Westerns have been one of the longest running staples of American media. It's rare to see someone take a genre that's so well-worn and make it feel fresh. DEATH BE DAMNED is one of those rare few. It explores Miranda Coler's quest for vengeance. For Miranda, death is an impermanent state. Partnering with the local undertaker, who is doing double-duty as a necromancer, Miranda seeks to avenge her murdered family by killing those responsible for their deaths.

While Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and Andrew Miller do a great job of writing this comic, Hannah Christenson's art is phenomenal. She's able to mix the more realistic elements of the Old West-style with beautiful panels that draw more on surrealism. Boom!'s DEATH BE DAMNED is a unique and compelling book with fantastic art.

We talked with DEATH BE DAMNED's Hannah Christenson about her attraction to comics, making a limited series vs. a single issue, and the comic's art.

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ComicsVerse: What first attracted you to comics as both an artist and a reader?

Hannah Christenson: I appreciate the ways comics allow the storytellers I admire to create and share their vision in the way it’s intended to be seen. Using my imagination when reading prose is one thing, but I think it’s really special to see how creators view the worlds they construct. Also, I love seeing how colorists interpret the story; they are a crucial part of comics and tell as much of the story as the writer. [Colorist] Juan Useche is doing a great job with DEATH BE DAMNED; I can’t wait to see what he does with the rest of the comic!

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CV: You’ve done some great single issue and guest work on other comics (HARROW COUNTY, MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD, THE STORYTELLER: DRAGONS). How does working on DEATH BE DAMNED, a limited series, change your artistic process and considerations?

HC: With something a little bit longer format it’s interesting to see how the pacing changes. I like the opportunity to take some scenes slower, and it’s kinda nice to have time to let things sink in and gestate a little instead of telling a complete story in one issue… or a few pages.

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CV: Though large portions of DEATH BE DAMNED are rendered in a more realistic style, you embrace a surrealist aesthetic in several places. How does that mixture help you tell the story?

HC: I mentioned a moment ago how I enjoyed seeing how creators view the world they created, but I also think there are times the reader should fill in the blanks. Acker, BlackerDEATH BE DAMNED, and Miller do this often in the comic, leave space for the reader to interpret what’s going on without a lot of hand-holding.

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CV: You’ve previously mentioned that you’d like more well-written women in lead roles. How does Miranda fit in with that desire?

HC: Miranda definitely isn’t a perfect person. A lot of female characters I see seem to have to be witty, strong, brave, sexually attractive, and attracted to the leading or supporting male character. With all of Miranda’s flaws, I like that she is focused on her quest for revenge and doesn’t seem to have time for much else. I like that the story doesn’t call for distractions. She has one goal and is of one mind about it.

CV: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

HC: Working on DEATH BE DAMNED is an interesting experience, I can hardly wait to see all the issues finished and together.

DEATH BE DAMNEDYou can find Hannah's work on www.hannahchristenson.com or @Hannah_illo. DEATH BE DAMNED #1 is available online and at comic stores near you.

This interview has been edited.

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