Dan Braun Gets Comic Booked
Creepy Quarterly #8 hit the shelves earlier this month and I have the opportunity to ask editor and contributor, Dan Braun, about the latest release. There’s also a follow up to this week’s podcast interview with Dan from the 2011 New York Comic Con about bringing Creepy to movies and television.
The cover of Creepy Quarterly #8 is by one of your favorite Creepy artists, Richard Corben, who also happened to draw for Creepy in its first run from the 60s to the 80s. So, this one is a two-part question: Did Richard contact you to do the cover or the other way around? And secondarily, how does the image relate to the stories in this issue?
We have been crying, wishing and hoping to get Richard back into the fold since day one of the Creepy Quarterly. The image does not relate to any story in the book. We started working on a compilation of Corben’s work in Creepy last year with editor Philip Simon. Corben agreed to do an original cover for the book (which is coming out this summer) and he did two sketches. I inquired if he would be interested in letting us use the alternate image for the cover of Creepy Quarterly and he agreed. We are very excited to announce that there are tentative plans for Corben and Arcudi to contribute a story to an upcoming Creepy Quarterly. Every finger and toe we have is crossed that this will occur.
I’m happy to see that the Loathsome Lore tradition established in Creepy’s original run is being maintained in its revival. In this issue, you wrote the script for a two-page Loathsome Lore covering the evolution of music that would appeal to horror fans over the years. No doubt, your career in music had an influence here?
Pretty much every band I chronicled in Loathsome Lore was a band that I was a fan of. My first big rock concert I saw was Kiss. I saw the MAD at Max’s Kansas City and they blew my mind. Black Sabbath was the soundtrack to a certain period in my life. They say you should write what you know so being a musician myself this subject made sense. It’s hard to write such short condensed summations of bands that each deserve more about them, but that is the form of Loathsome Lore. Some readers who aren’t familiar with it as a running feature have been a bit mystified by it, but it’s a link to Creepy’s past and we will continue it.
Yes, I have written some stories in earlier Creepy Quarterlies and will be pitching more stories in the future.
The story Jenifer was pulled from the original Creepy archives and reprinted in this issue. It does have a timeless quality to it. Was that one of the reasons that factored into this decision and can we expect to see more resurrected stories in upcoming issues?
Yes, we have been running at least one or two classic tales in every issue. This harkens back to the 52 page DC 25¢ giants of the early 70s. I loved those issues and always welcomed the addition of hard-to-find stories from the DC library. We have gotten a great response with this concept and will continue to run the best of Creepy and Eerie as back up stories.
The stories in this issue feel balanced. There’s The Mausoleum, a gentle story about a forbidden love, Nineteen, a cautionary tale about mismanaging guilt, a story involving Lovecraft and Jenifer which is, well, downright creepy. When going through your selection process is the story balance a strong consideration?
The story balance is a very strong consideration. We have a new editorial team of Brendan Wright and Sierra Hahn, who are doing a fantastic job of wrangling some very unexpected creators like Collen Coover who haven’t been in the new Creepy. We all feel that Creepy #8 is hitting a new stride and we have some great momentum going into #9 and #10 with some really strong stories and artists coming up. A lot of thought goes into balancing and getting the right mix of stories and that includes the reprints as well.
There’s a Lovecraft-inspired story in here from Batman writer Doug Moench whose title, The Lurking Fate that Came to Lovecraft Part I, is distinctly Lovecraftian and pays homage to a beloved horror writer. Has Creepy run stories related to classic horror authors in the past? We’ll have Part II in the next release and can we anticipate other stories that focus on classic horror authors?
Classic Creepy and Eerie had Poe, Lovecraft and other classic adaptations. This one is almost a mash up but we would love to have direct adaptations of classic stories, although we haven’t done that yet in the Creepy Quarterly. The Lurking Fate, you’ll be interested to know is a three-part story that culminates in Creepy #10.
Vampires and zombies have become incredibly popular in Hollywood. In Creepy, they are few and far between and when they do make an appearance, there is always a non-sparkly twist. Where do you weigh in on the popularity? Is this good or bad for the horror genre?
I have purposely rejected all zombie stories for Creepy except Nicola Cuti’s Zombie Wedding at Slaughter Swamp which I found to be fresh and unusual. We haven’t yet found any story that has injected new “blood” into the genre. But we’ll keep looking. I am personally more into the original Dracula and even Francis Ford’s Dracula but if the right story comes along, we’ll do it. I’m not a huge fan of sexy young vampires. I hate True Blood and I kind of liked Twilight so this current fad is not moving me.
When I spoke to you at the New York Comic Con, you mentioned that Creepy is being brought to the big screen and television. Are there any updates you can share with us?
Hollywood development is hell, and that’s the hell we are in. However, we have just started pre-production on a low budget film based on an early story in Eerie. There are several bigger studio level productions in the works but nothing we can talk very openly about. There is a very strong interest right now in Creepy as a library to be mined for horror, sci-fi and fantasy content. But we simply won’t do anything that is sub-par so we have been almost too picky. My twin brother, Josh, and I are in the film business so we know the inner workings. He produced House of the Devil. We are patient enough to make sure the first movie based on any Creepy or Eerie properties are of the highest level creatively.
Cousin Eerie makes an appearance in the opening of this issue with a teaser for a summer release. When can we expect for a premier?
Eerie #1 is schedule to be released on July 4th this summer.