Piece a girl together and what have you got: Tyler Kirkham's Screwed #1 (APR131352), in which a young lady wakes up in a hospital room covered in scars as if she had been taken apart and put back together again. It's not a dream, though. It's happened. The question is, why would someone do such a thing and then not step forward to take credit? In this PREVIEWSworld interview, Tyler Kirkham (New Guardians, Teen Titans, The Amazing Spider-Man) invites us to learn more about medical sickness, and how things can go terribly wrong for a young woman who life has just been turned into a science experiment.
PREVIEWSworld: Re-imagining history gave us historical fiction like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and now we’re seeing a new twist on the formula with Screwed, which appears to be your re-imagining of Shelly’s Frankenstein. Yes? What can you tell us about the genesis of your new project, Screwed? How did it grow?
Tyler Kirkham: Yes, it is a retelling of Frankenstein! I've always loved the idea of Frankenstein, there are a lot of ways you can go with it. Screwed is nothing like the original, in a sense that people won’t be expecting what happens in the series. We do have characters that represent their counterparts from the original story, though, which will be fun for readers. I remember the day the basic concept popped in my head. I can't tell you what that idea was or it will ruin the story. I had been working with friend and writer Keith Thomas on some side projects. I knew I wanted him be involved in this. It’s right up his alley, and he has some (sorry to say this Keith) sick ideas! I got on the phone with him right away and pitched it to him, he loved it. After that we worked on issue one, and we got the first 5 pages drawn, colored, and lettered. This was material we could use for a pitch packet to present to publishers.
PREVIEWSworld: Hot chicks and horror go together like Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers. What are some of your biggest horror influences, and did any of that play into your vision for Screwed?
Tyler Kirkham: I am a massive fan of all things horror, Halloween, and (of course) slasher movies. When I was a kid my friends and I would film our own Friday the 13th death scenes. My favorite was when we were sleeping out on the trampoline in sleeping bags. We then cut, and Jason walks into the scene, grabs the sleeping bags, and bashes them all against the trees in my parents back yard. I think that was actually a scene in one of the films that we stole. I continue my love now by letting strangers into my house on Halloween night for a “spook alley.”
As far as the women in those films, they weren't the real motivation for this, unless it’s the scene where they get naked and take a shower right before Jason or Micheal shows up to kill them. Wow. Now I sound like a creep.
PREVIEWSworld: Zenescope is known for its Grimm Fairy Tales series, and subsequent spinoff books such as Wonderland, Neverland, and Robyn Hood. It appears natural for your tuned-up Bride of Frankenstein book to have a home at Zenescope. What can you tell us about the editorial meetings you had at the big Z for your project? How did they contribute towards the direction for this book?
Tyler Kirkham: Zenescope is the perfect home for this story, especially with the book having a strong female lead. We pitched it to them at a comic con, they really liked it, and agreed to publish it. They have been great to work with so far, and I know Raven Gregory really well. He and I started our career in comics at the same time on the same book. Raven hired me to draw The Gift. So if I ever have any questions about Zenescope I know I can turn to Raven. He has also been good about giving us a bit of direction. We are just wrapping up issue 3 at the moment. Things are going quite smooth.
PREVIEWSworld: You are, yourself, an artist (New Guardians, Teen Titans, and The Amazing Spider-Man), so why do you have David Miller on board as an interior artist? Was it just a matter of scheduling? Wanting to try something different?
Tyler Kirkham: Yeah, I still draw for DC, and I've always wanted to help tell a story in more ways than just drawing. David and I have known each other for years. I've always thought he was an untapped talent. He has done some stuff for Zenescope and some other projects. When the time came for us to start Screwed I knew I wanted David to draw it. He had been doing some video game stuff, but had a gap in his schedule and I snagged him up. He and colorist Oracle work really well together. The book is turning out beautiful so far!
PREVIEWSworld: Do you have any plans for making the convention circuit this year? If so, when and where will you be, and are there any other ways for fans to reach you to learn more about upcoming news for Screwed?
Tyler Kirkham: Yeah Screwed debuts in June. We are hoping to have advanced copies for Wizardworld Philly. Then I will for sure be at San Diego Comic Con, New York, and a few others in between. I plan on putting info about it on my site. www.tylerkirkham.com, as well as Facebook and Twitter @tylerkirkhamart. You can also follow Keith Thomas and David Miller, and of course Zenescope.