ComicBuzz Chats With James Aquilone

We are delighted to be joined by Bram Stoker Award-winning writer and editor James Aquilone. Monstrous Book’s crowdfunding campaign for the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker by Jeff Rice is live via Kickstarter. In 1972, Kolchak: The Night Stalker transfixed audiences. The new, deluxe hardcover edition will feature a new foreword by writer and actor David Dastmalchian (Count Crowley; Late Night with the Devil), an all-new afterword by writer and producer Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), an all-new essay on Jeff Rice by Kolchak expert Mark Dawidziak, (The Night Stalker Companion) and a cover and spot illustrations by Russ Braun (The Boys). The Monstrous Books deluxe hardcover edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker will have a limited print run of 1973 copies. 


Hi, James; it’s so wonderful to have you here with us.


When did you first discover Kolchak: The Night Stalker?

I discovered it the same way many of my generation did, in reruns. A few years after the TV series was canceled, it began to air late at night, a perfect time to watch Kolchak. Now it once again airs late at night, every Saturday, on MeTV, where we get to relive the series and younger people get to discover it. 


How would you describe Kolchak: The Night Stalker?

The Night Stalker is about an irascible reporter who insists a vampire is hunting and killing women in Las Vegas and the inevitable coverup by the powers that be.


Could you tell us about the origins of the Kickstarter for the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker from Monstrous Books?

Several months ago, my publishing company, Monstrous Books, acquired the exclusive rights to publish Kolchak books, and it made sense to start with The Night Stalker by Jeff Rice, since that’s where it all began. The idea to do a Deluxe Edition came about because there has never been a nice hardcover edition of the book and I thought the time had come to create something that’s worthy of this series.


Russ Braun is also involved with the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker; what made Russ the right artist for the project?

Russ is a huge Kolchak fan and his work is fantastic. He did a Morlock cover for my comic book magazine Monstrous, and it blew me away, so I knew he’d do an amazing job with Kolchak.


David Dastmalchian, Rodney Barnes and Mark Dawidziak are all involved with the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker; how did they get involved with the project?

David wrote the foreword, Rodney wrote an afterword, and Mark wrote a profile of Kolchak creator Jeff Rice. They’re also all Kolchak superfans and fantastic to work with, so I gave them a call.


As you are crowdfunding the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, does that make the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker more special for you?

Crowdfunding is about interacting with readers and fans and building the project along with them. It’s definitely more special than if I just published the book on, say, Amazon. There’s no connection to the reader when they buy it off a platform like Amazon or even in a bookstore.


Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?

If you’re a Kolchak fan, you’ll want to pick up the Deluxe Edition of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. This is where Kolchak started and you’ll get more insight into the character and the vampire Janos Skorzeny. Plus, it’s a great book in its own right. And if you’re not a Kolchak fan, this is the perfect place to begin.

We would like to say thank you to James for chatting with us. We would like to wish the whole team of the Kolchak: The Night Stalker the best of luck with the project.

Feel free to check out the campaign on Kickstarter.

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