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Justin McConnell talks The Eternal: Final Dawn

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Samuel Gradius has lived too long. In his 500 years on earth he has seen empires rise and fall, changed the course of history with his bare hands and experienced countless revolutions first hand. Samuel Gradius is a vampire, perhaps the only vampire, and he's had enough. He wants to die.

We spoke with co-writer/developer, Justin McConnell about the comic.

The Big Bad Wolf: Can you give our readers a synopsis of The Eternal: Final Dawn?

Vampire comicJustin McConnell: The Eternal: Final Dawn tells the 500 year history of our principal character Samuel Gradius. It will act as a prequel to the feature film we're shooting this fall, following Samuel from his birth until the first moments of the film itself. It crosses multiple continents, cross-sects with events of both real history and known legend, and will hopefully be an original or at least somewhat fresh take on a tired genre: vampires. Vampires in our world follow the classical rules for the most part, but their origin, what they are and the world that they live in, will hopefully come across as unique.

The Big Bad Wolf: When is the movie due out?

Justin McConnell: Since we have yet to shoot it, I would expect sometime in 2010. Film is an interesting business, independent film especially. In order to generate the proper buzz and really get it out there you want to do at least a few major film festivals and let the word spread before unleashing it. You want people to see it.. so the best we can say is sometime in 2010 for it's wide release.

The Big Bad Wolf: Who are the main characters in the comic?

Justin McConnell: The tale is told literally in first person by Samuel Gradius, so he is the main character. Other characters come and go, and there is one major "character" within the book that we are simply not talking about yet. The narration comes from Samuel's perspective looking back on his life, so we get the jaded modern world viewpoint influencing the tale he tells. His life is one of many changes, much loss, not the least of which is his sanity. It should be a fun ride.

The Big Bad Wolf: What can we expect from this book in terms of blood and gore?

Justin McConnell: We aren't holding back at all with this project, with this world we're creating. The movie is going to be gory as hell, the short was pretty gory for the budget we had to work with, and I think the comic will be the bloodiest of the three. We don't have budget restrictions with illustration, and therefore we won't be censoring or limiting our scope, in any way. This is a book written for adults, and some twisted children (like me as a kid), and we aren't going to lessen the impact by keeping things "safe".

The Big Bad Wolf: Are these vampires turned or born vampires?

Justin McConnell: Every "vampire" in our mythology is turned. Not sired though... siring doesn't exist in our world. It's almost a blood-borne disease, more like a zombie infection. One bite turns. Which leads to some very interesting story choices, as vampires are very much like a plague. A timely take, considering the multiple pandemic scares facing the world today. Another important thing to note is that although the main character is a vampire, and the book is full of vampires - we're telling a story about the characters, not the mythology. The mythology is just the world everything happens in, the backdrop and the rules.. this isn't a "vampire" story. It's a horror story that has vampires in it.

The Big Bad Wolf: Is this an ongoing, or mini series?

Justin McConnell: The run of "Final Dawn" is planned as 12 issues, which are more like chapters. Total the book will amount to just shy of 200 pages, and in the end should be treated like a single graphic novel. It will be ongoing monthly, each issue.... but it really is a complete whole. vampire biting human

The Big Bad Wolf: When is the release date?

Justin McConnell: The first issue will be available to preview at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in Toronto this summer. It should appear online for free in the early fall. The plan is to release half of the issues online completely free, and then the rest will be release as a single volume, or possibly pay-per-issue. We haven't established that yet.

The Big Bad Wolf: How much is the book?

Justin McConnell: The first 6 issues are entirely free online in digital format. The printed versions of the whole book or individual issues have yet to be determined.

The Big Bad Wolf: Whos the creative team on the book?

Justin McConnell: The book is co-written/co-developed by myself, Adam Kenneth Wilson (who plays Samuel Gradius in the film & co-wrote the screenplay), and Kevin Hutchinson (long time creative partner & great FX guy with a long list of horror credits). Illustration is being done by the very talented Justin Erickson (key designer of Rue Morgue Magazine).

The Big Bad Wolf: Where can our readers find out more about The Eternal: Final Dawn?

Justin McConnell: They just need to keep checking the official website of the film: www.theeternalmovie.com. As updates become available, they will end up there first. There's a Facebook fanpage as well that they can join through that site.

The Big Bad Wolf: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about The Eternal: Final Dawn?

Justin McConnell: We hope you enjoy the world we're creating. Our goal is to bring the menace and darkness back to vampires. Ours don't sparkle. They tear you apart. And read closely, since we've established a world that intersects with most of our properties, and things mentioned in the graphic novel may end up popping up in future films and books to come. We believe we're laying the groundwork for a very interesting universe, and we hope you'll come along for the ride.

The Big Bad Wolf: Thank you for your time, Justin! Best of luck with The Eternal: Final Dawn!

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Published on: 2009-04-30 (2840 reads)

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