Rik Hoskin is working on two books for Dynamite, Cage Hero and Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Storm Surge. Byron Brewer caught up with the writer to talk about the latter of the two and what it's like working with a Horror Master. Cover art by Andres Ponce
RIK HOSKIN: Simply — wow! Dean Koontz is a colossus of the horror genre and it's been an honor to work with him. I read his Frankenstein book series when it came out a few years ago and I was fascinated by the premise. Getting the chance to create some new material within that set up has been amazing. Sure, I came a little late to the party, but, man, what a party!
BB: Monsters are a far cry from Cage Hero. Was handling these characters a challenge and, if so, how did you cope with that task?
RH: I started out writing supernatural adventure comics featuring my own characters — The Agents of Psyence — before getting diverted into licensed titles, so working on the Frankenstein comic (as well as last year's Mercy Thompson graphic novel for Dynamite) has felt like coming back to my roots. The big challenge here was picking up on the story that previous scripter Chuck Dixon had set up without losing Chuck's vibe.
BB: Tell us your perception as writer of Victor Frankenstein as a character.
RH: Victor's a genius but his genius has left him morally adrift — he believes his science is beyond concepts of right and wrong. His character flaw is his ego, but he's smart enough to be aware of that and tries to compensate for it — he doesn't call himself Victor Frankenstein, he calls himself Victor Helios now. Ego-driven geniuses are always fun to write.
BB: Favorite monsters — in this series, and of all time?
RH: Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein novel is fantastic, portraying the monster as a tortured figure, an abomination of science employed without conscience. That tragedy is at the heart of our story, and it's a set-up that makes for a great, multi-faceted monster.
Favorite monsters of all time? Sadako in Ring and the Thing in Fantastic Four come to mind — both are tragic figures. I tried to bring that tragedy to a character I created called Ullikummis for a book series I wrote for eight years called Outlanders, under the pen-name James Axler. Ullikummis' story ran through 11 books over about four years, and many readers found themselves sympathizing with this supposedly "evil" character because of his back story.
BB: Opinions on the art of Andres Ponce?
RH: Andres is an amazing artist and, most importantly, an excellent story-teller. I worked with Andres on the Star Wars comic for the British market about six years ago, where he illustrated a handful of my scripts. It's always an honor to have him interpret my scripts, so I'm very pleased to be working with him again.
For more on Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Storm Surge, click here.