Comic: Vatican Assassins
Creator: Melissa J Massey
Genre: Action, Drama, Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: Viola, Fife, and Xy are in-training to be part of the Vatican’s secret demon-fighting militia, the Assassins. But when another Assassin goes missing after a tragic incident, things become a lot more dangerous
Please leave your critiques in the comments below!
An Interview with Melissa J. Massey
1. When did you first come up with the idea for Vatican Assassins?
Melissa: I think it was around 2008 or 2009. I had a crazy dream about a boy and a girl running through the streets of Rome and living at the Vatican. I continued to develop the idea and drew from my love of European cities, epic churches, and stories about militant teams. I was really into D.Gray-man and Soul Eater at the time, so these had some influence. Trips to Greece and Rome helped to solidify the concept, and I started drawing pages and building the website in December of 2011.
2. What does your workspace look like? If you can add anything to it, what would it be?
Melissa: I work on a flat ikea table with metal legs. I have a laptop that I do my photoshop work on and an epson scanner that currently lives on the floor. There’s usually papers everywhere and pages waiting to be inked and scanned. Right now, it’s pretty barren as I continue to move stuff into my new apartment. I’d love to get a new desktop computer with a dual screen set up. And a nice storage system for all my markers.
3. What’s your favorite time-sucking activity?
Melissa: Tumblr, and listening to music samples on Google Play. Tvtropes is another one.
4 . Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Melissa: I’m not really a fan of either.
5. If you were writing a clever interview question for the next spotlight, what would it be? Feel free to answer this question for yourself if you’d like!
Melissa: Is there any recurring part of your comic you regret including because it’s a pain to draw? For me, it’s Fife’s weapon, a sickle and chain, because that chain is incredibly obnoxious to draw over and over again!
6. Have you ever had a lucid dream?
7. What keeps you going?
8. Were any of your characters inspired by a real person? Tell us about it!
9. If Vatican Assassins had a theme song, what would it be?
10. Each Assassin resonates with a different saint. Are there any particular saints that you’re drawn to?
Melissa: That’s a really good one! I grew up Catholic but my church’s CCD program was very lame, so we didn’t learn about saints. I ended up not knowing much until I got to college and studied Art History.
When I was really little, there was a documentary on history channel about St. Bernadette of Lourdes and how her body was miraculously preserved after her death. I was drawn to that story, so that’s how I picked her for Viola. Other than that, my go to Saints are John Paul II and Mary Magdalene. (And Gilles Villenueve, patron saint of Canadian motorsport)
11. What’s next for Vatican Assassins?
Melissa: The few chapters take place in Greece, and will involve the Orthodox church, beautiful ruins, and a little language humor (including a corny joke!). After that, the story heads north to a Baltic nation and some old friends…I’d really like to make a print book at some point, but I think I need a bigger audience for it. For now I just want to keep improving and see how people like the story.