What do you get when you throw three murderers into one prison cell together? Well, when those characters happen to be based on the likenesses of celebrities FRANK VINCENT (Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Sopranos), MARKY RAMONE (formerly of The Ramones) and BREA GRANT (Heroes, Dexter), you can bet that the outcome will be anything but ordinary. From the creator of IDW Publishingís hit series Crawl to Me, comes Alan Robertís KILLOGY; an off-the-wall, genre-busting mash-up of crime, dark comedy and horror.
We caught up with creator, Alan Robert, to talk about the upcoming series, Killogy.
Horror News Network: How did Killogy come about?
Alan Robert: I was wrapping up my "Crawl to Me" series for IDW late last year while simultaneously working on a bunch of short stories. I've always been a big fan of "The Twilight Zone" and wanted to do my own series in that vein. At first the three stories I focused on telling were not related. They were just stand-alone horror tales. But as I developed the idea, I came up with an interesting way to connect them all. That's when I presented "Killogy" to IDW. IDW happen to be my favorite comics publisher and my go-to guys when I have new ideas. They immediately gave me the green light and we put a deal in place.
Early this year, I started working on the character designs for "Killogy." I kept coming up with drawings that resembled certain celebrities. The main characters I designed looked very much like Frank Vincent ("Goodfellas," "The Sopranos"), musician Marky Ramone (legendary drummer from The Ramones) and actress Brea Grant ("Heroes," "Dexter"). The more I thought about it, the more excited I got to actually approach these people to see if they wanted to be part of it. I've never seen this done in comics before - basing original characters on actual people. Sure enough, one by one they all agreed to sign on and here we are, just a few months away from the release. I've been crankin' out pages every day and am very excited on how this is coming together. It's a blast drawing these guys and I really think that their addition to the project has given life and credibility to the characters. The reader will automatically have their voices in their head while reading the dialogue. It's a lot of fun.
Horror News Network: Can you give us a synopsis of the book?
Alan Robert: It's the story of three accused felons stuck overnight in a police holding cell together. The precinct in which they're being held goes strangely quiet while they're there and the characters are left on their own without supervision or food for some time. Tension builds as the three get more and more agitated with their situation. Eventually a fight breaks out amongst them. Through their shouting, they discover that the events leading to their arrests are all mysteriously intertwined. There are some supernatural details uncovered leading to a very unexpected finale.
The three tales follow the stories of Sally Sno-Cones (Frank Vincent), a mob hitman haunted by his evil past, Cole Edwards (Marky Ramone), a down-on-his-luck former gambler who's involved in a diamond heist, and Summer Rhoades (Brea Grant), a distraught girl accused of killing her lover and who's quickly losing her grip on reality.
Horror News Network: How different was it as a writer to scribe this story which is based on the likeness of real people as opposed to totally fictional characters in your other books, "Wire Hangers" and "Crawl to Me"?
Alan Robert: I tell ya, it's been a lot of fun. For one thing, I did a lot of research before starting, which gave me a better handle on these characters. Listening to interviews from these stars helped a lot to get their lingo and mannerisms just right. It's interesting to draw them in these new situations because I feel like these characters already exist. With my other books, I got to know the characters as they evolved during the creation process. I'm definitely in a different state of mind when writing "Killogy" than I am with my other works.
The cool thing is, I really think that by using these celebs in the story, the reader goes into the book with a real sense of who these people are, starting on page one. Like I said, you can hear their voices in your head while you're reading it.† Fans of theirs should be pretty happy to see them in this series, too. For instance, Frank Vincent's character appears in the book as fans of "Goodfellas" and "The Sopranos" would expect him to appear. He's as sarcastic and angry as you'd expect him to be by the roles he's played in the past, and has a real mean streak that runs deep.
Horror News Network: What kind of input did Frank Vincent, Marky Ramone and Brea Grant have on this book?
Alan Robert: All three stars were very open to the ideas I presented them for how the series would play out. Marky especially loved that his character's murder weapon would be a baseball bat. That gave him a real laugh. It's been awesome to bounce ideas off of them. I've been a Ramones fan my whole life and grew up on all the mob movies Frank's been in, so it's been pretty amazing so far. Every now and then, I post some in-progress drawings from the series on Twitter (@arobert) and Brea chimes in on how much her character looks like her. It's very cool.
Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of blood and guts?
Alan Robert: At the end of the day, I'm a serious horror junkie, so you can bet on a steady stream of gore in "Killogy." With the three different stories, I've had the chance to draw pretty much all the monsters, blood and guts I'd ever want to. The artwork is done in a very different style than my other books too, so that's been interesting and challenging at the same time. There are a lot of fine details included in "Killogy" as compared to the very atmospheric approach of "Crawl to Me" and "Wire Hangers." The style in this one is more reminiscent of Mike Mignola and Frank Miller. This was a very conscious decision before I began the book. I was really looking to give this series a very distinct, classic look and feel.
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more information about Killogy?
Alan Robert: The official website is: http://www.killogycomic.com and I'm always on Twitter posting behind the scenes stuff at http://www.twitter.com/arobert
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Killogy?
Alan Robert: Well, I definitely wanna thank you guys for all the support with all of my projects these past few years! "Killogy" is gonna hit comic shops starting in October, so if you're a fan of horror, "The Twilight Zone," "Goodfellas," The Ramones, "Dexter," or my other comics, you should definitely give it a shot. I'm extremely psyched to get it out there and I'll be at San Diego Comic Con at the IDW booth meeting folks and talking about it. If you're out at SDCC, swing by and say hello! Thanks so much! For more info on my appearances hit me up at http://www.alanrobert.com
Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, Alan. Have a comment? Post it here.