After being read more than 21 million times and garnering over 630,000 followers on WEBTOON, LySandra Vuong's supernatural action comic Covenant is now in print for the first time via Oni Press, and we caught up with LySandra in a new Q&A feature to discuss the queer romance, stylish exorcisms, and manga influences of Covenant Volume One (collecting episodes 1–18 of the comic), and they also talked about teaming up with the amazing team at Oni Press for three printed volumes of Covenant.

Below, you can read our full Q&A with LySandra, and we also have a look at the cover art, preview pages, and press release with official details on Covenant Volume One!

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us, LySandra, and congratulations on your popular comic book series Covenant coming to print for the first time via Oni Press! Looking back at how it all started, where did you initially get the idea for Covenant?

LySandra Vuong: In 2019, while working in biotech and nearing the completion of my engineering degree, I felt deeply unhappy and began to plot my escape. I set out to teach myself how to draw at a commercial level and started conceptualizing a webcomic to test and show my skills. I filled it with all the things I knew and loved: tattoos, fight scenes, exorcists and demons, Catholicism, and queer romance, and thus Covenant was born! A supernatural action comic about hot priests and even hotter demons!

The manga art style of Covenant really heightens the emotional impact of the story as well as the intense action when Ezra and his fellow exorcists battle demons. What was it about the manga visual style in particular that made it the perfect way to tell this epic story?

LySandra Vuong: My favorite aspect about manga is the panel to panel flow of fight scenes. Western comics tend to show a battle as a collage of action shots whereas manga has a more tedious sequential breakdown of fighting choreography that I felt really lends itself to the magic system of Covenant! I’m also a huge fan of the tension and monologuing in manga fight scenes that help flashy battles also hit emotional beats!

I love how Covenant features a queer romance at the heart of its story and also intriguingly explores themes of religion and faith. How important was it for you to intertwine all of these elements within this action-packed story?

LySandra Vuong: I’ve dealt with a lot of turmoil in my personal life regarding the clashing of religion and who I am, and I wanted to create a story in which those things coexisted peacefully, where the conflict wasn’t between them but instead more focused on good and evil, angels and demons.

I have a lot of readers who tell me that my comic makes them feel so seen or that it heals their religious trauma and that means a lot to me!

To date, Covenant has been read more than 21 million times and has over 630,000 followers on WEBTOON. What has it been like to see your story resonate with so many readers over the years?

LySandra Vuong: I’m still so shocked by the reach my comic has. It really feels like a dream! I get recognized in public too, every now and then, as the creator of Covenant, which is REALLY crazy. Knowing how many readers are waiting for the next episode or volume seriously motivates me to continue to work on my comic no matter how hard it is sometimes.

Do you have any favorite comics, books, movies, TV shows, or video games that influenced you while working on Covenant?

LySandra Vuong: Covenant came from a mish-mash of all the things I grew up reading and watching like the Percy Jackson series, and manga and anime like Tokyo Ghoul and Ao no exorcist!

You created a stunning cover for Covenant Volume One. How much fun was it for you to create a new cover for this first printed volume as a completely new treat for readers?

LySandra Vuong: As an artist, I actually love painting and illustrating more than drawing comic panels. Taking my time and giving my all on a single piece has always been more rewarding to me than the typical lightning pace required to churn out comic pages, so it was extremely fun to be able to do it for my series!

On May 15th, Oni Press released Covenant Volume One, collecting episodes 1–18 of your story in the first of three volumes. What has it been like to team up with the team at Oni Press to bring Covenant to print for the first time?

LySandra Vuong: Oni Press has been so lovely and a dream to work with! They really make me feel like a valued creator and I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with them!

Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from Covenant Volume One, whether they’re revisiting this series or reading it for the first time?

LySandra Vuong: I hope that new readers fall in love with the world of Covenant, and that readers from the webcomic can remind themselves of just how far the characters have come in all of their development!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers and artists who are just getting started?

LySandra Vuong: Study, and get obsessed! Of course researching and practicing skills is super important, but it becomes so much easier and productive when your practice is going into something you really love and are truly obsessed about. Covenant is my first project ever and getting obsessed with it has taught me everything I know about comics!

