthraller, Death Embraced, and Mesmeric".

What was the last ‘non horror’ mainstream film you watched?"The Dark Knight Rises".

Puppies or Kittens?"Puppies and kittens. And lizards and turtles and baby sloths. Heck, even baby alligators are adorable".

What would be the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon for you? – "Watching Animal Planet and eating dark chocolate ice cream, while simultaneously surfing the net for cute cat videos".

 

Thank you so much for talking with us Lia, and if you would like to find out more about Lia and her work check out the links below:

Lia Scott Price Official Web Site: http://www.liascottprice.com

Vampire Guardian Angels Comic Book Web Site:  http://vampireguardianangelscomics.blogspot.com

Lia Scott Price Films:  http://www.youtube.com/liascottprice