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Graphic Novel Weekly 5/9/19: Interview with James W. Powell, Writer of ‘House of Fear’

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Welcome back to another version of Graphic Novel Weekly! I hope the final week has treated you nicely! You’ve in for a treat this week, as I’ll be chatting with James W. Powell, the writer of Home of Worry: Assault of the Killer Snowmen and Other Spooky Tales, releasing next week from Darkish Horse. We speak horror comics, artwork, and convey comic creation into the classroom. Maintain reading for extra. And, as all the time, you’ll find each Graphic Novel Weekly column right here.

Coming Subsequent Week

Subsequent week, Graphic Novel Weekly shall be bringing you an entire stack of critiques, together with new titles from Darkish Horse, Europe Comics, Humanoids, DC, IDW, AHOY, Dynamite, and more!
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Home of Worry: Attack of the Killer Snowmen and Other Creepy Stories

Writer: James Powell
Pencils: Jethro Morales, Adrián Bago González, James Hislope
Inks: Mike Erandio, Adrián Bago González, James Hislope
Publisher: Darkish Horse
Buy: Digital – Bodily
Home of Worry: Attack of the Killer Snowmen and Different Spooky Stories is an actual throwback, like EC horror filtered via R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps collection. Included in this collection are five single issue-length horror tales meant for middle readers. Powell has found the correct stability between spooky, silly, and kid-friendly to make this e-book successful for Archie readers in search of just a little extra pleasure of their comics. Whereas there isn’t an over-arching plot for me to tease here, tales in House of Worry embrace evil snowmen and haunted houses, alongside with different fun spooky tales, and the art here is implausible. Morales does the majority of the pencil work, and it has the correct quantity of type to provide this collection a fun, dynamic feel while nonetheless making some awesome wanting evil snowmen. I undoubtedly encourage young horror followers to examine this e-book out.
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Interview with James W. Powell

Hi James, Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with Graphic Novel Weekly!

I had lots of fun with Home of Worry. What made a set of younger reader-friendly horror stories appealing to you?  Did you got down to write Home of Worry, or did it just occur serendipitously with the stories in your head?

Truly, I had no intention of writing comics for young readers. Not till my son, Daxton, who was in kindergarten at the time, asked me why I didn’t write something he might learn.

I had just finished writing the primary draft of a graphic novel when he asked me. He had seen the covers and flipped via a number of pages of my comics, but he hadn’t learn any yet because I assumed the themes have been inappropriate for his age.

Still, he was my largest fan and strongest supporter, so I decided to put in writing something particularly for him and his associates.

He was born on Halloween, so I figured, what higher genre than horror?

After we completed the primary comic, “The Curse of Cottonwood Ct.,” I printed a couple of copies and handed them round to trick or treaters. The native youngsters enjoyed it, so I made a decision to make one other one.

The more I made, the extra I obtained into the groove. As it turns out, these scary comics for teenagers are a ton of enjoyable to create. And with constructive feedback continuing to return in, I discover myself eager to make much more.

There were so many nice callbacks to older horror anthology collection, such because the caretaker of the House of Worry who introduces the tales. Are you an enormous fan of previous horror comics? Do you’ve got a favourite collection?

I didn’t learn many scary comics as a child. I principally targeted on Star Wars and tremendous hero titles.

In highschool, I acquired ahold of a number of EC horror comics, however I wasn’t studying comics closely on the time, in order that they didn’t make an influence. Later, as an grownup, I rediscovered some of those same comics, and I noticed how cool they have been.

With House of Worry, I needed to mimic some of the issues I enjoyed about these previous horror comics, but create them for teenagers. Which is weird to say figuring out that lots of youngsters learn EC comics in the 40s and 50s. However reading them at this time, as a mother or father, I can’t consider how dark some of them are. There’s lots of grownup themes and ugly shocks in those issues.

So yeah, the host is certainly a throwback. And so is the title itself. A lot of adults will see those connections, however for teenagers, that is all new territory.

And who knows. Perhaps youngsters will enjoy the House of Worry stories sufficient that they’ll ultimately monitor down some of these older horror comics, too.

I understand that the stories collected right here have been previously revealed by one other publisher. How did it come about that you simply and Darkish Horse obtained this ebook onto shelves?

I initially set out to self-publish the comics underneath my TEN31 Publishing banner, which I created for the collection as a delicate reference to my favourite scary vacation.

The more I created and bought at conventions, the extra constructive feedback I heard from the group. Neighborhood youngsters would ask me when the subsequent situation got here out, and fogeys I met at conventions would e-mail me asking the same factor.

Ultimately, I noticed there might be a a lot bigger viewers for House of Worry out there. So I pitched the thought to Dark Horse and here we are, a yr later, with the primary volume about to hit comedian outlets and bookstores.

The artwork here was spectacular. What lead you to Jethro Morales’ art?

Years in the past, Jethro responded to at least one of my posts on a comic messaging board. I used to be in search of an artist for a army science fiction comedian. When he shared his portfolio with me, I knew my search was over. His strains have been simply so clear and consistent.

