A HORROR/CRIME MASHUP THAT'S EQUAL PARTS OCEAN'S 11 AND THE SHINING.
Jackson T. Winters is one of the greatest criminal masterminds to ever live…except he's rotting in jail after his last, doomed score. But when a filthy rich collector breaks him out, he's tasked with putting together an elite team of paranormal experts to do the impossible: Steal a ghost from a haunted house of horrors!
We caught up with writer, Joshua Williamson to talk about his new series from Image Comics, Ghosted.
Horror News Network: The book is billed as Oceans 11 meets The Shining. Can you talk a bit about that?
Joshua Williamson: Ha, well I feel like that quick one liner says it all. A major part of the selling point of this book has been “Ocean’s 11 in a Haunted House instead of casino.” Of course, the Ocean’s 11 part is about a man getting a team together to set up a heist, and the Shining is that we go into a house with a deep history. One that has secrets and seems to have a life of its own. Since I love both those movies it seemed like a lot of fun to try and put then together.
Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept for this book?
Joshua Williamson: I’ve always been a bit obsessed with haunted houses and knew I wanted to do a book that took place in one. Just the visual of a haunted house had been on my mind of years. Eventually I knew I wanted to do a crime book that was about a break in at a haunted house. But I didn’t want to do just a normal slasher flick, or regular hiest. I wanted something smarter than that. Drove me crazy for months… why would someone try to break into a haunted house? What would it have that they would need to steal? Then it hit me:
The pieces started to fall together after that.
Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit more about the main character, Jackson T. Winters?
Joshua Williamson: Winters is a tortured soul. He might be a master criminal and I do compare him to Danny Ocean, but he is no George Clooney. He’s not a nice guy. He is there for the job. Very no nonsense but with a hint of a sense of humor about what is going on around him.. Been so much fun to write. Always loves writing the characters with a charming dark side.
The guy has been in jail for ten years after his last score went south and has developed… not really a death wish but an acceptance of death. He knows it’s coming for him and is ready for it. When he is broke out of prison for this new gig… it’s not his second chance at life, it’s his last. But does he even want it? That’s part of what we explore in the series.
But he’s not alone on this mission. The rest of the crew has their own haunted pasts and weird quarks and personalities that push the story along. A whole team of people that learn the hard way that you should never steal from a haunted house.
Horror News Network: Is this an ongoing or mini-series?
Joshua Williamson: It’s a mini but we hope that we’re able to do more series in the future. The concept of a super natural heist team has some legs.
Horror News Network: What can we expect from this book in terms of scares and things that go bump in the night?
Joshua Williamson: Jump scares are hard to pull off in comics, but we tried to make it feel a bit risky and spooky. To surprise people, y’know? Like the best horror stories it’s not so much about the monsters but the people. How far are people willing to go to get what they want? That being said… there are a few ghosts and ghoulies running around.
Horror News Network: Can you talk a bit about the artists joining you on this series?
Joshua Williamson: Goran Sudzuka has been amazing to work with. Ever since he did Outlaw Nation and Y the Last man with Vertigo, I’ve been a fan. When I first start talking with Skybound about the book they mentioned bringing Goran in, so from the get go I was super excited. Goran and I met up at NYCC 2011 and talked it out. We were both on the same page with the type of book we wanted to do. So from page one Goran and I have just clicked with the look and feel of the book. Saying I’ve been lucky to work with Goran on this book would be an understatement. He draws some of the creepiest scenes, and ads those little touches that the book needed.
Really can’t wait for you to see some of the stuff Goran came up with.
Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about you and this series?
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about Ghosted?
Joshua Williamson: Ghosted is everything you want from crime and horror. It’s got it all, shady characters, crooks, bad ass women, heists, monsters, ghosts, haunted houses, and just a bit of blood and gore.
For me this book has been a dream come true. Since I love the crime and horror genre’s it’s been awesome to do a book that showcases so much of both.
Horror News Network: Thanks for your time Joshua. Best of luck with this title!