Actor Lance Henriksen and artist Tom Mandrake stopped by the CBR Tiki Lounge at New York Comic Con to discuss Henriksen’s comic book writing debut, “To Hell You Ride,” from Dark Horse Comics. The story finds the town of Telluride, CO beset by a horrific curse, unleashed by ancient warriors whose burial grounds were desecrated during the Gold Rush.
The “Aliens” and “Millenum” star co-writes the book with his “Not Bad for a Human” biographer Joseph Maddrey, and they connected with Mandrake after he did an illustration for that project. Henriksen and Mandrake discuss with CBR TV the story of “To Hell You Ride,” inspired by the actor’s visit to to the ski town twenty years ago, the nature of their collaboration, and much more.
On Henriksen’s “wild child” past: Everybody starts out wild. I mean, the whole point is — how do you get civilized? Some people get more civilized than others, and I didn’t for longer, which helps me in my acting and my thinking. I didn’t waste a lot of time in school. I kind of got out on the road and had a lot of adventures.
On the actor’s entry into comics and “To Hell You Ride’s” genesis: I had written a movie about twenty years ago about this idea, about this event. And then, of course, nobody was interested in it. And then I went through a divorce, I think, and the script was lost — but I never forgot it. I never forgot any part of it, and so when we started working we started working in a totally different way to bring this story to a comic. And really, it’s almost as if we’ve been channeling it.
On Mandrake’s joining the project and the book’s unique collaborative process: The idea that, when I got down to Cherry Hill [for a comic convention] and met Lance and Joe, that we’d be talking do a comic together never entered my head. I just thought, “Oh boy, I get to meet Lance,” you know? But, in the course of that evening, we were sitting around drinking and they start talking about this concept and start talking about, “…and you know, we’re thinking about trying to find an artist for it.” And I was like, “Oh, me me…” I just said, “Hey, I’d love to do it.” That’s how it came about, simply enough, but from then on it’s been a very interesting, complicated process, it would be hard to describe — except to say in comics you do plot style, you do script style, or you sort of let the whole thing grow, and that’s what we’re doing here. I’ve never really worked on a book where the writing continuously evolved, even through the pencil stage. And, occasionally, even a little finessing into the ink stage. Dark Horse, and [Editor-in-Chief] Scott Allie in particular, have been very good about saying, “Okay, we’re not sure what you’re going to do, but go ahead and we’ll see how it goes.” When the first issue was finished they realized, “Yeah, this is working,” and they were happy to go with that.
On the potential of writing more comic book projects: Say I was gonna marry this woman and I said to her, “Hey, I wanna marry you, and we’ll have kids and all of that, and I also would like to plan how we’re gonna do our divorce. … It’s a wait and see deal. I mean, I’m loving it, I’m obsessed on it, I love what we’re doing and I’m looking forward to every conversation we have about it. By the time we get to the end of the fifth one we’re gonna need some champagne — and maybe a nap.