By Christine Caprilozzi
Sr. Editor, Christine Caprilozzi recently caught up with Mark Miller to discuss his upcoming Zenescope series “Werewolves: The Hunger.”
Horror News Network: Werewolf comics are always a favorite around here. Tell us a bit about how youâ€™re take on it is different?
Mark L. Miller: Well, this one is mainly told from the perspective of Roman, a werewolf hunter whoâ€™s been doing this for a long time. So many films and stories have focused on vampire hunters, but there have been very few focusing on the hunter itself. Being a fan of werewolf stories, it frustrates me that, for the most part, most werewolf stories follow the same sort of pathâ€”that being the path of the initial bite and transformation. In both this story and the other werewolf book I have coming out this summer from Famous Monsters Magazine called LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (I co-wrote it with Martin Fisher), I really tried to tell a werewolf story I havenâ€™t seen before. And Iâ€™ve seen a lot, from Chaney Jr. to Oliver Reed to Dee Wallace to Sybil Danning to Paul Naschy to Jack Nicholson. So finding a new tale to tell is tough, but if you shift perspective to the werewolf hunter, it opens up some new and interesting doors.
Horror News Network: Tell us a bit about the character Roman, the hunter?
Mark L. Miller: Roman is a hard man to peg down. Heâ€™s been around a long time. Heâ€™s been hurt deep by the werewolves and is basically a walking werewolf killing machine. As I was writing the story, I was watching a lot of BOARDWALK EMPIRE and I kind of based his speech patterns a little bit on Jack Hustonâ€™s Harrow, the gunman who wears the mask. He has this stunted speech, kind of like Rorschach from the WATCHMEN, but gets to the point because chit chat is nothing but a distraction from him catching and killing more werewolves. There is a soft side, but through the years, even that side has become rocky. Basically, when heâ€™s on the job, heâ€™s a shark, intent only on killing the wolves. And heâ€™s always on the job.
Horror News Network: The preview covers by Anthony Spay & Mike Krome look fantastic. Has there been any official announcement on the artist for the book itself?
Mark L. Miller: At the moment, I donâ€™t know who the artist is, but Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing my scripts come to life. I should have news on the artist and see the first pages soon.
Horror News Network: This is a 1 of 3 series, which also ties into Zenescopeâ€™s â€œUnleashed.â€ With that said, going into issue #1, do you already have a sense of where issue #3 will end?
Mark L. Miller: I almost always come into a story knowing how itâ€™s going to end. I always want to end on a powerful note and this one has a pretty powerful one. I can only say that the werewolves and Roman come head to head and itâ€™s going to be pretty gory and fun. And that not everyone will walk or crawl away. I think readers are going to find the end pretty unique and satisfying, considering the wild ride I take them in the first two issues. Romanâ€™s a very fun character to write. Kind of like a Jonah Hex or Punisher character. Iâ€™d love to write the character again after this, but weâ€™ll see how that works out and if he survives UNLEASHED.
Horror News Network: Horror comic fans expect a lot from werewolf comics. What can they expect in terms of the action scenes and gore?
Mark L. Miller: There will be bloodâ€¦and action. Issue two is almost all action as Roman pursues the werewolf through a crowded city. Itâ€™s my little homage to AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. One of my favorite scenes is when the werewolf runs rampant through Piccadilly. Itâ€™s so chaotic. I tried to capture that chaos in that issue. The entire series is really one big three issue chase scene, which was a challenge to keep the energy high for such an extended amount of time. Itâ€™s been a blast. In terms of gore, this werewolf is desperate and running wild. One of the things I wanted to establish is that werewolves, like wolves are pack animals, and when on the run, it feels safest with more werewolves. So this wolf is trying to turn as many people into werewolves as he can. Problem is, Roman is there to make sure none of them turn. So thereâ€™s lots of teeth gnashing and claws shredding in this series.
Horror News Network: Youâ€™ve worked on quite a few horror comics across the board. What was your favorite horror comic that influenced you?
Mark L. Miller: Iâ€™ve always been a fan of Steve Niles books. 30 DAYS OF NIGHT was amazing. I loved Ben Templesmithâ€™s WELCOME TO HOXFORD, if youâ€™re looking for werewolf comics, itâ€™s awesome. Any of the early SWAMP THING stuff is fantastic horror stuff. And I have a soft spot for the old BEAUTIFUL STORIES FOR UGLY CHILDREN series by by Dave Louapre and Dan Sweetman. That was just a fantastic series of twisted horrific fun.
Horror News Network: Thanks so much Mark!