As I was a child of the 80’s I can remember going with my mom to the local video store. There were current releases as well as classics but one of my favorite sections to peruse was the horror section. These painted covers promised tales of the living dead, bizarre creatures and of course psychopaths covered in blood. Devil’s Due Publishing wants to revisit that part of history with their new series entitled Lord of Gore. We caught up with D.B. Stanley and Daniel Leister asked them some questions about this upcoming project.
TR: Please introduce yourselves.
DB: Hello, Comix Asylum inmates. My name is D. B. Stanley. I’m a life-long comics fan attempting to turn comics writer. Lord of Gore was one of the best of my slate of ideas back when I was failing miserably as a screenwriter. While I hope for more success as a comic book writer, if I don’t achieve it, at least I’ll be failing miserably in a different medium.
DL: I’m Daniel Leister Comic Book Illustrator, I have been working in the industry for the past 10 years working on titles such as Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Ash, Hack/Slash the Wonderland series and my new series from Devil’s Due Lord of Gore.
TR: Give us a bit of info about Devil’s Due and some iconic projects they have taken.
DB: Devil’s Due Entertainment is a company that under founder Josh Blaylock has been a mini-major with big licensed books like G. I. Joe, or the Army of Darkness/Ash franchise. They’re not that now, and I think that’s for the best. That stuff’s all right, but there are enough people doing that already. I see Lord of Gore in the same spirit as one of DDE’s greatest achievements, Hack/Slash. I hope we can bring the same level of clever invention and originality that Tim Seeley along with all his artists (including Lord of Gore’s own Daniel Leister) brought to the genre. It was the thrill of my life to have Tim Seeley agree to do the alternate cover for the first issue of Gore. Incredibly gracious of him.
DL: I’ve actually had a little experience with Devil’s Due when I worked on Hack/Slash. The promotional work they have been doing for the Lord of Gore series has been great! I’m more than happy with the work they have been doing there to help get the book out there into readers’ hands. One of the projects I loved is when we were working on G.I. Joe years ago. That was an amazing title to bring to DDP.
TR: Please tell us about your latest project, Lord of Gore.
DB: Lord of Gore is about a fictional series of medieval slasher films featuring The Headsman… Bigger than Michael Myers. Bigger than Freddy. Bigger than JAY– Well, nobody’s bigger than Jason. The writer of these films finds out he’s getting the axe (heh, heh), then comes into possession of a video tape that proves that the most famous effects scene from the original film – the drawing and quartering of a witch – was an actual murder. Before he can decide whether to do the right thing with the tape, or use it for personal gain, The Headsman comes calling…
DL: Lord of Gore is a Horror Thriller story set in the Horror Movie industry. A lot of fun characters and a good who done it story.
TR: What were some of the inspirations for Lord of Gore?
DB: My inspirations for the book lie in my love of slasher films… of course, but the book itself is really more crime than horror… which roots it in giallo — The often sleazy, always stylish and sexy Italian murder mysteries which proliferated in the late Sixties and early Seventies… themselves a forerunner to the slashers. Brian DePalma’s American gialli from the very early Eighties, especially Dressed to Kill and Blow Out, are favorites of mine, and were often playing – both onscreen and in my mind – while I was writing Lord of Gore.
DL: As Doug and I talked about the series he was interested in revisiting the old Creepy and Eerie horror magazine style. I enjoyed the idea of it and wanted to play with some different techniques I haven’t really used before and mostly wanted to play around and have fun with the title.
TR: If this is going to be published why is there a Kickstarter for it?
DB: As to why a Kickstarter for a book that’s already being published… We have to look at how the book began. A few years ago, I met Dan Leister at a horror convention. Familiar with his work from Hack/Slash, we chatted a bit, and my friend commissioned him to do a piece featuring Cassie Hack vs. Jason. That thing arrived a week later, and it was gorgeous. It was at that point that I dusted off the first third of a screenplay I’d written called – you guessed it – Lord of Gore, and pitched it to Daniel. He was interested, but needed to be paid a page rate, as he’s a professional. I budgeted for six black and white issues… figured I could get an old school Warren Publishing feel, and save some scratch on the color. To that end, Daniel did a bunch of great tonal work with the art, until the first issue looked great black and white.
Daniel takes it to Josh at Devil’s Due, where I’m expected to deliver a finished book… we get close to a deal, and Josh asks who the colorist is. Uhhhh… shit. It turned out great, because color artist, Sean Forney, has been great, and I can’t imagine the book without his contribution. His work has really melded with Daniel’s tones. I couldn’t be more pleased. So, to answer your question, the money is mostly for the colors I didn’t want to pay for, but am now glad I have. And it grew by a few issues. There’s also that.
DL: I think Devil’s Due wanted to get as much of a buzz going as they could and hopefully it will help with the promotion of the book.
TR: What are some of the goals of this Kickstarter and some of the stretch goals you are offering?
DB: There’s a lot of nice swag for Kickstarter contributors — I mentioned the Tim Seeley variant cover, which is worth the price of admission by itself. Daniel’s working up some sketch covers, and there are multiple print and poster packages, not to mention the original art from the first issue (featuring the 1st appearances of The Headsman character.) The T-shirts are pretty dope, as well. Looking forward to getting one of those for myself. If you really want the book, $10 (plus postage) will get you a signed copy sent to your door. Distribution will most likely be spotty (new books are generally under-ordered), so it’s an affordable way to ensure that you get a copy.
DL: One I thought would have been cool would be a black and white magazine format like the old horror mags. That would have been cool to see printed.
TR: What would be DDP’s dream project? What would you love to make?
DB: My dream project involves two hitmen, a banker, a stripper, her protege, a giant Nazi enforcer, gambling, and murder… lots of murder. The pitch is Scarface with baseball, and it takes place in the Eighties… early Eighties. Reagan first term. I think it would be a lot of fun. I wrote it as a film script years ago with a friend from film school who ended up being best man at my wedding. If only we had an artist… Oh, Daniel.
TR: Anything else you want to tell our readers?
DB: If you love fright flicks, slasher films, gialli, murder mysteries, or just good stories please check out Lord of Gore. Hell, if you don’t like my writing at all, buy it for Daniel & Sean’s art. It’s that good… just, please… for the love of God… buy it. Don’t make me go back to working at Target.
DL: Please go check out the book, it’s a lot of fun!
If you want to know more about this project and support it you can go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/585093821/lord-of-gore?ref=category and support a great new project. Who knows? This might be the first of many creative titles that we see coming out of DDP.