It was big news last year when Yen Press announced that it had signed a deal to create a graphic novel based on Anne Rice's novel Interview with the Vampire. Now MTV Geek has an exclusive first look at the cover of the graphic novel, Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story, which is illustrated by newcomer Ashley Marie Witter.
Yen's adaptation changes the point of view of the story: Rice's original novel was narrated by a vampire named Louis, but the graphic novel is told from the point of view of Claudia, a young girl whom Louis makes into a vampire. Rice was totally on board with the change when I interviewed her for Publishers Weekly:
"I have gone all through The Vampire Chronicles writing from the point of view of different characters, so it is completely legitimate to do that," Rice said. "Lestat [another vampire] tells you a completely different version of events than Louis. Who do you believe?"
Rice also said she felt Witter had captured the essence of the book, with her richly detailed costumes and settings:
What I look for in a movie or a book like this is the essence—baroque detail, sensuality, luxurious hair, faces that are intriguing and deep—and they got it here.
I also talked to Witter, who told me she was doing extensive research to get the costumes and settings just right.
I started by collecting a lot of resources from the era and tried to incorporate some of the historic ethnicity into their features and costumes. Over time as I became familiar with the story, the characters evolved more and more to fit their personalities. Typically when I work on comics I feel like my characters grow into themselves. So the final designs really come out once I’ve come back to them enough times.
This is Witter's first full-length graphic novel; Yen Press publishing director Kurt Hassler found her work on Deviantart and reached out to her via her website.
The book is due out in November 2012, and if it's a success, there is plenty of scope for more: Interview with the Vampire, which was first published in 1976, is just the first book in a 10-volume series that Rice dubbed The Vampire Chronicles.