I requested him to do the comic with me, and it become The Boy Who Needed Struggle, my first full-length comic.

Years later, once I determined to do extra of these scary comics for teenagers, I reached out to see if he needed to do a problem.

At first I assumed I’d have a special artist on every story, however before he even finished drawing “Attack of the Killer Snowmen,” I asked him if he’d have time to do one other problem.

In fact, House of Worry wouldn’t be the same without the other artists on the workforce. Mike Erandio’s inks are unimaginable, and Josh Jensen’s colours really make the stories pop. The strains and colours provide a pleasant stability between kid-friendly and horror.

Matt Krotzer never ceases to amaze me with the lettering, both. If anyone thinks lettering type isn’t necessary to comics should see what Matt can do to offer voice and sound.

And of course, James Hislope attracts the Boyle bookend pages. The character has actually come to life for me because of the attention James provides the creepy caretaker.

And I can’t overlook Adrián Bago González. He drew the first House of Worry story. The one which started all of it. His fashion is ideal for this sort of thing, and I’m glad he helped get this entire thing started.

How a lot fun was it creating a story with your son?

It was an unimaginable experience. Simply probably the most fun I’ve had making comics.

Once I first determined to write down a comic for teenagers his age, I asked him for ideas. We had just moved to a brand new town, and as we talked, he stated he’d need to learn a narrative a few kid who moved in subsequent to a haunted home.

Together we mapped out some primary concepts, and then I went to work. At the dinner desk over the subsequent few days, I’d tell him where I was with the script and ask him what should occur next.

At the time, he really appreciated the thought of an alien invasion. And being only five on the time, he didn’t perceive why I couldn’t put Darth Vader into the story.  So, yeah, I had to guide him again on course typically, however for probably the most part, his concepts have been surprisingly spot on.

We went forwards and backwards collectively for a few week. Lastly, when all the things was in place, I requested, “Okay, how does it end?”

His response is strictly what appears within the story. It’s something I never would’ve come up with alone, however it’s precisely how the characters would get out of their predicament.

We’ve only absolutely collaborated on the one story, “The Curse of Cottonwood Ct.,” however Daxton has been an integral half of all five of the tales within the Darkish Horse ebook. Every time I acquired stuck, or once I wanted a kid’s perspective, I’d ask for his input.

It’s part of why I’m enjoying these comics so much. I get to create something cool with my son, and watch him develop as a storyteller, too.

I do know that you simply wish to run packages in class around creating comics. Are you able to speak about that a bit, what you do and the way it has been acquired? And, for many who are within the schooling area *COUGH COUGH*me*COUGH*, how may academics incorporate your work and presentation into their lecture rooms?

I began by attending a Profession Day session at an area elementary faculty. I talked with college students concerning the comic-making process, strolling them via every step from concept to printed comic.

It was funny to see their faces mild up once they realized that someone’s dad is on the market making comics. I don’t assume many of the youthful youngsters imagined an precise human behind their favorite stories.

Since then, I’ve stuck to the essential points about making comics, increasing the small print for the older youngsters. But I’ve found myself starting to focus extra on displaying youngsters that anybody could make comics.

I inform them that I work with creators from around the globe, however in actuality, you are able to do it your self or with a good friend. If you want to make a comic, all you actually need is a bit of paper and a crayon.

These days, I even broaden to speak about other art. Music. Dance. Anything artistic. Doing any of that’s as straightforward, and as troublesome, as going out there and doing it.

I informed a current class about my day job, and the way it differs from the creativity behind comics. So even that’s a lesson youngsters can study from.

The academics I’ve met with are incredibly supportive of their college students. Youngsters really can do anything they set their minds to. And I feel I can present an instance of how one can proceed to create art as an grownup.

A couple of weeks in the past, I sat with a gaggle of students who attended my unique Career Day periods. Since then, they’ve shaped their very own comic club that meets as soon as every week after faculty. They make their very own comics, help each other, and set up a mini-convention to sell the comics they’ve printed.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I inspired them to make comics, nevertheless it does really feel good understanding I had a small roll in all of it.

What’s next for you? Will there be a follow-up volume of Home of Worry?

If the response to the first quantity is robust sufficient, there will definitely be a volume two. We’ve finished two tales already, and I’ve written two extra. So we’re nicely on our means.

As I stated earlier, I take pleasure in making them, and I’ll maintain doing so as long as there are children out there studying them.

Thanks once more! Something you need to get in earlier than we wrap up?

Thanks for talking with me concerning the guide. One of the objectives I’ve for these stories is to get my son desirous about scary stories, in order that at some point, we’ll be watching horror films within the theater collectively.

I know there are other mother and father who need the same factor, and I’m hoping House of Worry offers them a fun method to introduce the style to their youngsters.

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Luke Forney and/or GeekDad acquired copies of each of the graphic novels included in this listing for assessment purposes. In case you are reading this article anyplace aside from on GeekDad or GeekMom, then you’re reading a replica not approved by the writer. Please take a look at other Graphic Novel Weekly articles at www.geekdad.com

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