Interview with James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (Something is Killing the Children - BD Editions)

Interview with James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (Something is Killing the Children - BD Editions)

Our interview with James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera, the award-winning creative team behind Something is Killing the Children, a revelation series of recent years that allowed the two authors to be nominated and won several Eisner Awards. The series is published in Italy by Edizioni BD and thanks to the collaboration and hospitality of the Milanese publisher we were able to talk to James and Werther about the success of the series, of horror and more!

Interview to James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera: the team behind Something is Killing the Children

James, Werther welcome to Cultura POP! Edizioni BD brings Something is Killing the Children 5 and House of Slaughter 1 to Lucca Comics and Games 2022: from miniseries, to regular series, through the Eisner Awards won until the birth of a real narrative universe. How did Something is Killing the Children evolve? And how will it evolve now that the first long story arc has ended and you will have more space to tell everything?

When we started working at SIKTC we had a 5-issue miniseries in mind. But number after issue we realized that the story is getting bigger and bigger, I remember sending an email to our editor, more or less when the third issue was about to come out, telling him that what we really wanted to tell could not be "reduced" in just five issues. Fortuna wanted that at the same time we saw that the sales figures were good and would allow us to continue, so we went further and in the fifth and sixth issue we introduced the idea of ​​the House of Slaughter, of all these monster hunters and masks with different colors that distinguish them. Suddenly we found ourselves with readers asking us questions about what was happening “around” the world of Erica Slaughter. The popularity of the series made us realize that we needed to expand it and create new outlets for these stories.

James, Something is Killing the Children has a certain 80's aftertaste: how premeditated was it and how much was born spontaneously? How did you manage the inclusion of themes capable of speaking to younger readers, such as James's sexuality for example?

SIKTC was born from my desire to tell the world around me but I have always been influenced by Steven Spielberg and Stephen King so I think you feel that touch in my writing at Amblin Entertainment [the production house founded by Steven Spielberg - Ed.]. But the series was not born with the specific intent of being an "80s series" also in the character of James there is a lot of me - a little strange and bespectacled kid who grew up in Wisconsin - in the end all these elements have amalgamated. in a series that is more of a classic American provincial series than the 1980s per se.

In my opinion it is like this too because some topoi of history can be traced back to other works from the 80s but not only. The fact that there is, however, this "aftertaste" is more dictated by the way of approaching the characters, that is, it is really a narrative modality that a specific will. James is very clear in introducing you to a character, in telling you his story, giving him a connotation very reminiscent of both King and Spielberg of the 80s: it is a natural way for him and this is demonstrated by the fact that when he talks about gender and sexuality for example is never "trodden" the thing but all extremely natural thing with which the public has empathized a lot. | ); }
If there are they are casual and natural and they all come from my background also because when I work research in one direction, more than anything else I am inspired by what I like at the moment. In fact, for SIKTC I preferred to push a little more on the manga both in the storytelling and in some aspects of the design itself, I like to turn more on those vibrations, let's say. Obviously, since I was born in 1975, the 80s are one of my first inspirations but not necessarily wanted or sought ... if I have to think of one of those things, I think of Sasuke which, however, is even earlier than the 80s.

There is a very simple explanation. When we were teenagers, the generation that made movies and TV series grew up in the 80s [laughs - Ed.]. Everything that is post-2000 more or less has certain 80s vibes because the people who did those things grew up in the 80s and now we are the ones who grew up with those same vibes that we're putting on. The same happened two decades ago when there was a certain fascination for America in the 1950s.

James you know among the writers who, in recent years, has revived the horror genre. Why is comic horror today so popular and how do you write an effective horror comic given that, compared to cinema for example, there is a lack of "fundamental" elements such as sound?

You're right, comics are a medium interesting for horror precisely because there are not those elements that you mentioned that usually guide the viewer in a film for example to experience the emotions that are sought in the genre. Comics compensate with the rhythm, with the turning of the pages: you can attract the attention and concentration of a reader and thus you can take advantage of the intensity of the moment in which you have to scare him. I find this mechanism in comics really fascinating, that is, I have always found it even as a reader. There is a great tradition of horror comics in the United States, they became so popular that they were banned and then returned to vogue in the 70s and 80s, and I think some of the best comics ever are horror comics or at least have a horror cut like Swamp Thing by Alan Moore or The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, really powerful comics that have their roots in this genre. Comics are a visual medium, and you can show something really scary sitting in the palm of your hand and having a relationship of your own. I am really happy that horror is back in vogue and I think the reason is that the world has become a really scary place and coincidentally even in the 70s and 80s the world had become a really scary place with the crime skyrocketing, the fear of the nuclear holocaust this fear that hovered has been creatively exorcised in these stories. I'm trying to do the same thing with my horror stories which is to shape my anxieties and it's definitely a more fun way to do it than freaking out walking around my apartment.

I'm not a lover of the horror genre either, I have to confess, but it is a very funny and interesting genre because it gives you the opportunity to tell "things" in disguise but in a much simpler and more direct way because in the horror starts from a direct distinction between good and evil in each case.

Let's talk about your workflow: how do you work? how much does Werther influence your James writing and vice versa? For example, how did the look of the protagonist, Erica Slaughter come about?

My original idea for SIKTC, when it was still supposed to be a 5-issue miniseries, was very similar to certain Vertigo miniseries. There was a generic protagonist, no costume, just a backpack and a tank top, an unsuspecting one who arrives in town, kills the monster, gets on a bus and leaves with people who don't really understand what happened in between. By sending the preliminary ideas about the series and this protagonist to Werther I went back to his first preliminary sketches including that of the masked character and when I saw him I really understood in which direction the story would go, a completely different direction from the initial one. And all this is thanks to Werther because all the comics are based on iconic, easily recognizable characters and often the writers, myself included, forget the importance of this factor and how powerful it is to be able to exploit it.

I have always thought, and it continues to be so, that work on a comic series is divided equally 50% between writer and illustrator. Without James's descriptions and suggestions I would not have been able to arrive at Erica's look, in the description, however simple, there were elements that struck me a lot and brought me naturally to Erica's "definitive" look.

About Something is Killing the Children

Edizioni BD describes Something is Killing the Children as follows:

In the town of Archer's Peak there is it's something that kidnaps children. Few return, telling horrible stories that no one believes. But one day Erica Slaughter makes her appearance, an enigmatic and cold woman who declares that she wants to eliminate the monstrous threat that lurks in the city…

Retrieve our review of Something is Killing the Children Volume 1, find the volume on Amazon Retrieve our review of Something is Killing the Children Volume 2, find the volume on Amazon Retrieve our review of Something is Killing the Children Volume 3, find the volume on Amazon Retrieve our review of Something is Killing the Children Volume 4, find the volume on Amazon

Powered by Blogger.