From Vikings to Vampires: Catching Up with Vasilis Lolos

Catching Up with Vasilis Lolos

from Northlanders #17

Comics have long been one of the most diverse medium in comics. Superheroes and comedy share the landscape with genre epics, personal auto-bio comics and more esoteric and abstract work. For artist Vasilis Lolos, this variety provides a welcome change of pace. First interviewed at Newsarama back in 2006 for our ‘Up & Coming’ series, the artist has since worked on punk rock pirates, mutants, robots and high-stakes horror. Last month, two new comics Vasilis illustrated further showing off his breadth of tastes – the Viking Northlanders #17 and vampires with Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires.

We caught up with Lolos to talk about these Vikings and vampires, as well as what’s next for the Greek-born illustrator.

Newsarama: Let’s start with an easy one, Vasilis -- what are you working on today?

Vasilis Lolos: I think I am done with freelance for a bit , so I can focus entirely on my own projects like Last Call 2, getting together all my minis and short stories into a hopefully massive odd-tales book. Also space! [laughs]

I’m eager to start on a space adventure short series that has been brewing for some time.

NRAMA: These past few weeks have been big for you – two new comics have come out you’re drawn; first Northlanders #17 and then B.T.V.S: Tales of the Vampires. What’s it been like for two comics to come out in such quick succession for you?

from Northlanders #17

VL: It was intense. Between traveling, two totally different issues and cons I was a mess, but an efficient mess, coz I pulled through and I am really proud of both of them. Also I didn’t color anything this time, which felt really nice because both Dave and Dave, did a amazing job .

NRAMA: For Northlanders #17 you worked with Brian Wood, and Wood has built up quite a reputation for this Viking comic over the previous 16 issues. What’s it like to step in and work on such a period piece as it is?

VL: I love epic stuff, and what’s more Epic then Viking Brawl? I love Brian’s work, I’ve seen scripts of his before and I thought, “this shit is COOL”. Amazing, I have read Northlanders prior to our colab and I really liked what they were doing with the series. I could see myself taking a stab at it. But yea, you might not know this coz I tend to rant about space-stuff, but I am really into sword & tooth epic stuff too. I used to make some really sweet swords out of wood and scrap as a kid.

NRAMA:For this issue, you drew an epic 22-page fight scene while Wood did a monologue over top. What’s that like for you?

VL: Vikings fighting in the snow. I love it! Actually it felt very familiar to me, I have a special place in my heart for that kind of storytelling. I love the duality of it, but you can have moments where both lines meet and that’s just badass.

NRAMA: And in other news, your one-shot with Becky Cloonan BTVS: Tales of the Vampires came out recently. What’s it like to switch up from Vikings to Vampires?

from Northlanders #17

VL: Not as bumpy as I thought, the main difference was that nI drew Northlanders to size and the whole time I felt like painting War Hammer figures. so tiny. But because they were so different in comparison, I found it more interesting to move from one to the other. Plus the Tales of the Vampires has some sexy scenes that made me blush while drawing. It was a really cool experience, I got my sex & violence covered.

NRAMA: We’ve talked to Becky about this book (and previewed it here) and she’s given us her take – but what do you think of the story?

VL: The story is amazing kinda has a Stephen King/”summercamp” feel. It doesn’t beat you over the head with the Vampire theme but it is always there in a way. Also, snow! [laughs]

What I really like about it is the setting, the characters, and the fact that it works perfectly with a clear beginning-middle-end. Good stuff. Becky and Brian coming from an comic-drawing place have a different, more familiar to me grasp of how they conceive, and set you up as the artist in to the world of the story.

NRAMA: While I was talking to you, I wanted to ask about a book that seems to be on hold. I really enjoyed your work on Pirates of Coney Island, but have only seen 6 of the 8 issues come out. Do you and Rick Spears plan to finish this series at some point?

VL: Yes, actually there is light in the end of that tunnel. I am talking with Rick on how to work out those 2 last issues and put them out. The series is very dear to me and I always really upset me that the two last issues didn’t come out. But we are making moves towards completion.

NRAMA: From Vikings to Vampires – what’s next, Vasilis?

VL: Space, the final frontier. [laughs]

Finish up my loose ends and embark into a deep space voyage. I have a mini series in mind told in 6-7 self contained issues. I want to try different mediums then my usual ink to bristol, I was thinking ink washes on wood boards. I really don’t know coz I am focused on developing the stories right now, but I want to experiment with the format.

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