Today on WonderCon Aftermath, we have the creators of the new Vampire story Undying Love! If you caught Walt’s review, you might have been interested or even picked it up. Well, now we were able to speak to the creators themselves and discuss the book and its origins. Thanks to Tomm and Daniel doe taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with us about their new book. Check behind the cut for the interview.
Tomm: I’m Tomm Coker; I draw the book and co-write it with Daniel
Daniel: and I’m Daniel Freedman. I co-write with Tomm, and I’m the colorist on the book.
Could you give us a brief description of what the book is about?
Daniel: Undying Love is a love story–a vampire story, set in Hong Kong; and basically badass hero falls in love with a beautiful Chinese Woman only to discover that she’s a vampire and the only way they can be together is to track down and destroy the vampire that made her.
I’ve heard that you’ve been apologetic about the fact it has vampires in it. Could you tell me why?
Tomm: Well, just because vampires are kind of oversaturated right now, and I know there’s the whole Twilight phenomenon and I know a lot of people who were big vampire fans prior to Twilight like more traditional vampires; so we’re trying to do more traditional vampires than Twilight did. That’s the political answer.
Daniel: Yeah, and the genre has become softened recently and I think people have a lot of bad taste in their mouth when they hear the word vampire so we’re trying to get over that hurdle and get people to give it a shot and not miss it just because it’s another vampire love story.
You said it takes place in China; why did you choose an Asian Locale?
Tomm: Originally we were going to set the story in Spain or Italy but we ran into the problem when we started researching folklore and mythologies and stuff, that those places are similar enough or Western enough that they seemed pretty similar to the US. The ideas about how things work are pretty similar. We thought it seemed pretty typical. When we started looking at Asia and found China and their folklore and mythology was so radically different from what we’re used to that it just seemed like the Western idea of a vampire just fits into that Eastern philosophy or Eastern folklore; it was just the coolest thing ever. It seemed so different
Daniel: Yeah, we wanted to do something exotic, something different, and doing the research just opened up this entire world of all the Chinese Mythology. So we put the vampires in that world and let it all kind of happen.
It’s kind of refreshing to hear people do the research and make a more believable story out of it!
Daniel: There’s just so much to pull from that if you just do your research there’s so much out there to bring into what we’re doing.
Tomm: Also, there’s that weird parallel with reality where you take a Western idea and stick it into an Eastern Locale and seeing how that affects them. That’s kind of what’s happening today of how Western Culture are infiltrating everything in the world.
Daniel: And there are culture clashes; and we bring that in and make it a part of the story in terms of the supernatural culture clash.
Tomm: Putting the traditions against each other and stuff; seeing what happens when you do that is super, super, super, fun.
Where was the original idea? Where did this originally come from?
Tomm: The original idea came from this news story I read this news article about seven or eight years ago of a woman who had been forced into prostitution and she was a drug addict. One of her Johns fell in love with her. She felt dirty and awful and had been beaten up by her pimp. I think it was in Italy; I think that’s why it was originally set in Italy. Anyway, he, in his self deluded way, decided that if I can save her, I can have her and we’ll be in love and be together. So he got a gun and killed her pimp and a couple of tough guys and went to jail for the rest of his life. But it was such a touching love story–kid of Sid and Nancy, kind of True Romance story; I just thought it’d be amazing; it’d be a great story.
And it’s a pure emotion. Love stories are simple, pure, clear, emotional through-lines that you can understand from the first moment you encounter it to the end so you can do as crazy a story as you want as long as the love story is true.
It sounds like it has a beginning, middle, and an end. So are there plans for a sequel series, or how long is this planned to go?
Daniel: The series right now is an eight issue mini-series. We’re going to do it in two four issue arcs. There is a beginning, middle, and end, but there is potential for a sequel if the fan base is there. We’d love to do it, it just matters if people want it.
Tomm: Yeah, if we can afford to do it, we’ll do it for 8 issues or 16 issues or 20 issues or whatever.
In the Modern Comic World it’s kind of hard to sell a lot of comics, so why did you choose to make it a comic as opposed to a movie or a book?
Tomm: It might be hard to sell a lot of books, but it is a HELL of a lot harder to sell a movie. I’ve made movies before and Daniel’s made movies, and it’s hard. And comics are also something we can do and we control it.
Daniel: We’ve both worked in the film industry and you have no control. And so to be able to do something that we control; we can tell our story the way we want is such a luxury that it’s pretty amazing.
Tomm: And I love comics. I want to make a badass comic. I want to make a comic that reminds me of the comics I liked when I was a kid. I mean, it’s a little more violent, it’s a little more…whatever…a little more modern, but at the same time I like good comics and that’s what we’re trying to do.
Why did you choose Image over say IDW or Vertigo for the style of story?
Tomm: Because I’ve known Erik Larsen and these guys since I was a kid. Erik was the first guy who ever fired me, and it’s comfortable and it’s familiar and we get to decide the way the book looks like and how it comes out.
Daniel: and Image is the only company that will let an artist or creators do that is to control their own book; and do what they want. To have that freedom is a no-brainer for us.
Tomm: And ownership!
Daniel: and ownership. We own the book, we control it and everyone else will have input. Image is the only place that will let us do that. That’s why they’re so great.
When does the book come out?
Daniel: The book came out came out two weeks ago, on March 30th.
Tomm: The first issue.
Daniel: yeah, the first issue was. The print run is already sold out. There will be a second printing coming out soon.
Congratulations on selling out guys!
Daniel: That sounds so weird! “Congratulations on selling out! You suck!”[all laugh]
Go pick up Undying Love while you can, from Image Comics!