The following is an interview with writer Christopher Golden on the upcoming release of his new comic book series, Joe Golem: Occult Detective – The Outer Dark, from Dark Horse Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Golden about continuing the Joe Golem universe, maintaining the creative team (co-writer Mike Mignola, artist Patric Reynolds, and colorist Dave Stewart), his plans to further expand the universe into other entertainment mediums, and more! Plus, check out the below preview images for what is to come in The Outer Dark series!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: This month will see the release of your new series, Joe Golem: Occult Detective – The Outer Dark #1, in collaboration with Mike Mignola, Patric Reynolds, Dave Stewart, and Dark Horse Comics. Where will the new comic book series carry on after the events of the previous series, Joe Golem: Occult Detective?
Christopher Golden: We jump ahead in time a little bit. Joe has settled into his relationship with Lori, and that’s not sitting well with Mr. Church. Joe’s always weighted down by the fact that he can’t remember his early life, that he has these impossible visions and nightmares, and that he suffers memory lapses…but he’s trying to build a new, modern life…the sort of thing he knows people do. Girlfriend, maybe a real future with her. But Mr. Church is mentor/brother/father figure all rolled into one. He’s the closest thing Joe has to family. Plus, Joe loves the work he does. He wants to help people as a private investigator, whether in ordinary cases or in extraordinary ones. In THE OUTER DARK, they’re actually approached by the police for help with something so weird that the cops don’t know what else to do but consult Mr. Church. And yeah…this is a very, very weird one.
BD: Given that you were able to maintain the same creative team from the previous series, do you find that there is an ease of process in your collaboration?
CG: I go back and forth between wishing I had more contact with Patric during the process and thinking that it’s probably best that we don’t have a lot of communication. Scott Allie is the editor, and he’s the axis the whole thing spins on. I’d like to make a comparison to film and say something like, “I’m the writer/director, and Patric is the cinematographer,” but I think that downplays what Patric’s able to achieve. Yes, I dig up a bunch of reference during the writing of a script, but that’s always just a springboard for the research he does in creating this world. Lower Manhattan flooded in 1925, so Patric has to envision 1925 New York where the bottom thirty feet or so is under water and everything above the water line has moved on forty years. I’ve envisioned a lot of it, thought it out, but THINKING it out and actually putting it down on page are two totally different things. I hope readers pause as they read and really take in the work that’s gone into illustrating this beautifully sad world. We’ve created something that’s an enormous challenge for an artist, and he’s made magic out of it.
BD: Having written within the “Joe Golem” universe in both prose and the sequential art medium, how would you describe your experience in expanding the universe and delving deeper into your characters?
CG: It’s hard to stop my brain. There’s so much more that I and we know about this world and its people and what’s really going on here—what’s going to happen, what HAS happened, the remarkable lives of these characters. I wish I could do a biweekly of this world to show some of the scope of the world and characters.
BD: Given you success with the novel, Joe Golem and the Drowning City, as well as the Joe Golem comic book series, are there any other entertainment mediums that you would like to explore through the Joe Golem universe?
CG: All of them. Mike and I developed a film version with Constantin film that eventually stalled. Alex Proyas had written the first draft of the screenplay and I wrote the second, but for a variety of reasons it fell apart, which has a tendency to happen in Hollywood. I’d like to do a JOE GOLEM television series, with a budget, of course. A film would be great, but a series would be a much bigger story canvas.
BD: Are there any additional projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
CG: My latest novel, ARARAT, came out last month. It’s a horror-adventure-thriller about the discovery of Noah’s Ark, an ancient evil, and the group of people trapped in a cave in the middle of a blizzard. We’ve had a ton of film interest, so we’ll see where that goes. I’ve also just completed an epic fantasy novel that I wrote with my buddy Tim Lebbon. It’s called BLOOD OF THE FOUR, and it’ll be out from Harper in February.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Joe Golem: Occult Detective – The Outer Dark #1?
CG: I’d tell them to read it, of course!