Three More Interviews With Lees & Laurie

Writer John Lees and artist Iain Laurie, creators of And Then Emily Was Gone, have been continuing to hit the interview circuit, with three more interviews published over the past couple of weeks.

First up, John did a solo interview with Comic Monsters.  Part of the Horror News Network, Comic Monsters has built a reputation as the number 1 resource on the web for news and views on horror comics.  So, it was great for them to show interest in And Then Emily Was Gone.  Here’s a sample of what they talked about with John:

Horror News Network: Can you tell us more about the main character, Greg Hellinger?

John Lees: Greg Hellinger is something of a broken genius. In his former life, he was a celebrated detective who operated a police taskforce for finding missing people. As we see in issue #2, he has a unique way of thinking that gives him invaluable insight into just where people might have gone when they seemingly vanish off the face of the earth. But 5 years ago, Hellinger had what was called a “spectacular nervous breakdown,” and ever since he has been plagued with these constant visions of horrific monstrosities that follow him around wherever he goes. And after all these years of being left a shell of a man, believing his brilliant, infinitely creative and insightful mind has turned against him, as our story begins he’s presented with the possibility that perhaps he isn’t crazy… and the implications of that are even more frightening.

You can read the interview in full here.

Iain jumped back onboard to join John in an interview with Sam Read of Geek Chocolate.  Sam is a great writer in his own right, you can read more about his work here, and this informed an interesting, insightful array of questions.  Here’s a taster:

SR – With And Then Emily Was Gone you’re taking readers into some dark, dark places; could you share some works of fiction that have done that for both of you?

JL – The first thing that springs to mind is the Winkies Diner scene from Mulholland Drive. Arguably the most terrifying scene ever committed to film. In general, the “dark places” David Lynch goes to in his work had a big impact on And Then Emily Was Gone: from the mystery man at the party in Lost Highway to the Black Lodge sequence in Twin Peaks. Just that nightmare logic.

On a similar vibe, John Carpenter’s under-seen and little-remembered In The Mouth of Madness has a creepy vibe that has really stuck with me years since I last saw it – it might be dated if I were to revisit it now! And finally there’s the “family dinner” scene from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which I like to hold up as an example of how sometimes the most horrific horror is just one degree shy of being hilarious, once you enter that realm of pure hysteria.

IL – I was a big Stephen King fan growing up so that’s influenced what I think of when I think of dark. David Lynch’s films. He’s my hero so everything I do is indebted to him. Dan Clowes’ A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, Dennis Potter and Nigel Kneale stuff, Al Colombia, Ben Wheatley films, The Shining… so many.

Read the full 2-page interview here.

Then it was back to just John again, for an interview with Amy Brander over at her blog, The Frog Queen.  Amy is a voracious reader of comics and graphic novels, and is prolific in sharing her thoughts with them.  After sharing some nice thoughts on the first issue of And Then Emily Was Gone, she followed up on that with an interview with John, which included these comments on the origins of Bonnie Shaw:

The Frog Queen: The spooky childrens’ cautionary tale about Bonnie Shaw, is this based on anything from your own childhood? 
John: No, I made it up. Though, funnily enough, I’ve had a bit of fun pretending that the story of Bonnie Shaw is an actual old folk tale from Orkney and Shetland. Over on the “And Then Emily Was Gone” blog, Visit Merksay, I ran a series of articles on Orkney folklore, posting up stuff about actual legends like the trows and the Black Dog, but then I seeded in stuff about Bonnie Shaw as if it was part of the same tradition. And when I go to conventions, I talk about how Bonnie Shaw is actually an obscure part of Scottish folklore that I dug up in researching Orkney, and that the character is “real.” Possibly the best moment was when I got talking to a con attendee who said he grew up on Orkney, and claimed to remember hearing about Bonnie Shaw as a child!
The full interview can be found here.
Thanks to Comic Monsters, Geek Chocolate and The Frog Queen for the interviews.  There are even more on the way, so stay tuned!

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