When Guy Davis set out to tell the five-graphic-novel opus he calls "The Marquis," there was no way he could have known the odyssey that the journey would become. First introduced in 1997 under the banner of Caliber Comics, "The Marquis" would find a new home at Oni Press for the first two installments of the series before eventually finding its way to Dark Horse where Davis hopes to finish the story. CBR News spoke to Davis about the upcoming collection, "The Marquis: Inferno," and the latest installment in the series, "The Marquis and the Midwife."
"The Marquis" is the story of a demon hunter named Vol de Galle, "an old man who spent his life as an inquisitor to a tyrannical Ministry that rules a fictional 18th century city where the devils of Hell have escaped and possessed the townspeople." When first we're introduced to de Galle in "Danse Macabre," it's unclear whether he truly is the instrument of some divine plan as he claims, or just a homicidal maniac. "Vol believes himself blessed by the saints to see into peoples souls and kill the devils that are making them turn to sin," Davis said. "It's a bit of a mystery and a mortality play, an action-horror title that lets me go crazy artwise with the designs of the devils and the setting. But above all I hope the story will have readers surprised and entertained along the way." In the upcoming "The Marquis and the Midwife," de Galle finds himself pitted against "a secret society under the frozen canals of the city, the mother of Hell, and devils hiding in the most unsuspecting souls."
Davis has cultivated a rewarding working relationship with Dark Horse over the years, most recently on "B.P.R.D.", so he jumped at the chance to pick up "The Marquis" where it left off, this time under the Dark Horse banner. "When they expressed interest in 'The Marquis,' I immediately knew Dark Horse was a perfect fit with the types of books they publish," Davis said. "They have a great horror lineup and I couldn't be happier with having the series completed with them."
Readers who want to get caught up on the series before picking up the latest installment can pick up "The Marquis: Inferno," a trade paperback collection of the first two "Marquis" stories, "Danse Macabre" and "Intermezzo." "I think the plan is to have 'Inferno' out in mid/fall 2009 with the new graphic novels spaced out 6 months or so after that," Davis said. "'The Marquis: Inferno' should be a hell of a package, alongside reprinting both original series it will have a new expanded sketchbook section, a color cover gallery including the guest covers we had on 'Danse Macabre' with really incredible artwork by Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola, Teddy Kristensen, Kelly Jones, Charles Vess and Michael Gaydos, along with the other covers I did for the original stories and French editions. The stories are specifically drawn in b/w and grey with the scenes in Hell done in full color reds, and Dave Stewart who does his magic on 'B.P.R.D.' will be coming in to recolor the Hell scenes for the new collection too."
From here on out, Davis plans to tell new "Marquis" stories as original graphic novels. "It gives me the freedom to make the chapters as long or short as I want and pace it to the story without worrying about fitting it into the monthly page count," Davis said. "'The Marquis and the Midwife' will be the next new storyline, followed by two others that tell the complete story of the Marquis," Davis. "If all goes well a final fifth one that would tell a pre-story to it all about a character in the first series and how the Ministry came to power."
"When I created the series, I had a finite ending planned," Davis continued. "I never saw it as an ongoing and have no plans to continue it past that. Each graphic novel will tell a complete adventure, and I think they can be read independently but still as part of a larger story." To honor his commitment to "B.P.R.D.", Davis is only working on "The Marquis and the Midwife" in between "B.P.R.D." deadlines, so the new "Marquis" material isn't likely to hit stands until 2010.
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