If it was traditional to give gifts on Halloween, one item near the top of my wish list would be The Art of Vampirella. Published by Dynamite Entertainment (the outfit also responsible for the great Howard Chaykin art book, among others), The Art of Vampirella compiles in a high quality hardcover volume visions of the enduringly popular, titillating horror comics icon from such auspicious pin-up and illustration talents as Frank Frazetta, Joe Jusko, J. Scott Campbell, Jae Lee, Mike Mignola, Joe Quesada, Adam Hughes, Jim Silke, Amanda Conner, Mark Texeira, Mike Mayhew, Arthur Suydam, Dan Brereton and Michael Golden, all wrapped up in one of the late, great Dave Stevens' most famous pieces. It's a fantastic testament to the inescapably seductive visage first designed by Trina Robbins back in the 1960s.

For fans of ComicsAlliance art posts, The Art of Vampirella is obviously an important book and it's one we'll have more to say about in the near future. But on the occasion of Halloween, Dynamite head honcho Nick Barrucci thought your trick-or-treating mood would be enhanced with this, a complete Vampi short story written by the great Ty Templeton and drawn and colored by Bruce Timm, the animation and character design legend behind Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited and more. We're publishing the entire thing right here on ComicsAlliance, but beware for this Vampirella story is dangerous not just for its spoooookiness but also for its possssssibly-nooooooot-saaaaafe-for-wooooorkiness.

Despite the character's ubiquity, I'd never in my life actually read a Vampirella story before I discovered this one last year. I know extremely little about her beyond the obvious: she is a practically naked vampire lady who most of my favorite artists have drawn at some point or another. While my experience with Vampirella is limited to more or less just these seven pages created by Templeton and Timm, I think I get the character and her back story completely. Each panel is so deliberately designed to express an intensely dark mood as well as overt sexuality, seemingly dueling concepts that most mainstream comics can never master but that Timm reconciles brilliantly again and again and again. As I said, I haven't read much Vampi but I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it's the best and most beautiful Vampirella story ever produced. However, CA contributor Sarah Horrocks may disagree in her forthcoming, in-depth look at the whole book.

"We're proud to bring The Art of Vampirella to fans... a gorgeous collection of pinups and covers from the finest illustrators of the past four decades," Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci told ComicsAlliance. "In their skilled hands, this iconic heroine remains every bit as seductive today as when she debuted in 1969. And the story by Bruce Timm is a dynamite bonus to a dynamite collection (come on, couldn't help it!)! And Vampirella will continue her immortal existence for long years to come! With an ongoing comic series, spin-off titles, and classy Archives and Masters Series to revisit her colorful history, Dynamite Entertainment promises to deliver more sexy thrills and down-your-spine chills every single month. It's a legacy we're delighted to be a part of.

From all of us at Dynamite, we wish you all a Happy Halloween!"

Originally produced all the way back in 1999 and just one of many such treasures to be found in Dynamite's The Art of Vampirella, which is on sale now in finer comics shops, bookstores and from the publisher.

(click to enlarge)

More From ComicsAlliance