Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, writers of Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini #4, talk with writer Paul Tobin about Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #12, both on sale February 25th. Cover images by Bart Sears and Jae Lee.
ANTHONY DEL COL & CONOR McCREERY: I'm sure you've been asked this question a hundred times, but where did you come up with the idea of mashing up medieval England and dinosaurs? It's so great and a "why didn't I think of that?" concept!
PAUL TOBIN: That one's all Greg, at least for the series, but it's something that's been in my head since I was a kid. The thought of knights jousting on horseback has always had a huge draw for me, this combination of animal and armored human melded together into a charging engine of destruction is awesome. But, of course, as a kid, you never stop there: you start out with knights on horseback and pretty soon it's armored knights on armored dinosaurs, because that's awesome. If I'd been totally true to the "kid" in me, we'd have had knights on dinosaurs jousting … in space!
A&C: What have been the major influences on the creation of this series?
PT: The original series, for one. My grandmother had bought a couple of piles of them at garage sales. This was the early eighties, and I was a kid, and looking at those Alberto Giolitti dinosaurs was amazing. Poor Turok was always running from some big ol' reptile. I loved it. Beyond that, a lot of classic movies inspirited me, all those medieval adventure movies from the 40's and 50's, the ones I watched back when I thought everything Hollywood produced was basically a historical documentary.
A&C: Turok seems like more than just the average "reluctant hero" in this series. What aspect of his character surprised you the most as you sat down to write him and flesh him out?
PT: For me, it was his sense of just wanting to be left alone, strangely combined with actually enjoying the company of people. He's a reluctant introvert and a reluctant extrovert at the same time. He's one seething pit of reluctance and dinosaur-killing. Except that he likes dinosaurs too. So he only kills them reluctantly.
PT: Very naturally. I'm a reluctant optimist, so I normally have a wry outlook on life, and I love a good quip, so that finds its way into my writing. I don't like stories that are relentlessly grim. I've had grim times in my life, and humor helped me through it. Sometimes, you just gotta laugh about things.
A&C: Conor loves to use the expression "God's teeth" in our Kill Shakespeare series, which Anthony had never heard of before. Of course, you use it in this issue. What's your favorite Olde (or Middle) English expression?
PT: Hmmm, that's a good question. Maybe referring to a footman/valet as a "fart catcher." That one's been on my mind lately. I'm working on a series of urban fantasy novels where a significant part happens a couple of hundred years ago, so I've been doing a lot of language research in the area. One site that you can get lost in is …. http://www.pascalbonenfant.com/18c/cant/ It's a huge compendium of 18th century thieves cant. The whole site is marvelous.
A&C: I'm sure it's the dream of any comic artist to be able to draw dinosaurs. And grand medieval battles. Do the artists Felipe Cunha and Ruairi Coleman have a favorite thing to draw in this series? What would you love to be able to get them to draw more of (in this series or another)?
PT: All artists are genetically born loving to draw dinosaurs. It's how we as a species survive. And, I don't see it happening, but I'd still love to get in at least one dinosaur fight in space. I owe it to the 12 year old in me.
For more information on Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #12, click here.