Scott Duvall has written an Army of Darkness comic exclusive to Dynamite’s current Humble Bundle offering and he has a writer’s commentary.
PAGE ONE – Right off the bat, we get the sense that this isn’t gonna be your typical story starring Ash, as we open up in New York City, taking our hero outside of his comfort zone and giving him a sidekick in the form of Kelley. Here we establish Ash is on a book tour, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s given Ash a big head. Who would have thought this guy would ever write a book, but naturally any book he would write would be about himself (let’s face it, though, Kelley probably ghost-wrote it).
PAGE TWO – Speaking of Kelley, she is actually based on a real person, my good friend Kelley Allen of Humble Bundle. Being such big fans of Kelley, we thought it would be fun to include her on this adventure, and her personality and career in publishing also played a factor in crafting this story around Ash. And now she’s part of Army of Darkness history!
PAGE THREE – Another cameo based on a cool comic book journalist named George Gene Gustines. George does the comics beat at the New York Times, but here we cast him as a radio show host, asking Ash the tough questions about this supposed “monster book”. I wanted the title of Ash’s book to sound like something he would have come up with on his own, straight and to the point. The subtitle “Medieval Dead” was a nod to the original working title of Army of Darkness so a little Easter egg for fans like me.
PAGE FOUR – Promoting comics and books via social media has been a focal point of my career, so I wanted to see how Ash would navigate those digital waters. Naturally he attracts a death threat within minutes because it’s Ash. While that’s funny in the context of the comic, this is also a bit of a commentary on online fan culture, so take that for what it is.
PAGE FIVE – A dead book signing (we’ve all been there) just got a lot deader. Cue page turn reveal!
PAGE SIX – The NECRONOMICON EX-MORTIS! The infamous Book of the Dead didn’t make its way into the last Army of Darkness story I wrote (the Bubba Ho-Tep crossover for those keeping score) so I made a point to spotlight it in this story.
PAGE SEVEN – Where the Necronomicon goes, Deadites are not far behind. I had fun looking up Kandarian phrases and making them work in the context of each scene. I sort of was thinking of the crazed fan as a Mark David Chapman type, one who is your biggest fan one minute, and is out for your blood the next.
PAGE EIGHT – Not only does Kelley earn her place by booking the signings and interviews, she’s also there with a chainsaw at the ready when Ash needs to get out of a jam! Going back to the medieval thing, their exchange here is reminiscent of a knight and squire, which I dig.
PAGE NINE – I love the way Ash comes off like a swashbuckler here but with a chainsaw instead of a sword. The last three-panel sequence here by Edu Menna works incredibly well and really sells the action that’s kicking off here. In terms of quips, Ash can’t be beat.
PAGE TEN – It wouldn’t be a story involving Ash if he wasn’t about to get sucked into something. I absolutely love the colors by Salvatore Aiala who really got to show off here. It’s one of my favorite pages for that reason as that portal really pops. Also, did I mention how fun it is writing lines for Ash?
PAGE ELEVEN – The fight continues downward into a truly horrible place filled with the stench of urine and pizza rats. Hell, you ask? No, the NYC subway, of course! This would have been a great place to drop a ninja turtles reference, but we’ll save that for another crossover. This part felt very Dead or Alive to me if anyone remembers those games where the arena keeps changing scenery based on what direction the fight takes. I can vaguely recall a time when I could still work video games into my schedule. Now I write comics, so trade off?
PAGE TWELVE – This probably is my favorite joke in the whole story which involves the translation of the captions. Also, Taylor Esposito on letters, ladies and gents! I love the Deadite effect he adds to the balloons throughout and you can practically hear the subway bearing down on us in that final frame.
PAGE THIRTEEN – Subway dodge. Dig it. Also this is pretty much an accurate depiction of how my first meeting with Bruce Campbell might go.
PAGE FOURTEEN – Kelley comes bearing good news, if only Ash could interpret what the hell all the social media terms actually mean for him. These kids and their internets! Ash remains a lovable Luddite.
PAGE FIFTEEN – Ash falls into a little bit of money and a little bit of celebrity and so of course the first order of business is taking them out for drinks. I mean who wouldn’t want to get tanked with the king himself? You’d drink too if you had the burden of being the chosen one hanging over your head!
PAGE SIXTEEN – The bar they’re drinking at here was modeled after McSorley’s Old Ale House in NYC, but of course we couldn’t call it that (for reasons) but we all know the truth. I highly recommend it so next time you’re in Manhattan, get a round of drinks there and know that once a fabled king tossed a few back there (or at least inspired the end of this here story).
I sincerely hope you had a chance to check out our story Ash the Author and enjoyed it! We couldn’t be happier to have it featured in Dynamite’s 15th Anniversary Humble Bundle and benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, so consider throwing them a few bucks and getting some great Dynamic comics!