I had to pleasure of speaking with Michael Alan Nelson, creator and writer of Fall of Cthulhu and Fall of Cthulhu: GodWar series. Having this opportunity, I decided to talk to him about his brand new series, Hexed. The story centers around Lucifer, a young thief, who dwells within the world of the supernatural and occult that is hidden in the cracks of today’s society.
Robert Greene: For those readers just jumping into Hexed, what should they expect?
Michael Alan Nelson: Well the thing is they don’t have to understand or have read anything from Fall of Cthulhu. That’s not important. One of the things I wanted to do was to make sure that new readers to Hexed enjoy the story as is. Yes, there are some references to her past life but that’s not necessary to understand and enjoy Hexed. In fact the idea of Hexedis that it’s actually separate. It’s a different universe from Fall of Cthulhu, it’s my own universe. So you don’t have to have any pre-knowledge of anything going in. Everything you need to know, you learn along the way.
RG: What draws you to Lucifer as a character?
MN: I like the idea that she is someone who has had to survive on her wits her entire life. You know I have a back story for her that I haven’t told yet, that I’ll eventually get around to, but you know she had a pretty brutal existence growing up as a kid. She was pretty much a street kid until she picked somebodies pocket who then caught her. But instead of turning her into the authorities he adopted her. So that pretty much got her out of that. She has learned to survive as a thief but she’s smart. The thing is that she exists in this world of magic and demons yet she doesn’t have any supernatural powers herself. She does have use of some magic but it’s somewhat limited. So she’s not like this great sorceries that can burn buildings from miles away. She’s just a clever, flashy young woman who survives on wits and wits alone. Not that she can’t take care of herself but she’s only 5″3 and 105 pounds so there’s only so much physical damage she can do to a demon that towers 12 feet over her. [laughter]
RG: [Laughter] Of course.
MN: As far as the character herself I just liked the idea that she’s resourceful and that she is always thinking of these things. There are little things that she does that an outsider may not know why she is doing it, but there is a specific reason. Like when she is putting her hair into pony tails, people may think “Well, ok, she is putting her hair into a ponytail,” but there is a reason she is doing that. That’s what I like about this character. It’s the little things. She is thinking three, four or five steps ahead of everyone else.
RG: Out of all your characters from Fall, Why give Lucifer her own series?
MN: I just enjoyed writing her. For some reason she was most…I guess accessible. The more I wrote her character the more I wanted to know about her. I wanted to see her move in this world of darkness and magic. It’s funny, when I first thought of her character I was actually thinking of one of the cover designs for The Gray Man before I had any solid idea of what that story was going to be. There is something about this image of this young girl sitting in a jail cell drawing symbols around her. It’s actually one of the covers to issue #11 and is one of my favorite covers. There is just something about that image that just makes me want to know more about that girl. What is her story? Why is she doing what she’s doing? The more I wrote about her, the more I wanted to know about her and the more I wanted to see the world through her eyes. She is just a fun character to write and a fun character to watch as a reader, I think. A lot of readers really enjoy her and just have a lot of fun reading about her. So that’s another reason why. She’s someone you can latch onto.
RG: What things will we see from Lucifer in this series?
MN: From her? Well the thing is, obviously, her past is catching up to her. We’re getting to see some of her relationships. She has a strong relationship with Val, the owner of the art gallery, and that actually becomes the liability for her. So it’s sort of, how does Lucifer deal with that kind of pressure and that kind of loss? Again, resourcefulness, she is up against some pretty big bads. How does she deal with that? So she has to find this object, the Carasnith. So, she is wondering what it is and why it’s so important to Dietrich. This is something she doesn’t know and needs to find out. So it’s sort of, how does she play that game against this ruthless killer to get the information that she wants to know without getting herself or the people she cares about killed.
RG: So her connection with these people is going to put her through some trials and tribulations?
MN: Exactly. The thing is there are events that happen at the end of Fall of Cthulhuwhich I won’t give away. The idea is that she underwent some sort of trauma. So, right after those events, which is three years prior to when Hexedstarts, she wasn’t exactly thinking too clearly. She was dealing with a lot of recent horrific events in her life that lead to some bad choices at that time that are now are coming back to haunt her.
