Writer’s Commentary: David Avallone Discusses Dynamite Comics’ ‘Elvira Meets Vincent Price’ #4

by Olly MacNamee

David Avallone returns to deliver another behind-the-scenes commentary on Elvira Meets Vincent Price #4, giving us the lowdown on all the Easter eggs and references to be found throughout this latest issue. Out now from Dynamite Comics.

Cover by Dave Acosta

Elvira Meets Vincent Price #4 is finally out, and here are the Easter eggs, inspirations, inside jokes, etc. But it’s full of spoilers! So read the issue first and don’t get spoiled.

Cover by Juan Samu

Covers: Dave Acosta gives us Vincent rescuing Elvira from a group of iconic monsters… very much a 1970s-style pinup cover, and perfect for this series. Juan Samu’s witty cover leans into the ancient Egyptian aspects of the story, with a Vincent sarcophagus. Anthony Marques and J. Bone’s cover, like Dave’s, is more of an abstract image and shows a Dr. Strange-esque Vincent conjuring Elvira in a crystal ball. The always-popular photo cover is a classic Elvira showgirl pose.

Cover by Anthony Marques and J. Bone

Page 1: 

We begin in the aftermath of our third issue, which was very much a “second act curtain” in dramatic terms. Vincent seemingly destroyed, the villain has the upper hand, no hope… etc. As I’ve mentioned in previous installments, Amunet’s servants are pastiches of a famous classic Hollywood duo, and in particular, their appearance in a movie called Sons of the Desert.

Page 2: 

The fourth issue (of five) was originally going to be called Game, Set, Match! (another Egyptian God joke), but I decided I liked Bastet better than Set, so we got the Tarantino reference instead. Perfect place to talk about the excellence of letterer Taylor Esposito, who can always find the right font to reflect whatever best suits the title. He’s assisted in this issue by Elizabeth Sharland.

I hope you don’t need me to explain what “Deathflix” might be based on.

Since the second issue of my very first Elvira series, we’ve had a running gag about how much she hates doing clumsy exposition (and by extension, how much I hate writing it). So here she tells Anipe to just read the inside front cover:

Page 2

Page 3: 

Anipe thinks the inside front cover recap is gibberish. Everyone’s a critic.

Page 4: 

We haven’t seen Eddie since his double-cross in issue one. Elvira has good reason to be pissed. I used to work with a cameraman named Dean… but he didn’t look anything like that. It’s just a perfectly fine name for a cameraman. 

Pages 5-7: 

Eddie earned the smack, but probably enjoyed the kiss a little more. Naturally, he was brain-washed and not actually a total snake. You had faith in him, didn’t you? For those who aren’t Los Angeles residents… I love my city, but there are many clubs on Sunset Blvd I wouldn’t set foot in. “Doucheteria” is an accurate description, and a word I’ve been using since the ’90s. Eddie calls Amunet “your worshipfulness,” because he, too, is a big Star Wars fan.

As an aside, please enjoy all of Elvira’s facial expressions on this page. Juan does such a great job capturing the many moods of the Mistress of the Dark. 

Page 8: 

Amunet is quoting the very famous last line from the movie Sunset Blvd, which was written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman Jr. Meanwhile, Arthur quotes his partner Norville’s famous catchphrase from many of their movies together. According to my research, Oliver Hardy (Norville) first said the line in a movie called The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case, written by Stan Laurel and H.M. Walker. Later, they even did a movie called Another Fine Mess.

Page 3

Page 9: 

In panel five, when Elvira says “goddammit” off-panel… I can’t explain why I love that kind of joke. But I do. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I first learned about the complicated Egyptian afterlife cosmology reading about it in William S. Burroughs’ The Western Lands.

Page 10:  

As good a place as any to talk about Walter Pereyra’s fantastic colors. The swirling vortex, the blue Egyptian night… so good. The “New Yorker” joke is so completely ridiculous, but man, those things DO pile up. The question is what she was doing for the few millennia before the magazine was founded.

Pages 11 – 12: 

The return of Vincent. I mean. It’s a comic book. People don’t stay dead. Particularly ghosts. Vincent is wearing his default costume, which is always his look from my favorite movie (and his), Theatre of Blood.

Page 4

Pages 13 — 14: 

You saw this coming, right? Or not? I’m always curious about that kind of thing. Anipe transforms into the goddess Bastet. Originally I was going to use Set, as I said earlier… but Set is kind of a boring violent dude. Bastet is a cat! I love cats. And I got to make a ridiculous pun title.

Amunet calls Vincent a “gonif,” which is Yiddish slang for thief, but in modern terminology has a shading towards “con-man.” And yes, I get a kick out of ancient Egyptian goddesses using Yiddish.

That thing Bastet is holding is a musical instrument called a “sistrum.” In the real world, it just plays music. But I figure if Amunet’s ankh can be an energy weapon of some kind, so’s Bastet’s sistrum. They’re both channeling and focusing their powers through their symbols. 

Pages 15-16: 

“We witness the gods at war!” Sometimes it’s nice to have a character in a comic book who’s old and corny enough that you get to write old and corny comic book style dialogue. Vincent repeats his Raiders of the Lost Ark scary ghost trick. 

Page 17:

Rise of the Ram goes out to the world. We’ve seen Claudia before: she’s slightly based on red-headed Italian actress Lucianna Paluzzi. I love the expressions Juan puts on Bastet throughout this scene. So funny.

Page 5

Page 18: 

Hooray for stupid friggin’ movies. Indeed. Anipe is back to normal. Should I pitch an “Adventures of Bastet” comic to Dynamite. I kinda fell in love with Anipe/Bastet in the last two issues and I’m sorry to see this wrap up.

Pages 19-20: 

The happy ending! No, not that kind, you pervert. There’s still one more issue left! They don’t exactly open a detective agency but… come back next month and find out what happens! 

%d bloggers like this: