The following is an interview with Rich Douek regarding the recent release of the comic book series, Drive Like Hell, from Dark Horse Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Douek about his shared creative process in working with longtime collaborator Alex Cormack to bring the story and characters to life, what he hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of Drive Like Hell! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the series’ premise?
Rich Douek: Thanks! It’s a really fun one. Bobby Ray is a getaway driver who steals his dream car, a 1980 Turbo Trans Am, to use as a getaway car in an upcoming bank heist with his crew, led by his on-again-off-again girlfriend Dahlia. Unfortunately, the car happens to belong to the devil himself, who’s more than willing to send a legion of demonic cops, satanic bikers, and everyone else he can think of to get it back! We put the pedal down in issue one, and the chase continues throughout the whole series!
BD: Given your previous work with Alex on Road of Bones and Seas of Sorrows, how would you describe your shared creative process with each new project – both in its development and production?
RD: I think it gets easier with each project we do, because Alex and I are able to work more and more in synergy – I have a good feel for what he enjoys drawing, and he has a good feel for what I like to see when it comes to rendering panels in my scripts. Development-wise, we are very collaborative in bouncing ideas back and forth, whether it’s for covers, characters, or all the horrible things we dream up with our twisted imaginations.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums and genres. How do you feel that Drive Like Hell’s story may connect with and impact readers?
RD: I think it’s a really fun story, one that makes me laugh even though I wrote all the jokes. And I think we could use a little more of that in comics in general. I love serious books. I’ve written some that you might even call too serious – but this book just brings a smile to my face every time. Without spoiling things, though, it IS about more than just a wild car chase. At the core, I think it’s about being confident enough to go your own way, when all the forces of Heaven and Hell are doing their best to comply with theirs.
BD: What makes Dark Horse Comics the perfect home for this story?
RD: Dark Horse has been home to some of my favorite comics for a long, long time – from Hellboy to Black Hammer, to Grendel, it’s always been a place where you can find comics driven by a rock-solid creative vision – and not to sound too arrogant, Drive Like Hell is powered by the same passion for good storytelling.
BD: If given the opportunity, do you have plans for additional story arcs within the world of Drive Like Hell that you would like to bring to life?
RD: Absolutely! We really like where the series ends, but it ends on a note that’s open-ended enough to leave room for future stories. In a perfect world, we’d keep this chase going for a long, long time, bringing in more and more colorful characters and shaking the pillars of heaven itself!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
RD: Most of what I’m currently working on, I can’t talk about yet, but stay tuned for more news about my 2024 book with Vault Comics, and lots more planned with various publishers next year. In the near term, we’ve got the Breath of Shadows trade coming out on 11/1, capping off the trilogy of historic horror tales Alex, Justin Birch, and I did with IDW.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Drive Like Hell and your other work?
RD: Social media is very weird right now, but you can find me at @rdouek on Instagram, Bluesky, and that place we all used to know and love as Twitter. But with things fragmenting so much on that end, the best way to keep up to date is to sign up for my newsletter at richdouek.substack.com.