Today we are joined by Phil Secy and Drew Zucker to talk about their book The House!
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Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – Video Interview
Kenric: [00:00:00] All right, guys. Welcome back to the show. Of course I am Kenrick urines for the country and today it’s super cool.
One of these guys has been on a few times for his amazing book Canto. And if you’re not into Canto yet, get into it because it looks fantastic. And it’s a great story. But today he brought on his other partner, Phil CV, and we’re going to talk the house, which is coming out with dark horse comics. I want to say, when is it timber?
Drew Zucker: October, October 13th is a, the plan date.
Kenric: That makes sense. This guy, this thing was born. You guys met, I did a little bit of research. You guys met 2010, got along like gangbusters, decided to work together, came up with this horror story of the house. I haven’t had a chance to read the house yet, so I’m excited to check it out for the first time.
So this will be all new territory for me. That’d be cool. [00:01:00] Tell us where, where is the idea born? How’d you guys really decide how you’re going to.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah, it starts with drew actually go for it.
Drew Zucker: So yeah, when 2010 I graduated from Savannah college of art and design and the, I graduated from the sequential department.
Okay. Everybody was kind of raised in that department with you turn in sample pages, sample page, sample pages, and that’s how you get work at the big pill. I graduated, I went through my first con and I found out that the industry had done a complete 180, and that was not the case anymore. And you need it.
You got it. So I, I ended up coming up with the house and. With this rough, I had a rough idea of basically the spine that was about a paragraph long. So fast forward to October of 2010. And I meet Phil through Tom while at New York [00:02:00] Comic-Con and Phil literally got the Savannah as I was on my way out the door.
Yeah. For the graduate program and find out Phil’s a writer. And so I sent her. The basic idea. And he just sends me back a 12 page breakdown that was born out of, out of the paragraph. And the idea was I wanted to sell, I want to tell a horror story that kind of fell into the realm of alien. It wasn’t necessarily looking to reinvent the wheel, but it was just looking to do that thing really, really well.
Okay. So Phil took that idea and just kind of ran with it. And lo and behold, here’s the house.
Kenric: What, what is the basic concept of the house for anybody who’s listening that might not know? Give me the give me the elevator pitch. [00:03:00]
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah, it’s about a squadron. A us soldier is during the battle of the bulge in world war.
They are in a in the woods and a whiteout blizzard it’s them. So they kind of seek shelter and they stumble across this abandoned Manor house, this big mansion. So they rushed it inside. They shut the door, they take a moment further to catch their breath. And when they turn around the door is gone and all sorts of shenanigans and Sue and all hell breaks loose as they try and figure out how to escape this house, which is constantly shifting.
And that’s kind of the basic ele elevator patient setup. Yeah.
Kenric: Nice. So it is the classic. It is literally the haunted house. You kind of pinned it right on the nose calling the house. Yeah, I love that’s what it is too. It’s a haunted house picture in space. Why world war II? Why battle?
Drew Zucker: So I, I personally thought there, there was a lot to mind out of that time period.[00:04:00]
It’s been done to death in film and TV, but it’s something that’s kind of missing from comics. So I figured it was it presented a good opportunity to one isolate these soldiers away because that all the. The lines were extremely thin and everybody was just kind of there they’re under-supplied guys are left out, sitting in freezing temperatures with nothing, but t-shirts on for months at a time, it was, it was bad and it kind of presents this perfect moment of psychological torment and drop.
You know, what, what traditionally in action films would be the ideal hero. Yeah, this kind of, you know, really treacherous environment and they don’t have communications world war II is really the last time the world has to function without immediate [00:05:00] communication with each other all the time. So that, that was really the purpose for setting.
Kenric: that non-communicative. Kind of builds that tension. So that’s yeah, yeah. Especially with everybody being so Uber connected
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: and I think from like a, like a psychological underpinning, we were talking about this a couple of years back and drew brought up this point and I thought was fantastic. So I also have to make sure I attribute it to him, but world war II, especially from the us campaign and front, right.
We spent years kind of resisting getting into it, even though we were supplying the British and other people with stuff. Until essentially we were drug into it with Pearl Harbor and other events happening. So we, we obviously played a very big role in, in kind of, you know, helping kind of close the theater.
So, you know, you’re looking at VE day. We’ve landed in France. We push our way across, you know, we have the battle of the bulge, all these things. We make it to Berlin, we win. And instead of like the, the congratulations or the rainbow at the end, or the pot of [00:06:00] gold at the end of the rainbow, we come across the real atrocities of the Nazi regime, which are the camps.
And just the concept of like, we’re, you know, we, we came in and we saved the day only to be in the end, find out it’s so much worse than we could have possibly. And perhaps our reticence to get into the war costs even more people that are less. So the, the idea of world war II, like psychologically, like, you know, the triumphant thing only to find out it’s even worse than possibly we could have imagined it worked really well in a horror scenario and kind of kind of reinforces those concepts of in horror.
There’s no like. There’s no winning. There’s always a cost paid, even if you’re able to be successful. And I think the book itself works really well in those confines and settings of, of what the story we’re trying to tell.
Kenric: So you’re, so let me get this straight, Phil, you’re saying, when you wrote, you kind of had a parallel of the atrocities that Americans might’ve seen after breaking through into Berlin.
