One of Dark Horse Comics latest mini-series is King’s Road. Written by Peter Hogan of 2000 AD, Tom Strong, and Resident Alien, his latest work is spinning out of the pages of “Dark Horse Presents.” We’re big fans of Peter Hogan and when we had the opportunity to speak with him about his work for Dark Horse, his upcoming three-issue mini-series King’s Road, and why never to ask a writer to describe their work by using just one word, we jumped at the chance.
Ahead of King’s Road February 10th release, here is our interview with Mr. Peter Hogan!
Steven Biscotti: I’d like to start by saying Dark Horse Comics were kind enough to send us an advance copy of King’s Road. We’re two weeks away from its release and it must be exciting to revisit this world. As a writer, how does that feel to create a story that’s featured in Dark Horse Presents and then have it spin off into its own series?
Peter Hogan: It’s great. I mean, that was always the hope, but these things are never certain until they happen.
SB: King’s Road started in 2013 and, here we are, talking about it three years later. Do you feel that your approach to the world and cast of characters has changed in any way? Does the approach to telling the story need to change by necessity of King’s Road now being a three-issue miniseries?
PH: No, not at all. I always knew where the story would go next. The only change – and the main reason for the long delay here – was that Phil Winslade wasn’t able to continue with the story, so we had to search to find another artist.
SB: You’ve worked with Phil Winslade on this story since the beginning. You now have Staz Johnson on the series. I’m a fan of Mr. Johnson’s work and it definitely reminds me a little of the great Bernie Wrightson. I’ve seen this mentioned by other fans too and I’d love to hear about this collaboration. Especially having a new artist and colorist joining a story that’s already existed and established a tone widely enjoyed by fans.
PH: Well, Staz obviously had a tough act to follow after Phil, and of course he also had to stick with the character designs and other stuff that Phil had established. But we met up at a convention in London and had a long chat about the whole story, and then Staz mainly just got on with it, asking occasional questions here and there as he went along.
All I’d really seen of Staz’s work beforehand were some pencils for earlier projects – which were all good, but I think he’s massively improved since doing those, and I was genuinely stunned by how good they were when I saw his finished inks for this. Also, I think Doug’s colors set exactly the right tone, if you’ll forgive the pun. So, I’m really delighted that it’s all come together so well.
SB: Chuck and I became fans of your work through the Resident Alien stories in Dark Horse Presents (and of course the later mini’s). King’s Road seems as far from that sci-fi mystery as one could get. What brought you to a fantasy story? And, personally, your take on a medieval world is fantastic!
PH: I’ve written all kinds of things in my time, but fantasy is one of my first loves. People tend to think about Tolkien, or more recently Game Of Thrones, when they think about fantasy, but it’s actually a very big umbrella term – all it really means is ‘anything fantastic that isn’t science-fiction’. So for example, Sandman was fantasy, and I wrote about a half-dozen Sandman spin-off stories for Vertigo, many years ago.
But I hadn’t written any fantasy since then, and when Dark Horse and I started talking about my maybe doing something else for them, I thought I’d have a go at creating something that was more traditionally fantasy-based, and this is the result.
SB: You’ve also worked on 2000 AD, and given us some pretty fun tales regarding some of the Vertigo characters. Is there any story or character that you’ve previously worked on that you’d enjoy revisiting?
PH: It’s usually better to go forwards than try to go back, but … I’d happily write another Sandman-based story if they asked me, and there are at least two more Tom Strong stories I’d still like to write. Sadly, neither of those things is very likely to happen, for the time being at any rate.
But of course, I’m still continuing to write the ongoing adventures of Harry in Resident Alien.
SB: I don’t want to delve into too much spoiler territory, especially considering the fans that are looking forward to King’s Road, but you make some pretty interesting choices regarding certain characters early on in the story. While I won’t say “game changing”, it certainly has me curious about how you explore the family. We know this is a three-issue mini-series so what could the readers expect? Are we looking at a story that could possibly expand or is King’s Road currently being conceived as a mini-series with a definitive ending?
PH: Hopefully they can expect surprises, but I’m not saying anything beyond that ! And yes, the story doesn’t end here. To some extent whether we go further than this series depends on sales, but given the level of interest in it so far I’m quite optimistic.
In a perfect world this will run for quite a few mini-series and tell the entire story of King’s Road, but we’ll see how it goes.
SB: Mr. Hogan, thank you for spending some time with us at What’cha Reading. We can’t wait for King’s Road to release and we hope it’s enjoyed as much as we enjoyed reading it. I’d like to conclude by asking 1) In one word, how would you describe the King’s Road story arc? and 2) For those that are interested, what’s the one Dark Horse Presents story that you’d recommend to fans and readers? (Personally, mine is “A Man Out Of Time”.)
PH: Oh, you should never ask a writer to boil things down to one word … you could make my whole brain go into meltdown. Okay, I’ll say I’m hoping for ‘addictive’ but I’ll settle for ‘exciting’.
As for DHP … I have to admit to not having read the entire run of it, so I’ll just pick a long-time favorite of mine, which is Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus. A great concept, a great cast, a great blend of action and humor, and you should read the entire saga.
*What’cha Reading and Steven Biscotti would like to thank Mr. Peter Hogan for his time, along with Aub of Dark Horse Comics for coordinating and making this interview possible.
KING‘S ROAD #1
Double-sized debut spectacular!
This 48-page special includes all King’s Road chapters from Dark Horse Presents by Peter Hogan and Phil Winslade—and an additional issue’s worth of story drawn by the new King’s Road art team! Artist Staz Johnson (Judge Dredd) and colorist Douglas A. Sirois (The 7th Sword) join Hogan to continue this tale of a family on the run from magical, other-dimensional monsters.
* Value-priced double issue! 48 pages for $3.99!
King‘s Road #1 – DEC150103
Peter Hogan (W),
Phil Winslade, Staz Johnson (A),
Staz Johnson (Cover)
On sale February 10