The Strain: The Fall interview with David Lapham

by Rob Caprilozzi

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s failure to kill the Master—the ancient vampire behind the epidemic infesting New York City—has led the former alcoholic to relapse as the city burns around him. It’s the end of the world, but Eph, beaten but not dead, has still got to protect his son Zack from his mother, who’s now a bloodthirsty vampire that craves her child more than any artery.

We caught up with writer, David Lapham to talk about The Strain: The Fall.

Horror News Network: The core creative team returns on this series. As a writer, how important is that to you in your work?

David Lapham: I don't want to jinks us before were done, but it's a rare thing these days to have a writer/artist team that can last three or four issues in a row. It's a very, very special thing to have a constant team like this and what we'll have at the end is a complete work. A complete story. A complete world. I'm EXTREMELY grateful to be involved in this project and to have not only Huddleston but Dan Jackson and Clem Robins be a part of this with me. There came a point near the end of The Strain and especially as we start the Fall where I realized that both myself as a writer and Mike as the artist really clicked in with this world Del Toro and Hogan created. That, at least in the medium of comic s that we made this universe a bit of our own. I felt like I knew these characters and this world and I could see an ease in Mike's drawing and inking that he just mastered this.

Horror News Network: What can we expect in terms of debuting characters this time around?

David Lapham: There are a few new characters. A gangster named Creem and an old Luchador called The Silver Angel who play important roles. We'll see a bit more to the vampires. They're not all mindless creatures. It seems there's a hierarchy even among vampires. There are other characters who were seen only briefly in The Strain who take on a much larger role, like The Ancients and my favorite character in the overall series, a unique vampire named Mr. Quinlan. But mostly in The Strain we started with a big world and as it all hit the fan, we boiled things down to a core group. In the Fall we'll really learn about these characters more. Eph will undergo a big crisis of faith and identity as his family has fallen apart and his skills as a doctor are not nearly so valuable as the warrior skills of Fet and Gus.

Horror News Network: Dark Horse is billing this as an ongoing series. Does that mean after you adapt the entire series you will add new stories?

David Lapham: We have been talking about doing more stories with and about these characters and this world. The history of the vampires stretches back centuries and the scope of present events gets epic enough so that we're only seeing a small window of the world. We're working out ideas on that. In fact right now I'm working on a three part short to run in Dark Horse Presents featuring The Silver Angel, an old Mexican Wrestler who embarks on his own personal tale of redemption during the events of The Fall.

Horror News Network: How does this compare to the first series in terms of gore and action?

David Lapham: More gore more action! Think about where we are in the story. In the Strain, the horror slowly builds, but now we're in the midst of it.

Horror News Network: Did you hear any feedback from Guillermo del Toro or Chuck Hogan on the initial series adaptation?

David Lapham: They've both been very supportive. Guillermo has been very involved and in many ways the teams biggest supporter and cheerleader. He was a big part in Dark Horse letting us open the adaptations up to adding more issues to properly adapt the novels. The biggest thing he's done is being such a creative force himself, he understands the process and understands that the comic is not the novel, the same as when a movie or TV series is made from the novel it will be adapted and altered for what works best in that medium. He picked the team to work on the comics and he gives us the freedom to bring his books to life. If he feels strongly about a particular point in the novels he'll tell us, and there've been a few scenes and points that he's asked me to work in that he always envisioned in the novels but didn't get a chance to do. I've worked on quite a few licensed projects and mostly they go well, sometimes they turn to nightmares, but this project has been a dream from start to finish.

Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about The Strain: The Fall?

David Lapham: Believe the title and don't expect anything shiny and happy to be going on.

Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, David. Best of luck on this series!

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