Back in October, artist Rachele Aragno and writer Mike Mignola introduced readers to the adventurous vampire Leonide with their heartfelt gothic one-shot Miracle at the Crow's Head. Now, with the holiday season upon us, Aragno and Mignola have teamed up once again for the holiday horror one-shot Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows, and with the Yuletide tale coming out on December 14th from Dark Horse Comics, we caught up with Aragno to discuss the origin of Leonide the Vampyr, embracing the spooky spirit of the Christmas season in the new one-shot, and the joys of collaborating with Mignola and Dark Horse Comics to bring her beloved undead character into the world!

Below, you can read our full Q&A with Aragno as well as preview pages from Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows, and to learn more about the new one-shot comic, visit:

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions for us, Rachele, and congratulations on your new comic book Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows! For those unfamiliar with Leonide the Vampyr, when did you originally create this beloved character, and how did you start collaborating with Mike Mignola to tell this young vampire’s stories?

Rachele Aragno: Thank you very much! My collaboration with Mike began with a black-and-white sketch of mine that I posted on Facebook. She was a stern-looking little vampire who got all of Mike's attention, and we talked about her a bit and figured it would be cool to put her in a story. After a day or two, I already had the story in my hands and I was crazy with joy!

What has it been like for you to expand the world of Leonide the Vampyr from a sketch into full-fledged comic books? Did you have already have a backstory in mind for Leonide when you first drew her?

Rachele Aragno: Actually, when I draw a character I imagine him already placed in a world of his own, something that is made up of other strange characters and creatures. In this case, for her, I saw something archaic, gothic, and very creepy in my mind. So Mike's story was perfect: the perfect mix of the things I love. A vampire like her, almost belonging to another era, needed a story with an almost folkloric character.

You and Mike Mignola introduced readers to Leonide the Vampyr this past October in the comic book one-shot Miracle at the Crow’s Head. In the world of Leonide, how much time has passed since the events of Miracle at the Crow’s Head, and should fans read Miracle at the Crow’s Head before diving into A Christmas for Crows?

Rachele Aragno: The stories of Leonide are two one-shots, so they can easily be read in the order you want, and you can immerse yourself perfectly in the atmosphere without having plot holes. We have never talked about how much time may have passed between the two issues, but I think this too can remain at the discretion of the reader.

Your artwork wonderfully brings Leonide the Vampyr to undead life in A Christmas for Crows, and your gothic visuals pair perfectly with Mignola’s powerful prose. Did you have a lot of creative freedom when you were working on the artwork for this comic book?

Rachele Aragno: A lot! Mike wrote the screenplay in such a way that I could express myself as I wanted. He trusted my taste and my experience as a single author for the choice of the layouts and art. The same goes for the characters. He described some things to me and sent references, but I had a lot of fun creating them out of my imagination.

Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows blends the holiday season with heartfelt horror, and at times it even feels like a Victorian ghost story that would be told around the fire during the holidays. Do you have any favorite holiday horror movies, books, or comics that inspired you while you were working on this Yuletide tale?

Rachele Aragno: I love Christmas stories and especially horror ones! Surely A Christmas Carol is a progenitor that we cannot overlook. But I love reading Poe, Stoker, Jackson, Joyce, Lovecraft, Jerome, Carroll, Barrie, Alcott, and Hawthorne, who wrote wonderful Christmas horror stories.

What have you enjoyed the most about working with Mike Mignola on these stories?

Rachele Aragno: I enjoyed collaborating with a comic legend that I've loved to read and study since I was a little girl. I discovered a fantastic person who immediately put himself on an equal footing with me with patience and professionalism. Working with people who are in the Olympus of comics makes you learn many things and helps you understand a lot about yourself as an artist.

Do you and Mike Mignola have plans for future Leonide the Vampyr comic books? There seems to be an endless amount of Leonide stories that you could tell, especially with her ability to travel around the world in her coffin.

Rachele Aragno: Leonide has the potential to truly be told endlessly. There are things to explain, worlds and characters to get to know and others to get to know better… I really hope there's a chance to do it soon!

Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows?

Rachele Aragno: The feeling of dinners and with the fire crackling in the fireplace while listening to a horror story told by candlelight, the snow falling and the rooms almost dark. Our story is made up of sensations, smells, noises, and dark moods.

What has it been like to team up with Dark Horse to publish the Leonide the Vampyr comic books?

Rachele Aragno: It was beautiful! They are a professional, cohesive, and very welcoming team. I have been hoping to work with them for many years, and being able to do so has made me very happy. They immediately put me at ease and reassured me when I was gripped by anxiety. They were there with nice and comforting words even when they certainly had a lot of work to do. I couldn't have asked for better!

What advice would you give to aspiring comic book artists who are just getting started?

Rachele Aragno: Never give up, even if sometimes it seems like nothing is going right.  Engage with all your strength, be rigorous, practice every day and always aim high. A great journey always starts with the first step, and everything is there to ensure that you grow artistically.

With Leonide the Vampyr: A Christmas for Crows coming out on December 14th from Dark Horse Comics, what other upcoming projects are you excited about, and where can our readers go online to keep up with your work?

Rachele Aragno: They can follow me on my Instagram or Facebook profile (they respond to my name). There is everything I've done so far and all the news I post. At the moment, I'm working on Melvina's third book (Mel the Chosen in the USA) for Bao Publishing, a graphic novel with Matteo Casali, and some projects that I hope will soon become reality!


LEONIDE THE VAMPYR: A CHRISTMAS FOR CROWS: When good and honest mountain folk come upon a small coffin among a carriage wreck, they find themselves among darker company than they bargained for. In this haunting Christmas carol, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and artist extraordinaire Rachele Aragno weave a chilling holiday tale as the vampyr Leonide once again casts her spell over unsuspecting audiences.

* Continuing the tale of Leonide the vampyr.

* All-new characters and world.


Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Rachele Aragno
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Rachele Aragno

Genre: Horror, Crime
Publication Date: December 14, 2022
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99
UPC: 7 61568 01034 3 00111

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.