Flesh and Blood Book 3 Interview with Robert Tinnell

by Rob Caprilozzi

Victor Frankenstein mysteriously reappears, unchanged since his last meeting with Van Helsing fifty years earlier. Their reunion is interrupted when Frankenstein crosses paths with another famous scientific visionary and the brutish fiend who is somehow connected with him. Frankenstein performs a bold experiment, but with completely unexpected results.

We caught up with writer, Robert Tinnell to talk about the third part of the graphic novel series.

Horror News Network: Can you give our readers a summary of what has happened so far in this amazing graphic novel series?

Robert Tinnell: Neil Vokes and I set out to create a world wherein the figures from classic British horror – both literature and film – inhabit the same universe. The jumping off point in book one is the climax of the 19th century lesbian vampire novella CARMILLA – the destruction of the titular vampire, which sets in motion a chain of events we envision lasting over a century (in the fictional world, of course). Within a short time a young Van Helsing, Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory, a werewolf and an ever-growing list of characters are swept up in what has become a pretty epic storyline – including a rendition of the climax of the novel, DRACULA. I’m scared to give away much more than that! Other than to say there’s tons of action, horror, and, um, Neil’s wonderfully drawn, um, girls.

Horror News Network: What can we expect from Victor Frankenstein this time around?

Robert Tinnell: Bad behavior. Our take on the good doctor is not that he sacrifices everything for the good of mankind. He’s not that interested. He’s not utterly without redemption, mind you – but his insatiable curiosity leads to trouble more often than not. In the beginning of episode three, he has hopes of actually collaborating with another brilliant mind – but that partnership ends before it begins and quite violently. Of course, Victor can never leave well enough alone, so…I should also point out that another character who figures in minor fashion in book 2 comes to prominence in book 3 and not in a very positive way…

Horror News Network: Will we see any new faces in this book?

Robert Tinnell: While we like our core group of characters, readers should know that no one is safe – as books one and two proved. You can’t tell a story that covers tens and tens of decades and not have people – characters you care about – die. By the same token, you need to meet new folks as well, and you absolutely will. Book three also sets up a new mystery and new enemies – some surprising, some not-so-much. More to the point, we are setting up events in this book that will not be paid off until far down the road…

Horror News Network: The first two books were loaded with red blood. Will book three follow suit?

Robert Tinnell: No, we want to try and clean things up. Just kidding. It’s pretty brutal. I will say that book three, to me at least, is the one wherein I think people will say – “wait, so that’s what it is!” Because we are moving into new territory and expanding the mythology beyond vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein’s lab work. You’ll start to really grasp the scope of what we are attempting…I will say this – Neil just keeps pushing himself and if you are a student of comics – if you appreciate good panel-to-panel storytelling – you’ll be in heaven. His work is just superb. And he’s getting great support from Matt Webb’s fabulous colors. We feel Matt’s a storyteller on the book as much as we are.

Horror News Network: Has there been any talk at this point in adapting this series into some other medium (ie: film)?

Robert Tinnell: There’s always talk – but as I understand it Showtime suddenly has a show something like FnB so I don’t know where that leaves us. But then I always tell people, if you want to try and get a movie made write a script and shop it around. Doing it as a comic – in my experience – is the long way around! This is probably the one medium wherein Neil and I can pursue our ambitions with a story this vast without interference or budgetary constraints. Hell, I want to do a comic about gardening, so I’m probably not a good person to ask about anything. As I said before, I just think that the medium of comics still offers a lot of unique storytelling opportunities and that’s what draws me back again and again. I know some folks freaked a little when we leapt forward fifty years near the last third of book 2. But to my mind, if I can’t play here, if I can’t indulge my whims and experiment and try things to challenge myself, Neil and the audience, why do it? I want to keep messing with expectations. I want the book to surprise me – because I have to tell you, given how many screenplays I’ve written and how many comics and how much writing I’ve taught – it’s tough to surprise me and I really appreciate it when that happens. I think most of our readers feel the same…

Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about Flesh and Blood Book 3?

Robert Tinnell: How about Dan Brereton’s stunning cover, for starters? I can’t stop looking at it. As with our other volumes, FLESH AND BLOOD 3 is packed with entertainment. In addition to the main story we have the next chapter of OPERATION SATAN, which Bob Hall is drawing masterfully, and chapter 2 of BARON FRANKENSTEIN. The latter is brilliantly drawn and colored by Adrian Salmon with whom I created the character Terry Sharp. Terry is a sixties’ director of British horror movies by day and tireless battler of a Satanic conspiracy by night, and BARON FRANKENSTEIN is meant to be his “film.” I love doing short tight stories and both OS and BF give me that opportunity and I’m so grateful to Bob and Ade for giving so much. Plus we have our usual text pieces – we all feel FnB is a better read when context is provided so we look for ways to enhance the experience. Neil and I are both fans of things like the Marvel black and white mags of the seventies – remember how they had cool articles about things like Hammer films in books like DRACULA LIVES!? That really drives us. Plus my old friend, Tom Savini, wrote a very nice introduction…

Otherwise – Support Monsterverse! Kerry Gammill and Sam Park are building a solid little company with real integrity and they kill themselves on this book.

Horror News Network: Thank you for your time Robert! Best of luck with Flesh and Blood Book 3!

Leave a Comment