And so [00:07:00] you’re writing a, a parallel within the house of being able to see these atrocities.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah, I think it just kind of lined up really well. Again, I get a lot of that to drew coming up with, like, let’s set it here, let’s do this. And you know, the house is a lot about these individual people and the demons they’re battling on the inside.
And that kind of externalizes really well with kind of what we were ha what was happening in world war II. So now,
Kenric: so why dark horse? Why now? Because you guys did a Kickstarter,
Drew Zucker: it funded 150%.
Kenric: Then what it should have, which is awesome. I shouldn’t say why it should have, but I mean, because it was awesome.
It did 150. You guys were in Comicology I believe, but this is the first time on actual, well, nobody can buy the independent stuff anymore. I think you guys are gone and sold out on that
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: to do that. Can people still have a couple of copies from the Kickstarter print run? Yep. Can I get
Drew Zucker: one of those[00:08:00]
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: would be awesome.
Kenric: Cause I, I love horror books. I had to, we had Thomas Jayna. The guy Punisher back before 2005. And he’s a huge horror comic nerd. Yeah. You had stuff on his walls. He was like taking his iPad, show me all the stuff that he has. It’s it’s it’s really cool. So, I mean the horse and the point is, is that the horror genre, man, it’s, especially with comic books, there’s something special about it.
You know what I mean? I think it’s a part of me thinks I feel like it’s because of like the oh, what is this? Because the ETA and all the comics code authority and all that, it’s kind of become an urban myth of the type of books that were there and what we have today, you know, and I, it was like all psychological, cause I have like Erie number four.
It’s the only book I have from night from the night dog. Wow. And it’s, it’s it’s in shitty shape. It was, it was slab. I had to open the slab because I had to read it. I had to check it out. I’d [00:09:00] never had one. You know what I mean? So, I mean, I don’t know, I love the horse, so I’m excited to see what you guys going on.
So why dark horse Y
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: now? Yeah. So when we were originally working on the book, we put together a pitch and I want to say it was 2012. And we pitched it to a couple of companies, had an interest, but it didn’t quite work. A couple of years later, I rewrote everything. We reapproach the pitch. Again, we almost got approved by another company who will make.
And at the time drew and I were just like, we’re tired of waiting for permission to do the book that we wanted to do. So we just decided to do it. And I think in 2017 is when we started releasing an uncommon psychology. So we spent seven years working on the book about three or four years writing and three or four years drawing.
And, and then it was again, like we did it digitally and we did the Kickstarter and we printed it physically. And we’ve been hand selling conventions and then comic stores kind of reaching out one at a time. And a, you know, last year drew did a really good job reaching out to retailers when all, when diamond was shut down for the pandemic and we sold more copies to retailers last year than we’d [00:10:00] ever sold.
That’s awesome. That’s hustling. Yeah, we reached almost the bottom of our print run that we did. We did it a thousand copies. And then when we hit that, we were, I would I’ve worked a lot with our course and have some really great relationships over there. So I reached out to my editor that I’ve worked with for years.
And I was like, Hey, like, here’s all the good things that people have said. Here’s what we’ve accomplished on our own. Here’s a copy of the book. Would you guys be interested? And she was already a huge fan of the book and it was like, yeah, I will send this in right now. And within a couple of weeks, we had approval from dark horse.
Dark horse was one of the ones that we pitched it to in 2012. So it’s fun to come full circle. We’ve possibly willed the book into existence is because we spent our money getting it colored and lettered and a lot of money. And you know, and I’m working here now. So this
Kenric: is a great story because there’s a lot of people out there right now that have independent books that are really working that market, that Kickstarter market, and here you guys are.
So, you know, it’s not overnight. It’s a grind grind. [00:11:00] Yeah. Drew. What have you taken away from this project and are we going to get more of the house?
Drew Zucker: So the house is very near and dear to me at its core, even though it’s a horrible horror is ultimately looking to exercise something. And for me personally, it exercises my own grief over things.
I, there, there are a few tributes in the book and the book has contained. To take on meaning I think for both Phil and I I had a friend who was a huge supporter of my work and she unfortunately killed herself during production. And then, so the book was initially from my end, dedicated to her, and then fast forward to, I think year and a half ago now Tom mile passed away who was, you know, a mentor to both of them.
So for us, the book is [00:12:00] just, you know, it’s something that we are immensely proud of. There, there was any upfront money for it. We invested a lot of money and if we invested in ourselves in this project and we did it because we both believe in it and we loved it and we had a good time making it. So. For dark horse to take it on is a huge win on our front.
And you know, it just, we’re excited that it’s going to get into the hands of more and more people.
Kenric: Yeah. I mean, getting into dark horse and having it get out to a bunch of LCS and other markets that they have, like aren’t global and all that kind of fun. It just opens up your audience to such a wider selection that we didn’t even know.
Like, I didn’t even know that Kickstarter was out there at that
Drew Zucker: point. That was, that was the big thing was that we can hustle as hard as we can. It never guaranteed anything. We were extremely [00:13:00] fortunate during COVID that Phil alluded to at when diamonds shut down, we were able to reach out to all these shops.
