Dark Horse Presents is a wonderful series that throws together various stories by various high-caliber talent. I’ve been in love with the series and the various stories that run through this monthly 80 page beast since its current relaunch last summer. This week brings us issue 8 and its finally time I give a formal plug to one of my favorite books. With its wonderful anthology nature we see a wide range of writers from established pros to those who are still trying to break in. I get the privilege to chat with three creators among the anthology book. An interview will be posted every day until its release.
One of those creators is Rich Johnston. Johsnton is often known as a controversial figure in the comics industry. He’s been killed (in IDW’s CSI series), he’s been called a ***********************, but one thing not enough people call him is…a writer. Johnston’s writing credits are composed of years of comics journalism, running bleedingcool.com, Dr. Who: Room With A Deja View for IDW, The Flying Fryar for Markosia, and more. His most recent writing credit is in Dark Horse Presents #8. Johnston re-teams with his Watchmensch collaborator, Simon Rohrmuller to bring us The Many Murders of Ms. Cranbourn. Johnston was quite kind and decided to drop by and talk about his new project.
Adam Messinger: Reading the press release, its said that it’s “Miss Marple meets Dexter in the 1940′s”. What was your thought process when you came up with that?
Rich Johnston: I’ve heard the joke from stand up comedians many times. “Angela Lansbury – I bet she did it”, “Inspector Morse – I bet he did them all”. It’s an easy gag, so naturally I ended up overanalysing it and trying to work out how exactly it might work – and what her motivation would be.
Messinger: Who are some of the supporting characters?
Johnston: Similar to Marple – a niece in a flash car, village friends, professionals, aristos, servants – and the police.
Messinger: Which character from the story is your favorite?
Johnston: Well it has to be Cranbourne. She is a real monster and she sees a Catholic, a homosexual, an adulterer as no less worthy of her wrath than a murderer or a pederast. She has a very pure sense of morality – even if it is an abhorrent one.
Messinger: You collaborated with artist Simon Rohrmuller on Watchmensch. What’s it like working with him again?
Johnston: Very easy, and he’s great at covering up my mistakes. In this case he travelled to England to walk around small villages in the Cotsworlds getting the flavour of them. In some places little has changed in seventy years.
Messinger: Any last plugs or mentions that you’d like to toss in?
Johnston: Check Boom’s listings for April… just saying!