Timed to coincide with the cinematic release “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” writer/director Troy Duffy is working with 12 Gauge Comics on a comic tie-in project. The original cult hit movie followed brothers Connor and Murphy MacManus, who take it upon themselves to clean up the streets of Boston, ridding their hometown of crime as local vigilantes. The film sequel does not yet have a firm release date, but upon its release, the series will follow. CBR News caught up with Duffy, comic series co-writer Jason Love, 12-Gauge publisher Keven Gardner, and Eben Matthews, the series producer, to discuss the comic.
Duffy said that the comic will flesh out the fan-favorite character of Il Duce, the brothers’ father played by Billy Connolly, in even greater depth than what will be seen in the cinematic sequel. “There was so much interest about that guy and how he became a killer,” Duffy told CBR. “The character was one of those characters that comes in in the last 10 minutes and blows the plot wide open, but he was not in there throughout the film, so I wouldn’t have expected so much interest in him. I had to address it, because fans of ‘Boondock’ were just too interested in this guy and how he became a killer, and why he was where he was, and everything about him.”
Readers will see, among other things, the circumstances behind Il Duce’s first kill. “Some very personal things happen to him that’s sort of his impetus to begin killing,” Duffy said. “But then there’s another person involved, and it becomes much more than just ‘one kill for revenge.'”
Duffy told CBR that he had been looking to cross over into the world of comics for some time, and that the second “Boondock Saints” film provided an excellent opportunity to “finally pull the trigger on it.”
â€¨Eben Matthews, the creative director and executive producer of graphic design firm Innfusion, helped set Duffy up at 12 Gauge. Matthews said that Duffy’s “Boondock Saints” comics are “being done with Troy’s intimate involvement, so you are really getting the same experience, tone, and style that has worked so well in the movies.” Co-writer Jason Love added that, “It’s going to be in canon, and feel, look, and be a natural extension of the films. Anybody who loves the films is going to love what we’re going for in the comics.”
Eben Matthews continued, saying, “I kind of look at this initial story, it’s almost like an extended deleted scene from the film. We take some of the plot elements that are in the film and spin them off into this much larger story that answers some of the questions in kind of a cool and interesting way.”
An interior artist has not yet been determined, but 12 Gauge veteran Chris Brunner will be providing the covers. “He’s working on a story right now called ‘Loose Ends,’ and the story he did for ‘The Ride’ a couple years ago was our best reviewed in terms of art,” 12 Gauge’s Keven Gardner said of Brunner. “He was the art director at Upper Deck for a few years, but he wanted to get back into comics. This was a really good fit for him.”
Eben Matthews added, “He’s a big fan of the movie, as well, so it’s great to have him there geeking out with us. We’re doing something really cool. And that first cover is a great image. I think it will get people really excited at Comic Con.”
As to whether Duffy will write other comics projects beyond the “Boondock Saints” tie-in, he said that, if all goes well with this first book, that would certainly be a possibility. “It’s one of those things we’ve always thought about, and ‘Boondock’s’ always been right for it,” he said. “We never really had the right people and talked to the right people until we met up with Eben and 12 Gauge. If it goes as well as we hope, and it’s as much of a creative outlet for myself and the other artists involved, then we can go just about anywhere with it.”
Given the storied history of the first “Boondock Saints” film–after a calamitous production process, it screened in only a handful of theatres for only a week, but went on to make $100 million in DVD sales–we asked Duffy whether there any strange behind the scenes stories leading up to the second film. The director laughed knowingly, but there was only so much he could say on the record. “Any time you make a movie, you’re going to have some interesting, horrifying, and amusing stuff happening. Movies are nothing but triumphs and tragedies all rolled into one, over the course of three to six months,” he told CBR. He pointed to the Youtube videos of cast and crew as a good glimpse of what was happening on set. “I didn’t even see them until we’d wrapped, actually, I was extraordinarily busy. I just laughed my ass off watching those. There’s one where Sean [Patrick Flannery] and Norm [Reedus] are acting like these homeless guys, it’s a riot.”
Duffy will be attending Comic-Con International this week to promote the “Boondock Saints” film sequel, and signing Saturday at 3:30 at Sony’s booth. Fans should also check the 12 Gauge booth for signing times.
“It’s kind of interesting for me,” Duffy said. “I’ve never done comics before. I don’t quite know what to expect. It’s kind of nice, actually, to just jump right into something where you don’t know where the bottom is. I’m going in with both feet and hoping we can get this thing done right.”