David West is the writer of the Wolfmen comic book series from Accent UK (http://www.accentukcomics.com/)
What is Wolfmen series about?
The Wolfmen series is routed firmly in 1960s London and it’s a very ‘British’ gangster book, with a horror twist. Back in the day there was the feeling that there was such a thing as an honest crook. A strange term but basically the criminals had rules, lines that they wouldn’t cross. Central character Jack Grey was such a crook, but he had ambitions which saw him join a gang who had no such line and were totally ruthless. Turns out they were actually werewolves and once he found this out Jack also found out that leaving the gang wasn’t really an option. Not alive anyway. The Wolfmen, and the follow up The Fall Of The Wolfmen, tell Jack’s story.
What inspired the series?
Andy Bloor’s sketchbook. Andy and I had collaborated on a few short stories for anthologies and he suggested that we have a go at doing a whole comic together. I jumped at the chance as I love his art style. But what would we do the comic about ? Andy popped around to my house with his sketchbooks and I came across an image of a Werewolf in a business suit. The ideas for the story all came to me from that image. The Krays meets Get Carter (the original Michael Caine version) by way of The Howling.
Could you describe the creative process for Wolfmen?
We get together to bounce some ideas around and agree the synopsis of the story. Once we’d agreed what the overall story going to be about, I’d then write the script and send it over to Andy for his thoughts. He’d make suggestions, some of which I’d incorporate and some I wouldn’t. We’d bounce the script back and forth a bit like this until we were both happy with it and then Andy would disappear for a while and work his magic. He wouldn’t let me see much until the book was finished however, so I just had to wait but I respected this part of Andy’s creative process. Then he’d send me the pages of wonderful artwork, without any text or dialogue and I’d re-write the story on top of his artwork. This way the words stay fresh and don’t merely describe what Andy has drawn. Andy takes the new improved script and adds it to the pages and then I review the lettered version, make a few changes and soon we’re good to go.
Are there any projects you are currently working on?
I’ve just finished Missing – Have You Seen The Invisible Man? with Joe Campbell, which is a follow up to my Eagle award winning Whatever Happened To The World’s Fastest Man? and deals once again with the two sides of having a special ability. The bad that comes with the good.
I’m also three books into Josiah Black – A WesterNoir Tale, which is a Western with a horror twist. No werewolves this time, but there are were-gators and some nasty mermaids in issue 3. We’re having fun with this one which is an on going mini-series and it’ll twist and turn as it goes along, keeping the reader guessing. This is illustrated (and co-written) by Gary Crutchley who has an art style particularly suited to this story.
Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist ? is a concept anthology, which is one main story that breaks into little side stories in the telling. I’ve contributed a short story to this great Accent UK book about the death of a Victorian gentleman that has been crafted by Owen Johnson, which has just been printed.
Also in production are Has Kane Mesmer lost His Magic Touch? another in the Blessed/Cursed imprint with Marleen Lowe (artist on Whatever Happened To The World’s Fastest Man?), a seven issue mini-series called Stephenson’s Robot with art from INDIO! and a little hard cover book about superheroes with Sebastián Vélez an artist from Uruguay.
…and then there’s The Last Of The Wolfmen……
It appears that if the comic has a really long title then Accent UK may have had something to do with it….
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I’ve been incredibly lucky really. My day job allows me the finances to produce these comic books, and co-found Accent UK, my stories are lifted by the amazing artists who bring them to life and my family allow me to spend the hours in my room necessary to write and sometimes draw and colour them. I really enjoy working with the different collaborators, with each bringing something different to the books.