Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of The Séance Room! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Ben Goldsmith: Thanks! Séance Room is Twilight Zone meets Tales from the Crypt. The Séance Room exists in this old mansion based off the Magic Castle in LA. Inside there are 6 ghosts and a master. Everyone who ends up in the Séance Room will come face to face with the harsh truths of existence whether they want to or not. Every issue is a standalone tale, so it's excellent for new and old readers alike! That being the case, each issue was inspired by something different. If I want to rage against injustice, I can do it in Séance Room. If I want to call out hypocrisy, I can do it in the Séance Room. If I just want to write one hell of a scary tale….well, you get it.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process bringing this series to life, and who are the other creators involved with the series throughout its run?
BG: The creative collaboration is one of the best parts of comics. Otherwise, we would just write novels. The result is better than the components and brings unexpected results. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some really talented artists.
At first it was Keyla Velario and [me], and she helped define the series/tone/character design. Then, Dustin Irvin took on the very difficult job of picking up a series after its already moving. Dustin should be a full-time working artist since he can literally do it all and is the world's nicest person. I don’t believe in a higher power purely because he isn’t turning down work left and right.
For this newest run, we had four different artists pick up the pen. Part of this was time. I was able to do 4 issues in the time it usually takes to do 1. We brought on Drew Rausch because of his intrinsically fun take on horror. Then, there was Alex Cormack who has had some success recently with Road of Bones and Sink. He is just an incredible visual storyteller, and it shows in his issue (which may be the least horrific of the series thus requiring more emotion). Dustin came back for the HackSlash issue and, of course, Ben Templesmith is a no brainer. He is one of my favorite artists ever and when he agreed to do a full issue, I was over the moon.
BD: As you noted, the series will eventually include a crossover with HackSlash. What can you tell us about this mashup, and what was your experience as a creator in melding the two worlds?
BG: Tim was amazing to work with. His characters are so fun. Vlad and Cassie are perfect to play off of each other. Go read the omnibuses that have just come out if you have never read HackSlash. Very accessible and fun as hell. Anyway, when I got the opportunity to include them in with Séance Room, I just wanted to tell a story that took the best of both properties and see what would be the most fun way to look at them. In HackSlash, Cassie tortures dirtbags physically, In Séance Room, it’s more psychologically. So, the natural conclusion, to my mind, was “whose technique works better?” Add in a dog torturer (shorthand for asshole that we mostly all can agree deserves it) and let the story unfold.
BD: What makes Source Point Press the perfect home for this series?
BG: Séance Room wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for SPP. They took a chance on me years ago, and I’ll never forget that.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
BG: We are very lucky to also have a book coming out with SCOUT Comics called Ghosts on the Water. It’s Moana meets Pirates of the Caribbean. Alex Cormack also did this book and, MAN, is it fun!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about The Séance Room?
BG: I would say go to my Instagram (@mrbenau) and to keep following the best damn news crew at Fanbase for any and all things comics!!