Originally inspired by the likes of horror hosts Vampira and John Zacherle, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has become a force to be reckoned with. She was all over the place in the 1980s and early 1990s, starting her career in 1981. In a career spanning over three decades, she has done a little bit everything: dancing, modeling, singing, and hosting her own cable show, Elvira’s Movie Macabre. She’s also written and starred in two feature films, lent her voice to two DOS-based Elvira games and appeared on numerous television shows and podcasts. Indeed, Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind the character, has had quite a prolific career. Did you know she was also the star of her own comic series?
It’s true. First, the comic had a short-lived run through DC between 1986-87 as Elvira’s House of Mystery and then for her own series — simply titled Elvira, Mistress of the Dark –– through Claypool Comics between 1993 and 2007 (source). I’m unfamiliar with the DC comics, but I read quite a few of the Claypool Elvira series in the mid-90s. From what I can recall (it’s been many years since I’ve read them), the stories were clever and more involved than one might expect from a comic about Elvira. They were fun, with tons of subversive humor and plenty of Elvira’s character traits and mannerisms. There was plenty of satire and wit to be found in these stories and I would recommend them if you can find them.
What’s interesting is that now in, 2017, Elvira is returning to comics. Nerdist reported a company called Dynamite is not only resurrecting the comic, but creating a plethora of Elvira merchandise, including trading cards and posters. Elvira has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, with another season of Elvira’s Movie Macabre a few years ago and a recently published book about her career. In the ’80s, she co-hosted The Dr. Demento Show for Halloween (which you can listen to at the Dr. Demento’s official website) and just last year was featured on the Nerdist podcast.
For more information about Elvira, check out her website here.