And we’re able to offer them deep discount on the book and tell them we’re not shut down. We can ship to you tomorrow and just get it out to keep them moving
Kenric: as well. That is hustling right there. That is real hustling. You know, you know, I’ve seen, I’ve talked to other people where they just were dejected.
Doubt. I’m not getting anything done. And it was just like, you got hustle. This is the time,
Drew Zucker: time to shine me, me and Phil both have 10 years now in the industry. I think somewhere around there. I mean, for me, Capto was kind of a last straw. Yeah. I don’t know how long I can keep committing this amount of time into the, into these projects because they’re time consuming.
But you know, if you, if you put the time in and you hustle and you can get there.
Kenric: Yeah. [00:14:00] So does that mean. This is a, this is done after this, or is there any stretch of you going, or are you just avoiding the question, which is fine,
or are we going to get this one and maybe perhaps down the line we might have, you might have an idea for the house or for right now we’re resolved.
Drew Zucker: There’s a spiritual successor that on the horizon with a third spiritual successor. I personally have an idea of how to do a direct CQL whether or not it would be quite as long as the initial series is a different question.
We kind of used all of our tricks In the house, but it definitely, you know, we we’ve talked about it over the years. I think at some point it’s something we’d like to sit down and really hammer out and see what we can come up with.
Kenric: Yeah, that would be amazing. Take some time off Canto and do [00:15:00] something a little bit more harrowing.
Drew Zucker: I love camping. It can all be a happy little tin man.
Kenric: Exactly. Exactly. So what else have you been working on besides the house and your industry? You’ve got to have a bit of a backup.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so like kind of leading up and around the house a bit, a lot of work with dark horse on their tomb Raider franchise, and there’s a bunch of stuff for top cow.
Right after the house kind of came out. I started work on a creator own series called triage that I wrote and drew and penciled and inks and colored and did everything. But letters on that completed at the beginning of 2020, and the trade dropped during the. Yeah. And then since then I’ve done a bunch of stuff for Z two.
That’s slowly working its way up, just some, some graphic novel arts. And I’m working on a big graphic novel for dark horse right now that hasn’t been announced yet. And I’m doing like everything. Color’s letters, writing pencils, inks, the whole shebang. [00:16:00] Yeah, next year.
Kenric: You’re kind of a one. So you’re doing a lot of one man shop.
So what is it like having someone like drew that one is a fantastic artist. Drew Yar. You’re fantastic. And then on top of that has great ideas because he was the driving force behind Canto. Another great series that we just talked about, obviously a driving force on the house, but how easy does that make your life say, having somebody to pin ideas off of, and then not have to worry about all.
The lettering and the inking and the penciling and all that.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah, no, it’s nice. Every now and then to work on a project where I’m not doing like every aspect of what it is. It’s a little bit different sometimes when I work with other people, cause I have to, to a degree, turn off parts of my brain that they’re doing because they’re in charge of it.
That’s where their skillset comes in and we’re working together because of the quality of their work. But it takes a little bit of work when I’m like, I sound script. Early on, especially I wanted to draw it and be like, no, right. That’s Drew’s thing. He’s going to do a great job with what it is. And, and [00:17:00] then, you know, when I get the art back and yeah, I think we, I think I learned a lot, obviously this project’s a little bit older, even though we worked on it for a long time.
And I think writing it back kind of, kind of some of the first drafts. Working through the process and looking at the artwork coming back and how drew was changing stuff to make things work better. It taught me a lot as a writer about what you can and can’t do or how to do things in comics. Versus I think the, the script itself was very cinematic and even some of the early draft stuff we did, I look back at it now and be like, I’m glad we changed that because it’s literally impossible to do in comics, but I was just thinking of it.
So moving instead of static. So, so I think that entire experience taught me a lot. Yeah. Approaching writing and comics for the very specificities of the medium, as opposed to just like, I’ve got a cool idea. Let’s put it on a page. It’s like, what works in comics? What can we see? What can we do? And Tranter, and I’ve laughed a lot about it over the years where I’m like, I’m sorry.
I asked you to draw some of these things because it’s so damn hard to figure out how to do, but it was cool. It was a good learning [00:18:00] curve and a rig again, a product that we are super, super proud of. So.
It’s a big book.
Drew Zucker: It was cool because initially we were. Initially, if we set it up as a graphic novel initially.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah. My first outline that I sent you, cause I dug it up when we were looking at special features and stuff, it was for 120 page graphic novel. It was what it was. And then we adjusted our model and it ended up being a whole lot bigger.
Drew Zucker: once we knew we were that there was that we weren’t going to have a publisher. Going the the self published route was going to be the way to do this with common psychology. It was cool because page count went out the window. So it just became how much time do you really want to invest into what we’re doing?
And. The biggest area of that is probably the opening of the book which I totally forgot about until I heard you talk about it the other day. So the [00:19:00] initial opening is, was two pages. Hi think, and I, I ended up expanding it out 12 pages or something along those lines. And it’s one of my favorite parts of the book.
It’s probably like, I actually want to do more with those characters, even though there’s not a whole lot for us to really mind out of them. But that, that was the fun part about it was knowing that we weren’t a. We weren’t, you know, we didn’t have to commit into any, any sort of printing, printing guidelines.
