With Further Ado #102: Interview with F.J. DeSanto about Bleed Them Dry

Bleed Them Dry is a new comic series created by Hiroshi Koizumi, written by Eliot Rahal and illustrated by Dike Ruan, with colors and letters by Miguel Muerto and AndWorld Design, respectively . It’s published by one of those industrious “upstart” publishers, Vault Comics. This one looks like fun, and I appreciated the new twists and turns the creators brought to the party.

It turns out my old buddy F.J. DeSanto is involved with this one. Recently, as an invited guest speaker (via ZOOM) he enthralled my Ithaca College students  (and me!) with insights into his work developing comics (Vagrant Queen) and big properties (Transformers, Shazam) and bringing them to the screen. After enjoying the first issue of Bleed Them Dry, I was eager to catch-up with him and learn more about it.

Ed Catto:  How do you describe Bleed Them Dry to folks who ask, “What is this is about?”

F.J. DeSanto: I can usually hook someone with two simple words: Ninja Vampire.

EC: What makes Bleed Them Dry different from other vampire or sci-fi, or even cop stories?

F.J. DeS: I don’t think anyone has ever remixed all these genres in the way that we do here, especially centered around the original concept of a Ninja Vampire. I think it stands out because it’s a unique blend of several great genres and presented in a way that says something like Blade Runner did with noir and sci-fi but is inherently its own unique story thanks to excellent creative team.

EC: How’d you get involved with it all, FJ?

F.J. DeS: My friend Hiroshi Koizumi had the idea for several years and over several beers in Tokyo, he asked me to help produce it as a comic book series. I couldn’t say no simply because it was too rich of an idea and it gave me a reason to work with so many cool and talented people.

EC: Why did you bring it to Vault Comics, and can you remind us all of the other projects you’ve had at Vault?

F.J. DeS: To be honest, it was either with Vault or no one. Their world building skills are second to none. Having worked with them for several years, I fully trust their ability to develop and execute original ideas at the highest level. You can see just by the creative team they assembled for this. My faith in them is always rewarded. I have brought them similar projects like their book Alien Bounty Hunter in the past, and they published Failsafe, which I co-created and co-wrote. I also work with them day to day as their partner on the entertainment side.

EC: What’s the long term plan for Bleed Them Dry?

F.J. DeS: The plan is to grow the franchise gradually and wisely. We want to see it published around the world, and I am just starting to look into potential opportunities for it in other media.

EC: What’s next for you, FJ?

F.J. DeS: I’m showrunning and executive producing the new Transformers: War for Cybertron animated series and the first chapter, “SIEGE”, premieres on Netflix on July 30th. So that’s keeping me a bit busy!

EC: Thanks so much F.J.!