Matt Brady continues to interview the writers of Dynamite, this time he chats with Mark Andreyko, writer on the newly relaunched Chastity series. Mark explains the changes he made to the characters origin and why he tied it to vampire fiction.
MATT BRADY: One of Chaos!’ big three/four, Chastity was very popular back in the day, and very much a product of her time and her creator’s personality. In reading the solicitation it’s clear that you’ve kept the core and reset/rebooted the rest. Can you walk us through that process of “re-creating” Chas? What had to stay? What had to change?
MARK ANREYKO: Chas, at her core, remains faithful to her original run, but I wanted to add some layers of complexity. Some parts of her previous origin felt a little on the nose to me, so I altered her family life from one of horrible abuse to something equally sinister, but subtler.
But don’t worry, Chas will visit the punk rock scene of the 80’s very soon.
MA: Well, I tried to think like a vampire by romanticizing them, eroticizing them, it makes the vampire world seem sexy, fun, romantic. Enticing young girls with these books makes them ripe for the plucking. Little do they know that the vamps in this world have more in common with the shark from “Jaws” than “Lestat”. If the vamps control their pr and misinformation, that gives them and edge…and a plentiful food source.
MB: Something that the character handled with her creation was the fine line between exploitation and character. Originally, Chas was one of the “bad girls” of the ‘90s, but you can easily argue that Brian Pulido’s female characters were… perhaps ahead of their time in regards to their ass-kickery, despite their appearance. But this isn’t the ‘90s anymore. How do you approach those two sides of Chastity?
MA: Chas being a teen dealing with burgeoning womanhood allows me to use vampirism as a metaphor. The struggles we have finding ourselves, balancing our different sides, they echo the challenges Chas faces with her new (un)life.
MA: Not exactly. She is something rarer – a vamp/human hybrid who exists between those worlds but fits into neither. And she will never embrace the vampric if she can help it. Her battles are both external and deeply internal.
MB: If you’re not the target audience for vampire fiction, it kind of looks like every niche has been filled, every avenue travelled. Set me right – how do you find some untilled earth in the world of fictional vampires?
MA: There are so many vampire tropes in the zeitgeist that I’m playing with their interpretations and trying to upend them. Will all the myths out there, we’re going to see which ones are true in Chas’ world, which ones are lies, and some new ones which are completely horrifying.
MA: She is a big part of the chaos universe, but our book starts in the 80’s while Tim’s is set in current times. Eventually, we’ll catch up and get in sync, but for now, I’m exploring the foundations of Chas’ character and her self-imposed mission.
MB: So finally – set us up with the tease. What are we looking at with the first issue?
MA: If you thought distant parents and high-school cliques were bad… well, just wait. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener, just soaked in blood.
For more on Mark Andreyko’s new series Chastity, click here.