Can you guys see that? Yep. Yep.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Nice. Yeah. So the
Kenric: is amazing and it kind of gives like this really drop down. Look, is this the main. [00:20:00]
Drew Zucker: This is the one
Kenric: cover. What were you thinking when you, when you, when you drew this drew?
Drew Zucker: Yeah, this was me. So we, we had another cover for a long time that I adored and that was colored by a Matt Doreen. And he’s gone on to do an endless amount of animation stuff.
But that was the original cover. And then when the time came to redo it, I didn’t necessarily want to lose all the elements from that initial cover. So we kind of split the difference on, you know, what, what can kind of tell the entire story in one shot? Yeah.
Kenric: Yeah. What was it like working with Comicology?
Was it pretty much get what you need to get done and upload it? And Amazon was. Was there any,
Drew Zucker: when we did it, it was really easy. It’s [00:21:00] literally like the, the thing that you don’t account for when you do these books is a production of the actual book, putting all of the little details together, the title pages formatting pages all of that stuff is what you don’t really account for.
And certainly. Phil Phil who did all that stuff, did a great job for the Kickstarter. But man, what a dark horse went and did like you see the difference between bringing in somebody that does this for a living and it just was. We were like, I can’t believe this is our book.
Kenric: Just look pretty. Did you get it? You’re like, oh, it’s so pretty.
Drew Zucker: They’re sending us option after option. And I’m like, oh my God, this is this what this is. I feel like go a little slower, just a little slower.
Kenric: I had to show a couple pages so people can [00:22:00] get a good idea of what we’re talking about. It looks amazing when you do a page. When it’s all action. Phil, how much of this did you script out for drew or did he just know what was happening?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: For a lot of the book, I would script things out. I think like drill doesn’t mind.
Like he likes to know what’s going on and be able to figure out how he wants to approach it. So I felt the book was decently scripted. I’m not like an oppressive scripter, but at the same time, drew didn’t want, like, you know, here’s a sentence, draw 30 pages out of it. He wanted to know what’s going on.
And then from there he would take it and adjust it. However he needed. Again, expanding two minute 12 pages or three to six pages. And vice versa to kind of find the right deeds, but I feel it was fairly scripted for the most. Yeah. When
Kenric: you look back at your guys’s time working on this book for, I think you guys started in 2010, you got it on Kickstarter by 2018.
Comixology what? 2017, correct? Yeah.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah.
Kenric: What is your favorite time when you think of this, this whole [00:23:00] thing? Is it, was it the, just because I think one of my favorite times is that, is that initial. Stage where you’re so excited, you know, like idea after idea is just water falling off of you or is it when you finally put pen to paper and you put that last dot over that last die and that cross in that last team?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah, no. The two things that stick out to me and then drink and talk about what, what sticks out the most like favorite moment to him. And when we had the book finally printed, drew flew out to where I’m at. We live in separate states and then we spent the weekend like packing up 200 boxes for Kickstarters.
And then we got to do some store signings for some, I live in Utah. So there’s some really great stores and stuff. And we sold so many copies, like 40 and 50 copies of the book at each store we went to, and that was just, it was to us. It was a very surprising and something about that moment of like physically having the book, getting it shipped out to people.
What are the the awesome ladies at the post office that we would just [00:24:00] come in with stacks? Oh, no, they were great. I loved it. So I’m getting paid either way. I bring them in and then getting to do signings and just kind of seeing it in, in real life. Finally, being able to give it to people. That was one, I think the other moment that sticks out to me obviously for personal reasons is we sent the first couple issues to Tom Lyle.
When I think we’re getting them out to kick. Yeah. And he read them and Tom is our comic stab and he is, but he’s also, he doesn’t Cory ballbuster. Yeah, he doesn’t mean to her. It’s not going to give you a compliment that he doesn’t feel is, is a deserved and He sent us really nice and really high praise for the effort at the point where he was like, it was surprised me.
I wasn’t expecting it to be good. Or this kid
Drew Zucker: that’s definitely
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: dead. Yup. Yup. And that was, that was a moment that I think, you know, the things that he said, we might have them print it in the book, this version. If [00:25:00] not, it’s in some of the, the marketing materials we have from back in the day, his plays yeah.
Kenric: Has dark horse changed? Did he covers, are we getting the original covers? Went to press with
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: new cover. We did four of them and there’s new special features. And like I said, the production on the book is similar and style. It’s very, it’s, it’s a new version entirely. So
Drew Zucker: dark horse loaded in a ton, more, more than I expected them for behind the scenes it’s been released
Drew Zucker: Yeah. The one cover, they the, the what’s going to be the trade cover.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah. I think if you look up like the house or course comics or something like that, you should be able to see the new cover that drew and I did and let’s bring it up for him because it’s totally, I think it’s a great number.
Kenric: Oh yeah.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Yeah. There’s like the skull behind the house. That one is coming
Kenric: off of here. I’m going to figure it [00:26:00] out.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Nice. I think, you know, the cover process, both on Comixology and this, all the additions we’ve done. That was one of the few times. I think we were more collaborative from an art side. You would pass layouts back and forth and thumbnails back and forth and whatnot.
