Writer John Lees and artist Iain Laurie, the co-creators of And Then Emily Was Gone, have hit the interview circuit to talk about the series and its upcoming release. Two of the best comics websites on the Internet have already posted up their interviews with the creative team.
First up is Multiversity Comics. Currently in the midst of their 5th anniversary celebrations, Multiversity has become revered for the high quality of its reviews and in-depth comic analysis, so much so that it has been hailed as the “AV Club of comics.” Vince Ostrowski of Multiversity sat down with Lees & Laurie for an interview last week, focusing on the process of creating and marketing an indie comic in today’s competitive environment. Here’s a snippet:
John and Iain, what types of art and stories have influenced the work that’s gone into “And Then Emily Was Gone”?
JL: Iain can talk more about the art influences than me, though I must say that Iain Laurie’s own “Powwkipsie” was a big inspiration for some of the more horrific imagery I attempted to craft in my scripts. As for story influences, it’s something of a hodgepodge of the weird and Gothic. “Twin Peaks” is the obvious cultural touchstone. Iain and I are both Lynch aficionados, and are in agreement about “Twin Peaks” being one if the greatest TV shows ever. There was a real desire to capture that off-kilter, dreamlike quality Lynch handles so well. There’s a good deal of “The Wicker Man” – the seminal British horror classic, not the Nicolas Cage abomination – in the mix as well. Iain and I are both huge admirers of English director Ben Wheatley (we joke about him being the dream choice to direct the “And Then Emily Was Gone” feature film), and there’s definitely an element of his blackly comic filmography here, particularly “Kill List”. British TV series “The League of Gentlemen”, legendary Victorian horror writer M.R. James… I could go on!
IL: Everything I do is beholden to David Lynch. Hes my absolute hero and his work is a constant daily inspiration for me. There are other things though, most of which John has mentioned but also British comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Scottish artist Peter Howson, satirist Chris Morris. Those people drive everything I do. In terms of drawing Charles Burns, Dan Clowes, Frank Quitely, Paul Pope, Rafael Grampa..they’re all in there.
For the full interview, visit Multiversity Comics.
The second interview was with Comic Bastards. Long a major supporter of creator-owned comics, the brilliantly-named Comic Bastards have earned a reputation for their well-written, effusive reviews, and for having arguably the best comics podcast on the internet. Dustin Cabael had a chat with John and Iain, with this interview focusing more heavily on the comic itself and how the two work together. Here’s a taster:
DUSTIN: How did you guys end up working with each other?
JOHN: It was meant to be! Working with Iain Laurie has been on my comics bucket list ever since I first became aware of his work back in 2011. He’s an incredible artist, and we have rather complimentary sensibilities as storytellers, and I long had a feeling our creative union would create a wonderfully monstrous offspring, like the child in Rosemary’s Baby. After a couple of near misses of collaborating on other projects, the stars just aligned for And Then Emily Was Gone to happen. I’ve specifically written this for Iain, to the point where no one else could draw it. So much of the plot beats and sequences in the script are me attempting to emulate some of the recurring motifs in Iain’s art… either that, or just me writing stuff I want to see Iain draw!
IAIN: I saw The Standard and was really impressed, as it looked like a comic trying to be a comic rather than something desperately trying to look lo-fi and indie. I was doing a lot of experimental stuff and had been thinking of doing something more structured and less difficult and I thought, “That’s the guy!” We nearly worked on something else that didn’t happen but in doing that we realised we have very similar tastes… although Johns a better person than me. It’s very much Good Cop/Grumpy Cop.
JOHN: I wouldn’t say I’m a better person, I just hide my wickedness more effectively. Look beyond the grinning face and you’ll see the soulless eyes of a killer!
For the full interview, head right over to Comic Bastards.
Thanks a lot to both Multiversity and Comic Bastards for taking the time to talk about And Then Emily Was Gone. And remember, it’s not too late to have your comic shop order the book in: order code MAY141251!