Batman scribe and Bane creator Chuck Dixon alongside Creative Director Brett R. Smith revealed a first look at their upcoming new book Blood: Graphic Novel.
Dixon and Smith shared 15 pages of the 98 page book, which is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and is set to be adapted into a full length feature film. The book is based off a treatment from Ram Getz and John Corcoran.
Getz and Corcoran are producers and writers on the upcoming film Home that tells the story of David Ross and how he lead the Chicago Cubs to win their first World Series in 108 years.
Not only did Dixon and Smith share the gorgeous artwork by Derlis Santacruz, but scribe Chuck Dixon also provided us with some details about the book.
The book is set in the frontier village of Kessler that has been cursed with the presence of a werewolf that preys on the villagers and the surrounding frontier homes.
One of the frontiersmen is Abigail Thorne who lives under the threat of the werewolf that stalks the village when the full moon comes out.
Dixon describes the book as a “period werewolf story set in the rural American west. It’s not a western but a period piece. It’s a horror story but also about courage, loyalty and a deep, dark family secret.”
As for how the werewolf works in the story, Dixon tells me, “It follows the usual rules. We’re not turning the sub-genre on its head here.”
Dixon would then give us some details on Abigail Thorne. He describes her as a “tough one!” He elaborated, “But then, you had to be growing up in the hardscrabble frontier areas even well into the 20th Century. These are people who worked hard and were used to deprivation and struggle. Abigail is a natural product of that kind of upbringing. That said, she’s in no way easy prey.”
As for the village of Kessler, Dixon tells Bounding Into Comics, “It’s as much a character it the story as our cast. It’s a town cut off from civilization by terrain and distance. I used to hike a lot in the Appalachians and ran into quite a few towns just like Kessler nestled back in the woods with one road in and out.”
Dixon also told us just how close the book follows the treatment he received from Getz and Corcoran, “I stayed very close to the treatment I was given by the producers. Of course, a treatment is not a screenplay so I had to flesh out characters, give them “voices” and create all the dialogue.”
He added, “It was also part of my job description to visualize and dramatize the events of the story. I’m curious to see how much of what I wrote makes it onto the screen.”
Finally, we asked Dixon what his most enjoyable part of the story. Here’s how he answered us, “I enjoy the challenges of adapting something like this to the comics medium. And the challenge here is to create suspenseful moments without the aid of music, sound effects and all the other tools filmmakers have at their disposal to amp up the scary parts.”
Smith also gave us some insight into the story when he joined us for our Bounding Live livestream earlier this month.
Smith echoed what Dixon stated regarding changes to the original treatment. He explained, “Chuck cranked out a great script. There’s very little changes. And we just went to work on it, and we were doing anywhere from 10 to 15 pages a month. And it took us about 7 or 8 months to crank it out.”
Smith also told us that the book will be published and printed in America. He stated, “It’s going to be printing with API productions who also prints all of Tim Lim’s books and Doug TenNapel’s books, and I think they also print all of Mike Miller’s books. Great printer. And in America. That’s the other kind of cool thing about this. We are going to be printing in America and not in China.”
As far as the plan to adapt the graphic novel into the film, Smith indicates those plans have been somewhat hampered by the government lockdowns that have shut down film production throughout the world.
He told us, “I think they are trying to figure out how they can do that now with Covid. All of Hollywood is sort of rocked by Covid and they are trying to figure out how do we move forward with production on all of this stuff.”
He would also go into detail about the story telling us, “The main character is Abigail Thorne and she’s probably in her late teens, early 20s. She lives in this isolated cabin outside of town and that was kind of part of the story they wanted to tell.”
Smith continued, “It’s got a horror and a suspense element. I would say if it had to fall into a genre it would be horror and suspense.”
He added, “One of the things we wanted to do with the story was highlight the isolation, and being out on her own, and having to fend for herself against this werewolf. There’s quite a big plot twist in this book. It’s got a real twist at the end. I would kind of liken it to M. Night Shymalan in his glory days. It’s got one of those things that really comes out of nowhere.”
Smith then details the book also has a forbidden love affair. He explains, “It’s got a love affair, a forbidden love affair between Abigail and another guy named Samuel, who is the son of the Sheriff who lives in the village. They are kind of forbidden to see each other. That’s part of where the twist comes in. And you’ve got the werewolf sort of stalking her because she lives in this isolated cabin probably 8 to 10 miles outside of town, a good half a days walk or a 20 minute carriage ride.”
What do you make of this first look at Chuck Dixon, Derlis Santacruz, and Brett R. Smith’s Blood: The Graphic Novel?
Blood: The Graphic Novel is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released on September 29, 2020.