So, yep, there it is. Right there.
Kenric: Just give it a, give it a proper zoom.
That is ridiculous. I love trail. Who did the cover on this one?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Drew to the colored? It,
Kenric: I had CS drill. You got to style. Like I can tell drew when, when I, when I open up a book and see you’re in pages, but your cover stuff, dude, you, you seem to like you switched. You know, you don’t go, that’s a true sucker right there on every single one.
Like you can do that with like, you know, certain artists, right? Like I, sometimes I have a hard time difference between required and Larson. Cause they are very similar [00:27:00] in style, but you know, but yours, like every, like I would never think to see this coming in.
Drew Zucker: That invest. The thing is like every, you know, cause I made my bones on on Kansas and you know, this kind of to a lot of people, this comes out of left field.
Well Phil can attest to it. I am a Harner through and through. And it’s probably the thing I’m most excited to come back. Yeah. Once Campos wrapped up you know, it’s a little harder to have a mainstream hit with horror, but it, you know, there may or may not be announcements coming in the near future about something lined up.
That’s going to be around sooner than people think.
Kenric: I love it. But dude w when you showed this to dark horse, what was their reaction? That’s the cover. Boom, print
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: it. Oh yeah, I know. So we did, we did a lot of different layouts on this [00:28:00] one, a lot of anchoring to get it to the spot. And I got it. I’m going to tweet it out here shortly.
Maybe not today, but I colored three different versions of this cover to get the right one
Kenric: together on the cover. So it kind of feels more. Synergistic we’ve worked through,
Drew Zucker: so I do the initial thumbs and then Phil kind of does a play through on the thumbs. And then if, you know, there needs to be another round, we just kind of work, work through those. And then eventually we got down to three that we were comfortable with with like two that we actually liked.
And we sent it off to our editor and was like,
Kenric: It looks fantastic. That’s goal is just freaky and I love Montreal coming up to the house
Drew Zucker: so hard to look at this book now, because [00:29:00] all I want to do and Phil has had the. Because I was a good dark horse. Picked it up. I can redraw the entire book. Now I can do it. I can do it better. I can make it scary.
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s for, that’s for that’s for our next in spirit of
I’m hoping you’ll come on my show and tell me about the man I’m super. I’m super excited. I love good horror books, I think. And I feel like it’s either there’s not enough. Like they try too hard to be psychological or they just go for core. You know what I mean?
Drew Zucker: I, when I was in college, I had this big realization and it’s, you know, it’s by no means original, but when you have it, it changes your entire perspective of the genre, which is that there’s a difference between being scared and being.
Yeah. If I want to, if you want to be a 13 year old and [00:30:00] obnoxious about it, you can be EOI we’re off to make hospital, right. Or you can be an adult and actually show some skill and make alien or the thing,
Drew Zucker: I mean, you can, there, there is room for both of these things, but there, there is a distinctive difference between them and in comics in particular, the best part about comics.
You don’t, there’s no budget. There’s no getting everyone together there. You know, I it’s just me. I could do this in theory on my own, you know, it’s me and Phil, right? The hard part about that is you lose every other element that comes with cells. There’s no sound, there’s no movement. There’s no jump scare.
There’s no pacing. So what we had to really figure out for this book was how do I. Essentially use what is the overused scare in a movie each? So a jump scare, but how do I bring it into a comment? [00:31:00] So that’s where the shots become really important page layout, pacing spot plaquing. And it becomes really difficult to do that.
I think to make a horror comics is something that a ton of people try to do. And. Questionable how many actually
Kenric: succeed. Yeah. Yeah. Do you, when you, when, when you’re drawing and you’re, you’re staging everything out, are you trying to think of it more of a as it from a director point of view? Or are you thinking it from a story?
I mean, obviously you got to think from a story telling point of view because you’re telling the story, but are you thinking of what would this look like on film and then trying to incorporate that that’s still shot with the action shot. Like you’re talking jumps. Or is it really just, I just, I just want it, I mean, we always just want to make the best product, but I I’m just trying to figure out what your thought process is when you’re coming up with that kind of stuff.
Drew Zucker: The way I see things in my head is very [00:32:00] cinematically. I, you know, understand camera movement, and that’s how I kind of see everything and I see it in internet. So essentially translating that into the page becomes, okay. I know. So Phil gives me a script, that’s got five panels and then I read them and I go, okay, we have five panels, but so let’s say like a walk down the hallway and something, you know, they’re walking and they turn around and they think something’s behind them.
There’s nothing there. And they keep walking. Yeah. And that’s why panels. There may be areas where it’s like, where does it make sense to point an inset indicate a specific act. So that we can stay close. Maybe it makes more sense for it to be a wide shot. And it only insects that move around the page to help, you know, guide the eye and give a sense of tension with that main shot.
So there’s a lot of, you know, how do I not only serve the story, but how do I serve the shot, the shot. [00:33:00] That’s awesome.
Kenric: When, when you guys were working on this, Phil you’re writing out the script, I got to kind of ask you a weird personal question. How many inner demons came out when writing something like this, especially on something that you cause seven years on one project, especially on, on a singular story.
