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Iron Man in Captain America Armor Figure



Bluewater Productions kicks off its comics based on Lionsgate movie properties in March with Warlock, the horror movie franchise celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Along with Lionsgate's Leprechaun and other brand-names such as Vincent Price and William Shatner, Warlock is part of Bluewater's recent push of established licensed properties into the comics market.

The Continuum this week conducted an interview with the talent behind the new Warlock series -- writer Nick Lyons, artist Jacob Bear, colorist John Hunt and Bluewater publisher Darren Davis.

Following is the interview:

The Continuum: How does the book correlate to the 1989 movie? It's not an adaptation, but could it be called a sequel?

Lyons: I'd call it a sequel/franchise reboot. It's an original story with a new Warlock character, but I do make several references to the first Warlock film.

Bear: For me, I like to call this the 20th anniversary for the Warlock and this is like a new introduction to the forces of evil in Warlock to a whole new generation.

Davis: I would say it is the sequel to the third film. Lionsgate has been really successful with this title in both the film and home video mediums. We have had success at refreshing older franchises. We made this series to make sure that readers that did not see the films will pick this up. Then they would like the brand and pick up the films. Also we were careful to not to alienate the core Warlock fans. We did well doing this with Clash of the Titans and 20 Million Miles to Earth. It is all about the balance and thinking of both readers.

The Continuum: What is the concept of the comic?

Lyons: The basic story is this: The Warlock is on a mission to destroy a book that contains a spell which imprisoned six other Warlocks. If the book manages to be destroyed, the dangerous Warlocks would be released back into the world free to cause chaos and destruction. It's up to a rag-tag group of people to prevent the Warlock from carrying out his plan.

The Continuum: What drew you to the comic? Were you a fan of the film(s)?

Lyons: I had seen the first film prior to writing the comic and I did enjoy it. I thought Julian Sands was superb in the title role. I was attracted to this project because the idea of creating an original Warlock story appealed to me. I liked that I was able to make the character my own and develop a fresh, exciting storyline. Even though I am a fan of the film, it was apparent that Warlock suffered from budget limitations. When I started writing the comic, I really wanted the Warlock to have more power and wreak more havoc and with the comic medium, the sky is the limit for that sort of thing.

Davis: I used to work for Lionsgate back in 1999. I worked on the marketing of both this and Leprechaun. I loved these little cult films and wanted to do an updated take on them. I have the best memories of sitting in the conference room of Lionsgate eating lunch with the rest of the marketing department having to watch these over a sandwich. I don't do well with the horror genre, so it was hard for me to eat my meat sandwich when someone was getting hacked. But I did it and this is my way to paying homage to my old employer.

Bear: I thought it would be a fun comic to draw and it's Warlock, so I couldn't pass it up. I thought the movies were fun, but I feel with the comic, we can explore it so much further. It's like were producing a movie with an unlimited budget, so we can do things that they couldn't do in the movies, because it would've been too costly. The only limits we may have here really is time.

The Continuum: What are the difficulties of bringing horror to comics?

Lyons: Since the Warlock franchise is more of an action-horror type of series, it's much easier to blend the two genres together rather than having a straight horror comic. But, to answer your question, I really don't think there are any difficulties as long as you are confident in the story you are telling.

Bear: I don't think it's anymore difficult than the movies. Both mediums are designed to tell stories with images and dialog. The only thing we don't have that the movies do, is sound. So, that means we just have to make it that much more creepy.

Davis: We have had success with the horror comic genre with titles like Vincent Price Presents and Bartholomew of the Scissors. We added Plan 9 From Outer Space...Strikes Again, which is going to be a fun horror title. The horror comic fans are hardcore fans and you have to give them what they want. We get letters about the Vincent Price book not being gory enough. But that one is a gothic horror book, which is another beast to do correctly.

Unlettered pages from Warlock #1

The Continuum: For those that do not know the film franchise, how would you explain it?

Lyons: It's an action-horror series about an evil, powerful Warlock who stops at nothing to achieve his potentially world-ending goals.

Bear: I like the tagline from the first film, "Satan also has one son."

Davis: In Boston of 1691, a warlock is sentenced to death, but escapes magically into the future (our present), followed doggedly by the witch hunter. There he is searching for the three parts of the Devil's Bible, trailed by the witch hunter and the woman whose house he landed in. They must stop him, as the book contains the true name of God, which he can use to un-create the world

The Continuum: What do you like about the artwork on the book?

Lyons: Jacob Bear is an immensely talented artist and I am a big fan of the work he did in this series. His art perfectly compliments the story I had written. I personally love a lot of the action heavy panels that Jacob drew as they are quite striking and make the action more intense.

Hunt: Jacob has been great to work with. His art reminds me of early Jim Lee, plus his line work is clean, which makes it easier to figure out where to put certain colors. Sometimes artists get a little crazy with their lines and you can't tell what's going on.

Davis: We chose Jacob after seeing him at a comic convention. His style really fit with the tone of the book. I could not be happier with this title. Also, Matt Bellisle will be doing all the alternate covers to this title. He has a unique style that is tying the book together.

The Continuum: What else are you working on?

Lyons: I've recently written several issues of Vincent Price Presents, a 4-issue spin-off of Victoria's Secret Service titled Rain and a Medusa one-shot. I've also written another Warlock series, but I can't talk about that yet.

Bear: I can only focus my energy on one project at a time and right now, it's Warlock.

Davis: I am working on the William Shatner titles right now. We are getting them ready for Free Comic Book Day. We also are gearing up for a couple ongoing series.

Hunt: I'm coloring a new Star Trek mini for IDW, plus lettering nine titles for Viz and I just finished lettering Warriors: Tigerstar and Sasha Vol. 2 for Tokyopop. I'm the busiest working man in comics that no one's ever heard of.

The Continuum: Any last comments on why people should pick up this title?

Lyons: This is a comic series made by a horror fanatic for fellow horror fanatics. 'Nuff said.

Hunt: The coloring! It's all about the coloring!

Bear: If you like the movies, you'll love this book. But, with that said, you don't have to watch the movies to enjoy it. It's a great comic with a great story, so it's one you won't want to miss!

Davis: For those who loved the film, will love the comic. We really stayed true to the feel of it. I think that the team has done an amazing job on it. A couple of the covers will be an homage to the film posters. if you like this title wait to you see what we do with Liongate's little green man, The Leprechaun.

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