With the soaring popularity in mustaches over the last few years, it was perhaps inevitable that Danny Husk should return. The straight-laced middle manager, played on “Kids in the Hall” by Scott Thompson, is set to make the jump to comics with IDW and Frozen Beach Studios publishing “Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet,” an original graphic novel by Thompson, writer Stephan Nilson and newcomer artist Kyle Morton. A preview book was available at Comic-Con International in San Diego and the full graphic novel will see release in October.
Thompson, a founding member of the Kids in the Hall troupe, was best known on the television series for roles like Danny Husk, the flamboyant Buddy Cole and Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to tour with the group and appeared in the recent television miniseries “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” despite the fact that he was battling cancer throughout its production. Thompson has since reported a full recovery.
“Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet” looks to put the titular hero in new and dangerous circumstances, propelling him into a world where his ordinariness makes him anything but. CBR News caught up with Thompson for a few more details on the project.
CBR News: What made you decide to release “Danny Husk: Hollow Planet” as a graphic novel and how did you come to be working with Frozen Beach Studios and IDW?
Scott Thompson: I had been schlepping this screenplay called “Husk” around Hollywood for years until one day I thought no one’s going to make this movie with me in the lead. I’m an obscure openly gay Canadian comedian who wants to star in a hundred million dollar picture. But the problem was I was so obsessed with this story that I had to get it out some way. At first I thought of turning it into a novel but then I thought no, why not a graphic novel. Less work. So I pitched to various graphic novel companies and several bit and I went with Stephan Nilson at Frozen Beach Studios because he seemed to grasp the story the best, but mostly because he took me to Comic-Con.
Were you surprised at the transformations your story went through, first from screenplay to comic script and onward into finished art?
Oh yes. I had never been involved in this kind of story telling at all. I originally thought that it would be pretty much an elaborate storyboard of my screenplay, but that was not the case. It became much more. Many times the expression on the characters faces or the positioning of them would convey everything in such a way that certain lines were not needed or conversely the way something was drawn would demand new lines. It was quite exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Because I had lived with the screenplay for so long, I had become a little precious with it, and so when it came time to let other people in to shape it, I was somewhat defensive. That changed as I realized how talented everyone was. Now I couldn’t be more proud of the project, especially my collaborators. They have been amazing. I hope to continue working in this medium for many more years.
Up to now, Danny Husk has mainly been featured in short sketches. Is there a different sort of pacing involved in sustaining his brand of humor over a longer project?
Not really. Danny’s humor is pretty dry and I find that can go for the long run. Because this is a hybrid of comedy and fantasy, there are definitely stretches where the adventure dominates, but the book is essentially a comedy at heart. There, I haven’t answered your question at all.
What can you tell us about the story we’ll be seeing in “Hollow Planet?” Will any of his established supporting cast from AT & Love appear, or are we starting fresh?
No, there will be absolutely nobody from Danny’s previous worlds. He will have a brand new wife and two sparkling new children which he never had on the show. In “The Hollow Planet,” Danny becomes a much more real character than he ever was on the show. I dare say, we see the man behind the moustache. I hope that’s a good thing.
The various Danny Husk sketches set up a certain back story, though most of these didn’t follow through to other sketches. Will Danny’s apparent super powers of musk and porn stardom play a role in the new book? Will we learn about any other new abilities?
No, Danny starts out every adventure as a blank slate. His history on the “Kids in the Hall” has been totally wiped from his memory banks. As far as he is concerned, he was born the moment you opened the book. Stop fixating on Danny’s impressive tool and redolent pits and look ahead to the future.
Yes, we will learn about some of Danny’s new abilities, one of them paranormal.
Are you looking to do any other comics projects in the future? I don’t want to say Buddy Cole, but maybe Buddy Cole?
There are plans for a second Danny Husk book. The story was always conceived as a trilogy. In fact, the graphic novel ends before the screenplay does, so there is already plenty of story already written. I am already in the preliminary stages of writing the second part of the series.
It’s funny you mention Buddy Cole. That’s all I’ll say.
The “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” DVD is due for release very soon. Looking back at that miniseries, which I know was written and filmed at a very difficult time for you, how do you feel about how it ultimately came together?
I love how “Death Comes to Town” turned out. It was so much fun making it, unlike our last film “Brain Candy,” which happens to also be our only film. It was hell to make, but this was pure joy. Even though I was battling cancer during the making of “Death Comes to Town,” at least I wasn’t battling Paramount. At least with cancer you can win. We started writing the story about six months before I was diagnosed with cancer, but I continued to work on it all the way through my treatment, even if much of what I did in those latter months was done from a mattress on the floor of the writing room by a man in a medical marijuana/chemotherapy fog. It was tough, but what would have been tougher would have been going through the regimen without the series and the book as a distraction. Knowing that at the end of the nightmare lay two wonderful pieces of work was just the tonic I needed.
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