Following a successful run at Image Comics, Hoax Hunters is coming back for a second season, only this time at Heavy Metal, where the series will launch the publishing company's first comics line.
Created by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley, Hoax Hunters centers on three reality-TV show hosts who travel the country, appearing to debunk paranormal mysteries. However, they're actually covering up the existence of aliens, monsters and other things that go bump in the night.
Ahead of the March debut of Season 2, writers Moreci and Seeley and artist Christian Dibari gave ROBOT 6 an exclusive peek behind the scenes of Issue 1, revealing script excerpts, thumbnail sketches, inked pages and the cover process.
"There's so much and so little to say about Christian's work on this issue and on this series in general so far," Moreci told ROBOT 6. "I say so little because, man, these pages really speak for themselves. Christian is a tremendous storyteller and knows how to deliver great horror sequences while never losing sight of the humor that is so crucial to Hoax Hunters.
"One thing that really comes to mind while looking at these pages is the angle we're taking at this second season that, to me, really magnifies the best of Hoax Hunters," he continued. "We've really made it a point to streamline the story and up the humor and the horror; the story moves faster, it's more fluid and fun and engaging. I think these pages show the danger, as well as the laughs -- Murder is still doing whatever Murder does, Regan is ready to kick butt, and Donovan is still a sleaze. Add in a skeleton army on the rise, and you have the start of a pretty cool Heavy Metal comic, I think/hope."
Hoax Hunters (Season 2) #1
(W) Steve Seeley, Michael Moreci (A) Chris Dibari (CA) Rob PriorHistory is made this month with the first-ever monthly comic to be published under the legendary banner of Heavy Metal! With the Hoax Hunters team in shambles following Jack's untimely departure, they head to Paris under Donovan's controversial leadership. The Image Comic series makes its Heavy Metal debut and reaches a crucial turning point on and off of the page! Ask your retailer about the special Rob Prior incentive cover!
PAGE 3: (five panels)
Panel 1: Close on the wall as the shape of a human begins to rise from it. This is kind of tricky to describe, but basically Moncrieff is both a lizard man and a ghost. He’s part chameleon, part a lot of things. He’s been hiding in the wall this whole time, as a ghost camouflaged in the wall. We don’t see much of what he looks like yet, not until Panel 2. For now, it’s just a human shape, completely adaptive to the wall.
As for the wall, to give Moncrieff’s shape some texture, how about we have the bottom half be painted a dark green, then there’s a divider rail about that, and then wallpaper to the ceiling. So Moncrieff’s form is pain on the bottom, the rail, then wallpaper.
MONCRIEFFYou are a most disrespectful, contemptuous little snot.
Panel 2: Two-shot of Moncrieff and Chad. Chad is on the right, completely in shock/aghast. Moncrieff—the man we saw in the oil painting, though now looking very much like a lizard (he’s shaken the wall pattern, to note)—stands on the right, pointing at Chad, giving him the tongue-lashing he deserves.
MONCRIEFFIf I could take physical form, I’d slap you across your face. You, Chad, are a black eye on the Edgerton name. The way you talk to people, those weird things you look up on your computer at night—yes, I see it all—it is unbecoming of our proud legacy.
CHADG-g-great, great, great granddad?!
Panel 3: Close on Donovan, head held low, shaking it as he face palms.
DONOVANMoncrieff…Jesus, you’re supposed to stay hidden…
Panel 4: Moncrieff, holding the lapels of his jacket, addresses Donovan. Chad is in the background, sitting on a chair, crying; distraught.
MONCRIEFFDon’t you worry about a thing, Donovan. I have a feeling Chad here is going to have his act together real soon.
CHADI can’t believe you saw me watching those…those…I thought I was alone!
MONCRIEFF (cont.)Now, if you have everything you need…
Panel 5: Ken buts in, putting an end to the ordeal.
KENWe’ll make do. Thank you for your time, Moncrieff. You…you have a lovely home.
KEN (cont.)Guys, let’s get the hell out of here.
PAGE 13: (four panels)
Panel 1: Wide panel, Regan, Donovan, and Murder walking through the catacombs. Skulls and bones line part of the background wall.
REGANIt’s not that Ken hates you, it’s just that he…disapproves of everything about you.
REGAN (cont.)That sounds bad.
REGAN (cont.)Ken’s just a guy who is set in his ways. And, you know, he has spent a lot of time in his own groove.
Panel 2: Straight ahead on Donovan, with Murder close behind.
DONOVANWhat about you, Murder? You hate me, too?
DONOVAN (cont.)Look, it doesn’t matter if Ken hates me or not. I’m not trying to date his daughter. But, if he could trust me a little bi--
Panel 3: Upward on the team. They are all stopped in their tracks, looking all around, responding to a noise they just heard.
Panel 4: Focus on Donovan, an anxious look on his face. It’s dawned on him that maybe his idea wasn’t so great after all.
DONOVANMaybe that was just the caves settling…