Viking warrior women? Where can you go wrong?! Check out the official release for Heathen from writer and artist Natasha Alterici below and stick around for a preview of the trade and a special interview from Previews World with her. You can now buy volumes one and two of Heathen and get ready because it’s headed to the big scene!
Viking, Warrior, Outcast, Heathen…
From critically acclaimed creator Natasha Alterici (Gotham Academy)
Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women; and she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin. After being banished, Aydis sets sail on the open sea to reach Heimdall, the magical entrance to the land of the gods. She’ll need the help of a crew of worldly pirate women and man-eating mermaids to survive the dangerous journey. Back on land, the cursed Valkyrie Brynhild and the goddess of love Freyja are chipping away at Odin’s power, testing the god-king’s patience and tempting his wrath.
Heathen is currently in development to be a live-action movie. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood, Thirteen) for Constatin Film and Prime Universe Films, Hardwicke will direct from a screenplay by Kerry Willamson (Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross and Netflix’s What Happened to Monday?)
“Natasha has created an instant classic which smartly ties into the current socio-political zeitgeist while being a first-rate, timeless adventure story,” Askarieh said when Deadline first broke the news about the project. “Not only is it a great passion of ours to bring Heathen to the big screen, but also a true honor.”
Natasha Discusses Heathen
Diamond: For those who are not familiar, can you give us some background on the premise of Heathen?
Natasha Alterici: Heathen is about a Viking girl who is made to leave her village for the crime of kissing another woman. Instead of wallowing, she uses her banishment as an opportunity to right some wrongs. She starts by freeing the cursed Valkyrie Brynhild, and enlisting her to her cause.
What inspired you to write about the Norse gods?
Mythology is very powerful, so I wanted to draw from that well. When I was doing my early research I discovered the story of Brynhild, this powerful Valkyrie cursed to marry a mortal man, and was immediately inspired. What if this time she was rescued by a woman? That was it, I knew this was the story.
There is a lot of content to unpack regarding several themes include the patriarchy and LGBTQ+ struggles and relationships. What was the importance of anchoring these in this story?
These are the issues that matter most to me, as a queer woman living in a patriarchal society. I’m not interested in writing stories that don’t feature people like me, and don’t at least try to make the world a more equitable place.
What is your favorite part about creating Heathen?
A lot of the characters come from mythology, but for many there is very little written about them. Some maybe get one or two lines, a footnote to a larger story but nothing further. So for these characters I get to use my imagination to flesh them out, make them come alive.
If you had to choose, who is your favorite character?
Probably Saga, he’s sassy and loyal and as fun to write as he is to draw.