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SYFY WIRE Dark Horse Comics

Exclusive: Kate Strand hunts the 7 Fabled Beasts of Yore in Dark Horse's Calamity Kate

By Jeff Spry
Calamity Kate Hero

Targeting the themes of reinvention, resurrection, and rebirth, a wild new Southern California-based fantasy series courtesy of Dark Horse Comics is springing into action today — and SYFY WIRE has exclusive glimpse inside along with a discussion with its dynamic creative team.

Written by the Eisner Award-nominated Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim, Eternity Girl) and injected with playful art by Corin Howell (Dark Red, Ghostbusters), Calamity Kate #1 begins a promising new title with the potential to deliver some crazy creature-slaying storylines into your pull list on a monthly basis.

Calamity Kate Cover

Rounded out with vibrant colors via Valentina Pinto and lettering by Zakk Saam, Calamity Kate chronicles the misadventures of Kate Strand, a destructive, semi-reckless divorcee who leaves her former life behind and drives out to Los Angeles to couch surf at her estranged sister Vera's pad and soon hones her gun-toting monster-hunting skills on the prowl for the legendary nexus of all monsters, "The Seven Fabled Beasts of Yore.” This sudden career change brings with it an interesting array of new challenges, relationships, and industry competition in a society plagued by zombies, vampires, demons, and goblins.

SYFY WIRE chatted with Visaggio and Howell on their fun-loving new title, dealing with the darker shades of divorce, and spreading their wings in a fresh creative endeavor.

Calamity Kate Slice 1

What was the genesis of this monster-hunting series and what were some of your guiding examples while crafting the story?

Magdalene Visaggio: Calamity Kate came out of my experience of coping with divorce. My divorce was a long-time coming—we'd been having problems for ages—but it still kind of hit me like a truck. There's a "Year Zero" feeling to getting divorced; my whole life was suddenly different, and I wanted badly to reinvent myself, which to an extent I did. I wanted to get a million tattoos and pack up and head to Los Angeles. Calamity Kate started out as a way for me to explore those feelings, and ended up as a way for me to deal with my own feelings of guilt.

How is this new book different than your artwork on Dark Red or Ghostbusters?

Corin Howell: With Ghostbusters, I had to work at the mercy of whatever studio that the publisher was working with. I had to pull back on some scary stuff because there was concern that things looked too scary, mean, etc. With this book—AND Dark Red as well—I'm getting to spread my wings and getting to drawing all the scary, gross, and monstrous stuff I've always wanted to draw in a book.

Calamity Kate Slice 2

How does Corin's wild art best serve this horror title's storyline you've crafted?

Magdalene Visaggio: I wouldn't call this a horror title. It's a snarky action-adventure. It's goofy and fun. That's the point that Kate isn't dealing with her problems. Corin's art is incredibly expressive and she handles action superbly, which means she's able to give the action the vim and verve it deserves, and handle the complicated emotions with aplomb.

What sort of weird monsters and creatures did you populate the pages with? 

Corin Howell: There's a lot of goblins, though I've added a few changes here and there to make them my own design. Also, lizard demons, horned giants, a few serpent-like creatures, I just kinda went crazy and drew whatever came to mind first.

Explore our exclusive preview of Calamity Kate #1 in the gallery below, then tell us if you're curious to see what brutish beasts and colorful creatures she'll crush when the premiere issue arrives Mar. 13.