If you’ve been following the latest comic releases, you would no doubt have heard of Cullen Bunn, as his work on titles such as Deadpool and Fear Itself has earned him huge critical acclaim. He’s currently working on two horror series, Harrow County and Blood Feud, and was kind enough to grant Dread Central the following interview:
Dread Central: Your latest horror series, Harrow County, has been getting rave reviews. Can you talk about what the future has in store for the series?
Cullen Bunn: It’s funny you ask because artist Tyler Crook, editor Daniel Chabon, and I have been talking a lot about that very subject in recent days! We’re wrapping up our second arc right now and looking toward the third. I’m excited about the stories we’re going to be telling. I don’t want to spoil too much, but we will be exploring more and more of Harrow County, seeing new locales and seeing the area through the eyes of other characters.
DC: In the series, the titular Harrow County is like a world of its own. Was it a challenge to make it seem both believable and to add a supernatural twist to fit the story?
CB: That’s always a challenge when writing pretty much any kind of story. With Harrow County, it was important to have a few (very loose) rules in mind for the magic of the world. This tale has ghosts and ghouls and goblins aplenty, but we wanted it to be grounded in reality. Most importantly, we wanted the characters to seem real.
DC: And what is it about the Deep South that you found so enchanting?
CB: I grew up in rural North Carolina, and I spent a lot of time visiting relatives in South Carolina and Georgia. Those were magical times for me, and stories like HARROW COUNTY are reflective of that.
DC: Is the protagonist of the series, Emmy, a character who has grown on you as you’ve been writing her?
CB: Definitely! I always liked the character, long before I thought of doing this as a comic book series. When artist Tyler Crook started drawing her, though, I loved her all the more! He brought her to life in such a vivid way. I could see the wonder in her eyes. I could feel her fear. It’s Tyler’s work that helps readers connect to the character.
DC: You’re also currently writing Blood Feud, which is still a horror series but more comedic in tone. Where did the inspiration for the series come from?
CB: Blood Feud is definitely a little more humorous, but it is still very much a horror story. When I was a kid, I stayed up late and watched a double feature of Fright Night and House on HBO. Both of those movies–fusions of comedy and horror–amazed me. That’s where the notion of telling that type of story first took root. Then, when I was older, I moved to the Missouri Ozarks, where the nights were dark and every fall there was a mass tarantula migration. That’s when Blood Feud really started to take shape in my head.
DC: Was it a challenge not to make Harrow County and Blood Feud too similar?
CB:It wasn’t too much of a challenge, actually. The tone of Blood Feud is vastly different from the tone of Blood Feud. The only real similarity is that they both take place in rural areas. Blood Feud is sort of “blood and popcorn” style of story, while Harrow County is more of a dark fairy tale.
DC: You wrote a novella called Blood Feud in 2010 so is the series a continuation?
CB: This is actually an adaptation of that novella.
DC: Can you give us an overview of what to expect from the series?
CB: Blood Feud is subtitled “A Vampire Yarn… With Spiders” and I feel like that gives you a pretty good sense of the tone of the book. It’s the story of two Ozarks families in the middle of a bitter feud with dangerous consequences for everyone around them. Think the Hatfields and the McCoys… if the McCoys were demon-worshiping sorcerers. As this feud rages, a group of good old boys has to stand against the forces of darkness. It’s got horror, action, tragedy and humor.
DC: Godzilla, Deadpool, TNMT, Batman, Superman, etc. How does it feel to have written stories featuring so many iconic characters?
CB: For a guy who loves these characters, it’s an absolute thrill for me. I have the best job in the world, and I know it!
DC: After your awesome Night of the Living Deadpool, are you planning to write any more horror stories featuring well-known characters?
CB: I would love to write more stories in the vein of Night of the Living Deadpool. I’ll have to see if I can make that happen!
DC: As you’ve written so many Deadpool stories, can I ask if you are looking forward to the upcoming film with Ryan Reynolds?
CB: I really don’t know much about it. I have avoided trailers and such because I already know I’ll go see it. I have high hopes from what little I’ve heard. It sounds like it will live up to the vision of Deadpool fans want. Fingers crossed!