Kristine Chester, Fanboy Comics Contributor: Graeme, thank you for taking the time to speak with Fanboy Comics. Volume 1 of your new comic, Creepy Scarlett, is out now, and you're hard at work on Volume 2. For any of our readers who aren't already familiar, why don't you tell them about Creepy Scarlett?
Graeme Buchan: The main character, Scarlett, is a mysterious and quirky, candy-loving butt-kicker, but it wasn’t always that way. The series covers over a century and the story intertwines through the years, so it’s hard to say too much without giving everything away. The main storyline surrounds the two items, the emerald of Lucifer and the grail cup, and the power they combine to create. It is a tale of love and hate and creation and destruction; it is very much a human story.
KC: What were some of the influences behind Creepy Scarlett?
GB: The cemetery where it is set is a big part of the inspiration behind everything; it is where I would go to learn how to use my video camera, taking footage of sunsets and the surroundings to learn editing. Most of the developing of this was over time and creating little short films that eventually turned into a whole little world. Also my own personal love of other creations such as Buffy, Resident Evil, Hammer Horror movies, '80s Horror, The Crow, etc. There are a lot of obvious and not so obvious references and tributes to the things I love in here.
KC: One of the constraints on Scarlett is that she can only leave the Sunnyville cemetery on Halloween each year. What's been the experience of working within this story constraint?
GB: Having the story set over a century helped; at least there could be 100 stories of Scarlett crossing the bridge. Also, it doesn’t mean people cannot visit the cemetery, as Scarlett has something a lot of people are after . . .
KC: Creepy Scarlett is unafraid to change up genres. Volume 1 gave us a covert ops story and a zombie story, and from the looks of things, Volume 2 is going to include Samurai in at least one arc. Do you intend to keep dropping fun references to other works in these genres, and are there any other themes you have planned for the future that you can talk about?
GB: My belief is that the world is not a [single] genre, and so neither should be the story of Scarlett. I understand some people love zombies and some love samurai and some love Metal Gear Solid . . . I also understand it might turn some people off, but after a few issues and the origins story, I believe and hope people will become fond of the characters and world and look forward to seeing what lies ahead.
I have a lot of ideas for future issues and characters and themes, but the main deciding factor is whether they fit the story. There are going to be a lot of people gunning for Scarlett soon, including a fun fair freak show, cowboys, and lots of creatures and creations.
KC: So, what's the deal with Mr. Ted? Is he just a stuffed bear Scarlett talks to or is there something supernatural about him as well?
GB: Why don’t you ask Scarlett if Mr. Ted is just a stuffed bear and see how far that gets you.
Ok, maybe it’s just a stuffed bear and maybe it’s not. Let's just say that without Mr. Ted there is no hope for humanity.
KC: You published Creepy Scarlett yourself. What has this experience been like, and what recommendation would you give to readers interested in self-publishing their own comic books and graphic novels?
GB: This was the first comic book I’ve ever written. I was very naive; it took 8 months and a lot of money (for me) to produce. I would advise against it. I am as green as Kermit and the Hulk’s lovechild, but I’ve learned enough to say as a first timer, then you best find someone in the industry that will guide you in the right direction.
I would also say that if you have a story in your heart, then the story must be told, however much you fear it or try to fight it or hide it. Whether it be before or after your last sunset, one way or another the story will be told, and it shall be the story of you.
KC: There are several Creepy Scarlett-themed short movies on Youtube. What was the experience like taking characters and the setting you wrote about and adapting it to live action?
GB: It was the opposite. I started learning filmmaking on my own, and each little short film I made was a test for an idea. When Scarlett came along, I knew it was the one. I made the short in October and started on the comic in December.
KC: Can readers expect to see more of these short movies or are there plans to adapt the plots from the comic to live action?
GB: Filmmaking is my passion; it’s what I long to learn and do. I haven’t used my camera since starting the comic, and that’s been really hard for me. The time and effort needed to produce anything that would be worthwhile is not an option just now, unfortunately, but I am looking at a long-term plan that includes movies and an animated or TV series.
KC: This being Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your own favorite comics, movies, or games?
GB: Oh I like lots of stuff. Star Wars is probably my biggest, geeky thing. There isn’t the chance to reference it too much in the comic, but the next issue has a bit of the Yoda/Luke dynamic to it.
KC: Lastly, what would you like to tell Fanboy Comics' readers who would like to learn more about you and your upcoming projects?
GB: Creepy Scarlett is my only project; it is everything I have and will leave behind. If some people find it on their journey, I hope they will like it.
To learn more about Creepy Scarlett, please visit the series' official website.