Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent Kickstarter campaign launch for Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel! As the editor, how would you describe your thematic approach when arranging the collection which will focus on everyone’s favorite monster-hunting reporter?
James Aquilone: The book will look at the life and (possible) death of Carl Kolchak. The 10 stories in the graphic novel will span his life from the late 1930s as a high school reporter to his last case in the late ’90s or ’00s. These are Kolchak stories that have never been told before in any medium, and the 50th anniversary is the perfect time for them.
BD: In bringing together a host of talented writers and artists for the project — including Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), Kim Newman (Anno Dracula), Peter David (The Incredible Hulk), Jonathan Maberry (V-Wars), Colton Worley (The Shadow), Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Mr. Higgins Comes Home), J.K. Woodward (Star Trek), and Paul McCaffrey (Anno Dracula), what can you tell us about the shared creative process of working with the creators to shepherd their stories to completion?
JA: This has been an amazing opportunity to work with the best creators in the business. Everyone involved is a huge Kolchak fan, and they’re bringing a ton of enthusiasm to the project. For most of the contributors, myself included, it’s been a longtime dream to write or illustrate a Kolchak story and you can tell that, because they were just bursting with ideas now that they’ve finally gotten a chance to delve into this world.
BD: As a longtime fan of Kolchak, what can you tell us about your experience in revisiting the world and characters, and what do you most look forward to sharing about the project with other fans?
JA: Two things struck me when I began this project. 1) There’s a huge Kolchak fandom out there. People truly love this character, and they show it every day on Facebook and on Twitter. I was truly blown away by how active the fans are. 2) On re-watching the TV movies and series, I realized that it holds up pretty well and it’s made me appreciate the franchise even more and lament the fact that it was canceled so soon.
I can’t wait to share everything we have, but especially the artwork. It’s really awesome to see Kolchak in his seersucker suit and straw hat, as if the show was never canceled. And our artists really knocked it out of the park.
BD: What are some of the fun backer rewards that are available to those who contribute to your Kickstarter campaign?
JA: Besides the anthology itself, which will be available in three covers, there will be T-shirts, stickers, posters, and prints. The story I wrote will also be available in a standalone, 40-page comic that has an amazing cover by Dan Brereton. And there will be a few surprises I can’t talk about now.
If you’re a Kolchak fan, you really won’t want to miss this campaign. There’s never been anything like this for the series and many of these rewards won’t be available after the Kickstarter.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JA: Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ll be launching another Kickstarter in the spring. That will be for Shakespeare Unleashed, a prose anthology of short horror stories based on Shakespearean characters and plays. It’s the follow-up to Classic Monsters Unleashed, my last Kickstarted book that I edited for Crystal Lake Publishing and Black Spot Books.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about and support the Kickstarter campaign for Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel?
JA: You can go directly to the campaign page here.
Or you can go to JamesAquilone.com for info.