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DF Interview: Tessa Stone brings the frightening and the funny in the Not Drunk Enough Vol. 1 OGN
By Byron Brewer
Not Drunk Enough by Tessa Stone (Hanna Is Not A Boy’s Name, Buzz!) is a horror comedy from Oni Press. Originally published as a webcomic, this will be the first in a trilogy of graphic novels about a repairman who stumbles into a terrible place at the worst possible time.
A quick repair at a huge corporate lab during a late night shift should not have sent Logan into a hellish landscape fraught with monsters, but it looks like Lady Luck decided to give him the middle finger. Logan would like to give one back.
For you, DF gathered all the 411 from the creator, Tessa Stone.
Dynamic Forces: Tessa, I guess the first question would be what inspired you to create Not Drunk Enough, which will be a series of original graphic novels in three volumes from Oni Press?
Tessa Stone: I was at a time in my life where I felt I surrounded myself with the horror genre in any way that I could, combined with a feeling of anxiety and wanting to “get out” of where I was. So it just sort of all fell out from that!
DF: What can you tell us about the world that you create in Not Drunk Enough Volume 1?
Tessa Stone: The world in Not Drunk Enough is supposed to be very much like ours, but very obviously slightly off. This becomes incredibly apparent when some of the main characters reveal some of their scientific endeavors throughout their lives that landed them at the cushy job they were at when this all went south. I really am excited to pull back the curtain further, though, and show just how weird this world can be.
DF: Introduce us to your main protagonist, Logan the repairman, and what he falls prey to in Volume 1.
Tessa Stone: Logan is supposed to feel like some guy you would probably know. He's nice enough, works hard, but far from perfect. When he gets thrown into a monster fight between a bunch of older rich guys who have intense grudges against each other, he's so far removed all he can do is just try to survive and help everyone else [survive] too. Unfortunately for him, though, it starts becoming more and more his problem.
DF: Who are some of the other characters readers should look for? Can you tell us just a bit about each one, as you can?
Tessa Stone: Well, there's a guy who has a mouth on his forehead named Clement Varker; he's the CEO of Varika Labs, and seems to be the main target for the antagonist. It's not that surprising because he's snotty and really insufferable. Logan also finds two other survivors, Maela Durant and Bia Heyes, who worked at the building but somehow managed to escape with their lives thus far. Maela is tactless, brusque and bossy, while Bia is strangely cheerful and really enjoys crushing monsters.
DF: Not Drunk Enough walks a slippery tightrope in mixing comedy with really bloody horror, and you can feel it in both script and art. Is this a balancing act you enjoy? What is it about these genres you like best?
Tessa Stone: I absolutely love this balancing act! It's one of my favorite things, even though it is always a challenge. I am always drawn to the darker subjects of horror, but cannot take myself very seriously so it quickly became a comedy as well. Plus, it allows me to use really bright obnoxious color palettes (like magenta and electric blue)!
DF: I love monsters! Can you tell us about some of the ones readers might find in Volume 1?
Tessa Stone: Monsters are great! There's one that you're introduced to pretty quickly, which hides in the shadows but can peel off and give you really great hugs (that may kill you). Another one I really enjoy drawing is one that was quickly named Hall Monitor by friends of mine, and it deposits eye plants everywhere to help the main antagonist keep watch. I definitely want more monsters.
DF: Your art is very electric and full of energy. How did you achieve conveying the humor and horror of your script in your artwork on the book?
Tessa Stone: Thank you! My favorite way to keep the humor or the energy present is using bright colors (which I mentioned briefly before), and also to keep the expressions on the characters very loose. I love it when I can convey a joke just visually! But I started coming with textures as I got further and further in to give the visuals a weight and scratchiness that can slip into horror very easily, despite all the colors.
DF: Not Drunk Enough V1 is going to be followed by two more OGNs. Will Logan star in these as well, and can you tell readers anything about each?
Tessa Stone: Logan is absolutely going to be starring in both! I love the dude too much. I really wanted the second book to be more of a descent into madness, and have more surreal moments than Volume 1 to explore how the characters are coping with the horror. Volume 3 will slip back into action and, if things go according to plan, be the bloodiest book of them all!
DF: Tessa, are there any projects current or near-future you can tell us about?
Tessa Stone: I'm working on another really amazing book that's written by Ananth Hirsh called Is This What You Wanted! It's about a demon girl who gets summoned by a couple of desperate but clumsy brothers. We've worked together before on Buzz! and I'm very excited about it! It's available to read online at www.isthiswhatyouwanted.com. I also have always wanted to work on a dark, crazy, personalized version of Power Rangers, so maybe once this is over, I can try my hand at it! But I always have wanted to tell just a flat-out ghost story, so we'll see.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Tessa Stone for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. The Not Drunk Enough Vol. 1 OGN from Oni Press hits stores July 5th!
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