Recently, I got the chance to catch up with writer John Arcudi to discuss his latest B.P.R.D. project, King of Fear. John also gives us a look into his origins in the business and the workings of King of Fear.
-Alex Rodrik, Editor of Features and Interviews
Alex Rodrik: Tell us a bit about your history. How’d you get involved with comics and what drew you to the medium as a writer?
John Arcudi: I was writing prose and not having a lot of success and thinking about giving up (after only 6 months, so you can see I was really perseverant) when a friend of mine who was an assistant editor up at Marvel approached me and asked if I’d be interested in doing some work up there. They needed some fill-in for an anthology they were doing and oddly enough, without any real experience and only one “how-to” session from the editor, I took to it.
AR: What can fans look forward to in B.P.R.D.: King of Fear?
JA: The end of the Frog War, for one thing, and the resolution of the Lobster Johnson situation for another. We have some old friends showing up, and we get a peek into the BPRD’s future. We also learn something very strange about Abe — or do we? A lot going on in this series.
AR: With quite a few B.P.R.D. titles under your belt, what challenges do you face each time you take on a new run?
JA: Of course you want to keep it fresh for the readers. You try to tell a different sort of story each time, or tell the stories in different ways. But the real challenge is making it fun and interesting for me to write — without becoming too self-indulgent. If I’m not enjoying it, the readers will get a bad story. It really takes some thinking, and usually what I do is latch on to one character per series who we can mess with a little, make him or her more than what he or she was before. Or less. Something that changes the character at least a little bit, but usually a lot.
AR: Of all the titles you’ve gotten to work on, what project’s burned a solid image into your brain?
JA: If you’re talking BPRD titles, it’d be a toss-up between Killing Ground and Garden of Souls.
AR: How closely does Mike work with you on the B.P.R.D. titles?
JA: It depends. Sometimes very closely, and sometimes he just makes suggestions after I turn in scripts. It changes from series to series. We have no set way of working together. This also helps keep things fresh, or so we hope.
JA: I try to find a piece of me in each of them because otherwise, how can I write `em?
AR: How does B.P.R.D.: King of Fear play into the “Frog War”?
JA: It wraps it all up nicely, among other things. It’s time to give longtime readers a definitive conclusion to this conflict and then move on to address many of the other threads we’ve been trailing throughout the previous arcs.
AR: How was it getting to work with Guy Davis again?
JA: Guy Davis is the Jack Kirby of spooky comics. What else is there to say?
AR: Any hopes of a The Mask revival?
JA: There may be one in the works now, but it won’t involve me, or Doug Mahnke.
AR: What projects do you have coming in 2010 that readers should look out for?
JA: For Dark Horse I’ll be doing the next BPRD series after King of Fear and a two part Abe Sapien story with the incredible Peter Snejbjerg and Bjarne Hansen! For Marvel, I’ll be writing a Luke Cage mini-series, which is shaping up to be a real blast for me. Couple of other things, too, but if I don’t get back to writing, they’ll NEVER come out!
AR: [Laughs] Well thank you for taking the time to chat with us, John!
JA: Thank you!