Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Killer Bad! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the story’s premise?
Jeffrey Burandt: Thank you! Killer Bad tells the story of an elite super-group who travels to a remote island to retrieve a powerful artifact, only to be stalked and killed by a super-slasher, serial killer. We’re saying that it’s Friday the 13th meets The Boys.
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in bringing this story to life, and what (or who) were some of your creative influences in terms of the characters and tone?
JB: This story came about very organically through conversations between Jason [Goungor] and I, usually over lunch, about our teenage love of the Image founders, especially the work of Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee and Erik Larsen. We wanted to capture the look and excitement of those early Image superhero books, and combine that with a script that is inventive, surprising, and layered. The outcome of those early meetings was a superhero-horror concept, with this first issue participating in the tropes of the slasher flick subgenre.
I’d say the writing of Garth Ennis is a big influence on the tone here: extreme violence and gore mixed with absurdist humor. Jason and I were also both struck by how much James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad movie matched our Killer Bad vibes.
A lot of the characters are a product of their ridiculous superhero names. When you have characters named “War Wound,” “Death Cheater,” and “Molly X,” there’s a lot of story to unpack from those crazy names--like what sort of abilities and mindset would a woman have to name herself that? And from that a plot began to emerge.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for the first story arc of the series?
JB: Our first story arc is 3 issues, but we are treating each issue like a sequel in a series of franchise movies. So, it will be Killer Bad, Killer Bad 2, and Killer Bad 3. Each issue is a one-and-done superhero story that participates in a different horror genre, and each subsequent issue is 20 years later than the previous story. So, you’ll be able to read any given issue on its own, but the 3 issues share a connective tissue of characters and subplots that tie them together. Jason is using a different style for each issue, too, and as you can see, this first one is very '90s superhero with some manga influence, which is appropriate because Killer Bad 1 takes place in 1995.
BD: In light of the crowdfunding campaign, are there any backer rewards that you would like to highlight for our readers?
JB: Well, first I’d like to point out that you can get a digital copy for $3. That’s 23 pages of full-color, high-octane, Big Two-quality comix story for $3. So, I think it’s an easy buy-in. Heck, get it for the art alone at that price! It looks fantastic on an iPad.
Also, we have 2 variant covers for individual supporters, so if you pledge at the Horror Fan tier, you get print copies of both the “Regular Cover” by Jason Goungor and our “Kickstarter Exclusive Cover,” which is a Friday the 13th homage, by Paul Ciaravino. Plus, you get a digital copy! All for $25! And our print copies will have an additional 9 pages of back matter not available in the digital edition. We also have the “Process Junkie” PDF which will include the script, production art and annotations, for those interested in comix making.
I think we have a nice range of prices and rewards that will satisfy all comers.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that the story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
JB: I think Killer Bad is escapist fiction, which I think can be therapeutic during trying times, which we are all definitely living through right now. Especially with this first issue, I just want readers to be engaged and react viscerally...to be laughing at the absurdities and cringing at the gore. This is meant to be a summer blockbuster with a horror bent, and I think we achieved that sort of bold, big-beat storytelling.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
JB: Right now, I can talk about a couple of anthologies that I will have stories in. I have a story with artist Pierre Roset in the upcoming Containment Breach 2 from Fugitive Poems about cyber-fairies during the apocalypse, and I have a story coming out in the Twisting Time anthology with artist Taylor Love. I do have a publisher announcement coming soon, so maybe I can do another one of these when that happens!
Meanwhile, Jason is being sent back to the art mines to continue work on Killer Bad 2.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Killer Bad and your other work?
JB: I’m @Jef_UK on Twitter and Instagram, and you can see more of my work at jefwrites.com. You can find Jason on Instagram as @JGungore, and his website is jason-goungor.squarespace.com.
Thank you, Fanbase Press!