Like if you work like on Batman, you’re working on an arc of six issues and then you’re moving on to something else. I don’t think there’s anything personal being left there unless you have some weird. Very attachment to Batman, but something like this that is super personal, super in there. Something always comes out.
And I’m curious, did you have any of those types of things come out?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: That’s a really good question. And yeah, like I was writing the script from 2010 to 2014. Anywhere from 11 to seven years ago. You know, I think on a personal level, I had a, my grandfather’s older brother died during the battle of the bulge.
So there was always that personal connection in like a family member who was in the middle of this and never came home. I think the remains that they were sent was like, this [00:34:00] might be his remains and we really don’t know he stepped on the line. So, I mean, there was that element and I think, you know, it was funny.
So I was writing the book initially from a very like, kind of specific point of view. This is the problem that these people are facing, and this is how it relates to their psychology. And I’m not going to get into it. Cause I don’t want to like spoil some of this stuff, but I asked her like a year or two, I, it clicked.
I was like, oh, I’m writing something. That’s actually very different. And I turned to drew, I was like, dude, this is what this book’s about. And he’s like, yeah, That’s what it’s always been about for me. And it just, it just, it was a fun relationship. I, I envisioned it one way and the more I wrote it wrote to these characters and what they were thinking and what they were feeling.
The more, it kind of, the more I understood it differently and it kind of like, naturally my emotions kind of progressed and changed just by where she was like, yeah, that’s where it was. I dunno if we just never talked about it at the beginning or what it was, but yeah, I there’s little bits here and there for sure.
And I think it was just the more I dug in, the more I [00:35:00] kind of push into their hearts and chorus and kind of what it is
Drew Zucker: and whatnot.
Kenric: That’s interesting. Is there a character that more, that you relate with more than the other.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Ooh, that’s a really good question. I mean our, our main character Harker I’m I think there was a lot, I identified with him because starting out he’s very much like a passive character who doesn’t want to be there.
And through circumstance kind of ends up finding himself, having to constantly push himself out of a comfort zone to help the people around him. He’s kind of our reluctant to grow to a degree and how he kind of comes to terms with that. And I think I don’t, I just, that was one that I just, yeah. That I could identify with in that, like he’s not the all star of the group.
He’s not the, the, you know, the, you know, he’s not the superstar, he’s not a superhero. Right. He’s the one who’s there because of our circumstances out of his control and would just rather not. And I, I think that’s an identifiable characteristic and all of us when we would love to be the best, but we’re also aware that we’re not, and sometimes in situations we just try to get [00:36:00] through them.
And it’s, it’s not that like, are you going to step up and are you going to take a control and are you going to help the people around us? And I think all of us want to think where that person and hopefully we are right. Just like Harper, you never quite know until you’re in that situation
Kenric: because you get hit in the mouth
Drew Zucker: then, you know,
Kenric: is there, is there a character for you that you identify with more than the others
Drew Zucker: not identify with?
But my favorite character in the book is probably the marketing. Mostly cause is the angriest and he probably has, he was, he was the most fun to draw. He has some great scenes in the bulk and it’s just, it’s a lot of, there’s a lot of stuff where I think when I was doing the story stuff with him, I just felt myself hitting my stride with the ball.
Kenric: That’s cool. Well, when you’re, when you’re you’re here now we’re coming into October. We’re going to get this book. What is something [00:37:00] that people can. Not a spoiler, but maybe something should be looking out as you know, this, this scene here is something that was really special to us, or we went this far into it and, and you know, or maybe there’s one that you’re like, I, cause you already said I could redraw this whole thing.
I can make it better, but there’s gotta be one that you’re like that turned out the way we envisioned it from the beginning.
Drew Zucker: I would say it’s not something that. It’s not necessarily a scene. It’s something. So people who read the comics, ology version but didn’t get the Kickstarter version are missing a very particular short story called the tale of the diary of Ethan vials.
And it’s, it’s going to be reprinted in the dark horse version. So if you ha, if you got an uncommon cell. There’s some story incentives to get a, the dark horse version. Anything involving Ethan wild in [00:38:00] that book, I thought was a total stroke of genius. And it was a story element that came in super late into, into production.
But Phil sent it to me. I read it and I asked him, so who did you steal this from? Because I thought that this was a, cause it they’re their diary entries that make appearances makes an appearance once or twice. I thought that this was a real diary entry. You
Kenric: where you where were you bringing in your inner brand stuff?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: We, you know, it ties it back to something that Andrew mentioned earlier. The opening sequence was two pages long and drew was like, I can I get some more space? I think I can do this so much better. And I was like, go for it. So then he turned in 12 pages of art without any script to it. So I sat down with that art and I was like, how do I script this?
And it just came to me that like, essentially it’s a, there was like a voiceover happening that our entries from this diet. And the whole time you’re trying to [00:39:00] connect, is it these two characters we’re seeing at the very end, there’s like a little editor split note of like where these entries came from, where the diary was found, what year?
Just like a little, like, again, it’s not real, but at the same time it felt kind of that fundamental. And then when we got to, again, we’d finished the kick and the Comicology version, and we wanted to add something more for the Kickstarter version. So we added an epilogue, which tells the tale of this Ethan wild that we found the journal of in like essentially the prologue.
