In the backwoods farmland of Rural-Nowhere USA there is screaming, sobbing, then silence. A breeze washes over a sea of grass. One group of nameless, college-aged fodder becomes the plaything of The Family. Cannibalistic sadists. Evil and cliche all at once. The day retreats. Night falls. Amid the torture and terror a killer arrives. Lucas. Massive, resolved, the nightmare of nightmares. Over the remaining hours of the night Lucas usurps The Family's reign. He overtakes their home, their routine, their confidence. He sends their twisted world in to chaos. One by one, the family bows to the finality of the judgment come against them.
We caught up with creator, David Murdoch, to talk about Lucas.
Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept for Lucas?
David Murdoch: I don't really think that I can pin the concept for Lucas on anything too specific. He's ultimately the fruit of a lifetime's worth of being influenced by horror and the growing disdain I'd been developing for cliche that was just seeming to drown so many of the slasher flicks I'd been wading through for a while. I'd really been hoping for something to come along that would offer me something that felt a little fresher. So for a while Lucas was really confined to this, want, I guess. The more I thought about it I found myself defining the character who would later become Lucas. I wanted something brutal and absolute. Something that would terrify me but that I could root for. I found myself playing out scenarios in my mind that have become so common in horror and conceiving ways to throw a wrench in to the works. Having been given enough time to gestate the light bulb went on. Lucas was that wrench. He's the one that can walk in to any nightmare situation and dismantle it, usurp it, whatever the hell he wants. From that point it was really a matter of defining a very familiar setting and using it to introduce him.
Horror News Network: What can you tell us about the character Lucas?
David Murdoch: Lucas is judgement and finality. He's massive, anesthetized, and unflinching. His drive is purely visceral. He's very much the embodiment of everything that's influenced how I've developed him, and he's also the antithesis to those very influences. The killer of killers, but no hero. Not by a long shot.
His presence and appearance is catastrophic. A tsunami that's been coasting in long before you see it reach shore. Once it's made landfall you can only hope to run and pray that the debris doesn't pummel you to death after the water has swallowed you. There is no stopping him. This part of him is really the focus in the book. There are other facets that I'd kept in mind but only mentioned, even vaguely, in this story. This introduction is carried out through "the family" being blindsided.
Horror News Network: What is this characters weapon of choice?
David Murdoch: Lucas wields a custom blade that appears to have been fashioned from the fender of a late model vehicle. He's very much a hands on kind of guy as well.
Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of blood and guts?
David Murdoch: This isn't really a blood and guts book in my opinion. When I started Lucas, the first thing I did was write it. I didn't begin illustrating anything, even concepts, until it was finished. The avenue I took allowed me to really focus on what I wanted to get in to the reader's head with words, and then let their imagination take it from there. Consequently, I think because of that there are lot more disturbing elements than I'd have been able to illustrate. I wanted to provide readers with something I hope will draw them in a little more. Enable them to fill in the blanks as they become the voyeur of the events taking place in the story. I even went as far as to recommend an audio track to start playing at one point later in the story. All in all there are six deaths, one having already taken place as the story opens, they are all handled differently. But ultimately I made the decision to work with words over art, and let the illustration play as the backdrop for them.
For example, I can give the reader a series of illustrations that depict someone being stabbed in the lower back. Killer rears back with knife, victim's eyes bug out with killer's hand cupped over their mouth, body slumps and blood drips off the tip of the blade. Or, I can write something that inspires me to illustrate a killer standing over a body in the form of something you've only caught a glimpse of and marry it with a narrative describing the way the victim's fat sucked on the blade as it was withdrawn from their kidney, followed by a subtle waft of copper and urine. And even follow that up with a remark that you wouldn't think something that smelled like that would taste so salty.
I hope this is giving people an idea of what to expect from the book.
Horror News Network: Would consider doing a follow up to this graphic novel?
David Murdoch: Absolutely. I have four other stories written for Lucas. It may be jumping the gun, having written them, but I'm eager to expand this world of his. Once this story was finished I found myself wondering what Lucas would do in a variety of scenarios. Two of the four stories are fairly short, one of which is very, very dark. One story is a blood and guts romp. The last of the four is his origin. I really want each of these stories to have their own feel and I've approached the writing differently with all of them. I think that a second book would reflect traditional influences a little more, aesthetically, but only so much. This entry is a series of paintings that are heavily narrated. I'm very happy with how this came out, but it's not a formula that I necessarily feel bound to with any kind of follow up. So, yes, given the opportunity I'm planning on pulling out all the stops and having some fun with this character.
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about Lucas?
David Murdoch: The two up-to-dates are my blog, http://www.davidmurdoch-art.blogspot.com/, and my Deviant Art page, http://www.dmurdoch.deviantart.com/. Those are both kept current with anything going on pertaining to Lucas and any other projects I'm involved in currently. Definitely keep an eye on them, there's a announcement planned that should be appearing soon.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Lucas?
David Murdoch: It's such an atypical piece in presentation and concept, there are those general fears about how it'll be received. But I'm really proud of this, and glad for the opportunity to get this out there. There are so many more stories to be told and I really feel this character has the ability to tread new ground, leaving one hell of a wake.
Horror News Network: Thanks for your time, David. have a comment? Post it here.