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Next Friday, July 8, WE WILL BURY YOU co-writer Zane Grant
and artists Jonathan Spies and Adam Fletcher unleash their new collaborative DIY
creation, a web comic brilliantly titled DETECTIVE WARLOCK, WARLOCK DETECTIVE.
Which, as you might imagine, is about the adventures of a Warlock who happens
to be a detective, with the last name of Warlock. Grant spoke to Fango about
the mayhem readers can expect from the weekly series.
FANGORIA: Just what is DETECTIVE WARLOCK, where'd it come
ZANE GRANT: Detective Warlock is an occult investigator,
whose last name happens to be Warlock. He's recently moved his practice back to
his small hometown in East Texas, and he's dealing with that transition and the
evil forces that have taken root. He's trying to figure out who is causing all
the supernatural disruption and ends up in some strange situations. He fights a
graveyard hag at a skating rink, battles a demonic black knight at a haunted
Medieval Times-like entertainment facility, and exorcises some ghosts who have
taken over a haunted house at the State Fair. Through all that, he befriends
Jackson Stewart, an outsider cop, and Tina Hesser, a goth teen, who help him
The idea came to me last winter when I was living in a
rat-infested apartment in Brooklyn. I couldn't sleep because every time I'd
turn out the lights the rats would come in the room. I thought I was going
crazy (but I ended up killing one with a crowbar, so they were real). Anyway, I'd been reading a lot of
“everyday wizard” comics, like DOCTOR STRANGE and HELLBLAZER and watching a lot
of old crime films to pass the nights. I thought the mis-connects between the
comic wizards' magic and having to explain or hide what was actually going on
from normal people was sometimes unintentionally funny. There's one DOCTOR
STRANGE that stands out, where he's stopping a robbery and has forgotten to
change out of his wizard clothes, and the store clerk notices and thinks he'
weird, so he makes himself invisible. A man who can make himself invisible
can't remember to take his cloak off before he leaves the house? Amazing. So,
the DETECTIVE WARLOCK stories assume that people know supernatural things
exist, like Teen Wolves and Sorcery are real, but they can't really wrap their
heads around it, so they need Warlock to solve those kinds of problems.
I told the idea to my friend Jonathan Spies, and he agreed
to do the art. He came on as a co-creator and developed the looks of the
characters, giving Warlock that Columbo meets Harpo feel, and the town, which
is derivative of places in my hometown of Marshall, Texas, near where Joe R.
Lansdale still lives. I brought on my friend Adam Fletcher to take over colors
and letters, and I'm happy about how it's turned out. It's been fun to work on
things with friends who live in my neighborhood, which I think is sort of rare
for collaborative comics these days.
FANG: What can people expect from its tone?
GRANT: It's a horror comedy, not too dark. The violence ranges from slapstick to
more over-the-top gore. It's close to DYLAN DOG in that way, but Perry Warlock
is less handsome and more chaotic, which takes the stories in a different
FANG: How long will each weekly piece be?
GRANT: Right now, we're doing a scene a week, which ends up
being two to five pages.
FANG: Is the plan to keep it as a web comic?
GRANT: I like how accessible web comics are and the freedom
of a DIY project like this, so I'm happy with those aspects of the form. I have
virtually infinite space on DetectiveWarlock.com, so printing cost isn't a limitation.
The only script limit is really Adam and Jonathan's time. In the end, though,
we just want to make comics, so, we're not opposed to working in print.
FANG: How much
does Warlock lore factor in?
GRANT: When I was really young, I remember a kid telling me
that this old man in the neighborhood was a warlock, and he hated children.
That was like 1985. He also told
me werewolves were real and that his dad, who was a cop, carried silver
bullets. What weird things to say. I don't think people who self-identify as
warlocks hate children, and I don't believe in werewolves. That's sort of at
the core of the comic, those contemporary unfounded appropriations of folk
monsters, so we weren't too hard on sticking to warlock truth. All that to say
Julian Sands is unaffiliated with the project, but we do draw from folk tales,
occult imagery, and mind-altering substances.
DETECTIVE WARLOCK, WARLOCK DETECTIVE is throwing a launch party (check the flyer below) on July 8 at Book Thug Nation in Brooklyn (100 N. 3 St) that will feature
both “enchanted libations” and “cursed artifact raffle’!
You can see a preview and catch all upcoming issues of
DETECTIVE WARLOCK at its official site. For more of Grant’s work, check out
Fango’s talk with him and WE WILL BURY YOU co-writer and sister, Brea Grant
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