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Scott Allie is a busy man. Aside from his usual responsibilities as the senior managing editor at Dark Horse Comics, he’s taken on new writing endeavors, and this weekend he finds himself as a guest of honor at the World Horror Convention (March 29-April 1) in Salt Lake City.
Allie has been named Editor Guest of Honor for the 2012 World Horror Convention. He joins his partner in crime, Mike Mignola, who will also be in attendance. Mignola is Artist Guest of Honor for 2012 (Sherrilyn Kenyon is Author Guest of Honor this year). This event also features the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award ceremony, for which Dark Horse Comics has been nominated in multiple categories.
Allie has recently returned to the writer’s chair, creating stories for new issues of B.P.R.D. and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the first issue of B.P.R.D. releasing this week (March 28) and Buffy dropping next Wednesday (April 4). Amongst all this business, Allie had a chance to sit down and talk with Dread Central to get our readers caught up on the goings-on at Dark Horse Comics and the World Horror Convention.
“I think we’re on a few panels together,” Allie said, discussing his participation in this weekend’s World Horror Convention with Mike Mignola. “He’s got a spotlight panel on him, and I’m doing some writing and art workshops so I hope there are some aspiring cartoonists in Salt Lake City or I’ll be awful lonely. I think they also have me doing some pitch sessions, a panel on Buffy with Buffy novelist Alice Henderson, and a panel on humor in horror, which is nice timing because that was the theme of Orycon last year in Portland, where I was also guest of honor. So I’ve done a lot of thinking on the topic.”
Allie discussed the desire to take a more horror-minded approach to some of his upcoming work. “Mike (Mignola) and I wanted to do more horror stories,” Allie said, discussing the new B.P.R.D. issue. “The stories that (John) Arcudi is focused on in the regular stories tend to be more action adventure, which kind of works better in comics, particularly in comics where the main characters have to survive everything they confront. Not that we’re above killing our main characters once in a while, but you can’t do it every story arc. In doing this story, we initially set out to deal with the vampire history of the Hellboy world, but then it took some detours, with some more Lovecraftian stuff. A couple of agents go to investigate a town that’s suddenly been vacated after a strange mist has settled in. They encounter a professorial type who’s here investigating the history of vampires and can’t explain how the mist connects to the vampires. And things go badly from there.”
Allie’s new work on the Buffy series follows along with the abortion story arc. “After Buffy decided to terminate her pregnancy, she realized she was not in fact pregnant, but actually a robot,” Allie said. “My story sees her sort of reeling from her recent experience, while trying to figure out what happened to her real body. Buffy has been on the outs with her fellow Slayers ever since she destroyed the connection between the earth and the magical realms. One of those Slayers has a particular plan in mind that Buffy has to deal with in this arc.”
Discussing the horror aspects of the upcoming comics, Allie dished some info. “Buffy’s not really all about the horror, but I think we get into some nicely dark emotional places. She’s been to a bad place, and that’s what I love about horror fiction. But with the B.P.R.D. stuff, Pickens County and subsequent Transformation of JH O’Donnell one-shot, we’re really doing traditional horror, more so than I think you normally get in comics. B.P.R.D. does sort of work like ‘X-Files,’ but with these side projects that Mike and I are doing, it’s nice in that it’s more like the non-mythology episodes of ‘X-Files’. And it’s the agents that change from story to story, as well as the investigation itself.”
Synopsis of Upcoming Dark Horse Comics
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror (see a sample below), written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, art by Jason Latour and Dave Stewart, covers by Becky Cloonan. Two agents are sent to North Carolina to investigate a town that’s become a ghost town practically overnight. They arrive to find a field of mushrooms emanating a mysterious gas. They’re given shelter by a doddering old professor who’s there to interview the family of vampires who live in the hills and have for years preyed upon the town. What the vampires have to do with the gas and the mushrooms is not immediately apparent, but then one of the agents turns into a gelatinous vampire, and everything goes to hell.
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Transformation of JH O’Donnell, written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, art by Max Fiumara and Dave Stewart. The B.P.R.D.’s resident expert on pre-human civilization has suffered dementia since his first appearance in the comics, but it turns out it all started during a trip with Hellboy to retrieve rare books from the library of a recently deceased necromancer in the 1980s. What exactly happened that night is unclear, since little sense can be made of what O’Donnell’s had to say about it, but ever since that night, he’s been able to quote passages from books that have been lost for hundreds of years.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #8-#10, written by Scott Allie and Andrew Chambliss, art by Cliff Richards, covers by Phil Noto. Buffy’s pregnancy scare comes to an end when she discovers she’s actually a Buffy-bot. Now the robot version of Buffy must team with Spike to recover her real body, with the help of Andrew Wells, who’s responsible for the whole situation. Season 8’s Rogue Slayer Simone returns to center stage as well.
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