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Fanbase Press Interviews Jackson Lanzing on the New Comic Book Series, The Principles of Necromancy,’ with Magma Comix

The following is an interview with New York Times bestselling writer Jackson Lanzing (@JacksonLanzing) regarding his new comic book series, The Principles of Necromancy, published by Magma Comix. Writing partners Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have had their share of high-profile releases in recent years, including Outsiders (DC), Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel), and Star Trek (IDW). Their new horror-fantasy series, The Principles of Necromancy, takes them way back to their roots in making creator-owned books. 

Fanbase Press Contributor Kevin Sharp spoke with Lanzing about the origins of — and overall vision for — the new series.

Fanbase Press Contributor Kevin Sharp: Sorry to hit you with the boilerplate question up top, but please give readers who maybe haven’t heard of this book a snapshot of what they’re in for with your new series. 

Jackson Lanzing: The Principles of Necromancy is a fantasy horror comic unlike any other. In a medieval world bereft of magic, the closest thing to wizards are doctors. There are twenty of them – each members of the grand City Hospital – who oversee the development of medical science with little regard for morality. They’re as likely to kill you as cure you – and they have one rule: what is dead stays dead. This is the story of the youngest of those madmen, Doctor Jakob Eyes, who is developing a new discipline. He is going to cure death itself – and with each issue, Dr. Eyes further uncovers The Principles of Necromancy.

KS: With all of the projects you and Collin have going at different publishers, why was this the time to go back to creator-owned work?

JL: Firstly, because it’s been far too long. Our last [project], 2016’s Zojaqan, is nearly eight years old at this point! We’ve come a long way since then – with long stints now at Marvel and DC and a ton more experience under our belts. We’ve really stretched in a lot of directions, from the dark western of our Guardians of the Galaxy to the noir of Batman Beyond: Neo-Year to the metanarrative surreality of Outsiders – but we’d never fully leaned into horror. We’ve kept a lot of darkness bottled up for just this occasion – and with Magma Comix at our back, it only made sense to finally unleash.

The other big factor was Eamon Winkle, our artistic partner. We looked for the right artist for a year – and in Eamon, we discovered someone who was genuinely ready to be one of the biggest artists on the planet. It’s his designs, his genius, and his sensibilities which have suffused this book with the proper amount of heart and horror – and we knew when we found him that this book was going to be worth every penny the reader paid. His recent nomination for the Russ Manning Award at the Eisners is a particularly awesome validation of his efforts and we’re just so damn proud of him.

KS: How did you come across Eamon’s work in the first place?

JL: Honestly, we did a Twitter casting call! Hundreds of artists submitted and the minute we saw Eamon, we knew he was the one. His work was immediately evocative of the exact vibe we were going for, and we trusted he could get the job done. It was really as simple as that. 

KS: What was the original germ for what became The Principles of Necromancy? Did you find your way in through basic concept, character, and/or some imagery?

JL: As with everything we do at the Hivemind, Principles of Necromancy started life as a conversation between Collin and myself. Because we knew we wanted to tackle horror, that question was simple: What scares us? We’ve both had a lot of medical problems in our lives and around our families – I was born with a medical condition called spina bifida that’s put me in a lot of hospitals throughout my life – and so we quickly landed on the mercurial nature of doctors and the terror of the information gap. Without a full-on medical degree, a doctor will always know more than you, so you have to take it fully on trust that the doctor has your well-being at heart. If they didn’t, how truly terrifying could that relationship quickly become?

We took all those fears and funneled them into the world of Principles – then tried to imagine what kind of doctor even those doctors would fear. And from that crucible, Doctor Jakob Eyes emerged nearly made of whole cloth.

KS: You two have had a long partnership, but when you work on projects like this specifically — where there are no guidelines or requirements from a publisher — what’s the dynamic as far as laying out the story and making sure you’re in alignment on where things are going?

JL: The answer’s simple: We’ve been doing this together so long that we have processes in place to make sure we’re aligned before a single line is written on the page. We work in person together every day – he’s my best friend, he was the best man at my wedding and I at his, we’re pretty damn familiar with the instincts of the other guy. So, we can generally work out an issue verbally, codify it on paper in the outline, and then make sure that the pages get done in a timely manner that has enough time for us both to review. Effectively, we each write ½ of everything you read from us – but I’d challenge the reader to ever tell the difference. We’re equals in every respect, and we’ve found that the more we lean into that equality, the better the work becomes.

KS: For readers who don’t know the process for selling a creator-owned project, can you give us a brief overview of how a book gets from your word processor to a publisher?  

JL: It’s always a little different – but in this case, it started with the head of Magma, Denton Tipton, asking us for a pitch back at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. Denton had been EiC at IDW when we first started on Star Trek: Year Five and was impressed with our work there, so he’d decided he wanted to bring us into his new publishing venture early. We then started cooking up an idea as he put his company together, waited for him to have all his ducks in a row, and then presented a one-page document that broke down the basics of the story and how we saw the first four issues playing out. We had a couple conversations, then went to make the deal. Then we found an artist. Once we had an artist, we went to script. And the rest is in Magma’s hands!


KS: It’s been a wild ride through the comics landscape for the Lanzing/Kelly team, with a lot of milestones along the way. When you look back at your earliest comics work together, what’s something you see as different from who you both are now? 

JL: Great question. I don’t know how much the work has evolved – I have a hard time reading our work once it’s done – but I can say with certainty that we’ve become more mature, more weathered, more sure of what we love and what we don’t. I think we’ve felt more comfortable shifting into different genres or writing for different kinds of artists. And I think above all, we’ve learned how to stand in our power – by which I mean, we’ve learned to say no. We know how to get behind our ideas and not allow ourselves to be pushed around. And I’d like to think we’ve learned to look at a proposed project and see whether it’s worth our time; we love working, so we’ve definitely said yes to a few things that maybe we shouldn’t have.

That said, every experience is a lesson – so I wouldn’t change a thing. It all led to The Principles of Necromancy, so I’m happy for it all.

KS: Finally, please fill in the blank: “You should check out The Principles of Necromancy if you’re a fan of things like _.” 

JL: FromSoftware games, David Cronenberg movies, Game of Thrones, Stephen King, James Tynion IV… if you like simultaneously feeling your feelings and unsettling your mind, The Principles of Necromancy is for you.

The Principles of Necromancy issues #1-3 are now available wherever comics are sold. Visit for more information about the publisher or find them on X/Twitter (@MagmaComix).

Kevin Sharp, Fanbase Press Contributor



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