Suiciders: Kings Of Hell.A #1: Interview With Lee Bermejo And Alessandro Vitti


Artist/Writer Lee Bermejo brings us his latest miniseries set in his Suiciders universe — Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A. The new Vertigo-published title focuses on the gangs and youth of a Los Angeles that’s been ravaged by an earthquake.

Switching up his talents, the acclaimed artist leaves illustration responsibilities to the very capable Alessandro Vitti, while Bermejo himself takes up writing duties. Bam! Smack! Pow! had the pleasure of interviewing this creative duo, where we were able to get their insights on this new miniseries.

Bam! Smack! Pow!: Lee, you are primarily known as a great artist

Lee Bermejo: Thank you!!!

BSP: When writing Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A, was there ever an urge to not just write, but start penciling also?

LB: I think the urge is always there when I’m writing something because I’m visualizing it as I go. I design pages around how I would draw them and tend to write full script, even for myself, because I like to get as much information down on paper as I can to keep that vision clear. With that said, it’s an amazing experience to see that script through the eyes of another artist. It opens you up to ideas that might never have some to you on your own.

BSP: What inspired you to write Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A?

LB: KINGS OF HELL.A. was a combination of a couple things. I’d wanted to tell the story of a pawnshop vigilante for some time. I knew I wanted the world of SUICIDERS to feel very LA, and the gang element is very much a part of LA mythos, not to mention a way to show readers another side of life in the city post earthquake. The two ideas really seemed to make sense together, and it also gave me a way to show one of the first SUICIDERS, someone who’d actually survived the game. This way, much like in the first arc, you have these two sets of characters. Some are very much on their way up and another [set] very much on his way down.

BSP: Is there a central theme to this story?

LB: Nature vs. Nurture. Also, like the first arc, ‘identity’ is also a BIG theme in this story. Can people change? Are they defined by their surroundings? I find these questions fascinating as they’re very human and everyone can relate in some sense or another.

BSP: Do you have writers or authors who inspired or influenced you?

LB: My favorite authors are Brett Easton Ellis, James Ellroy, Conrad, and Dickens. I think you can see a little of all of them in my work. Comics-wise, I’d say Miller, Nocenti, and Eisner.

BSP: Batman: Noel is one of your most famous works. Will you be returning to that world anytime soon?

LB: I’d love to go back and do those characters again. I think there will always be stories I want to tell in the Bat universe. The brilliant thing is that those characters can change with you throughout the years and are always open for new interpretation.

BSP: Alessandro, who’s your favorite character to draw in Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A and why?

Alessandro ​V​itti​: My favorite character is Johnny Costello. He wants be strong and brave, without fear, and always be ready to fight and win his battles. But, I think that he has a sensitive soul and is protective of his family.

BSP: Do you have a favorite panel or page in Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A #1?

AV: I love the second page with Leonard. I love the shadows in these panels, especially the middle panel!

BSP: Lee and Alessandro, what was the collaboration like between the two of you?

LB: I tried to give Alessandro as much freedom as I could throughout the story. I wanted him to design the characters as he saw fit within some very basic guidelines. I think this is how you get the best out of a collaborator and in this case, I feel like I’m seeing Vitti’s best work ever!

AV: Lee has been great and very available to me. He gave me the opportunity to feel totally free to do the pages my way and it has been great creating these characters. We had the opportunity to talk often before the work started and discovered that we have the same interests about comics, movies and other things, so it was very easy to put our ideas and sensibilities together on this story.

Suiciders: Kings of Hell.A #1 was released on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.