Mark Beachum is returning to Vampi after having done covers for the Harris era. Dynamite is representing him and Louis Small Jr. as “Icon Incentive” covers.
Dynamite asked Mark Beachum a few questions to help them put together their press release and here is what he had to say:
Your professional history and relationship with Priest, across your early Spider-Man work and to this day
Priest is the only editor that I vibed with; being young, black and male we had similar issues in dealing with the hazards of the comic book industry. We both had an interest/background in music and performance. Meeting and working with him on the handful of spider-man projects we did was pretty cool and the two annuals featuring Ace are probably the only mainstream stories I am proud of. Over the years Priest would extend opportunities when he could, being that I can be a wildcard and not the best tool to use when one’s footing is uncertain. I think it might be fair to say that we had a similar response to the politics of the industry and segued to other things.
Your connection to Vampirella, as a returning creator and perhaps as a fan?
I was about 10 or 11 when I discovered Vampirella/Warren and the international cast of artists that expanded my interest in art beyond the bandwidth of mainstream superhero comic art: Esteban Maroto, José Ortiz, Luis Bermejo, Rafael Aura León, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Toth, Russ Heath, Jordi Bernet, Fernando Fernandez, Ramon Torrents, Rudy Nebres, Gonzalo Mayo, Leo Duranona, Frazetta, Vaughn Bodé, H.R. Giger, Sanjulián, Richard Corben and Enrich Torres were like a huge crew of brilliant art teachers showing me what was possible. Shortly Heavy Metal sealed the deal with the amazing unrestrained expression by visionaries like Druillet, Moebius, Caza. I would say that Vampirella functioned as a landmark that provoked the modern era of comic book artists and writers to expand their ambitions and try to create an adult audience where the comics medium did not have to restrict itself to the frameworks of a marketplace for adolescents. This is what inspired, has sustained and continues to instruct me to this day.
What it means to you to be brought in by Priest for this special cover concept.
I see this cover as a salute to the audacity and verve of a perspective we have in common: creative survivors with new heights to reach.