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DF Interview: A world is threatened, a secret revealed in Peter Hogan’s King’s Road miniseries
By Byron Brewer
They were just average suburban kids until a nightmare from their father’s hidden past came to hunt them down. Now they must fight the evil forces of the usurping witch Malicia for the right to rule a magical kingdom.
Moving from the pages of the anthology comic, Dark Horse Presents, writer Peter Hogan (Resident Alien, Sandman Presents, The Dreaming) returns to fantasy to deliver a three-issue miniseries of King’s Road.
Artist Staz Johnson (Judge Dredd) and colorist Douglas Sirois (The 7th Sword) join Hogan to continue this tale of a family on the run from magical, other-dimensional monsters.
Dynamic Forces wanted to delve a little deeper into the saga of the miniseries, so we sat down with writer Peter Hogan to do just that.
Dynamic Forces: Peter, how did a young English chap make his way from editor of political comics Crisis and Revolver to such notable works as Durham Red and Terra Obscura?
Peter Hogan: Well, I was the assistant editor of Crisis, which was kind of political, but then I became editor of Revolver, which wasn’t. Revolver was an anthology that was a real mixture – most of the writers involved, like Grant Morrison, Pete Milligan and Si Spencer, went on to work for Vertigo … which kind of tells you where Revolver was coming from. It folded after six issues or so, at which point I decided to try writing comics myself.
Like most British writers, I learned the basics of comics by writing for 2000AD, and tackled most of their characters, including Durham Red. Then Vertigo signed me up to write Sandman spin-off stories for The Dreaming. After my editor left Vertigo, I next went to work for Alan Moore’s ABC line of titles, and one of the first things I did there was Terra Obscura, which was a collaboration with Alan – we co-plotted the thing together, then I wrote the scripts. After Alan left, I also wrote a couple of Tom Strong miniseries.
DF: Tell us how your comic, King’s Road, came to be a part of Dark Horse Presents.
Peter Hogan: I’ve been working for Dark Horse for about five years now. There’ve been three series of Resident Alien published to date, and Steve Parkhouse is currently drawing the fourth series while I write the scripts for the fifth. Looks like we’ll be carrying on with that one for quite a while.
Anyway, I wanted to write some more fantasy material, so I pitched Dark Horse King’s Road and they liked it, and it kicked off in DHP just as Resident Alien had done.
DF: What was it like to work with artist Phil Winslade on those chapters?
Peter Hogan: Phil was in on the ground floor of this, so we discussed the whole story at some length before he started work, in the course of which Phil added a couple of ingredients.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to continue with King’s Road beyond the first 24 pages, which meant everything ground to a halt while we searched for a new artist to carry it on. Obviously, I was quite nervous about the situation, because Phil’s a fairly hard act to follow. Luckily, we found Staz (Johnson) and Douglas (Sirois), who I think have done amazing work on the rest of the series. They picked up the ball and ran with it, basically.
DF: With February comes King’s Road #1. What can you tell us about the new material in this 48-page special?
Peter Hogan: The first issue contains the 24 pages from DHP, and then carries the story on for another 22 pages with the new art team. It’s probably the most action-packed thing I’ve ever written.
DF: For the uninitiated, tell us about the premise of King’s Road please.
Peter Hogan: It’s a fantasy adventure series, set in the USA in the present-day, and it kicks off when supernatural monsters attempt to kill off the members of a seemingly normal suburban family. We soon learn that this normal family is actually exiled royalty from another dimension, and they’ve been living quiet, normal lives here for twenty years or so.
But now their homeworld has been taken over by a witch queen called Malicia, and she’s determined to kill them off. So, most of this series is about them trying to survive her attacks and get back home so they can depose her and put things right again.
DF: Tell us about your protagonists here, and also the monsters they are on the run from.
Peter Hogan: There’s Donal, the father, his wife Sophie, and their two teenage kids, Ashley and Tyler. Until all the magical stuff happens – in which the first attacks come from monstrous, panther-like creatures and harpies – the kids had no idea their family was anything but normal, so they’re kind of the heart of the story, the ones we relate to as their world falls apart.
DF: Peter, what other projects current or near-future might you be working on?
Peter Hogan: The next series of Resident Alien is coming out in the fall, and is called “The Man With No Name.” Other than that, I’m currently trying to find homes for a couple of other projects, so more news on those when they happen.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Peter Hogan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. King’s Road #1 (of 3) hits stores February 10th!
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