Darren Davis, President and Editor-in Chief for Bluewater, chatted with me earlier today about this project.
TheoFantastique: Another blog made me aware of your forthcoming series, and I was intrigued by it, so I’m glad to have you come by and share a little about it. The curious thing is that I saw one website which thought that connecting Vincent Price to a series of comics was strange, but to me it seems almost like a stroke of genius. I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before. There’s such a close relationship between comics and film and television that it seems like a great thing to do to tap into that body of work and that legacy. What was your inspiration for creating this project?
Darren Davis: We started off working with Ray Harryhausen and we developed a line of comics, everything from Wrath of the Titans to 20 Million Miles More, sequels to a lot of the things Ray Harryhausen created. Those did really well, and we didn’t want to do adaptations of things and we wanted to take a new step and continue the stories that Ray Harryhausen created. As we are in our second year of self-publishing now we thought let’s broaden ourselves. We started thinking about it and who would be the next classic person that we could bring back to a new generation, because what we really want to do with these is we want fans of traditional Harryhausen films to feel like we did a good job with the films that weren’t just turning and burning stuff. But we also wanted to introduce a new generation of readers to Ray Harryhausen. So what we wanted to do with Vincent Price was the same thing. He was on a very short list of people we wanted to do stuff with, and we contacted a website to find his estate, and then we contacted his daughter, Victoria, and she loved the idea of doing this.
TheoFantastique: Since this is going to be something new as you draw upon Price’s legacy and body of work and connect that to new storytelling, are you going to pick up stories from his films and retell them or are they going to be sources of inspiration for new stories? How are you going to bring that legacy into the present for new storytelling?
Darren Davis: I keep going back to Ray Harryhausen because that was our learning experience for this. What we’re going to do is a plethora of things. We’re going to start off doing inspiratinal pieces that are based on Gotchic horror, and then we’re going to do some of the stuff that is based on his films. We just struck up a deal with Legend Films which is repackaging a lot of the Vincent Price moves and colorizing them for the first time, but they do such a great job on colorization, like with some of Ray Harryhausen’s films, and this is not like the Turner Classic Movies days of colorization, you couldn’t tell these colorized films weren’t done originally in color. The first film that we’re doing a sequel to is The Last Man on Earth. And we have plans for things like The Raven and other titles as well. We’re also going to be doing new stories with Vincent Price playing a part. It’s going to be a plethora of different things.
TheoFantastique: What artists and writers are you planning on involving in this project?
Darren Davis: We have a couple of them, one of the guys wer’e working with is Daniel Crosier, and he is doing a book for us called Bartholomew of the Scissors, and we also just announced that we’re doing a book with Distortions Unlimited, which is a horror prop company, and he’s also doing the book on that as well. And then we’re also working with Chad Helder who wrote Bartholomew of the Scissors, and his love for Vincent Price and his creations makes him the perfect person for this project.
TheoFantastique: Do you have a hope that this series will not only please fans familiar with Price’s work, but also like with the Harryhausen series, do you have a hope that this new series will introduce a whole new generation to the work of Vincent Price?
Darren Davis: We do. Especially now with a lot of his DVDs cming out, a lot of the Roger Corman material is coming out again. In 2010 it will be Vince Price’s 100th birthday, so his daughter and estate are planning a gigantic resurgence for him, so we fell timing wise into a good time with this.
I’ll be honest. When I was a kid Vincent Price scared the hell out of me. I have a tendency to be really scared with Gothic horror. My brother used to chase me around the house with the Dracula novelization. So my brother kept them downstairs in the basement when we were growing up. He would always make me watch these Gothic horror Vincent Price movies, and this always frightened me, but not with blood and gore or anything like that. That’s what we want the new generation to see. There’s a place for Saw, and Hostel, but that’s not the kind of stories we want to tell. We want to go with the Gothic horror where you can show more with less.
TheoFantastique: I think there’s a place for that. Culture is constantly changing in its desires for different expressions of horror as it cycles through, and perhaps we’re moving away from explicit-gore horror to more of the Gothic. So your new project seems well positioned in a number of ways. Thank you again, Darren, for sharing about the forthcoming “Vincent Price presents” series.