Comic books have always been one of the most captivating forms of entertainment. The stories, artistry, and loyal followers brings a certain buzz to the air anytime we walk into a comic shop. Much like a film, making a comic book is a team sport, requiring the help of several people including writers, artists, inkers, and publishers, and more. This week’s Featured FearMaker has made a life out of creating graphic novels about young kids fighting against vampires. His name is David Lucarelli, and his book, The Children Vampire’s Hunting Brigade, is making a name for itself across the horror and graphic novel world.
Born in Pittsburgh, horror has always been a part of daily life for David. Maybe it was his attraction to the spooky Halloween season which brought haunted houses and scary TV specials, or maybe it was his father taking him to horror conventions at the young age of 6? No matter what it was, he was hooked on the horror. “ In second grade I watchedHalloween, on HBO at my cousins’ house and stayed up all night holding my cousin’s hand waiting to be killed in my sleep. That, and watchingThe Making of Dawn of the Dead, at a con scarred me for life.” Watching monster movies hosted by Pittsburgh horror hosts like Chilly Billy and Scorpio, as well as the occasional Saturday morning Scooby-Doo and Monster Squad, David became obsessed.
During high school, David joined a rock band, playing in front of the master of horror George Romero, and David remembers playing the Knightrider theme during his guitar solo. His love for film, music, comics, books, and theater took him to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Recording Arts in 1994.
Working as an ADR engineer for Twentieth Century Fox, David uses his spare time to work on his passion projects; playing guitar for his 80’s inspired heavy rock band Dame Fortune, and his graphic novel series, The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade
Since 2002, Dame Fortune has been tearing up the Los Angeles rock scene with their hard hitting rock n’ roll vibes and great storytelling. Musically inspired by bands like Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses, and lyrically inspired by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Miller, Dame Fortune has released three albums, the last of which is The Secret Art, released in 2009. Their rock anthems pay homage to the arena rock bands of the 80’s, with lyrics that tell deep, meaningful stories.
When David Lucarelli, or David Blake, isn’t busy playing guitar and singing for Dame Fortune, he is working on his three part graphic novel, The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade
In 1954 hundreds of school children descended upon a Scottish cemetery looking for a vampire with iron teeth they believed had killed a couple of local kids. Today it is looked upon as an incident of mass hysteria. But what if some of those children found what they were looking for?
Flash forward to today: Gavin and Doug are two juvenile delinquents who have the misfortune to be drinking in that same cemetery the night the vampires come back. “Sometimes the good guys are a couple of bad boys.”
Set in Scotland, the comic book appears to be a mix between Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Outsiders, which sounds too good of a combination to pass up. There are currently two books, with the third and final chapter due in 2017. Working with artist Henry Ponciano, who lives in the Philippines and has never met David face to face, their books have a worldwide reach, and several issues pre-ordered for the final installment.
David Lucarelli was also featured in Winter Horror Days, a compilation of twenty short stories from various horror authors.
Being an independent comic book creator is not easy in this modern age. The influx of new creators has saturated the market, as has every platform in recent years. It is now harder than ever to stand out and make your project known, but David knows that it still takes one person at a time to grow a following. “[At conventions] you are competing with sometimes hundreds of other dealers for customers that by the time they get to your booth are suffering from sensory overload. You have to learn to fine tune your short and medium pitches and accept the fact that some people are going to love what you do, and others will be completely indifferent, and that’s OK too. “
Taking inspiration from writers like Poe, Gaiman, Miller, and Lovecraft, David Lucarelli works hard to make a name for himself. Currently living in Los Angeles with his wife, son, and three cats, he aims to create a story that will be remembered for generations to come.
The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade is currently available on Amazon.