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Ales Kot Interview

Interview conducted by James Ferguson


This July sees the release of the oversized first issue of Wolf, written by Ales Kot with art by Matt Taylor and colors from Lee Loughridge.  The ongoing series mixes crime noir with horror and fantasy beginning in July.  I had the opportunity to chat with Kot regarding the comic, genres, and more.

James Ferguson: To start, tell me a little about Wolf.

Ales KotWolf is a crime noir horror fantasy set in present day Los Angeles. Imagine Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft and James Ellroy meeting up at an orgy and going at it until they make a strange slimy creature, while Shane Black, the guy responsible for Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, acts as a midwife...and you may start to grasp what you're dealing with here.


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JF: The main character, Antoine Wolfe, is a paranormal detective.  Is that like the investigative side of the Ghostbusters?

AK: It's less of a gift and more of a curse, at least to Antoine. He sees so much he self-medicates with booze and pills, which is really a way of self-annihilation, except that, I don't want to say too much. But yeah: Antoine sees parts of the electromagnetic spectrum many of us don't regularly see. We see about three percent, and Wolfe, well...he sees more. And that sorta thing could well drive you crazy.

But he uses it. And he knows the community of the weirdos, the werewolves, the vampires, the succubi, the other strange creatures...after all, us humans are strange aplenty in our own ways, too. Thing is, Antoine's also got a death wish, and there's a girl approaching that might shake up the entire plan he's got rolling already. Plus a bag of cash and something screaming in a darkened room.

JF: What would a typical day be like for a paranormal detective?

AK: There are no "typical" days when you're a paranormal detective. You have a sensor for the weird and the weird keeps happening. Case in point: the first day we observe Antoine? He ends up in a trunk by page twenty or so, and I'm not even talking about what happens to him in the first three pages...and even for Antoine, the ending of that particular day proves especially un-typical.

JF: Can you describe your creative process with artist Matt Taylor and colorist Lee Loughridge?

AK: I pick creators who work well with me. I already tested out Matt on my previous series, Zero, so I get that we vibe on a frequency that's similar enough to feed straight into what we're doing here, and what we're doing here has a tagline: Blood and magic.

With Lee, this is our first collaboration, but how could I not trust the guy who colored Hellblazer and now colors, amazingly so, Deadly Class, which is an extraordinary art jam? I mean, I could *not* trust him, but we talked on the phone a couple of times and he seems like an all-around trustworthy degenerate with a sense of humor so black you need to purge after accidentally ingesting it.


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JF: Wolf blends fantasy, horror, and crime into one comic.  What about those genres interests you?

AK: America is built on crime. Native American genocide, slavery, mafia, bankers, military-industrial complex, prison industrial complex, the goes on and on. Crime interests me because it's a core building block of how we still interact with the universe.

Fantasy interests me because it's open. What exactly is fantasy? Nobody knows! It's a lot of things. Generally, it's the unseen or under-seen in our daily lives, and with seeing it comes a sense of awe. So I see fantasy as an exploration of that sense of awe, predominantly in a positive way.

On the other side, horror interests me because it explores a sense of dread. Again, it connects to the unseen. What is fear if not another gate towards an experience?

Then comes the blending, because none of these genres have clear limits, and nor does human experience. Noir is what happens when you add up fantasy (an idea of how a crime will work out) and horror (the ways in which it doesn't work out) and watch what happens next. But at the end of the day, all the genres, all these words...they don't encompass what I want to say in its entirety. The truth is, Wolf is a way of exploring these genres, but I rarely thought of them as genres when conceiving Wolf -- I simply saw the world and the characters and chose to follow them down the rabbit hole, and I suspect you will have to do the same if you want to find out what they told me.


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JF: If you had to pick a favorite story / movie from each of those genres, what would they be?

AK: Crime: James Ellroy's 'Underworld USA' trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, Blood's a Rover. Heat by Michael Mann.

Fantasy: Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The Empire Strikes Back by Irwin Kershner.

Horror: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Books of Blood by Clive Barker. Yeah, I picked two books here. Couldn't decide on just one. And movie-wise...The Exorcist.

HorrorTalk would like to thank Ales Kot for taking the time to speak with us today.  Wolf #1 will debut at your local comic shop or favorite digital device on July 22nd.  It is currently available for pre-order via the links below.  The final order cut off date is Monday, June 29th.


Alex Kot Cover
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About The Author
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Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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