This October, Silent Devil releases "Superdeformed," a collection of Drew Edwards' "Halloween Man" web comics, illustrated by Nicola Scott. CBR News sat down with Edwards and Silent Devil co-founder Christian Beranek to talk about the future of the series.
"The title character is a fella named Solomon Hitch, who was killed by a vampire on Halloween," Edwards told CBR News. "Almost right after he's killed, he's brought back to life by a broken down old wizard named Morlack. His resurrection is powered quite literally by a horror-movie marathon, sort of making him the embodiment of horror films.
"The second most important figure in the comic is Solomon's lover Lucy," Edwards continued. "She's a wealthy, eccentric inventor. Picture Reed Richards in Marilyn Monroe's body. She is the one who kind of guides Solomon away from simply being this destructive force. He'll always be a monster, but she sees something good in him."
Edwards characterizes "Halloween Man" as a beauty-and-the-beast story. "The twist is that Lucy doesn't want him to become Prince Charming," Edwards said. "She's perfectly okay with him remaining a beast. But he's a beast with purpose. Well, that, and Solomon eats people, so he's a lot less cuddly than the Disney version."
"Halloween Man" is set in the fictional city of Solar City, Texas, "a retro-futuristic burg filled with robots, time machines, and, of course, monsters. You have this juxtaposition of this bright shiny 'futurama' stitched together with horror elements," Edwards said. "This is of course appealing to my inner 12 year-old, who always wanted flying cars, superheroes, and zombies all in one story. Seems like it appeals to other people's inner 12 year old as well. So I guess I lucked out."
Edwards was in his late teens when he first came up with "Halloween Man," and was working at a small publisher of role playing games that was looking to branch out into comics. "When I was first doing it, it was mostly just something to pay the rent," Edwards said. "But about a year into it, I had fallen in love with these characters. So I struck out on my own via the web."
Edwards came up with the idea for "Halloween Man" while listening to the Misfits, and said the project underwent a lot of changes in its early stages. "My rough draft had [Solomon] as a werewolf with a vampire girlfriend," Edwards explained. "And it was more similar to 'The Tick' in tone. The idea of a superheroic zombie didn't hit me till a few days later."
Edwards first met artist Nicola Scott on Mark Millar's fan forum, Millarworld. "The first thing I did with her was a Christmas special for my site," Edwards said. "It was a jam piece and she did three or four pages. I was blown away by her stuff. It has the classic, clean, look to it.
"Most people will tell that I pack a lot into my scripts," Edwards continued. "I like a lot of panels and the stories are typically fast-paced. There's also a lot of borderline, if not outright silly, visuals in them. Nicola was able to make sense of all of it. And if I told her to draw, say, a flying pick-up track with hooded KKK guys in it, she'd lend an aura of menace to it, even though it's such a daffy idea."
Christian Beranek first met Edwards and his wife, model Jami Deadly, at a comic convention in Texas some years ago. "I couldn't help but stop by and check his stuff out," Beranek told CBR News. "He had a great presence and knew exactly how to promote himself."
Edwards and Beranek had talked about doing a project together in the past, "but it wasn't really until I hit on the idea of collecting all of Nicola's stuff that we really moved forward on a project," Edwards said. "This first came up at CAPE, which is a small convention in Dallas Texas. We just got to talking about it there and the rest is history."
Upon reading "Halloween Man," Beranek quickly found that Silent Devil would be a good match for the book. "We also love the cinema, and 'Halloween Man' has that kind of component to it," Beranek said. "Seemed like a great fit and once we saw the art, we knew it would work well with our audience.
"Nicola Scott of 'Birds of Prey' fame was doing the art," Beranek said. "Jami Deadly was posing for the cover. How could I say no?"
"Superdeformed" is more than just a collection, it also features two all-new stories by Edwards and Scott. The first is a remake of the "Halloween Man" origin story, "Zombie in a Black Leather Jacket," which touches on several of the early web comics. "I'm not unhappy with the old versions, but I figured revisiting the origin tale is a way to introduce new readers to these characters," Edwards explained. "Plus I'm a better writer now than when I was nineteen, so I was able to go back and revisit the originals with an eye for what worked and what didn't."
The second original story is based on the legend of El Muerto, a Texan version of the Headless Horseman. "It's long been a goal of mine to include all of the classic monster archetypes in 'Halloween Man,' so when I discovered this myth I knew I had struck gold," Edwards said. "The story is called 'Duel,' and it's a good lead-in for what we'll be doing with 'Halloween Man' in the future."
"Superdeformed" is 120 pages and features the best of Edwards' "Halloween Man" strips. "Because there are some other stories I feel are worthy of collection that we had to leave out due to space," Edwards said, "if this one does well, I'd like to do another, similar collection."
Next up for Edwards is a revamp of his "Halloween Man" website and a relaunch of the web comic. "I'd like to branch out into some other stuff," Edwards said. "Something more typically superheroic or maybe some straight-up horror."
When it comes to the possibility of more "Halloween Man" at Silent Devil, Beranek is on the same page as Edwards. "If all goes well, of course!" Beranek said. "One step at a time, but we believe in Drew and his creation."
Now discuss this story in CBR's Indie Comics forum.