Welcome back kiddies. This time I have lured Bryan Baugh back into the depths to pick his brain about all things Wulf and Batsy. So sit back and relax as we find out why we should all be reading his stuff and what the future holds for this great artist and storyteller.
Decapitated Dan: Hey Bryan, thanks for taking the time to talk to me about whats going on with Wulf and Batsy. Lets start off with a recap. What is it that you do?
Bryan Baugh: My day job is working as a storyboard artist in the animation industry. I have worked on a variety of animated TV shows – everything from Winnie the Pooh, to Batman, to Jackie Chan Adventures, to Masters of the Universe, to Starship Troopers, to Harold and the Purple Crayon. But at night, and on quiet weekends, I write and draw horror comics. So far I have finished two graphic novels about my characters, Wulf and Batsy, and a handful of short comics stories.
DD: What do new readers need to know about Wulf and Batsy?
BB: Wulf is a ferocious werewolf and Batsy is a cute female vampire. They are wandering the earth in search of a place to call home. But everywhere they go, they eat people, and get run out of town.
DD: How have things gone with Volume 1? Sales good? Good Reviews? Do you notice that you have a strong following with the book and its characters?
BB: Sales have been surprisingly good considering that I am self-publishing these books. And that I sell them mostly online, and have no regular distribution to comic book stores. Reviews have been mostly positive as well. As a result Wulf and Batsy has developed a small but loyal cult following. Let’s put it this way: Wulf and Batsy is the comic book equivalent of a punk band that has developed a fan following from playing at small clubs and handing out homemade cd’s, but who has not yet been offered a recording contract. Very few people know about it, but those who do seem to like it very much. And while we haven’t had our “big break” yet, the number of fans, and the level of interest and excitement does seem to grow every year.
DD: So what can you tell us about Wulf and Batsy Volume 2: Lustmord Nightmares?
BB: With Volume 2, I wanted to do something very different from the stories that appeared in Wulf and Batsy Volume 1. The first book was funny and had a certain friendliness to it. Lustmord Nightmares is a lot more mean-spirited, and a lot more demented and perverse. It’s more challenging and, dare I say, thought-provoking. For example - in Volume 1, Wulf and Batsy were best friends, they did everything together. In Volume 2, the first thing that happens is Wulf and Batsy have a big fight and split up. They spend the whole book apart and don’t get around to reconciling their differences until the end. Volume 2 also contains a lot more graphic violence and sexual innuendo. It’s a very different story from what has come before.
DD: Can we expect to find any zombies from Volume 1 showing up?
BB: No - Volume 2: Lustmord Nightmares has a large cast of characters, but the only characters who return from Volume 1 are Wulf and Batsy themselves. Everyone else is new.
DD: Did you hit any setbacks in the art or story?
BB: No setbacks in the artwork, but in the story, yes. With Lustmord Nightmares, I was trying to create a graphic novel in the style of a European Horror Film. I was thinking of filmmakers like Dario Argento, Jean Rollin, and Armando De Osorio in particular. And if you’ve watched a lot of horror movies from Europe you know they tend to be very sexy. Another theme I wanted to deal with in this story was the sin of lust. As a result, this graphic novel became very sexually-charged. I’m a pretty conservative guy, so this erotic content made me feel like I was handling dynamite. It seems like every writer, or comic book creator, or filmmaker, goes through that phase where they must do at least one big story that deals with sex… and I guess Lustmord Nightmares is mine.
DD: What is it that draws you to these characters? Why continue on?
BB: I am a kid at heart, and creating stories is like the grown-up equivalent of playing with toy soldiers. It’s too much fun to quit.
DD: Another treat that readers of the first volume know about are the Captain Bloodclot Company ads. Can we expect more of these gems in this book?
BB: Those guys who run the Captain Bloodclot Company are crooks. They have had numerous tangles with the law over several of the products they have advertised in my books. I hate those evil bastards, and keep telling them I’m going to stop carrying their ads. But every time I complain they send me death threats. I didn’t take them seriously at first but then I started finding dead crows with their throats slit on my front doorstep. I think this gesture must be symbolic. Or perhaps it is supposed to send some kind of message. As long as I run their ads and don’t complain, I keep finding big fat envelopes full of unmarked bills inexpertly crammed in my mail slot.
DD: Will there be any other extras in the book?
BB: Yes, this book ends with a long, in-depth Supplemental Section, full of sketches and explanatory text, showing the creative process that went into the development of this story. I did the same thing at the end of Volume 1. I love putting the Supplemental material in there. It’s the comic book version of a “Behind-the-Scenes” Documentary on a DVD.
DD: What has it been like doing this on your own?
BB: Fun but difficult. I am not only writing and drawing the books but also taking care of the technical duties that a publisher would ordinarily be in charge of. Such as: preparing the book for the printer, taking orders, and shipping books. Thank God I’ve got my wife Monica, who is always willing to make trips to the post office when I run out of time, and my ingenious website designer, John Walsh, who does all the online promotional stuff. Those two have been a huge help, and have made the whole experience a lot smoother. I am getting a real education on self-publishing. But man, I’d still prefer to have the book picked up by a real publisher so I could just focus on writing and drawing the stories.
DD: What do you hope readers will take away from Volume 2?
BB: I just hope readers take away a deeper understanding of the characters. Volume 2: Lustmord Nightmares represents a new chapter in the undead lives of Wulf and Batsy. It’s a darkly humorous story, but there’s also some pretty serious circumstances that arise along the way. The somber moments reveal sides of the characters that were not apparent in Volume 1.
DD: Where can readers grab a copy of Wulf and Batsy Volume 2: Lustmord Nightmares?
BB: The easiest way to get the book is to order a copy directly from the Store Page on my website: http://www.cryptlogic.net/store/
DD: Can we expect you at any upcoming shows promoting the book?
BB: Unfortunately I don’t make it to very many comic book conventions. My work schedule in animation is too heavy to break away very often. But I try to appear at San Diego Con every summer.
DD: Anything else you’re working on these days?
BB: I’m working on a new animated TV series, which is my real job and therefore takes top priority. And secondly, whenever spare time allows, I am creating new Wulf and Batsy material.
DD: I know it's early but can we expect a Wulf and Batsy Volume 3?
BB: There will definitely be a Wulf and Batsy Volume 3 and 4. I have story material worked out for both of them, and a lot of pages drawn for both of them. One of them will be a short story collection, and one of them will be another big, epic-length story… probably longer than Lustmord Nightmares. But it’s still early and I am not sure which one will come first.
DD: All right lets bring it all together. Why should people go out and pick up Wulf and Batsy Volume 2?
BB: Well, if you liked Wulf and Batsy Volume 1, then you are going to love Volume 2. Same characters in a better story, with better artwork. Simple as that.
DD: Thanks so much Bryan. I can not wait to see what you have in store for us.
If you would like to know more about Bryan or to learn more about Wulf and Batsy please head over to http://www.cryptlogic.net/