SPOTLIGHT ON: THE SCI-FI/HORROR OGN

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Continuing our in depth look at our current projects, this time out we talk to writer/editor/production lead Erica Heflin on the first ever GrayHaven OGN, the SCI-FI/HORROR hybrid.

GHC: What went into the decision to create a sci fi/horror hybrid?

ERICA: For our first graphic novel project, we focused in on the favorite themes in our Gathering anthology series. Both fans and creators continue to return to these favorite genres. Moreover, there has always been an interest in the darker side of science-fiction. Whether we read about stories of a dystopian future or the works of maddened scientiests, we are compelled to tread into the darkness. As our world is driven by science, our imaginations are driven by the way science can be twisted, warped, and used.

GHC:  This is the biggest project GrayHaven’s done to date. What was it like putting this together compared to one of the anthologies or single issues of your own work?

ERICA: I was very fortunate to work with creative teams who have some previous background in the comic creation experience. Without that creative background there could have been many hurdles, but overall the process ran very smoothly. Working in color, though we’ve done it before with our Tales from the Abyss series, presented a few issues. Colors add several months production time to the projects, and ultimately we don’t have the same pool of talented colorists to contact as we do with writers, pencillers, and inkers. Working to find colorists and getting the work completed slowed us down, and drives prices up, so I believe color works will continue to be sporadic in the future.

GHC:  The stories in this anthology are longer (10 pages compared to 4) than the ones in The Gathering. As a writer do you like the extra space or prefer the challenge of the shorter stories?

ERICA: I’ll take the easy way out and say I like the flexibility of having both options available. There are some instances when you simply know that trying to tell a story in four pages would be a disservice to the concept. Having the room to tell a story – and letting the concept breathe – is very freeing. However, the shorter story challenge is fun in it’s own way. Some stories are so straight-forward that they only need a couple pages. In other instances, you really have to work to break a story down to its core to get it within the page limits. It reminds me a bit of the creative efforts that animators used to employ to get around odd censorship restrictions. Those low page count requirements really make you think outside the box.

GHC: What was your favorite part of making this book?

ERICA: Without a doubt it has been seeing the completed stories come in to my inbox. When you edit, you try to visualize how the panels and art will play out against the text, but my imagination never seems to capture the united page properly. Instead, I get to be stunned by some incredibly crafted pieces as I get they come together.

GHC:  An OGN is a bigger undertaking in a lot of ways, but it’s also a costlier price point for readers. How would you convince those casual fans that may be on the fence to give this book a shot?

ERICA: At a convention, I’d simply tell them to open the book and flip through the pages! The stories really sell themselves, and even at a casual glance you can see the incredible range of concepts the book explores. For those looking online, I’d have to say that if you love the darker side of science fiction, you’re going to find a story in this book that blows you away. Whether your interests run to aliens, mind-control, robots, or space misadventures, there is something within these pages that you will love.

GHC:  Submissions opened up recently for a Horror/Western OGN so it seems you want to stay with the format. Are you planning anything beyond that?

ERICA: The only difference is that with this new OGN we are returning to black and white. If you note that in the sci-fi/horror volume there were a few teams that chose to have their stories printed in black and white, and it created a great atmosphere. For this new OGN we’re avoiding the tribulations of color, while focusing in on the gritty western stories that will be well-served by a black and white print run.

In the future, we’ve discussed tackling a Fairy Tales/Horror mash-up, but the Grayhaven team is always tossing ideas around behind the scenes. You really never know what we’ll come up with next, and I always welcome e-mails from creators at raistlyne@gmail.com.

 

And here’s a look at some of the pages from this huge volume….

 

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ORDER THE SCI-FI/HORROR OGN-

http://www.grayhavencomics.com/comics/3855/

 

ABOUT OUR COMICS-

The Gathering is an ongoing anthology with each issue focusing on a different theme. The stories are not interconnected so if you’re a fan of Westerns but not Romance you don’t need to read one before the other. Likewise you don’t have to read Horror 1 or 2 to pick up and enjoy Horror 3, etc. Most of the stories within the Gathering are aimed at general audiences. The stories fit the theme but there is no gratuitous violence, gore, language or sexuality.

Limitless is a more ‘mature’ imprint featuring the anthologies like The Dark or Erotica. While not overly gratuitous the content in these books is aimed for readers over 18.

Hey Kids is an anthology primarily aimed at younger readers though suitable for all ages. We wanted stories like Fairy Tales and Super Heroes that would be perfect for ages 12 and under.

One Shots like Kid Robo, and Decompressionism typically are collections of work that originally appeared online but are not limited to collected work.

Phase Two encompasses our self-contained titles featuring a single story (either one shot, mini or ongoing) by a set creative team such as Dober-Man, Living with Death, 1159 or Run Like Hell

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