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DF Interview: Victor Gischler rewrites history in Order of the Forge
By Byron Brewer
When the motley crew of Washington, Franklin and Revere discover a sinister plot to enslave the free world, they must use their newfound powers to strike back—but not before they engage in battle with the spectral force of America’s first conquerors!
From writer Victor Gischler and artist Tazio Bettin comes a dark fantasy/historical fiction mash-up like no other. To get the 411, Dynamic Forces sat down with the scribe to see what’s what.
Dynamic Forces: Victor, so where does the idea come from for a mashup of early American history and horror? Are you a student of either or both?
Victor Gischler: The idea came from Donn Berdahl and his team. It's my understanding that Donn did a pretty good amount of research although we never felt married to that research. I've always been a history lover and am interested at those junctures where history and legend overlap ... which is sort of what we're dealing with in Order of the Forge. I have experience with horror too. My creator-owned book Kiss Me, Satan is a pulp crime horror blend, and Dark Horse is publishing Hellbound in the fall which is horror.
DF: The book is already out in stores, but for the uninitiated tell us the basic concept behind this book.
Victor Gischler: It's a team up of young George Washington, young Paul Revere and young Ben Franklin. Through some mystical whatnot, they all get super powers and work to defeat an evil lord attempting to overthrow British rule in the colonies. It's before the Revolutionary War, and all good citizens still love the king! We take an irreverent, modern pulpy approach and it's a lot of fun.
DF: Tell us about your protagonists, George, Paul and Ben ... certainly not the "characters" as we know them. How do you perceive them here?
Victor Gischler: In a nutshell, we take what "everyone knows" about these characters and go from there. Everyone has heard the George Washington and the Cherry Tree story. Everyone knows Paul Revere for his ride, and Ben Franklin is known for his inventions and for flying a kite in a lightning storm. We're expanding on (and embellishing) legends. You've heard of historical fiction? This is fictional history.
DF: What can you tell us about the big bad of the piece, non-spoilery of course?
Victor Gischler: The big bad is a man called Lord Hammond. He's an elitist jerk that thinks he should rule the colonies instead of the king. He's power hungry and doesn't mind dabbling in the arcane arts to get what he wants.
DF: How much research did you do for this book? Is that something you enjoy?
Victor Gischler: Generally, my research amounts to Googling period clothing or weapons, etc. Donn did most of the heavy lifting in the research department, and I followed his lead.
DF: How has it been working with artist Tazio Bettin? Did he bring your historic fantasy to life as you saw it?
Victor Gischler: Tazio and I first teamed on a creator-owned book Sally Ally of the Wasteland, so I already know him well and feel comfortable with him. That's an important thing going into a project. I know he'll understand what I'm trying to get across in a script, and if not, he knows he can contact me and we can hash it out. If I have my way, I'll work with him again as soon as possible, but I wouldn't be surprised if some publisher is already swooping in to snatch him up.
DF: That cover by Juan Ferreyra for issue #1 was off the hook! That will get readers in, I will wager.
Victor Gischler: Juan is fantastic. I worked with him on Kiss Me, Satan and every single panel was a treat. Yeah, he's nailing the covers.
DF: Will we see this group of Founding Fathers anywhere else going forward?
Victor Gischler: That's up to Donn and Dark Horse, but I'm ready to snap on my seatbelt for the next wild ride whenever they are!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Victor Gischler for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. The Order of the Forge #1 (of 3) is in stores now!
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