Colin Lorimer is one of the best comic creators killing the horror genre one frightening page turn after the other. He has been knocking out dark twisted horror with “Harvest”, “Curse”, “UXB”, “Burning Fields”, and more. Now he’s returned with a brand new creator-owned series from Image Comics called “The Hunt”. The series is supernatural horror deeply rooted in Irish mythology that leaves you lusting for more.
Issue #2 of “The Hunt” hits comic shops this week and we caught up with Colin to talk about his personal connection to the source material, suffering from night terrors, and dealing with soul stealing spirits, and he gives an update on “Curse” being optioned as a feature film.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind “The Hunt” and what how it’s evolved?
I’ve always had a fascination with Irish mythology and growing up in Ireland you’re constantly reminded of these old tales so much so that it becomes part of your creative make-up. Everyone knows of the Cu Chulainn and Fionn mac Cumhaill stories but the darker and lesser-known lore that lends itself so easily to the horror genre have always been my main love. The Hunt is based upon the Irish/Scottish version of the European myth of ‘The Wild Hunt’ better known as ‘The Sluagh’ and it was these tales that became the main driving force and thrust for the book.
Tell us a little bit about the creative team you’re working with on “The Hunt” in letterer Jim Campbell and colorist Joana Lafuente…
Joana is the first person I think of when it comes to putting together a new project and we have a great creative, working relationship. I believe the first time I worked with Jim Campbell was on the book Curse published through BOOM! Studios and his lettering/font choices and placement on that one was just flawless, so it was no-brainer that I would approach him for The Hunt.
Your work always seems to have a dark twist to it and horror always seems to creep into your work in some capacity. What is it that draws you to the genre over and over again?
That’s very true. I was speaking to someone about that recently and was explaining that even when I start off writing something a little more light-hearted it always ends up going into the darker corners of my imagination. My mother was a huge horror buff and was always watching various horror flicks late at night and had a mass of old paperback novels with really intriguing cover art that she would always hide for fear of me finding them, but of course that just made them even more attractive to seek out as I felt I was tapping into some esoteric, taboo subject matter; so delving into something unknown that perhaps you shouldn’t I guess has stayed with me. It’s also the artistic freedom that the genre allows, no subject matter or topic is off-limits and that is a wonderful thing.
“The Hunt” is deeply rooted in Irish mythology. How much of the book has been cultivated from research versus your own heritage and personal experiences?
It’s a mix of the two. As I mentioned a lot of this material has been bubbling within my psyche for the longest time. I already had a good working knowledge of Irish folklore and had a deep personal interest in it but I did brush up quite a bit before starting to write the book.
After reading the first issue, I loved the fact that the book takes the time to develop our protagonist Orla Roche. In just one issue you really feel as sense of kinship with her. What can you tell us about her arc and character for those reading?
Orla is an intelligent and resourceful, sixteen-year-old girl who has all the same dreams and desires as any other teenager, the only difference being she can see faerie creatures. She’s had a terrible time with this “gift” and has been labeled as the “mad kid” and has become a bit of a pariah in the local community. As the book progresses we will see that there is a lot more to Orla than meets the eye.
Tell us a bit about the soul-stealing spirits that shape the direction of the book and have such a profound impact on Orla?
The Sluagh are the darkest spirits imaginable, more feared than death itself, even hell wouldn’t take them and instead they were cursed to roam the land to search out and steal away the souls of the dying. They take the form of birds and are described as flying together like a mangled black mass of wings, talons, and beaks; truly the stuff of nightmares. Orla’s first experience or ‘awakening’ was as a young child as she watched her dying father’s soul being ripped from his body by these guys so she was understandably affected in a great way by this experience.
This story has a personal side to the story, given you suffered from night terrors and even sleep paralysis as a child. Talk about that affliction and how did this story allowed you to use your own experience to make the story even more frightening.
The night terrors I suffered with from a very young age and that would range from seeing various ‘people’ in my bedroom of all shapes and sizes and from different time periods just wandering around at the edge of my bed to more surreal visions of monsters and ‘shapes.’ The sleep paralysis experience was a step up on the old scare scale; lying frozen in bed unable to move, hearing distinct voices whispering in my ear and feeling the presence of something in the room just out of sight was terrifying. It was the experience of feeling someone actually lying down behind me and taunting me for what seemed like an eternity that sent my mind into overdrive. The fear was palpable. This went on for many years and I still experience it today though, thankfully, I now understand the science behind it rather than the more mystical beliefs I held onto as a child. But who knows…maybe it was ghosts and demons. It certainly did play a large part in helping to shape the horror of The Hunt.
You’ve worked with a number of publishers from Image to Boom Studios and Dark Horse. What makes a project a fit for one publisher versus another?
The Hunt would have fit with all the publishers you’ve mentioned above but I’d decided very early on that I’d pitch, Jim Valentino, at Shadowline, as I had worked with him before on Harvest, and wanted to work with him again.
Your last project “CURSE” was just optioned as a movie by horror studio Blumhouse. Can you talk about your experience as a creator having work optioned? Do they ask for your input, and will you be involved with the development of the film?
When you put so much work into something it’s certainly a nice feeling to get it optioned, we’ll just have to wait and see if we get a movie at the end of it. BOOM! worked hard to get the book out there and it’s their film department that got it optioned and up and running so all the finer details of the deal rest with them. They do keep us updated on who they are talking with and if any directors are potentially being looked at or interested in coming on board. It’s still early days for the project.
“The Hunt” #1 is available now from your local comic shop or online via Comixology. “The Hunt” #2 hits comic shops and digital retailers on August 17th, 2016.