Lady Creator Fills in the Blanks
Lady Death has a long and storied history in comics, but also a multitude of publishers. We caught up with Lady Death creator Brian Pulido to learn exactly what’s going on.
Q. We are here during the Kickstarter campaign of Lady Death: Chaos Rules #1 from your imprint, Coffin Comics and wanted to understand the recent behind-the-scenes of the character. Lady Death abruptly vanished from comic book shelves with Boundless Comics’ Issue #25. What happened?
BP: To answer this question completely, I have to go back in time a little bit. When Boundless Comics pitched me on the idea of a new Lady Death monthly series, there were certain promises put in place by the publisher to me. Then, the series was launched and not long thereafter, we started having problems.
Initially, by agreement, I was providing “scriptments” from which writer Mike Wolfer would provide scripts. Around #18, I was cut out of the writing process all together with no notice.
To world at large, the book was coming out on a consistent monthly basis, but in my opinion, their promises to me were not being kept. Several of these promises were critical to the bottom line of my household and my family.
I attempted to resolve the matter directly with the publisher over a long period of time. Ultimately, we could not come to an agreement. So, I requested that Diamond Comics Distribution halt distribution of the Boundless series until we could resolve the matter and they did.
Months went on and we still could not reach an agreement. I filed a lawsuit against Avatar Press and Boundless Comics here in Arizona in June 2013. Avatar/Boundless launched a countersuit against me personally and against my business in November 2013.
We then spent from November through the following October resolving the matter. We finally reached a settlement on October 8, 2014. While I am not at liberty to discuss the settlement, what I can say is that I am now the sole owner of the intellectual property Lady Death, all of her stories, all characters related to her stories, her logo, etc.
Q. Why discuss this matter now?
BP: Several reasons. First, I’m interested in concluding that chapter in my life and moving forward. I’m also interested in giving the long-time fans and readers closure on where Lady Death went. All lawsuits are matters of public record anyway. If anyone wanted to find it, they could.
Q. Why are there two Lady Death Series now?
BP: Boundless Comics is allowed a final series entitled Apocalypse, which is currently being offered. AfterApocalypse, Boundless will no longer be involved in new Lady Death stories.
My company, Coffin Comics, is the new home for all future Lady Death stories, comics, merchandise and media – and the first new chapter of Lady Death is Chaos Rules #1. This is the beginning of an entirely new universe of supernatural adventure with Lady Death playing a leading role. If you liked the type of comics and mayhem I presented during my tenure at Chaos! Comics – the classic 90’s era – you will find that flavor here.
Q. How is Lady Death: Chaos Rules #1 different from Avatar/Boundless Lady Death?
BP: The Avatar/Boundless run of Lady Death is firmly rooted in the medieval era in a fantasy realm called the Blacklands. There are a lot of trappings commonly associated with medieval fantasy in the Avatar/Boundless run. If you look at their Lady Death comics they are very colorful like a Saturday morning cartoon. In their books, you can see Lady Death fight a Triceratops. By contrast, the Coffin Comics Lady Death is set in the present. We begin in Hell, but this an interpretation of the underworld never before seen in a Lady Death story. Chaos Rules is set in a teeming city of all architecture from all time, piled onto itself. We operate from the original premise that Lady Death is a dark, brooding, cold-hearted anti-hero with the blood of Heaven and Hell running through her veins.
We took a long, hard look at what we would imagine Hell would be like and it will be far more brutal and ruthless than the Avatar/Boundless run. Our new chapter of Lady Death has much more in common with the tone and severity of story environments like Dredd, Road Warrior, and Escape from New York. Our Hell is filled with vile sinners – the very worst of humanity – and that’s where Lady Death finds herself. And to be honest with you, Lady Death is quite pleased to be there.
Q. From a story perspective, how is the Boundless Lady Death series and Lady Death: Chaos Rulesconnected?
BP: We address that very topic inside of the pages of Chaos Rules #1. Story continuity is very important to me, and I also understand that it is very important to fans. We will not leave people hanging! We address where the Avatar/Boundless run fits into Lady Death continuity overall.
Q. How do you see the future of Lady Death comics?
BP: Two summers ago, I spent the entire summer designing the next decade of Lady Death. I’m actually looking at her story for first five years right in my office as we speak. She will come to present-day Earth and as is inevitable, we will introduce other supernatural characters. Initially, she will dwell in Hell and discover fiendish new cities with horrific purposes. We will introduce new allies and new enemies and bring back a few favorites.
Q. Dynamite Entertainment acquired the other Chaos! Comics characters, including Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity and has been publishing them for about a year. Have you seen them?
BP: Yes. I’m happy to share to opinions on the topic.