For some time we did not want to respond to these false narratives perpetuated by people who were not there or if they were there played very minor roles and are now seeking to change the history to make themselves look better.
But unfortunately it seems these inaccuracies are taking a life of their own in the dark reaches of the internet and without light and disinfectant they are dangerously becoming the story. I know because I am Heidi's brother and I was there.
Heidi was a forerunner and pioneer in Cosplay and costuming. In addition to Vampirella, she appeared as many other characters, including Wilma Deering and Sheena, Queen of The Jungle.
We were a creative family. My father was a well-known SF editor and anthologist, and my mother was a writer and costume and wig designer for professional opera companies.
Heidi and I were happy and willing participants in the creative arts and at that young age dressing as our favorite Comic and Science Fiction characters seemed to be a no-brainer and one way for us to participate among and with all the well known and joyous artists and writers at Science Fiction gatherings.
There was NO Stage Mother and NO Stage Father pushing us along. I appeared as Young Tarzan at numerous conventions and often won First Prize in the Best Presentation Young Category including at The World Con in Boston.
Funny, and the peanut gallery forbid, I appeared in leopard loincloth shorts with no shirt, just as a young Tarzan would. No Me TOO moment there people--I guess because unlike the guys, there were not a whole lot of adolescent and frustrated young women casting ulterior motives and ugly pseudo sexual aspersions my way, and I am thankful for that.
Heidi has a very proud, reserved, dignified and non-nonchalant manner about her and if people take that to mean she was not a happy participant in the creative arts they are sorely wrong.
Vampirella: Here is the truth of the matter. Forest J Ackerman created the character and Jim Warren published Vampirella. They were friends of my family. Forry was not godfather to Heidi. Ackerman and Warren did not owe my family any favors. Ackerman and Warren were Creatives and also Businessman.
They came to us to see if Heidi would appear as Vampirella at the very conventions that were the forerunners of today's Massive Comic Cons, where now everyone from young to old appears in costume promoting and appearing as their favorite characters. In this endeavor Ackerman and Warren and Heidi were visionaries.
By the way, Ackerman himself appeared in costume at the very first World Con in 1939 so costuming was part of his DNA. Perdita Boardman was hired to make the Vampirella costume with design input from Warren and my mother, and Perdita was given credit for the work and was paid for her work. The Vampirella costume was nothing more revealing than a one piece bathing suit. Lascivious and lecherous thoughts can only be attributed to the losers who had these thoughts.
The presentation and costume were very successful and Heidi received positive coverage in the press ranging from New York, The NY Daily News to Paris, Paris Match. Angelique Trouvere, stage name Destiny, appeared at some conventions in her own version of the Vampirella costume. A much more revealing costume.
At that time in the science fiction community Destiny was thought by some people to be a stripper, and Ackerman was not happy about these appearances and thought that she sullied his creation. Ackerman and Warren, as the creators and publishers of the character had every right to sanction the version of Vampirella that they wanted presented.
Angelique's current conclusion that my family was jealous of her and mean to her when she sometimes made simultaneous Vampirella appearances at conventions is laughable. She really was a minor character, along with Manny Maris. We can't believe that this character is still slithering around.
Maris for some deranged reason decided to publish as addendum in The Creation program an adolescent and sadistic "poem" - if you can even call it that, and he attached to this piece some random picture of a sexually suggestive blond girl which was cribbed from Screw Magazine, or some other unsavory piece of trash, and which attacked Heidi and her mother.
The supposed "poem" included the schoolyard taunt of "Seidi Hahaha." Disgusting. When my father first checked into the convention venue and saw this sick hit job he sought out Maris, found him, and picked him up and threw him against the wall. Maris is lucky my father chose this action rather than having him arrested and sued. He was then ejected and banned from The Convention.
This is a true Me Too Moment. But here again a minor low life not worthy of further discussion.
The Heidi Book and Poster: Again Ackerman's and Warren's vision as creative SF businessman. They did not commission these items as some sort of favor to us. Come on people--think, It's a business. The book and poster were advertised and sold through Warren Magazines. Apparently they did achieve some success with these items as they are still talked about and command high prices in the resale market.
Look through the book--nothing revealing or inappropriate. The book consists primarily of family pictures (with various family friends and SF dignitaries like Gene Roddenberry and Arthur C. Clarke) and pictures of Heidi in various fully unrevealing costumes.
Vampirella, The Heidi Book, and The Heidi Poster were a small part of Heidi's life at this time. She had multiple other interests and multiple artistic skills--poetry and painting among them. She ultimately grew bored with costuming and the tedious and puerile reactions from the riffraff, but she still attended conventions throughout the world. She also lived for a time in Los Angeles and developed and discussed film projects with John Huston, Roger Corman, and George Pal, among others in which she would have starred, but here again she decided to move on and focus on a more private and ultimately more rewarding side of her life and creativity.