Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the second issue of Blazing Blade of Frankenstein. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you share with us about the premise of this series, as well as its inspiration?
Clay Adams: Blazing Blade of Frankenstein is sword & sorcery meets gothic horror as Frankenstein battles monsters for the fate of a savage land.
My favorite book is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I fell in love with when I had to read it in high school. Then a few years ago, when I came across Margaret Cavendish's public domain novel, The Blazing World—about an Englishwoman who discovers another world populated by man/animal hybrids who she orders into a utopian society—my wheels started turning...
The portal to the Blazing World is in the arctic...
Frankenstein's monster runs off to the arctic to commit suicide...
What if instead of ending his miserable life, Frank stumbled through a portal to the Blazing World? And what if another big bad from public domain fiction has already discovered the Blazing World—and conquered it?
I put that initial springboard together with my love of Mike Grell’s The Warlord, and the rest of the pitch came easily. I’ve always wanted to write a pure action/adventure book, and casting Frankenstein as a Conan-style wandering barbarian seemed like a great way to do it.
BD: This project is a collaboration with artist Kyle Roberts, colorist Ilaria Chiocca, and editor James Powell. How would you describe your shared creative process in bringing this story to life?
CA: Kyle Roberts was doing these amazing fantasy pinups and commissions, and I thought he’d be a perfect fit for the project. We talked about doing it as a series of shorts, but the scope grew as I developed the story bible under legendary former Marvel editor Carl Potts. Kyle came in to work on the visuals while I wrote the first draft of issue one with guidance from Carl. Later, I brought on James Powell to help bring it home, and he made one suggestion in particular that made that first issue really click. Ilaria Chiocca was a natural choice for colors, because we’d worked together many times before, and I always appreciate what she brings to the table.
BD: How do you feel that this iteration of Frankenstein may resonate with readers, and what do you hope that readers will take away from each issue of the overall story?
CA: Our series is a direct sequel to Frankenstein, picking up immediately after the events of Mary Shelley's novel. This is the monster as Shelley wrote him: intelligent and sensitive, with super-human speed and strength. No Boris Karloff grunting and shambling here...
But don't worry! You don't need to have read the novel first--we provide a recap--but if you're a fan, there are plenty of nods to the source material.
Since the book is Kickstarted—meaning there may be a few months’ gap between each issue—I wanted it to feel episodic, like an old serial. So, each episode stands on its own as a complete story, but when read together, they tell one epic tale.
My goal is to give you an action and adventure thrill ride with heart. Not saying we won’t make you think every now and then, but we really just want to entertain you.
BD: In light of the Kickstarter campaign, are there any particular backer rewards that you would like to highlight for our readers?
CA: In addition to the killer main cover by Kyle and Ilaria, we have some gorgeous variants by Tina Valentino, who did a great job depicting a key scene from issue 2, and Steph C, whose Gustav Klimt-inspired work serves as our main project image. Steph’s cover is also available as a metal variant, which the kids seem to like these days.
And catch-up tiers! Plenty of options there for backers who missed our last campaign.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you would like to share with readers?
CA: I’m currently co-writing with Don Handfield a western called Prodigal Son, which was co-created by the actor Martin Kove, who plays Sensei Kreese on Cobra Kai. You’ll be hearing a lot more about that one soon! And my Nightmare Theater co-editor Dave Schrader and I have a vampire book coming out soon called Carmilla Unbound, which we think will turn a few heads.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about the Blazing Blade of Frankenstein Kickstarter campaign and your other work?
CA: Blazing Blade of Frankenstein 1-2 is live on Kickstarter until February 23.
And you can find my other work at friedcomics.com, as well as follow me on Twitter (@ClaysEvilTwin).