With Covenant Volume One out now from Oni Press, do you have any other upcoming projects that you can tease for our readers?

LySandra Vuong: I’m so excited about Covenant Volume Two coming out in the fall! My main focus for now and for a long time will be continuing the Covenant story, but I am working on a few other stories that I know readers of Covenant will also love!


Press Release: With more than 21 million reads and over 630,000 followers, COVENANT is one of the most popular comics on WEBTOON and the remarkable comics debut of LySandra Vuong, also known as Explodikid. The critically acclaimed, fan-favorite series follows a powerful exorcist with no faith in God, who is tasked to protect a seemingly normal human from rising demonic forces. The series features a slow-burn queer romance and explores religious faith, the weight of destiny, and what it means to be good in a world plagued by demons. The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publisher Oni Press will publish the WEBTOON smash hit in print for the first time with the first of three volumes being released in May 2024, featuring an all-new, never-before-seen cover by Vuong.

COVENANT combines classic shounen manga tropes with fantasy Catholicism to tell an action-packed story in which angels talk to us and demons walk among us,” said LySandra Vuong. “Covenant is an unconventional comic. It's supernatural, a little blasphemous, a little sexy, and unapologetically queer.”

In a world where priests are decked out in holy tattoos and brandish machine guns in the face of demons, a powerful exorcist and a mysterious boy cross paths . . . in a college classroom. Erza’s faith is waning when God intervenes and sends him on a mission to protect Sunny, an outwardly normal human, from demonic forces. Looks can be deceiving, however, as Sunny proves to have hidden secrets and a bloody past nipping at his heels. Between Erza’s sunny sarcasm, and Sunny’s closed-off distant demeanor, the two struggle to find any common ground to bridge the gap. Yet, as much as the two bicker and retain distance, neither can help but be drawn to the other. With his church under scrutiny and the threat of war on the horizon, will Ezra find his conviction in time to keep Sunny safe? Will Sunny even accept his help? Or will they both suffer the consequences?

“A few years ago, in a time where many publishers still frowned upon manga-inspired art styles, I thought the only place for my story would be the wild west of webcomics, where all sorts of wacky and weird comics live,” said Vuong. “To see Covenant coming to print, to bookstores, to a physical format, with such an amazing publisher as Oni Press is beyond my wildest dreams.

COVENANT takes the exorcist sub-genre that has made stories like Constantine so beloved into a refreshing and modern direction with action sequences that recall the flare of shounen manga like Blue Exorcist and the slow burn romance of a Kaori Yuki or CLAMP series,” said Oni Press Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hahn. “We can’t wait to introduce a brand new audience to the powerful and unique storytelling of debut creator LySandra Vuong.”

Here’s what critics are saying about COVENANT:

COVENANT should scratch an itch you maybe didn’t know you had—even if that itch is some hot monsters from hell.” —AV Club

“We dare anyone to start this series and not find themselves immediately pulled into the mystery and suspense." —Geek Girl Authority

"Wildly enjoyable."—Women Write About Comics

"Sometimes a new webcomic kinda just falls in your lap and you’re wondering how I did not know of this before?"—Multiversity Comics

The first volume of the three-volume supernatural action webcomic collects episodes 1–18 of the hit WEBTOON comic COVENANT beautifully reformatted into 6x9. COVENANT will be available in stores May 15, 2024.

For more updates on Oni Press, visit them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About LySandra Vuong

LySandra Vuong, also known as Explodikid, is a comic artist and writer based in Los Angeles. They left their previous job as a mechanical engineer to pursue a career in drawing hot anime characters. Covenant is their debut comic.

About Oni Press

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is a premier comic book and graphic novel publisher located in Portland, Oregon. Merged with Lion Forge Comics in 2019 but established in 1997, Oni Press publishes a thoughtfully curated line of award-winning original and licensed graphic novels and comic books for readers of all ages. Notable titles from the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group include: The Tea Dragon Society, Sheets, Gender Queer, A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, Scott Pilgrim, and Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty™.

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    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.