Nosferatu is a Graphic Novel that takes the classic 1922 silent horror film and retells the story for a modern generation.
We caught up with writer, Christopher Wolf, to talk about the upcoming graphic novel.
Horror News Network: Have you always been a fan of the 1922 film, Nosferatu?
Christopher Wolf: As a child, I first saw the visage of Count Orlok on television. Of course, my gut reaction was discomfort. Suffice to say he did not win me over. His appearance was almost comedic to me due to the rat fangs and saucer eyes, but he was still very unsettling to look at. As often happens, childhood fear later transformed into morbid interest... Now that I can actually appreciate the film, I would definitely classify myself as a fan.
Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept of this book?
Christopher Wolf: I had been speaking with Jessie Garza at Viper Comics about some horror-themed books they were planning to produce. Almost immediately I was working on how to "reimagine" Nosferatu for a modern setting and audience. It just kind of happened. I complain often about modern "reimaginings" of classic films, so essentially I wanted to create something that was both a love letter to fans of Nosferatu and a tongue-in-cheek letter of complaint about Hollywood revamps.
Horror News Network: Are there any differences between the original vampire from the movie and the Count Orlock in your graphic novel?
Christopher Wolf: Definitely. First of all, ours talks a lot more often! The fact is that you can't "Out-Orlok" Max Shreck, so going into this I knew that our version of the character would be different from the original. Our Orlok is a bit of a fetishist with a penchant for torture, disease, and of course plenty of blood. He's also a bit more active and willing to get his hands dirty in a fight. Don't worry, however... at no time does Count Orlok rap or ride a skateboard.
Horror News Network: What can you tell us about the main characters in this story, Tommy and Elle?
Christopher Wolf: Tommy is a young woman who has found her true calling in the form of professional photography. She's clever, sarcastic, and a spitfire... someone who would conceivably travel halfway around the world just because there are some interesting pictures to take. Elle is Tommy's girlfriend and #1 model. She's a bit more introverted, but very loyal and stable in comparison to Tommy's adventure-seeking nature. Yes, they're a couple. Early on in the creative process, it was clear to me that I'd put a twist on the "male creature pursues female victim" concept. It's not so much that I decided Tommy & Elle had to be a same-sex couple... they just were from the start.
Horror News Network: Do you feel any extra pressure about writing since Nosferatu is a horror classic?
Christopher Wolf: I didn't feel it until someone happened to mention something like... "Well, devout fans aren't going to like it no matter what you do." Ha ha. At that point, I realized... Holy crap, I've put my own fingerprints on a decades-old classic! I hope no one finds and stabs me!
Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of blood and guts in this book?
Christopher Wolf: Actually, there's blood... but not much guts. One of the things I took into consideration was the overall tone of the film. They achieved true horror without exploding prop heads or pig entrails spilled onto the soundstage floor. I suppose I tried to keep relatively close to those boundaries. With this Graphic Novel you may not see anyone ripped in half, but you'll get plenty of slit throats and blood spatter. Definitely worth the price of admission.
Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of extras (pin-ups, etc) in the book?
Christopher Wolf: Wow... We have some really cool treats at the end of the book. Justin Wayne (pencils) and Sal Nieto (colors) really knocked some pin-ups out of the park. A few of them even serve as chapter breaks. Readers will also find a bunch of concept sketches that show the process of character creation. There's a ton of personality in Justin's early sketches, and we hope it gives people a little thrill to see how everything evolved.
Horror News Network: How is it working with Justin Wayne?
Christopher Wolf: There was a point in time where he kept asking to be let out of the shackles, and that was a bit annoying... something about sores that weren't healing... but other than that it was great. After plugging away at this "breaking into comics" thing for many years now, it really is a treat to find an illustrator who well and truly "gets" everything you're going for. The characters came out perfectly almost from the word "Go", and it seemed like we were really operating on the same wavelength.
Horror News Network: What has impressed you the most with his art?
Christopher Wolf: Honestly, I seem to take secret pleasure in making an illustrator's life difficult. What's great about Justin is that whenever I had written something that made me feel like I was asking too much, Justin would come back with everything I was thinking of and more. I feel like this guy is ten steps ahead of my every selfish story-writing whim. Frankly, it enrages me!
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more information on Nosferatu?
Christopher Wolf: There are several ways to keep up with the book. Obviously, checking out ViperComics.com would be a good start, since they were so kind as to publish us. Next, the actual Nosferatu GN website would be BookOfVampires.com, a direct reference to the actual book seen in the 1922 film. Last but certainly not least, Count Orlok has joined the digital age with a Facebook Page.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Nosferatu?
Christopher Wolf: Well, it's been a long, spooky road to get here... I like to say that the GN is "88 Years in the Making" since the film was released in 1922, but in actuality about two years went into this. It's definitely a labor of love and I sincerely hope that comes through in the end. Other than that, I guess I could mention that the book is in stores November 2010... "Nosvember", as it were... and that the Diamond Order Code is SEP101161 ! Ha!
Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, Christopher! Best of luck with the vampire graphic novel, Nosferatu! Comment on this article on our forum.