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?
Justin 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?
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
The Big Bad Wolf: Who are the main characters in the comic?
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?
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?
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?
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.
The Big Bad Wolf: When is the release date?
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?
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: Who’s the creative team on the book?
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?
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
The Big Bad Wolf: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about The Eternal:
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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