This week sees the release of The Hunt #2, with the first issue of this new horror series from Image being one that we thoroughly enjoyed. We were lucky enough to catch up with creator, writer and artist of the series, Colin Lorimer, talking about the book and what’s in store next.
SnapPow.com: Hi Colin, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. You have a new series from Image called The Hunt, with its second issue set to hit stands this week. Is there anything you can tell us about the book moving forward and how quickly it will start to dive into the more mysterious areas you hinted at during #1?
Colin Lorimer: The first arc of The Hunt is centered around Orla Roche and her family and is the introduction to the world of ‘Faerie’ the dark otherworld that coexists alongside ours. As the book progresses the story threads and hints that were introduced in #1 are very much expanded upon and the mystery surrounding Orla’s past continues to unfold. In #2 we do get a much better understanding of the motive behind the soul-stealing monsters known as ‘The Sluagh.’ Orla knows that she has to move rather quickly as the devilish deeds of the Faeries are now being set in motion.
SP: The first issue had a mixture of fantasy and horror elements, being more tailored towards the latter. Was this something you had in mind when creating the book and how have you found balancing the two?
CL: I’d always found that the fantasy and horror genres bleed quite nicely into one other. One of the earlier descriptions of the book was, ‘Hellraiser meets Peter Pan’ which was quite fitting and gave a quick overview of what to expect. But it is also very much a real world drama. If the director Mike leigh ever decided to pepper in some folklore and monsters to his work it would look a lot like The Hunt.
SP: The main character in the series is a teenage girl named Orla. Can you tell us more about her?
CL: Orla Roche has a ‘gift’ that allows her to see Faerie creatures. She has been made a bit of a pariah in her local community having gone off the rails in her belief of monsters living amongst us. Thankfully, with the help of a family member, Orla is learning to cope with her ability.
SP: The series has a heavily Irish theme to it, embracing the unique dialect. Was this something you always planned with the series and how easy was it to incorporate this into the story?
CL: I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible and getting the Irish dialect right was key to that. I’m Irish myself, but I did pass the script around to a small group of Irish friends to get their opinion and they would come back with various suggestions or minor tweaks to certain sections of dialogue. Thankfully, based on the feedback to the first issue no one from Ireland has written to me and said that the dialogue seemed labored or cliched. Quite the opposite as everyone has complimented me on how ‘real’ the characters feel.
SP: How long should we expect to see The Hunt on comic stands?
CL: As the book continues it weaves in and out through history so this series could run for quite some time. I have quite the journey planned for the Roche family, I just hope the book finds it’s audience and readers decide to stick with it.
SP: Was there anything that inspired you whilst developing The Hunt?
CL: The poem, The Stolen Child by W.B Yeats was always in the back of my head when developing the book and in some ways helped set the tone. The art of Louis Le Brocquy that accompanied Thomas Kinsella’s lively translation of The Tain, and the book Ghost Stories of Antiquary by M.R. James were also very close to hand.
SP: You’re probably best known for the amazing artwork you produced on Harvest and Burning Fields, despite having written comics in the past. What made you decide to make The Hunt your latest writing project and how does it differ from working on a title purely as an artist?
CL: Thanks. That’s appreciated. I’ve been creating comics since I could pick up a pencil and working as a writer/artist has always been my main aim on entering the field. My first outing was with UXB published through Dark Horse and I’ve been hankering to get back to it, so when we were coming to the end of Burning Fields I pitched Jim Valentino, The Hunt, and he agreed to it almost straight away.
The Hunt’s a story that had been floating around my head, in various incarnations, for quite some time and it’s something that I just had to write. I feel that Irish Folklore hasn’t been tapped into as much as it could be, I mean of course we have the Cu Chulainn, and Fionn Mac Cumhaill tales regularly being retold but there are so many other stories out there that just lend themselves so well to the horror genre.
I love writing comics as much as drawing them. I guess the only difference would be is that there is a lot more work involved.
I do have Joana Lafuente, and Jim Campbell, with me on the book and that lightens my load considerably. I couldn’t do it without them. Joana’s palette choices are just impeccable and it’s a true joy to see what she does with the pages. An amazing talent. Jim, I’ve worked with before on both Curse, and Burning Fields, and I approached him because I just loved his work.
SP: You’re also working on the art for the series. Did you approach this differently than any other project and was it easier than working off a script written by someone else?
CL: It’s a little different but I do go through a similar process. Working from someone else’s script certainly takes a lot of the pressure off allowing me to concentrate solely on the visual side of things: staging, flow, cutting pattern and all that stuff, but on most of my creator owned books I’ve had a lot of freedom to change things up and it really has been a two-way split. In writing my own scripts I always start with an outline and then work my way through that, breaking it down into scenes and concentrating more on dialogue and mood. I don’t need to write full scripts with place descriptions because I’m the one drawing it. Once I get it to a place where I feel it’s working, I then start breaking it down into thumbnails and layouts, constantly refining and changing up various staging aspects as I go. Then, I start drawing, digitally inking over my rough layouts until I have a full, 22-page comic; getting into the final stages I’ll go in and tweak the dialogue based on how everything is now sitting on the page, rewrite the script as need be. Also, because Joana is the co-artist on this book I’m very conscious of how far I should take the final inks as I know she’s going to come in and do her thing.
SP: Have you any other projects line up or will you be putting all your current creative efforts into The Hunt?
CL: I have a few other things on the back-burner as a writer, but for now, as I’m writing and drawing this one all my attention is going to The Hunt.
SP: Finally what advice would you give aspiring writers or artists about getting into the comic book industry?
CL: It’s really all down to the work and how bad you really want it. Write and draw every single day and keep practicing and pushing. Go to the conventions, try and talk to some of the pros and editors and get some advice on your work. Drop the ego and listen to what they have to say. But mainly do it because you love it, everyone says that I know but it’s so true. If you do break in and don’t have the passion and the dedication to back it up you won’t last. It’s a tough business but it can also be an incredibly rewarding one too. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
I’d like to once again thank Colin Lorimer for taking the time to talk with us, and wish him all the best with the series moving forward. I also implore you to give this series a try, as you’re not likely to read any horror comic like it.