Rhee is coming and writer Dirk Manning explains why we should all be excited.
Five Questions with Dirk Manning
What is TALES OF MR. RHEE?
First and foremost TALES OF MR. RHEE is a horror-noir series about a cryptic paranormal troubleshooter who goes by the moniker "Mr. Rhee" (get it?). As readers follow the series, though, they'll also discover that it also takes place in the NIGHTMARE WORLD universe... although that's more or less just a "bonus" for the people who liked NIGHTMARE WORLD.
The whole point of TALES OF MR. RHEE is that it's a brand-new stand-alone series about a guy who people call when, for all intents and purposes, it's already too late to hope for a happy ending. That being said, though, as the series goes on there will be a few characters popping-up who will look familiar to people who liked NIGHTMARE WORLD.
Speaking of NIGHTMARE WORLD, we've handled this series in a similar fashion, telling our tales in eight-page chapters. Unlike the former, though, TALES OF MR. RHEE exclusively follows the adventures of our main character Mr. Rhee and is told in a much more straight-forward and chronological fashion.
Who is the creative team behind TALES OF MR. RHEE?
The whole series is written by me, illustrated by the uber-prolific NIGHTMARE WORLD artist Josh Ross (who rocked such stories as "Mine," "Disasterpiece" and "Preys Be the Lured" among several others) and lettered by the fantastic Jim Reddington. Colorist and artist Austin McKinley has done the grayscales for the first six chapters, and since Austin and I are going to be working on some new projects together we're having another NIGHTMARE WORLD alumni come in to color the last seven chapters, following in the tone and feel Austin has given it, of course. Much as was the case with NIGHTMARE WORLD, TALES OF MR. RHEE is also by and large a family affair, you know? [laughs]
Why do you think readers will like TALES OF MR. RHEE?
Everyone I know who has read NIGHTMARE WORLD pretty-much goes crazy about it (in a good way), but at the same time people have asked me for years when I'm going to start telling stories that follow one main character rather than the giant ensemble cast we had in that series... and this is what TALES OF MR. RHEE delivers: 13 eight-page stories that all follow the adventure of one central character... and man, what a character he is. [laughs]
Mr. Rhee is a very... "cool"... guy – in the literal sense, I mean. I'm not sure how else to describe him, really. He rarely says more than he has to and you're never quite sure where you stand with him. He shows-up, does what he feels he needs to do (regardless of whether or not it's what people WANT him to do) and leaves. He doesn't mince words, he doesn't take any crap from anyone and he has no problem fighting with either his fists or magic... or both at the same time! [laughs]
We learn a lot about him as the series progresses... but one of the things that happens is that every answer leads to more questions about him. Why does he do this? What lead him to this lonely lot in life? There are all questions that will be explored as he encounters other sorcerers, demons, vampires, ghosts, Cthuloids and even a few characters last seen in NIGHTMARE WORLD... for starters.
Oh... and just wait until you all learn about The P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group. Heh.
Where did TALES OF MR. RHEE first appear?
We originally debuted TALES OF MR. RHEE way back on 6-6-06 when we were still self-publishing NIGHTMARE WORLD online at our own site – and the response was immediate and overwhelming. People quickly fell in love with the character and were very vocal about their passion for him and his stories.
We ran the first six stories online before NIGHTMARE WORLD was picked-up by Jim Valentino of Image Comics' Shadowline imprint, which lead to us having to take a break from publishing the series online so we could focus our attention on re-launching NIGHTMARE WORLD with Shadowline both online and then in-print.
We've never stopped working on TALES OF MR. RHEE, though, and now that we're finishing the prep-work on the third (and final) NIGHTMARE WORLD print collection we were able to re-release TALES OF MR. RHEE, and in doing so both Josh Ross went back and re-mastered a lot of the art and I've gone back and tightened-up a lot of the dialogue.
The result is a new RHEE-ding, errr... reading experience for everyone involved.
When can readers expect to see the web comic and how often?
TALES OF MR. RHEE is being serialized online both here at The Outhouse and at Shadowline's newly RHEE-designed– sorry, redesigned – website www.ShadowlineOnline.com at the rate of two-pages a week, with one page posting every Tuesday and Thursday.
However, in order to get my friends at The Outhouse all "caught-up" we'll be posting pages at the accelerated rate of a page a day for a few weeks. Once The Outhouse is caught-up with Shadowline we'll then post the pages here and there at the same time – one page every Tuesday and Thursday without fail, leading to a new full chapter unfolding every month.
It's a fun series written with this kind of serialized storytelling and delivery in mind, too, so I think all my friends here at The Outhouse will RHEE-ly – sorry, really – enjoy being able to RHEE-d – err, read – the pages as they post twice a week.