Father Sebastiaan and one of his vampyre ladies.
Our friends the vampyres were at New York Comic Con again this year, so for nostalgia’s sake, we went through our archives and pulled out our interview from the first time we met them. If you had the chance to interview a vampyre, what would you ask?
One of the beauties of conventions like New York Comic Con is the sheer variety of people who attend. Whether they’re fans or professionals, everyone at Comic Con has a story to tell. Case in point: Father Sebastiaan. Father Sebastiaan, you see, is a vampyre. In fact, he’s a leading figure in the vampire subculture, a lifestyle that pulls its principles from the positive aspects of the vampire mythology. Father Sebastiaan is a big deal in the vampire world—he’s the Master Fangsmith of a group called the Sabretooth Clan. That’s right: He makes fangs. He even made a pair for me!
We met Father Sebastiaan at Comic Con, where he sat down with us and chatted about what exactly it means to live life as a vampyre. You may have noticed, by the way, that when talking about him, I’ve been spelling “vampyre” with a y. That’s because Father Sebastiaan and the members of the Sabretooth Clan—who, by the way, are largely Father Sebastiaan’s fang client base—prefer to use the 19th century spelling of the word, which uses a “y” instead of the more modern “i.” And before you ask, no, the Sabretooth Clan doesn’t endorse the actual drinking of blood.
But are you curious about what the life of a vampyre entails? Then read on for Betty’s very own Interview with the Vampyre!
Let’s start with the origin story: How did you end up on this life path?
That’s a long story! I remember I had my first encounter was when I was twelve. I had a series of migraine headaches—and I had a vision of writing a red book. I didn’t know what it was, but it had something to do with horror movies and vampyres. It had a couple of elements to it: Mystery. Love. Passion. Romance. And at twelve years old, understanding what these things were was a little difficult. But it was about something with a primal nature, something that brought out the beast in people, but which was still tamed. As we grow older and we evolve—well, the older we get, the better we know each other, hopefully. So, the primal element is kind of like the side of us that consists of something that’s born, and then dies. It’s the cycle of life.
So vampyres were always like, screw that! I’m going to continue to evolve! Imagine having a thousand years to evolve, but still being able to maintain innocence. Transhumanism, posthumanism, and the coming singularity are elements of what we do. It’s actually not just making plastic teeth. It’s the fact that you and I could potentially be immortal. And that relates to everything the vampyre stands for: Immortality.
By “immortality,” though, you don’t just mean “I will live for a thousand years,” do you?
Well, imagine progress happening instantaneously—it’s like that. In the last 150 years, since Lord Byron wrote “The Vampyre,” we’ve seen the vampyre mythology become such a part of what we are that we can’t escape it. The unique position that I have is, I get to sit down with thousands of people around the world that are embracing this vision—and they embrace it so much that they sit down and open their mouth for me and let me make fangs for them.
You’ve just released a book called Vampyre Virtues: The Red Veils. What’s the best way to look at the Virtues? Are they sort of a life philosophy or a code of conduct?
The vampire represents seven or eight core principles, or Virtues. It’s a positive life philosophy—it’s about self-control and mastery of yourself. It’s really an introverted and narcissistic system; vampyres love to look in the mirror. They can’t help it: After they get their fangs… well, you’ll go through this after you get your teeth.
Is first time a vampyre sees themselves with their fangs—what you call in the book “the Rite of the Mirror”—a big moment?
Oh, it’s huge.
Watch me get my own fangs next!