Get Graphic: Defiantly Free With Simon Fraser's Octobriana
Oct 11, 2021
Art by Simon Fraser
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
David Bowie was going to make a superhero movie about her. Billy Idol has a tattoo of her. And now, 50 years since her debut, celebrate the return of one of the most enigmatic comic book characters that you've never heard of...
Throughout the month of October, PREVIEWSworld.com is spotlighting the artists behind Octrobriana With Love (SEP211446), an anthology comic featuring the "free use" Russian superhero with stories by multiple creators. Dead Good Comics' upcoming showcase aims to provide another generation of readers with new and dynamic adventures featuring the 50-year-old amazon.
PREVIEWSworld: Firstly, who are you and where do you hail from?
Simon Fraser: My name is Simon Fraser, I'm originally from the Highlands of Scotland, but I live in Jersey City, NJ, USA these days.
PREVIEWSworld: How did you get into comic art?
Simon Fraser: The usual way, a lonely but highly motivated childhood. Confused but supportive parents. A short, angry career in small press. 15 years working on Nikolai Dante and Judge Dredd for 2000AD.
PREVIEWSworld: So what is your story in Octrobriana With Love? What can you tell us about it?
Simon Fraser: I've drawn the framing story which sets up the structure of the anthology. Octobriana and her pals save a young vlogger from the authorities in a dystopian London and fights an old enemy. We're fleshing out the world that Octobriana lives in. Worldbuilding is one of my favouritest things.
PREVIEWSworld: How did you get involved with the anthology?
Simon Fraser: I have a history with the character of Octobriana from when we used a version of her in Nikolai Dante, in 2000AD, a couple of decades ago. I bought the Petr Sadecky book in a used bookstore back when I was at college and I really liked the story it told, even though it's largely a fraud. So I've been a fan of the character and her unique publishing history for a long time. I have [editor] Stu Taylor's 1997 Octobriana: Filling in the Blanks series so I knew who he was when he emailed me out of the blue last year. I was very happy to work on this because I consider Octobriana to be unfinished business as far as I'm concerned. She's just so much fun!
PREVIEWSworld: How did you and go about making the character of Octobriana your own?
Simon Fraser: I did a minor redesign, made her more punk, less boob-tape, more torn anarchy t-shirt. I didn't want to stray too far from the original concept though as it's so iconic.
PREVIEWSworld: What can readers expect from your story?
Simon Fraser: World-building and thunderous, explosive action!
PREVIEWSworld: What do you find to be cool about Octobriana?
Simon Fraser: She's a big, powerful, unapologetic female character with a strong iconic look. She isn't beholden to anyone, quite literally! In a world where corporate intellectual property dominates comics and popular culture, Octobriana is defiantly free. I reckon that makes her about as cool as it's possible to be.
Octobriana With Love (SEP211446) hits comic shops on November 10, 2021 courtesy of Dead Good Comics.
If you want to discover more about the history of Octobriana then check out our 2020 interview for Octobriana 1976 with Jim Rugg. And if you've enjoyed discovering Simon Fraser's process, give him a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Billy Idol has a tattoo of her.
And now, 50 years since her debut, celebrate the return of one of the most enigmatic comic book characters that you've never heard of...
OCTOBRIANA WITH LOVE is an all-star, 64-page, full color softcover graphic novel, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the cult underground Russian superhero by an exciting mix of creative talent.
For centuries, immortal warrior woman Octobriana has been the champion of the oppressed. Leading a rag-tag group of freedom fighters, Octobriana travels the dimensional highways in her Wonder Machine, disrupting authoritarian regimes, overturning tyrants... and gate-crashing the best parties!
In OCTOBRIANA WITH LOVE, Octobriana and her underground take on a daring rescue mission above the skies of a near future Britain to rescue Lucretia Hussain, a young vlogger destined to be a figurehead for a future revolution. To correct the course of history Octobriana clashes with her ancient nemesis Baba Yaga, leading Octobriana to relive her past and setting the stage for a whole new universe of adventures.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.