Vampirella writer Nancy Collins has moved from that horror icon to another, Ash Williams. Byron Brewer talks to her about Army of Darkness: Furious Road from Dynamite. Cover art by Gabriel Hardman.
NANCY COLLINS: The series is set 20 years from the current Army of Darkness continuity. The Deadites have finally succeeded in spreading their evil into the world. Civilization—at least in North America—has collapsed. Because the Deadites don't play well with anyone, the various monster species—vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.—have been forced to team-up with humanity in order to survive. And they have decided their only chance at survival is finding the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis and use one of its spells to send the Deadites back to hell. So a special squad is sent out to locate the book—but they also have to deal with its appointed guardian, Ashley "Ash" Williams, who isn't that keen on helping a bunch of monsters, even if means getting rid of the Deadites.
BB: I know every writer has there own perceptions of Ash as a character. (I interviewed most them a while back during an AoD celebration.) To you, who is Ash?
NC: I see Ash as a Common Joe who has had unimaginable weirdness and horror dumped into his life simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He never wanted to be a hero or the "Chosen One", but has stepped up to the job to the best of his abilities, which, at times, are less than great. I should also point out that everything he's endured has not only made him cynical, sarcastic and battle-hardened, but also driven him a tad bit insane.
BB: We all know your love of monsters from your critically-acclaimed run on Vampirella. How did the Daughter of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the witch Heckuba come to be allies of Ash in a future world? Why those choices?
NC: I picked then because 1) I wanted characters that reflected the old school monsters from both classic literature and the Universal horror movies of the 1930s-1940s, and 2) they were either public domain or owned by Dynamite, so I didn't have to get clearance from another rights holder.
BB: Are you enjoying working with artist Kewber Baal?
NC: Very much so. We talk back and forth on Facebook on a regular basis. There is a bit of a language barrier, as he's in Brazil and I'm not, but thanks to translation software and photo reference I'm able to explain what I need from him as an artist, and he is able to ask me questions regarding the characters, settings, etc. He's an amazingly swift and detailed artist—you would not believe his pencils—and he also inks his own work. The turnaround has been incredible. He's a dynamo.
For more on Army of Darkness: Furious Road, click here.