Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your comic book anthology, The Eynes Anthology! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the anthology’s premise, and what inspired the genesis of this collection?
John Horsley: What happens when your family has this otherworldly draw to the world of the supernatural? Something pulls the world of monsters and demons to you, and you to them. Throughout history these elements have haunted every aspect of your family tree; murdering, kidnapping, converting, even falling in love.
How did this start? Will it ever end?
Come dive into the world of the Eynes, a family that throughout history has had interactions of all kinds with monsters and demons.
Book one opens up the world and tells you 10 stories told by various creators from around the world at different spots on the Eynes family tree throughout history! This is more than an anthology, this is not just a collection of stories around a central theme. This is a collection of stories that tell you a larger narrative. The stories intertwine together and weave throughout history.
This book came out of me wanting to build a world and lean into my love of all things monsters. I wanted to collaborate with creators that I might never get to work with.
BD: How would you describe the process of bringing together the writers and artists involved with The Eynes Anthology, and what can you tell us about their shared creative process?
JH: For the writers of the Eynes, I started with a post into a Facebook collaborative group asking if anyone was interested in working with me on a horror project. I ended up with an overwhelming about of people interested, roughly 250 writers! I spent the next few weeks reading through scripts samples and pitches and went down to 25 people that I felt had solid ideas and I could work with.
Originally, I had planned to draw each story myself. After diving into this project, I realized that if I wanted to get this book out to the public, I was going to need some help with the art. I work a full-time job and I’m married and I have 5 kids, so I time to work on comics is late at night. This is when I turned back to the internet and looked for artists that I thought could tackle these scripts in away that would make them amazing.
I sought out artists that had their own unique style they could bring to the project. Doing this allowed me to pair up artists with the story that I felt they could tackle the best, and work with their art style.
For the creative process, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been involved in every story at every level which has been a ton of fun. I worked with every writer to make sure their stories fit into the world and the tone of the over arching story. I worked with all the artists to make sure what they drew matched the script and help little Easter eggs throughout.
BD: The stories within the collection often portray various styles and genres, given that over 22 creators came together to work on the project. How do you feel that the divergent characteristics complemented one another?
JH: This is my favorite aspect of this book, all the different viewpoints with the creators being form all around the world. Being able to work with so an eclectic set of creators ended up being one of the most rewarding parts of this whole process. As I took the scripts and looked for artists to draw them, it allowed me this extra level of clarity where I could make these pairings of script and art that I felt told the story in the best way possible.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from the collection?
JH: I hope they will walk away from this collection with a sense of how much love and care went into crafting this book. That they walk away wanting to know more about these characters and the world they inhabit. It is my ultimate wish to be able to play in this sandbox of characters for the next few years.
BD: The anthology is very unique, in that a number of musicians also collaborated to create a soundtrack for the collection. What can you share with us about the process of bringing these musicians together and the sensations that the soundtrack are meant to invoke in the reader?
JH: The soundtrack was something that came to me about a year in. When I was in high school and college, I was in a few bands. I recorded a few albums (studio and live), and I played shows around the Pacific Northwest. Music has always been a big part of my life. It only seemed natural to create a soundtrack to go a long with the stories.
The songs on the soundtrack where gather in two ways. First, we have some that were written specifically for this book and the stories they are tied to. Others are songs that were already recorded, but I went through a series of songs with the artists and if I found one that fit a story thematically, then I worked with the group to get that song on the soundtrack.
I hope to create a soundtrack for each book we put out, and with that I hope to write and record some new music for the next ones myself.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JH: In the background of the Eynes project, I have been working to collect the 11 different web-comics I did from 2003 – 2016 into books for release. I have several of them done already, but I am holding their release as to not conflict with anything going on with this book.
I also host 3 different podcasts, Spoiler Country, Haphazard Adventures, and R3 with JH. Please feel free to check any of them out, and by all means let me know what you think!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Eynes Anthology?
JH: The absolute best way to find out more about The Eynes Anthology is to buy the book on Kickstarter when it goes live on February 1st! Outside of tha,t we have built a website that contains information on all of the stories and the creators in the first book that you can visit. On this site, you can also sign up for our email list which will be used to discuss this book and other projects that I do!