Based in Philadelphia, Johnny Zito and Tony Trov are indie creators who have successfully created comic books, films, and run a successful clothing store called South Fellini. They are currently in the process of publishing their graphic novel about vampires, LaMorte Sisters, and adding the final touches to their next film, American Exorcist. Wanting to learn more about their latest projects, I was able to interview them again for ScifiPulse.
Nicholas Yanes: I last interviewed you two in 2014 to discuss your film, Alpha Girls. How has life been since then? Any new superpowers?
Tony Trov: Wow it’s been so long. Since then we have shot and edited a new film called American Exorcist and opened our own shop in Philadelphia where we make apparel. Our latest project however is releasing our vampire series, LaMorte Sisters, as a graphic novel.
Yanes: You two have been working in Philadelphia for years. Could you take a moment to discuss the city’s indie creative community? Specifically, do you see Philadelphia as a great destination for indie creators?
Johnny Zito: It’s a lawless beautiful city. We’ve been able to pull off some really ambitious things in this town.
Trov: Plus we have the best food.
Yanes: You two have also been indie comic book creators for nearly a decade. How do you think the indie comics scene has changed during this time?
Trov: It’s grown so much from the internet and with tablets and iPhones. Comixology has really done a lot for the indie comics world. That being said, LaMorte Sisters is only available in print.
Yanes: It was recently announced that the rights to your series, LaMorte Sisters, have returned to you two. For those unfamiliar with this series, how would you summarize it?
Zito: I can give you the official summary, but really the artwork by Christine Larsen is just beautiful. She drew it ten years ago but it’s still so great.
Summary: A vampire orphanage for girls run by strict Catholic Nuns – While on a family trip, Maddie and her parents were savagely attacked by a crazed man. Though her parents were not so lucky, Maddie survived due to the intervention of a silent savior who slew her assailant. Dazed and confused, Maddie finds herself on a bus to the LaMorte Home for Lost Girls. A special place that helps wayward young ladies deal with their peculiar condition. Under the watchful eye of these LaMorte Sisters, Maddie will discover the mysteries that lie beneath her imposed, new home.
Yanes: On this note, what was the inspiration behind creating LaMorte Sisters?
Trov: There’s some really creepy Catholic schools in our neighborhood. I kind of always thought the girls who went there were vampires.
Yanes: LaMorte was one of the comics to be on DC’s Zuda Comics. What was your experience working with Zuda? I personally feel that it was an idea a few years ahead of its time, but I’m curious to know what you two think of it.
Zito: Zuda Comics existed in a time when a publisher like DC Comics was still not 100% sure how this internet thing is going to pan out. It was definitely ahead of its time.
Yanes: There are several different types of vampires in myth and in popular culture. How did you two decide which vampire elements to use in LaMorte Sisters?
Trov: We just took in so much vampire culture and stories. You can tell a lot about a person when they reveal what they really like about vampire folklore.
Yanes: The main character of LaMorte Sisters is Maddie. How do you hope she grows over the course of the series?
Zito: I have a feeling Maddie is never going to find exactly what she wants.
Yanes: When people finish reading LaMorte Sisters, what do you hope they take away from the experience?
Zito: We really want people to want more and know what happens next. We have a script ready to go for the second volume.
Yanes: Finally, what else are you two working on that people can look forward to?
Trov: Our second feature film American Exorcist is coming out this Oct 26th. It stars Bill Moseley (Devil’s Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and is about an exorcism on Christmas Eve. It’s psychedelic and very much inspired by Italian horror.