And I, up to this point, everything in the book is colored by Jane Pittman. And they’re an amazing. They’ve gone on essentially just to be full art duties books like lonely receiver was that Thompson and a bunch of other books. So that was, I think the last book that Jim ever colored as a colorist solely.
But when we got to Ethan Wilde, I ended up coloring that whole thing. So I did a couple of the covers, including the, the dark horse and one end, that short story. And it was it’s. It’s my favorite thing in the book. It was. It was really kind of surreal or it’s, it’s, it’s, it ties into the story, but in a way, like just really fun, little extra.
And then, you know, [00:40:00] I guess people could essentially skip to the end of the book to read it, but it’s, it’s a fun epilogue that goes into everything.
Drew Zucker: When he sent me the the letter prologue I read it. And like I drew the damn thing. I know exactly what happened. I was uncomfortable reading it. I was like, this is creeping me out.
Kenric: Where have you always had a darker side, Phil when you’re writing?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: I don’t know. Particularly if I have like a darker side, I mean, huge horror fan. I’ve been since I was a kid started reading Stephen King and things like that early. And I just, I love words and I love the way it’s a controlled anxiety release, I guess you could, like, I’ve always had a lot of anxiety and horror is a way to like safely bring that into your system and to process it and then to feel fine because you’re in control and that’s one of the things or the anxieties you feel like you’re out of control.
And I think that’s one of the cathartic aspects of. And then, so I’m just, I’ve always loved it. It said drew and I are both giant or nerds and we can talk forever [00:41:00] about like our favorite stuff. But I think, I think it’s more so just kind of channeling that inner self and being able to bring emotions to the surface and process and to let them go is the most important thing is a human you can do.
And it’s not a skill that anyone ever teaches you until you’re like going to therapy and doing other things like that before. Is that, that way of doing that without realizing it.
Kenric: You obviously have a darker side as well. That’s there and it might be by attrition, just like Phil was talking about now. But for you, is it more in your, in your art, even though writing is art, but I mean, is it more in your art or in the writing or is it a subjugation of both?
Drew Zucker: I’d say it’s probably some education of both.
I, I was the biggest posting grow. I was such a baby, a Blair, which scared the living piss out of me. And ironically, the Xenomorph was like the thing I couldn’t handle. And you fast forward to when I’m 14 and I actually discovered alien. It’s like my favorite thing in the [00:42:00] world.
Kenric: And when nightmare on Elm street came out, I couldn’t sleep for
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: three days. Right.
Drew Zucker: So it’s, it’s weird that, you know, when I was younger, I was so terrified of everything. And then, you know, you grow up and then you kind of see what’s what, and you start finding your way. And to me, horror is just. It’s one of the best John auras and the most underappreciated genres, because for me, I can tell whatever story I need to tell using horror elements.
Whether that’s just me drawing, whether that’s having Phil on as the writer, that’s my own short story writing. You know, it’s just, it’s a genre that lets you. That lets you play in it very easily. And it’s fun to make people, you know, get out of their comfort zone for a little bit and be uncomfortable.
My life is spent being uncomfortable all the time, but you know, you spend six and a half years as an [00:43:00] EMT. I’ve literally been covered up to my elbows in stuff that belongs inside of people. You know, you. That transient. And that that’s me though. I can function in that environment, but transferring some of that into, you know, people’s, day-to-day wives that don’t experience that level of like one to a thousand.
So that that’s, that’s something that I personally think is kind of.
Kenric: There you go. Well, guys, we’re almost an hour in already. Not weird.
Drew Zucker: It wasn’t funny.
Kenric: I really am super excited. Thanks for coming on. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and read it. I love horror books. So this is going to be. You know, especially these ones, Andrew, I can’t believe you never told me about this book many times when we talk.
Drew Zucker: So this book is so weird because it got so caught up [00:44:00] in all the campus stuff. So when cancer was really kind of on its way, Yeah, there was nothing else there. And people, some people discovered this book on their own just by virtue of finding Canto and then looking into me. But now that now the dark horse is, you know, given, given this book like new life, it’s exciting that we get to now come out and use all of the resources that can’t, those afforded me over the last few years to really bring this thing to the masses.
Kenric: Is perfect fit for dark horse. Yeah. You know, I was like, I know Cantos over IDW and I love IDW. They do some green stuff, but this doesn’t fit there.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: There, there, there, but
Kenric: yeah. Yeah. Are you guys going to be at any common concept?
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: I’m not going to be at any in 2021. I’m going to start looking at my 2022 schedule.
And they started [00:45:00] announcing dates though.
Drew Zucker: I was approved for my New York city badge as we went live. So we’ll be at noon today, literally right before we started recording. I will be at New York. I won’t have a table. I will be floating. I know IDW isn’t going, but I have to reach out, see if dark horses going or who has a table and where I can float around to and I will possibly be at Baltimore.
We’re working that out now.
Kenric: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I’ll be, I’m going to try to go to enrolled. Oh, nice.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Nice. Yeah. It’ll so I love that show. I just wasted it wasn’t right before Christmas this year. So I know
Kenric: it’s just a weird time. It was part of me was like, why don’t you guys just do it your normal spring
Drew Zucker: during Thanksgiving
Kenric: is when to hurry up and get their money.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: I mean, it’s fair. Right? We understand. But yeah,
Kenric: we’re going to try, we’re going to try and get a table for the podcast. We’ll see. Cool. [00:46:00] We have enough people that come on to go over this stuff. So yeah, we should be able to, yeah.
