If you ever wanted to know anything about the comic book industry, this is an interview you don't want to miss! Part 1 can be found here.
I am continuing on from last week's interview with a graphics novel industry lesson being taught by the president of Sequential Pulp Comics, an imprint and co-publisher of Dark Horse Comics. This is Michael Hudson, Pulp Fiction Part Deux.
Caption: MARTIN POWELL'S THE HALLOWEEN LEGION written by Martin Powell. Art by Thomas Boatwright. Characters created by and copyright Martin Powell.
AH: How much intuition goes into creating the story and do you take anything from your own personal life adapting it into a fictitious world?
MH: First off thus far I am not writing any of our current books in the works. I'm just publishing at present. But I can address this by saying that all of our books thus far with the exception of one, THE HALLOWEEN LEGION, are adaptations or are derivatives from original source material. Martin's own words regarding his HALLOWEEN LEGION are, "Every character in the HL books are based upon real people who have somehow touched my life in a positive way. They're the real stars." Sometimes adaptations can be more daunting than writing original material in that the writer has to remain true to the spirit and intent of the original author and his material. So much of our material was written in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and as such requires careful consideration in just how to translate that to an audience today and make it first off appealing and secondly palatable to the social mores of today's audience. Sometimes that requires a writer to drop a character or to revise a character even as far as changing gender if it furthers the storyline and tells a story that will grab today's audience.
In doing this, our writers invariably insert some of their own feelings with regards to a particular character they may be wiring about. But they must always remain true to the spirit and intent of the original because our audience would not be happy if we didn't respect the source material. A good example would be our THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES graphic novel, which is now in the lettering stage of production. The Sherlock Holmes fans have been following the process of this book from the start and they are very vocal about what we are doing. If they perceive that we are not adhering to canon then they let us know. Thank God, our writer knows Holmes inside and out and our artist has done his homework with regards to period attire and even to the authenticity of the sets that our characters play out their roles in. Fans are going to make sure you do it right or they won't come back. A great deal of intuition comes into play when determining all that goes into making an adaptation work.
Caption: TARZAN AT THE EARTH'S CORE. Adapted by Martin Powell and illustrated by Tim Burgard. Tarzan At The Earth's Core © Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., Tarzan ® TM owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission. Coming soon from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.
AH: What's oozing down the creative, colorful, geeky pipeline now and propelling into the future you can share with your readers and fans?
MH: We have twenty-three (23) graphic novels in the works at present and more in the talking stages. I know that is a lot but it takes so much time from the licensing to the actual production of a book that one must keep adding to the mix so that one day we don't wake up with nothing on our plate. Our first book, Tim Conrad's adaptation of Victor Hugo's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will solicit in February's edition of Diamond's PREVIEWS catalog and will be in comic book stores June 20 and in bookstores July 20. This will be Tim's first comics work in over twenty years and he has not missed a beat. Following that will be Martin Powell and Jamie Chase's take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. We are very excited about our licensing relationship with Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., which will bring forth an initial six ERB books including TARZAN AT THE EARTH'S CORE.
Sketches for THE ETERNAL SAVAGE. Adapted by Martin Powell and illustrated by Steven Gordon. Authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. Coming your way soon from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.
Many of these will be released on the 100th anniversary of their original publication date. I am excited about our licensing with the Richard Prather Estate and his character, Shell Scott. Fredric Brown's MARTIANS, GO HOME is moving along nicely with artist Lowell Isaac and the project is a ton of fun to be a part of. We have Manly Wade Wellman's SILVER JOHN character coming your way in a graphic novel comprised of a handful of shorter works as adapted by Jim and Becky Beard and illustrated by Thomas Boatwright. Mark Ellis and Pablo Marcos are working on an amazing adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Neal Vokes has a Lovecraftian horror that has never seen adaptation before coming our way soon. I can't wait for him to begin work on it. Listen, I'm a geek when it comes to all of this and what we are doing. I can talk about this all day and you don't have the publication space for it anyway. So I'll leave you with we have so much more in the works and in the talking stages that will see print over the next few years.
Caption: CASPAK, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT. Adapted by Martin Powell and illustrated by Will Meugniot. Authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. Coming your way soon from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.
We're having a ball and thinking outside the box all the way. Look for Sequential Pulp and our creators at various conventions starting this year. We will also have a presence with our products at the Dark Horse booth. Please visit us online as our fans and friends are important to us. Without them we'd be nowhere. We look forward to meeting new friends and pulp lovers as we continue on our publishing journey. Alexandra, I want to thank you for taking the time to put together such great questions. It has been a pleasure meeting you. I look forward to reading your book and will make sure you are on our list of reviewers.
To continue your journey with SPC visit them online at http://www.sequentialpulpcomics.com blog at http://www.sequentialpulpcomics.blogspot.com/ Facebook at the Sequential Pulp Comics Group Page and Twitter: @SequentialPulp
Follow Alexandra Holzer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlexandraHolzer