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Some insight into Kolchak graphic novel from editor James Aquilone

Comic Books

Some insight into Kolchak graphic novel from editor James Aquilone

Some insight into Kolchak graphic novel from editor James Aquilone.

Moonstone Books is celebrating a cult classic with a Kickstarter campaign for KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER 50TH ANNIVERSARY GRAPHIC NOVEL. Now live on Kickstarter, this all-new, 100+ page graphic novel will feature 10 stories chronicling the life of monster-hunting reporter Carl Kolchak. Sounds cool, but wait till you hear about the creatives involved.

Edited by James Aquilone, the anthology features some incredible creators like master storytellers such as Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), Kim Newman (Anno Dracula), Peter David (The Incredible Hulk), and Jonathan Maberry (V-Wars), with illustrations from amazing artists like Colton Worley (The Shadow), Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (Mr. Higgins Comes Home), J.K. Woodward (Star Trek), and Paul McCaffrey (Anno Dracula).

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But what goes into crafting an anthology like this? To better understand how this collection came together, I asked Aquilone questions surrounding the Kickstarter and the process of creating an anthology like this.

Kolchak: THE NIGHT STALKER 50TH ANNIVERSARY GRAPHIC NOVEL James AquiloneAIPT: What made KOLCHAK the right project to launch on Kickstarter right now?

James Aquilone: The first Kolchak TV movie, The Night Stalker, premiered on January 11, 1972, so I couldn’t think of a better time to launch the Kickstarter campaign. A 50th anniversary is a pretty big deal and the perfect opportunity to celebrate Kolchak and do something really special. The anthology will span Kolchak’s life from his teen years to his final story, and the campaign will feature a wide range of merch, which fans have been craving for years. We really pulled out all the stops with this project.

AIPT: What goes into curating an anthology like KOLCHAK? Where does one start, especially with so many incredible creators attached!

JA: I started by inviting Richard Christian Matheson, who’s not only an amazing writer in his own right, but also the son of Richard Matheson, the legendary writer of the first two Kolchak TV movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. R.C. will be writing the introduction as well as a story. Once I had the Matheson seal of approval, I didn’t need much else to get the project off the ground.

AIPT: Can you talk a little bit about the creators and what they brought to the project?

JA: Every one of the creators is super talented and accomplished — not to mention a huge Kolchak fan. But probably the two biggest Kolchak fans are Kim Newman and Rodney Barnes. Kim wrote an amazing alternate ending to The Night Stalker, and who better to do that than the creator of the Anno Dracula series? Rodney certainly knows a thing or two about vampires, as well, with his Killadelphia comic, but he’s pitting Kolchak against zombies in Harlem in his story. I can’t wait to read that story.


AIPT: When getting the order of stories right, is it similar to crafting a playlist?

JA: Normally it’s like a playlist, but with the Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary graphic novel the order of stories is quite simple. We’re looking at the life and (possible) death of Kolchak, so we’ll have at least one story per decade, from the 1930s to the early ’00s, with three stories set in the ’70s. Obviously, we’re going with chronological ordering, which makes my job a little bit easier.

AIPT: What was the hardest part of launching this project?

JA: Probably coordinating all the pieces and with the contributors. There are about 25 contributors and tons of rewards. So it’s a lot of work and planning. But we already have a good chunk of the book done, so hopefully, that helps speed things along as far as getting the books out to backers. I can’t wait to hold one in my hands and for fans to read these stories.


AIPT: Are there any stretch goals you’re most excited about?

JA: There’s one I’m very excited about, but I can’t talk about it. I can say that if we hit the goal, the book will be bigger and better. You’ll have to stay tuned for that.

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