“S. Craig Zahler is certain to become one of the great imaginers of our time.”
After the release of three startling, award-winning movies that have played around the world, S. Craig Zahler wanted to return to his first artistic passion— illustration. With tools that he had developed as a director, screenwriter, cinematographer, novelist, and songwriter, he committed himself to writing, drawing, inking, and lettering his graphic novel debut, a full-length work entitled, Forbidden Surgeries of the Hideous Dr. Divinus.
This sprawling tale of noir horror begins in the coastal city of New Bastion. Homeless people are disappearing from the streets, and occasionally, a dismantled corpse turns up in a dumpster. These crimes are left alone, until the day a comatose woman named Lillian Driscoll is kidnapped from the hospital. Her brothers—a grumpy detective named Leo and a slick mobster named Tommy— seek answers that lead them to darkness, arcane medicine, and pain.
Fans of Bone Tomahawk (recently named best film of the decade by Conan O’Brien) will enjoy Zahler’s return to the supernatural, and the idiosyncratic, tough-guy dialogue found in his crime pictures Dragged Across Concrete and Brawl in Cell Block 99 (both of which premiered at the Venice Film Festival) is also present in this starkly rendered, black-and-white graphic novel, a stylistic confluence of pre-code horror, vintage comic strip, and modern indie art styles.
Novelist, Director, Screenwriter, Songwriter, and Drummer S. Craig Zahler was born in Florida and lives in New York. His debut western novel, A Congregation of Jackals, was nominated for both the Peacemaker and the Spur awards. His 2014 crime novel Mean Business on North Ganson Street received starred reviews for excellence in Booklist who said the book was “bizarrely mean…mordantly funny…and not to be missed,” while Kirkus review called it “a gripping story.” His science fiction novel, Corpus Chrome, Inc. was praised by sci-fi grandmaster Larry Niven and called, “a bravura literary performance,” by Booklist. His sixth novel, a nasty crime piece entitled, The Slanted Gutter, will be published in 2020.
Zahler wrote and directed (and co-composed the score for) the 2015 film Bone Tomahawk, an Independent Spirit Award nominated picture for Best Screenplay, starring Kurt Russell. Zahler more recently wrote and directed Brawl in Cell Block 99, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, and Don Johnson, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and went on to be a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Both movies were added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Zahler’s third movie was Dragged Across Concrete, a crime picture that stars Vince Vaughn, Mel Gibson, and Tory Kittles. “Puts you on the edge of your seat,” (RogerEbert.com); “An idiosyncratic cop movie masterstroke,” (Birth.Movies.Death)
After the release of this third motion picture, Zahler created Forbidden Surgeries of the Hideous Dr. Divinus.
Are you a fan of S. Craig Zahler’s movies? Are you excited to read his graphic novel Forbidden Surgeries of the Hideous Dr. Divinus? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.