Tadd Galusha -courtesy of Comixology
Art of the Bible
1428 Elm: How much input did you have with Tadd Galusha’s drawings?
JJ: Everything goes back to Joe’s novel. That’s our Bible. The scripts I submitted to the publisher were highly detailed. Some of that is just the way I work, and some of it is because I don’t want to leave anything out of the adaptation, although it’d be impossible to get it all in there.
There are story beats that we need to hit, plot points that can’t be left out, dialogue that is distinctly Lansdale’s voice that shape the characters, even some classic Lansdale descriptions that I inserted right into the script as captions.
From my perspective, there were specific threads that I may have pulled out of the novel, certain turns that I may have leaned my weight into more heavily, but that’s natural. I’m looking at the novel from the perspective of turning it into a five-issue comic book, like a monthly serialization that keeps readers coming back.
Whereas a novel may have a three-act structure, a beginning, middle, and end, I tried to make each issue of the comic have a beginning, middle and end, plus cliffhangers. That’s in addition to the overall story arc that’ll play out if you were to read all five issues in one sitting.
JJ (Cont.): Tadd Galusha is the artist, but he brings his own vision and voice to the project. So, after I’ve put a bit of my spin on Joe’s novel, Tadd takes my scripts and, as I call it, he “Galusha-fies” it.
Tadd is an incredible illustrator, that’s obvious when you see the artwork, but what impresses me the most is he picked up on the vibe and tone of the series very early on. We’re shooting for this sort of counter culture, action/horror drive-in film with an ensemble cast.
Think along the lines of The Dirty Dozen, add some cool monsters, and imagine that it was made by a couple of mavericks that are giving the middle finger to the establishment. That’s essentially what Tadd and I latched onto.
Tadd is a storyteller in his own right and is able to cut to the chase in my scripts. There’s some give-and-take between us, but when you’re collaborating with an artist like Tadd, I try not to get in his way, because, and I’ve told him this myself, I truly believe this is turning into something special. And Tadd is a charismatic guy with a lot of integrity, so that certainly makes the collaboration even more rewarding, in my opinion.
The King Is in the Building
Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood Suckers – All issues – Courtesy of Josh Jabcuga and IDW Comics
1428 Elm: When is the first installment in the series coming out?
JJ: Our first issue will be released this week, Wednesday, May 16th, and you can purchase that at your local comic book shops, online, and also digitally over at Amazon with the Kindle app or on your iPad.
1428 Elm: Can you tease any of the plotlines?
JJ: As far as teasing plotlines—just read the first issue and you’ll see that Lansdale has created an entire world of storyline possibilities for Bubba. It’s pure pulp, the good stuff that’ll stick to your ribs, and because it’s coming from the mind of Joe R. Lansdale, it’s incredibly fresh and unique.
If fans have only seen the Bubba Ho-Tep movie, or read Joe’s short story, I will say this: they’ve barely scratched the surface of Bubba’s story. And I’d encourage them to check out Joe’s novel, which is available now. Compare the novel with the comic book series for yourself.
1428 Elm: Do you have any future projects lined up that you can tell us about?
JJ: Joe has encouraged me to branch out and get to work on writing my first novel, maybe even a screenplay. It’s intimidating, but it’s time. And when Joe R. Lansdale gives you advice, you listen.
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Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She is also featured on Friday Night Tights, the ultimate pop culture wrap up show at Nerdrotic Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her weekly coverage on IFC’s Brockmire at TV Series Hub.