Bruce Brown, writer of Arcana Studios' Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom
chats with The Outhouse about his January debuting original graphic novel! Bruce Brown has spent the last five years cementing his status as an up-and-coming comic book writer. His absolutely charming new all-ages graphic novel, Howard Lovecraft & The Frozen Kingdom, comes out in January, and is currently solicited in Diamond's October Previews, order code OCT09 0688. Bruce took a seat in The Outhouse to talk to us about it, as well as writing in today's comic book market.You've described Howard Lovecraft & The Frozen Kingdom as "an all ages introduction to Lovecraft." What was your introduction to his writing? What do you think Lovecraft holds for younger readers?
I co-wrote a script with Dwight L. MacPherson and it was a Lovecraftian story based on a short
story he had written. Before we started, he had asked if I was a Lovecraft fan and I had to admit, I had never read any of his work. So, before I could work on that script, I basically had to take a crash course on H.P. Lovecraft's stories. I clearly learned why the world considers him the 20th century's Edgar Allan Poe.
As far as Lovecraft for younger readers, I would say it depends on the age of the reader. There comes a time in your life when you learn to appreciate a really scary story. Now in all honesty, Lovecraft holds very little for younger readers, which is exactly why I wrote this. I wanted to pique younger readers' interest in this writer so when that day arrives and they want to read a very chilling story, they would get it from the master of horror himself!How did you go about writing a tale of adventure starring a young HP Lovecraft? Did you do any research into his life? What was it like writing a fictional story using somebody who really existed as the main character?
Whenever I find an author whose work I love to read, I become interested in the person behind the tale. I have always believed that a story is a reflection of the author and their life. After finding out about Lovecraft's tales of incomprehensible horror, I began to read up on the writer himself and found him to be extremely interesting.
H.P. Lovecraft was a child prodigy whose father suffered a complete psychotic breakdown at the age of three. I began to think of the powerful impact that would have on a child. As a comic writer, I immediately thought of Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman) who was forever altered by a traumatic event experienced as a child.
Then, I began to research on what type of person Lovecraft was as an adult. While he was an extremely reclusive person in his later years, he corresponded with several writers and they all seemed to recall a dry, offbeat sense of humor. So, when I wrote Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom, I took all those above factors into account into the creation of Howard Lovecraft as a character.
I definitely felt a responsibility towards Lovecraft fans since I was writing about their beloved author in my story; let alone, I was writing about him when he was six years old! How would you describe the tone of the graphic novel?
I would say that The Frozen Kingdom
has some very dark elements punctuated with a surprising amount of humor to it. It definitely is filled with other-worldly fantasy and is rich in twists and turns. If you are a Lovecraft fan or never heard of him, there is something in The Frozen Kingdom
for you!How long did it take you to work on the story?
I honestly cannot remember how long it took to write this, but I can say it came to me very quickly. Some stories just pour out of you and this was definitely one of them. There was just something special about this story.
What can you tell us about the artist, Renzo Podesta? How did you guys work together?
Renzo is an amazing artist who I worked with on a short story for a horror anthology for Arcana titled Velvet Rope. I wanted to work with him again so I approached him about The Frozen Kingdom
. The book and its unique look would not be the same without his amazing talent added to it. He is truly one of a kind and a tremendous talent!
How did this story land at Arcana Studios?
I genuinely credit Sean O'Reilly with realizing the full potential of this book with his publishing house.
Honestly, Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom was something never done before and is extremely unique and Sean recognized this and fell in love with the book as I had.Tell us a bit about yourself as a writer. How did you get into writing? What else have you written? What kinds of things would you like to write in the future?
I began comic writing five years ago by entering a writing contest offered by Marvel. I received words of encouragement from someone who worked there to continue on. But honestly, in the end, it was my love of this genre that pushed me forward; I am passionate about this form of storytelling.
I have co-written a book that came out with Shadowline Image called M-Theory, as well
as another book coming out with Arcana called Jack and the Zombie Box. I love writing all ages books because they are so much fun, but I have written horror, super hero books and I am open to anything that the story sparks something within me. What kinds of things do you like to read?
As a comic writer, I tend to read comics. I am a huge fan of Christopher Priest and Alan Moore. But of course, I thoroughly enjoy Lovecraft's work as well as other horror writers like Anne Rice. I really enjoy children's literature. Who couldn't, even when they get older, not enjoy Where the Wild Things Are
or The Cat in the Hat?What are your thoughts on the comic book industry today? Where would you like to see it go?
It is a challenging time for the comic book industry. It is very tough to compete with video games and
hundreds of channels on television. I would say the industry's greatest challenge is bringing in younger
readers; that is imperative for the survival of the industry.Anything else you'd like to let us know? Lay it all out right here!
Well, first and foremost, I would like to thank the good people at theouthousers.com for this chance to
share more about Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom. I would also like to thank Arcana and my good friend Dwight L. Macpherson who has been such an immense help to me over the years.
But most importantly, I would say that if this book piques your interest that, you have to order it because in indie comics, if you do not order it, there is a good chance the book won't be in your shops when it comes out. Any websites, blogs, etc. where we can learn more about you and your work?
Well, you can find me online many places! First there is the Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom
forum on Arcana's boards. http://www.arcanacomics.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=46&sid=41edefee2c9d781b13533a80854c27cf
You can also find the official myspace page of Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom here.
I can also be found on facebook and twitter and a slew of forums throughout the online community. The Outhouse thanks Bruce Brown for taking the time out of his schedule to talk to us!
Howard Lovecraft & The Frozen Kingdom comes out January 6th from Arcana Studios for $12.95 and appears in Diamond's Previews right now, order code OCT09 0688!
Click here for an advance review!