Next month will see the release of the final installment in Van Jensen‘s and Dusty Higgins‘ Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer series of books, Of Wood and Blood, Part Two. To mark this milestone as well as find out what creative projects he intends to pursue in the future, I cajoled longtime friend of the blog Jensen to do an interview. I was pleased to learn that while Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer is coming to a close, Joe Pimienta is illustrating Jensen’s upcoming graphic novel, The Leg. More immediately, Jensen will be busy this upcoming weekend in Atlanta–as he will be at Dragon*Con, so be sure to visit him if you are there.
Tim O’Shea: You’re ending Pinocchio on a high note, while the project seems to still be doing well. Why step away — and how hard was it to do?
Van Jensen: When Dusty and I were working on the first volume, I came up with this notion of how to explain where Pinocchio came from (the original story has him as a sentient piece of wood that is carved into a puppet, not a puppet that’s magically brought to life) and tie that into the origin of the vampires. We realized it would make a perfect contained storyline; the question was always whether the book would sell enough for us to explore the whole story.
If you’ve never read Bram Stoker’s Dracula–or even if you have–here’s some news that should warm your blood: Harper Design has released a new edition featuring illustrations by Demo artist Becky Cloonan. She shows off a few of the 50 illustrations she did for the book over on her blog. The book came out today, so look for it in finer bookstores everywhere.
Back when I interviewed novelist Daryl Gregory in February for my pop culture blog (TalkingwithTim) I found myself thinking: “I bet it’s not long before Gregory’s writing comics”. But to find out a few months later that he was teaming with one of my favorite comics writer, Kurt Busiek, still took me by surprise (in a positive way, promise). On August 25 (next Wednesday), BOOM! Studios will release the first issue of Busiek and Gregory’s Dracula: The Company Of Monsters #1. Back on August 9, CBR offered a preview of the first issue. As described there, the concept of the ongoing series is “A powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset…Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There’s a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame–and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It’s bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek brings an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos.” In addition to the preview, once you’ve read this interview with Gregory, be sure to enjoy CBR’s July 29 interview with Busiek about the project. All combined, with this info you’ll hopefully find a number of reasons to be on the lookout for the first issue next Wednesday.
Tim O’Shea: Did BOOM or Busiek contact you to join the project?
Daryl Gregory: Matt Gagnon from BOOM! contacted me. Chris Roberson, a friend of mine and a fantastic writer who’s doing a book for them (DUST TO DUST, the officially sanctioned prequel to DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRONIC SHEEP), basically forced my first novel into Matt’s hands. Kurt had pitched them his idea for Dracula but didn’t have room on his schedule to write it, and fortunately, something in Matt’s head went “ding!” When he asked me if I’d like to co-write a comic with Kurt Busiek, I thought about it for perhaps 2 nanoseconds. I’ve been a fan of Kurt’s since THUNDERBOLTS, and MARVELS was a huge influence on me.