Party with Lady Death at creator Brian Pulido’s chaos- and cake-filled Kickstarter launch event

29 Jan
lady death chaos rule no 1

Cover art by Paolo Pantalena

Graphically and novelly speaking — and speaking of graphic novels — writer Brian Pulido is sort of like a landscape painter… of underworlds full of stabby little knaves and puffy black clouds. I first met him while we were both serving as judges for a zombie beauty pageant at the 2009 Phoenix Comicon. At that point, he’d already had a successful career in comics with his publishing company, Chaos! Comics, and Lady Death and Evil Ernie series, and he was about to release the first full-length feature film he’d written and directed, a horror flick titled The Graves.

pulido ntA few months after meeting him in 2009,  I wrote a cover story (pictured left) about Pulido for Phoenix New Times called Desert Chills, right around the time The Graves came out in select theaters. We’ve stayed in touch – and busy – and since then.

Most recently, after writing Lady Death stories for different publishers over the past several years, Pulido announced he’s reacquired total control over Lady Death, and will publish the first Pulido-penned and Pulido-published Lady Death story in more than thirteen years, a 48-page graphic novel titled Chaos Rules #1, under the banner of Coffin Comics (of which his wife, Francisca Pulido, is president). The project, Pulido says, is finished, but hell awaits funds for production costs. That’s where his kick-ass Kickstarter launch party at Jesse James Comics in Glendale, AZ on Feb. 4 comes in. From 6 to 8 p.m., people can mingle with Brian and Francisca Pulido and get items signed, take photos with cosplayer Freddie Nova as Lady Death, make pledges on-site at computer stations, enjoy refreshments and eat cake. The first 100 attendees will also receive a cool commemorative Lady Death gift. We recently caught up with Pulido to talk about the appeal of Lady Death, the new graphic novel, and crazy Kickstarter rewards like a one-off edition with a $6,000 diamond embedded in the cover.

Why did you decide to self-publish Lady Death again?

“Something just happened sort of naturally. In 2005 or 2006, I just came off a contract where I wrote about a hundred comics in a year, and admittedly, I was sort of burned out. And I went on a creative journey that included being able to raise the money and direct the movie The Graves, and then thereafter, I started to simply naturally gravitate towards being excited about the character and being excited about comics in general. And specifically, two summers ago, I took the summer off and just wrote and wrote and wrote, and probably wrote about five years’ worth of Lady Death adventures, in broad strokes. Years ago, I was kind of resisting, and then a couple years ago I just got fired up.”

What do you think it is about Lady Death that connects with readers so much?

“I believe that she takes no crap from anybody, she’s an anti-hero, and she does what many of us would like to do, but due to the law, we never will. She sees wrongs that need to be corrected, and she will use very, very harsh means to mete out justice, and I think a lot of people can relate to that. I also think – let’s be honest – she’s a fantasy-like character for both men and women.”

She’s hot.

“She’s hot. She’s super idealized. I think that counts. That, plus her totally unapologetic, bitchy, take-no-prisoners attitude – it just connects.”

lady death chaos rules

Illustrator: Dheeraj Verma. Colorist: Sabine Rich

What can you tell us about the plot of the new 48-page graphic novel?

“Lady Death awakens from a 20-year, spell-induced slumber, to find herself in the fiery pits of hell. And this is a new chapter in her life. So in this hell, it almost looks like the modern world, where all architecture from all times is piled on top of itself, yet supernatural. Who among her despicable enemies cast that spell? And how long until she exacts her bloody vengeance? That’s the general premise.”

Why did you decide to use Kickstarter for this project?

“The reason I chose to work with Kickstarter on this is, this is a direct connection between myself and the readers and fans, the people who really, really get it. They share the passion for the character, there’s no middle man, there’s no corporate overlords telling us what to do – it’s an absolute direct connection. I just can’t think of a cooler way of bringing it out.”

What are some of the incentives for fans to contribute to your Kickstarter?

“I’ll tell you a range. If a person pledges five dollars, they can get a digital download of Lady Death Chaos Rules #1. For a $20 pledge, they’ll get the actual 48-page graphic novel, and then it ranges up, where we actually have Kickstarter-exclusive editions, including a jeweled edition, enhanced with actual Swarovski crystals and limited to 99; a metallic edition with a real metal cover, limited to 66, and then we get even crazier. We have an edition called the “Killed by Death” edition, limited to 6 copies, where six fans can actually be beheaded by Lady Death. We will draw them into page eight of the book. Not to be outdone, we have even one more crazier one. Our Kickstarter happens to coincide with the 21st anniversary of Lady Death, so we are presenting “Lady Death #1, diamond edition.” This is an edition limited to one – the rarest Lady Death comic we’ve ever created. It is a metal cover, and encrusted into the hilt of Lady Death’s sword is an actual high-quality, one-carat diamond, with an appraised value of over $6,000, as appraised by Scottsdale Fine Jewelers. It’s off the charts. And to commemorate the event, there are assorted limited-edition prints… even a Lady Death vinyl statue. So we’re coming out with guns blazing.


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