RG: With blackmail, deception and evil around every corner Lucifer seems to have her hands full. Should we expect her to have any help on her side?
MN: You know, she does get some help. She calls in some favors from some unexpected places. Also, the idea that she is going to give everything to stop the bad people. The thing is “that sacrifice” should be rewarding. She has some interesting relationships, not necessarily friends or allies, but, occasionally there are some people who have the same goal but for different purposes. So, as long as those goals are the same for the moment then everything is fine. Lucifer wants peace, love and happiness for the world but not everyone else does. So obviously those conflicts will come into play sooner or later.
RG: I can see how those kinds of dreams don’t really leave a lot of personal time for Lucifer.
MN: That’s one of the things that I really liked writing her character. Her entire life, people that she loved or expected to love have disappeared. Usually they have been killed or died in violent ways. So it’s very difficult for her to form those kind of attachments. Not because she doesn’t want to fall in love, she is afraid those people will die. It’s sort of like why go through that hurt over and over again because of the life that she lives and the world that she exists in. After a while that takes a toll on you. I enjoy exploring those emotions. How does she form those relationships? What if she finds someone she’s romantically interested in? Does she say no ‘cause she is afraid she will get that person killed or does she finally take a chance and go for it. In the midst of all these fantastical and supernatural things that are going on around her, there is still these deep emotional problems that she’s facing. That internal turmoil coupled with the strenuous fantastical stuff is just so much fun to write about.
RG: In Fall you choose to spilt the stories up throughout v
arious issues. Should we expect a move like this in Hexed?
MN: No, Hexedis definitely different. Obviously in tone and style. I don’t think it’s quite as big and broad. When Fall of Cthulhu started you knew right off the bat that this was a big story and eventually that this was going to wrap up and come to an end. With Hexedits much more open ended. Lucifer has an overall goal that drives her, I mean she’s hexed after all. It’s that hex that is the main driving force for the entire series. In the course for that quest of resolution it’s sort of a back bone thing that we are looking for. We are going to be going through new challenges, new adversaries. So even though there is a bit of that over arcing story, it’s not going to be quite as big as Fall of Cthulhu. It’s going to be more digestible.
RG: Should readers of Hexedexpect to see any cameos from other characters from Fall of Cthulhu?
MN: The only characters that they will see from Fall are characters that I created. Here is the thing, I am really expecting a leap of faith from readers of mine that have read Fall of Cthulhu because Hexeddose not take place in the same universe. It’s my own story. So, basically what I’m asking readers to do is sort of just accept the fact in the Hexeduniverse, something horrible happened to Lucifer in the past. Readers of Fall pretty much know what that is, it just doesn’t need to be mentioned in Hexed. However, there are a couple of characters of my own creation from Fall that I am looking over. In fact there is one, I am not going to give away who yet…well actually if you have read issue #1 then you probably know, The Harlot. She is a major player in Hexedand aside from Lucifer, The Harlot is one of my favorite creations ever. What’s great to is that The Harlot has a completely different flavor and design in Hexedwhich I really enjoy.
MN: That is actually all thanks to the editor Matt Gagnon over at Boom Studios. When we were developing the project I sat down with Matt and he was looking for artists and he said to me “You know what? I got this dream team that I’m looking at. I need to contact them and see if this a project they would be willing to do.” He didn’t want to show me any of their work ‘cause he didn’t want me to get too excited. You know how these things go. You never know what’s on someone’s schedule and if there even going to be available. When I found out Emma Rios was available to work on it, Matt showed me what she was capable of doing. It blew my mind! Both Chris and Emma are a incredible team. I’m so happy with what they’re doing. It’s all thanks to Matt Gagnon for saying “This team will be perfect for this project.”.
RG: Will Hexed be expected to switch around it’s artists like in previous issues of Fall?
MN: I don’t know, probably. Personally ,the Emma & Chris team, I love! I’d love to keep the series going with both of them. If it does change artists what will happen is each four issue story arc will have it’s own artist unless we do one arc, which is quite possible, then maybe, switch up artists that way. I think I did try and have a more consistent artist team unlike in Fall.
Fall of Cthulhu: GodWar #4 will be on store shelves today, while Hexed is set to release in December. For more information about these and other releases from Boom Studios, go to boom-studios.net