The following is an interview with Matt and Brittany Loisel on the comic book series, Murder. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with the Loisels about the inspiration behind the series, their shared creative process, what readers can anticipate from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your horror/fantasy comic book series, Murder! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Matt and Brittany Loisel: Thank you so much. Murder is an action/thriller series where, one species at a time, domesticated animals mysteriously begin linking telepathically. One man, who goes by the alias The Butcher’s Butcher, is the only human on Earth who can hear their thoughts and can communicate back. The world is much like our own, with hundreds of millions of animals being raised and slaughtered in factory farms. The Butcher’s Butcher must use his unique power to broker deals between species and try to save the world from certain ruin.
In the summer of ’17, Brittany and I got into a habit of visiting local beer gardens and over that time hashed out the premise for Murder. We’d plant ourselves with a couple beers, some salt and vinegar potato chips, and just spitball ideas back and forth until Murder was born. We like to say we should credit “Pilsner” and “IPA” as co-creators!
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing the series to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
MBL: We start each issue with an outline and notes to remind us what we will reveal so readers are slowly fed little bits of information through the series to keep them wondering what’s going on. From there I like to break down the story into the 22-pages to decide which scenes will be on each page. I try to pay attention to page turns (odd-pages to even-pages) and how each the reader’s eye will move from even-numbered pages to odd-numbered pages.
From that page outline I write dialog, then panel transitions and then create a script, which we send to Emiliano Correa. After Emiliano does all the art he forwards his finished pages to Micah Myers, who throws the lettering on top of the art. The artistic team has done an incredible job with the first issue. I can’t wait to see what they do with issue two.
While I was writing issue one I was reading a lot of Tom King and Alan Moore, but now I’m writing the script for issue two and have been reading a lot of Mark Millar. I just went back and re-read the first TPB of Jupiter’s Legacy, which has really influenced my pacing and paneling in issue two.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
MBL: I hope Murder inspires people to consider the emotions of animals. I like to say Murder is a documentary, meaning the emotions these animals are telepathically broadcasting are not far from how animals feel. It has long been scientifically established animals are sentient, meaning they feel pleasure, pain and are conscious. Murder is what I think they are thinking and feeling while we send them through the industrial agricultural system.
BD: Given the recent release of Issue #1, do you have a certain number of issues planned for the first story arc?
MBL: The first story arc will be five issues long. Issue one gives us a peak into an industrial hatchery and in the upcoming issues we’ll see how free-ranch chickens live, dairies, and much more. We are also going to establish the entire team backing up The Butcher’s Butcher in this first arch.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
MBL: I’m a lifelong weeb. If Murder ever becomes an anime, I’ll die completed!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Murder?
MBL: You can get your copy of Murder, as well as limited edition Butcher’s Butcher trading cards, post cards, and other goodies, on our website. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@MattLoisel).