Make sure to pack plenty of weapons, some monster lore manuals and a heaping of moon cheese, because when you head to “Moon Lake” this October with actor Dan Fogler and Archaia, just about anything is possible-no matter how insane, horrifying or downright hilarious.
Announced Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the “Balls of Fury” star developed the concept for an anthological-style graphic novel titled “Moon Lake,” which collects eight stories all taking place at the mysterious and supernaturally charged location of the same name. A main feature written by Fogler himself interlinks all of the stories, and the actor conceived the basic premise for each terrifying tale. Other writers and artists contributing to the graphic novel include scribes Tim Seeley, RH Stavis, Nick Tapalansky and Stef Hutchinson, and pencilers Brooke Allen, Robbie Rodriguez, Jeff Zornow, Alex Eckman-Lawn and Jim Daly.
Fogler spoke with CBR News about the upcoming title, stories involving everything from were-bears to Houdini and his plans for readers’ future trips to Moon Lake.
A fan of comics as a child, Fogler said that he got right back into the medium while filming the cult favorite film “Fanboys,” which reignited an addiction that now practically consumes his existence. “When I did the movie ‘Fanboys’ I started getting into character and started buying all the toys again and the comic books and posters,” Fogler told CBR News. “It stuck with me after that. I’ve been buying more comics books and when I started doing this graphic novel, I can’t not buy comic books and graphic novels anymore. I have to see what’s out there. I have all these graphic novels that are piling up that I haven’t gotten to. My wife is like, ‘What are all these now?’ I just can’t stop buying them.”
As to his own graphic novel, Fogler began writing “Moon Lake” as a follow-up to the first film he ever directed, “Hysterical Psycho,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009. “It’s essentially like Hitchcock on acid or like ‘Evil Dead,'” he said of the movie. “It’s a classic story of these bunch of friends who go up to a haunted evil place called Moon Lake and when they get there, the moon influences some of the people’s minds and sets them off into killing and slaughtering.
“So, I thought it’d be interesting to tell more crazy stories that happened at Moon Lake over the centuries and eons. I mean, what if this place has been inherently evil since the beginning of time? There’s a lot of stories you can tell. I thought that if you can do Hitchcock on acid, why can’t you do ‘Hitchcock Presents’ on acid?”
As mentioned, all of the stories in “Moon Lake” connect not only through their location, but also through a narrator that introduces each tale-a narrator that also happens to live on the moon. “A Hitchcockian, moon-cheese eating narrator,” laughed Fogler. “Literally, he’s the man in the moon and he survives by eating moon cheese and is absolutely out of his mind. He’s the one introducing all these different stories happening throughout time in Moon Lake-everything from pre-historic tales to today and everything in between.”
As Fogler hinted, the open-ended nature of the premise allows for tales from all across the genre plane. However, the writer admitted that almost all the stories do contain some aspect of comedy, likening the series to the horror-comedy television show “Tales from the Crypt.” “It’s dark comedy. Each of the stories move on the spectrum of how funny they are and how dark they are. Some of the stories are incredibly scary with just a few moments of comedy,” said Fogler. “I would equate it to the ‘Heavy Metal’ movie, which has a narrator, Luc-Nar, the green orb, that linked all the different stories together from throughout time and space and the multiverse. That’s the feel we’re going for here-telling all these tales that are linked to Moon Lake and told by this crazy narrator character, who himself is out of his mind and a huge source of comedy for the piece. He’s ten times as sick as the Crypt Keeper. I’m doing all the writing for that myself and it’s coming out quite hysterically raunchy and wild. They gave me a lot of freedom over it at Archaia.”
That same freedom drew Fogler to Archaia. Fogler developed the concept for each fun, bizarre and zany tale in the anthology, but the writer admitted that the depth of his involvement ranges from entry to entry. One tale he co-wrote with RH Stavis he influenced greatly, from the flow of the story right down to character design. For another story, “Black Bear Blues,” Fogler said he only presented the idea of a werebear. Another story still focuses on a Houdini-like character going to Moon Lake to try and debunk the supernatural nature of the place. Fogler teased that the character gets “totally fucked” in the process.
Fogler also revealed that he hopes for “Moon Lake” to be the first of many entries in a series of anthologies. The writer already has countless stories lined up for future installments and hopes they one day see print as more graphic novels to add to his and other comic book fans’ growing collections. “It’s really limitless. I already have, like, 100 stories that I have written out and just possibilities. If I get to do half of them, I’d be a happy man,” he said. “There’s a ton, but I have ideas for Civil War werewolves and Godzilla-sized grandpas. At Moon Lake, everything that you can imagine happened there. It’s not just vampires and werewolves. You’ve got everything from zombie dinosaurs to aliens to robots to were-mosquitoes. We’re really trying to push the envelope as to how many were-creatures we can get out there. We link Moon Lake to the very beginning of human history. If you can imagine all of history being linked supernaturally to Moon Lake, you can imagine the amount of stories we can get out there.”