"Conor And I Do All The Brainstorming Together" – Anthony Del Col Talks Holmes Vs. Houdini
Christina Blanch, writer of The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood, talks with Anthony Del Col about Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini, both on sale Oct. 1
CHRISTINA BLANCH: How did this mash-up come about? Did Dynamite approach you or did you come up with the idea?
ANTHONY DEL COL: Dynamite approached Conor McCreery and I with the concept of putting Houdini and Holmes in the same story and we immediately jumped at the possibility! The game was definitely afoot as we started to think of a multitude of storylines. Like children with brand new toys we had an entirely new sandbox to play in and jumped in.
CB: You and Conor work really well together! What is your creation process like?
ADC: I always like to ask this question of other writing teams as there is no one, sure-fire method. Conor and I do all of the brainstorming together and devise the storyline and the key story elements in each script. We then go off and write them separately – one person will take the lead spot in an issue, the other the next issue. We then trade them back and forth until we have it just right.
CB: You seem to have a knack for writing historical figures (Shakespeare, Houdini). What is it that attracts you to these types of books?
ADC: I've always been a fan of literary icons (like Shakespeare's characters or Sherlock Holmes) and appreciate the opportunity to bring them to life in new ways that can get new audiences excited about their work. There is a reason characters like Holmes and Hamlet have been around for generations – they're that good.
CB: Sherlock Holmes has become extremely popular lately with several TV shows and movies coming out over the last few years. How will your Sherlock Holmes be different from the other recent incarnations?
ADC: Very early on someone at a convention told us, "Don't ignore his drug use. Don't make it P.C." This is something that we've taken to heart and it's something we focus on in our series. Holmes is just as witty and brusque as the Cumberbatch version but he's been around for longer at the beginning of our tale.
CB: This book has a giant twist at the end that leaves one wanting more. Without giving things away, is this the idea that drives the story?
ADC: The thing that really brought the real-life Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes) together was a debate about spirituality so we decided that we would have to address this in our story – and it becomes a very large part of the story. I can't reveal more than that but a historical character from that time makes an appearance in a future issue that will thrust the story in a new direction.
CB: What other historical figures would you love to write?
ADC: Wow. So many possible answers here. I'd love to delve into the world of Jane Austen at some point and have a story kicking around that would be a new take on her greatest creations. I'm also starting on a new World War II project that will weave in one or two large characters from that time in our history and it'll be quite a bit of fun.
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