Sometimes surviving just isn’t enough.
Coming in October, SURVIVORS’ CLUB is a brand new Vertigo series that answers the question—what happened to the children that survived the horror films of the 1980s? Chenzira, Simon, Alice, Kiri, Teo and Harvey each survived a run-in with the supernatural in their youth. Now as adults, they must band together to confront another deadly threat…that may have ties to their earlier experiences.
To learn more about this series and the creators behind it, we asked the creative team (yes, the full team) to answer a few questions of ours. Here’s what co-writers Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen, artist Ryan Kelly, colorist Eva de la Cruz and letterer Clem Robins had to say.
Tell us, briefly, how you would describe the book.
Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen: What if the ’80s horror movies were real and where are those kids today? It’s our love letter to horror while also subverting the conventions of the genre.
Eva de la Cruz: An intriguing horror story.
Clem Robins: One of the best Vertigo books I’ve ever been allowed to letter. Certainly among the top three. And I’ve been on some awfully good books.
Your main character could be the love child of _______ and________.
Lauren and Dale: We have six main characters:
Chenzira: Last Starfighter and Necronomicon
Simon: The Exorcist and Californication
Alice: Paris Hilton and Wednesday Addams
Kiri: The Ring and Dog the Bounty Hunter
Teo: Fright Night and Grey’s Anatomy
Harvey: Michael Myers and Tyler Durden
Can your main character change a tire?
Ryan Kelly: I think Harvey could change a tire. He's always in that old Ford truck. He seems to "live out of his car." He probably has one of those car emergency kits next to his machete.
What was your first Vertigo comic as a reader?
Ryan: I'm pretty sure it was DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING by Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham. The art in the book had a huge influence on me as I was developing as an artist.
Eva: DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING.
Lauren: THE SANDMAN. And V FOR VENDETTA.
Dale: V FOR VENDETTA. And SANDMAN.
Clem: THE INVISIBLES, although I stopped reading it after my friend Todd Klein took over the lettering.
When did you know for sure that comics were the thing you wanted to do?
Dale: Since I can remember. I used to pick up ragtag comics at the local café, whatever was available in a small town on the south coast of South Africa.
Lauren: I dreamed of writing for 2000AD, which saw me through my teenage years.
Ryan: In 1986, I was 10 years old and drawing my own monthly comic and Xeroxing copies for friends and charging 50 cents per copy like a boss. I just kept making comics into adulthood. I charge more now.
Eva: As soon as I colored my first page for my portfolio. I couldn't imagine I could make a living from something I enjoyed doing so much.
Clem: When I realized that nobody was going to give me a gig as a secret agent.
How does inspiration most often strike you?
Ryan: Although I start my workday at 8:00 a.m., inspiration doesn't really strike until 3 p.m. after many cups of coffee and much desperation.
Clem: If there really is such a thing as inspiration, I’ve never encountered it. I like doing the work I do. It’s fun. Does that count as inspiration?
Eva: While listening to music.
Dale: In the bath.
Lauren: In Dale’s bath. Don’t tell him I’m there, whispering to him through the plughole.
Eva de la Cruz
What is your favorite genre of comics to work in?
Dale: Horror or sci-fi. I’m also an insufferable true crime junkie.
Ryan: Supernatural drama. I like working on stories that have lots of good character drama but occasionally burst wide open with elements of dark magic or fantasy. That way, I can draw something cool and not just people talking.
Clem: I don’t particularly care about genres. What matters is if the artwork is good and, secondarily, if the writing’s good. SURVIVORS’ CLUB is first-rate in both respects. Which is fortunate, because with so much copy, I’d be slitting my wrists about now if the pictures and story weren’t so beautifully done.
Lauren: Kids. I had so much fun writing the Wonder Woman story set in Soweto, and my six-year-old daughter finally understood what I do for a living, because she can’t read any of my Vertigo work. She knows my J-horror twist on FABLES’ Rapunzel “is not for you, baby.”
Favorite Bond song of all time?
Clem: I didn’t know he could sing.
Dale: It’s a tie between “The Living Daylights” by a-ha and Duran Duran’s “A View To A Kill.”
Lauren: Yeah, those ones.
Ryan: "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran. It's so great and the video is like a mini-James Bond film. Actually...why wasn't Nick Rhodes cast as Bond? I want my Nick Rhodes James Bond film, dammit.
What's your favorite shade of black?
Dale: Mega black.
Lauren (to Dale): That’s not a real thing.
Dale: Sorry, I meant vantablack – so dark the human eye struggles to discern its shape and dimension.
Lauren (to Dale): Fine. You’ve won black.
Clem: I’ve recently added Ivory Black to my landscape painting palette, just to piss off my Impressionist friends.
Ryan: Mars Black. It's the most powerful black acrylic paint and named after the Greek god of war, so I feel like an invincible, immortal god-warrior when I use it.
People often say, “If I could go tell ten-year-old me that I work in comics, that kid would be stoked,” but if you could reverse it, and ten-year-old you could leave you something in a time capsule, what would that something be?
Clem: His hair.
Eva: My Gizmo stuffed toy.
Dale: A high five.
Lauren (to Dale): So, what, your ten-year-old self cut off his hand and left it in a capsule for you? Morbid, Dale.
Dale: And use my hand to grow a clone.
Lauren: I would leave the short story I wrote in third grade, which was about a misunderstood dragon who got killed by the ignorant villagers, so my future self could fully appreciate my ten-year-old self’s Total Awesome.
SURVIVORS’ CLUB #1 will be available on October 7, 2015 in print and as a digital download.