Flesh and Blood interview with Robert Tinnell
FLESH AND BLOOD Volume One begins with the bloody destruction of the legendary vampire, the darkly seductive Carmilla. Her death ignites an epic firestorm of events that draws the greatest icons of Gothic horror into battle across the lush backdrop of 19th century Europe. At the center of this ghastly conflict Baron Victor Frankenstein is forced to merge his diabolical scientific prowess with the black arts of a terrifying supernatural world. This unholy war between light and darkness will not be measured in months or years but across centuries of horror and devastation until one force reigns triumphant. Vampires, werewolves and scientific monsters are unleashed like nothing seen before in film, comics or literature.
As Hammer and other studios enlarged upon the Universal horror canon bringing a sexier maturity to the world's most terrifying monsters along with a more realistic savagery to the violent action, FLESH AND BLOOD brings a modern update to these classic creatures.
We caught up with writer, Robert Tinnell, to talk about Flesh and Blood.
Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept for Flesh and Blood?
Robert Tinnell: I’d be lying if I said I could pinpoint the moment I think it was when a project
Neil and I were doing with Adrian Salmon (with whom I did the Terry Sharp stories)
fell apart – we were adapting short versions of Dracula and Frankenstein. Anyway, we
still wanted to do something in a similar vein. And clearly I love monster rallies
and Neil loves monster rallies – I broke into comics with The Black Forest which I
co-wrote with Todd Livingston and Neil, of course, drew the book and it was kind of
an ultimate monster rally. However, where we were heavily influenced by and paying
tribute to the Universal Golden Age of Classic Horror and German Expressionist
approach to horror movies in The Black Forest, Flesh and Blood is more rooted in the
world of the original novels. Much the way sixties British horror films went back
to the source. And like the latter, Flesh and Blood is, um, naughtier. And the
thing is – we always talk about what would have been like if those films had had
crossovers between the major horror icons – with that sensibility. Like – what if
Hammer had had their Dracula and Frankenstein meet up with, say, Carmilla and a
vengeful werewolf and so on. What a film that would have been! And that’s what’s
Horror News Network: Will this be a four part graphic novel series?
Robert Tinnell: It will be. The story is entirely plotted and will take every bit of 300+ pages to
tell. More if you count some auxiliary storytelling we have planned. Plus we plan
on packing the books with extras – something I love as a fan of comics – I want to
see sketches, conceptual pieces, pin-ups, text pieces. So we’re pursuing those
things aggressively. Man, do we have some killer pin-ups already…
Horror News Network: How long will we have to wait in between graphic novels?
Robert Tinnell: The plan is for them to come out every four months or so – that way we put out this
first book in time for Halloween 2011 and volume four would hit in October of 2012.
Horror News Network: Can you tell us about the main characters in the book?
Robert Tinnell: Well, I can tell you a little about some of them. But honestly, I don’t want to give
too much away. I will tell you that the book starts at the climax of J. Sheridan
LeFanu’s CARMILLA – although we certainly take great liberties with the source –
with all the sources – but Carmilla is far from the only recognizable horror icon to
take part in this epic. Although she’s one of the most attractive. It is her death
that sets off a clash between good and evil (and the occasional character who flits
between the two)that lasts centuries.
Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of blood and guts?
Robert Tinnell: Neither of us is into gore for gore’s sake. That being said, the content of the
story – the logic of it – dictates it gets pretty visceral in places. A lot of
blood flows but it flows for a purpose. I’m having it both ways, aren’t I?
Horror News Network: Can you talk a bit about Neil Vokes artwork on this book?
Robert Tinnell: I think you can go back to what Neil did on PARLIAMENT OF JUSTICE - Mike Oeming
wrote it, Image put it out around 2003 - and you saw his style sort of leap to this
new level, one that was uniquely his. And he’s been refining it – striking a
balance between realism and expressive cartooning. And along the way he was working
on his storytelling – you can watch him pushing himself, experimenting, mastering
his panel-to-panel work. He’ll probably kill me for saying this but it’s my opinion
so, anyway, with Flesh and Blood he’s firing on all cylinders. If you’re a student
of panel-to-panel storytelling you’ll recognize the mastery in what he’s doing here.
And it’s getting better with every page. Originally, he wanted to do black and
white and I had to beg and plead – because everybody loves Neil’s black and white
work – especially the stuff with the ink wash. But he came around – in no small part
thanks to the super-talented Matt Webb who is coloring.
Horror News Network: Where can we find out more about Flesh and Blood?
Robert Tinnell: Monsterverse is leading the charge on this. Kerry and Sam are awesome – they work
ceaselessly on the book’s behalf. There’s a Facebook page and if you keep an eye
out you’ll see more promo material emerging. And I’ll be with them in San Diego for
the Monsterverse panel on Friday. And of course you can pre-order through Previews:
JUL111158 FLESH AND BLOOD GN VOL 01. I understand it’s right next to the ad for
Frank Miller’s HOLY TERROR. By the way, you can also pre-order Monsterverse’s
mega-cool horror anthology, BELA LUGOSI TALES FROM GRAVE #3 JUL111157.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Flesh and Blood?
Robert Tinnell: Honestly, I’m having a lot of fun writing it. It draws heavily on everything that
inspired me as a kid. It’s dark and creepy and sexy and has lots action. It
reminds me in some ways of the joy I found between the pages of my all-time favorite
comic, TOMB OF DRACULA. That sort of epic quality is something we’re definitely
going for. I’m just glad we found a company like Monsterverse who believe so
strongly in what we’re attempting.
Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, Robert. Comment on this interview here.
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Published on: 2011-07-12 (2013 reads)[ Go Back ]