If Kurt Sutter is involved with a project in any medium, you can be sure it is going to be gritty and fast-paced. His success as a writer, director and producer on The Shield in the early 2000s gave him the opportunity to do his own show, and in 2008, Sons of Anarchy was born. Through seven seasons, the series about a fictional outlaw motorcycle club in California became one of the most watched shows in FX history.
S.O.A. made Sutter a major name in entertainment, and in 2013, he worked with BOOM! Studios to continue the tales of SAMCRO in comic books. While he didn't personally write those books, his involvement in the series hooked him, and in 2016 his first original comic book series was released by BOOM!, Lucas Stand. The book followed the exploits of a time-traveling demon hunter and was co-written by Caitlin Kittredge (Coffin Hill) and illustrated by Jesus Hervas. He followed that with a fun miniseries about vengeful, gun-toting nuns titled Sisters of Sorrow, just last year.
If you got a chance to read the first volume of Lucas Stand, you will know it ended with the title character hellbent (pun intended) on revenge against the Tempter known as Penemue. Well, Sutter and Kittredge are back with Hervás to make Stand’s life a living hell (sorry) once again, with the four-issue series Lucas Stand: Inner Demons, which debuted this week. CBR talked with Sutter about his latest adventures in comic book-making, and Lucas Stand: Inner Demons #1.
CBR: Most everything you’ve done, like Sons of Anarchy and The Bastard Executioner, have been reality-based. So, how come you went in a completely different direction with Lucas Stand?
Kurt Sutter: I try to exercise different creative muscles. It started out as a TV script, but the nuance of it was really hard to do in the serialization world, just because it wasn’t black and white. I love the idea of that supernatural component of heaven and hell, and demons and angels, and that it’s all different shades of grey. We’re never quite sure what side of the line we’re on.
It’s a difficult thing to do in TV where you tend to need to land an audience and be very clear, and things sort of have to be black and white. So, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it, and I was becoming educated on the comic book world with the S.O.A. project that BOOM! was doing. And much to my excitement, it really flourished in the medium. As a creator in TV, I get to create the rules but once the rules are established, I have to stick to those rules. Or if I break them I have to lead people into it. But in the graphic novel and comic book world, you can create the rules and then two issues later, break them all…or reinvent characters. It’s such a bigger sandbox to play in.
What was co-writing this title with Caitlin Kittredge like?
Caitlin has been masterful at navigating all this and really honoring what I want to do tonally. She’s so good at having it be character driven, really have it be… like Lucas will get to the point where he just starts to heal some wounds or begins to feel some of that redemption that he desperately needs, and then we’ll turn it all upside down on him. So, it’s just been so much fun to play in a medium where we can do that so easily and so effectively.
It’s interesting that it started as a concept for a TV show, because I was going to mention that BOOM! has a first-look deal with Fox, and then ask if you would like to adapt Lucas Stand to TV. So, how would you feel if it got optioned for TV now?
I think it’s a really interesting property and I think it’s a great character, but I think perhaps some of the same issues may still exist, in terms of why it was a struggle to do it the first time around. But I also feel like once a property has some legs and people see where it is and where it’s going, it’s easier to sell that nuance. But yeah, I try to stay involved in pretty much everything if it is my original idea. So yeah, of course, I’m open for them to explore that again. But it’s hard to predict anything in TV right now.