Drew Zucker: In 2021 is going to be weird. 20, 22 though. That’s going to be, that’s going to be a crazy year for people.
I am. I am really excited for San Diego next year. It’s
Kenric: going to be a big year. Yeah. We’re going to probably go to San Diego next year. We’re going to hit up our, our LCS is cause we were, we used to have one comp bookstore that would give us their tickets cause they never went. Oh cool. So we’d go and we’d go to the retailer event and I bound event Kirkman and have dinner and drinks with them with all the other, which was weird because there’s like 3000 comic book shops out there right now, or 2200 or something like that.
And there was like 15 of them in this. It all get invited. So it’s kind of weird. They’d all go to get behind what the people at image, you know, like, Hey, so, but you know, it’s funny, you guys are talking about Lyle who, and I was starting to hear that he passed, [00:47:00] but we have the same thing here. We have Andrew Sumner.
He’s the over at. Tightened publishing out of, out of the UK. He, same thing. He comes on our show all the time. He’s become more like a father mentor figure for us kind of exact same, you know, he doesn’t pull any punches. So what we did, right. What we did wrong, dah, dah, dah, dah. And he’s been in media for 30, some odd years.
So he’s a, you got to have that sort, man. It makes a big
Drew Zucker: difference. Yeah, there, there are a lot of people that did not like Tom and it at school in particular. Tom was known for burning a few bridges here and there over his career. You know, I always told people at school, you can’t get mad at him because he always tells you the truth.
You may not like what he has to say, but the guy you go back and read his Spider-Man stuff. And everyone talks about McFarlane and Bagley. I dare anyone to challenge me on that. Tom is probably the [00:48:00] third. Artists that influenced more of 90 Spiderman behind those two. It is incredible. How much of that 90 show is?
Actually, it looks a lot like Palm oil art. There’s a lot of times DNA in there. I mean, you know, having, having that person. That will push you and not, not always sugarcoat it for you. It’s not a bad thing.
Kenric: Oh no. If he’s, if he’s telling you, it’s probably cause you need to
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: hear it. I spent the weekend with some, some of our artists, friends we were scattered people and we, we spent a lot of time talking about like, I don’t know if I know anyone who ever cared as much as Tom did.
And he was very passionate and he would argue and fight with anyone, but it wasn’t just because he liked to fight. No one cared about comments and teaching and helping people learn and grow and get better more than Tom ever, you know, pass. Yeah.
Kenric: Yeah. That’s it. I mean, I don’t think you can have a higher compliment than
Drew Zucker: that.
No, listen, [00:49:00] we were what, nine years out? Eight years or eight years out for me by the time when he passed away. It’s still every, every year at New York, that was what I looked forward to at that show. The most is getting to go hang out with them, you know, the hour I could get them away from the table.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: And we had we had dinner plans.
He, he, he went into a coma a week before New York Hamilton in 2018 and passed away a couple of weeks afterwards. And I was like, I had a message on my phone from him. We had plans for dinner and it was just a. Sudden thing and, and yeah, it was a tremendous loss for everyone in the industry entirely, but he’s got a generation of comic book artists too, if he’s influenced and taught.
So in that way, that’s the
Kenric: best thing you can do is just remember and say the word you’re saying now. I want to go back now and see, I don’t think I realized that he did a Spiderman run. Yup. So now I want to go back to his Spider-Man run just to see
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: it. He [00:50:00] designed a Scarlet spider costume.
Drew Zucker: Yep. That’s that’s his big claim to fame.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Marvel. Yeah. DC and spider Scarlet. Spider Marvel. So,
Kenric: yup. The house yep. Over dark horse. And GLCs tell him that you need that in the store. If you’re on previews and they have the pole box thing that they do, which personally, I don’t like, I want to just call my dude at the LCS and tell him, but he’s using that pole box from previous.
But if you’re doing that, make sure that you look up the house and add that to your, to your box. Drew Phil. Thank you guys so much for coming on, man. This was a real treat. Hopefully we can get you guys back on again soon. Maybe when it comes out, we can do more. Drew knows. I love talking to comics and we had him on with, with David Buer a couple of times going over Canto.
We actually went over one book like page for page director’s commentary. It [00:51:00] was a lot of fun. I don’t think we could do that with the house because of the sheer size of it, but we could take a small snippet. And do something
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: like that. Yeah.
Kenric: Something that doesn’t have too many spoilers for people I’m excited.
I cannot fucking wait to read this.
Phil Sevy and Drew Zucker – COMBINED: Thank you so much for having us on it’s a, it’s our favorite book to talk about together? I know drew maybe like stands out more, but when it comes to the house,
Kenric: the personal, a little deer in here in his heart. So it might, might be a very neck and neck.
Drew Zucker: They’re all my they’re all my spoiled, dirty little children.
Kenric: They’re all these little pretties.
Drew Zucker: All right,
Kenric: guys. Well, we’ll talk soon. Okay. Sounds good.