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DF Interview: Brian Buccellato talks Sons of the Devil
By Byron Brewer
The People’s Temple. Branch Davidians. Even the Manson Family. Cults have been known to disrupt our lives and our news channels on a regular basis, most often with tragic results.
It’s about to happen again, and creator/writer Brian Buccellato is serious to bring the story of the Sons of the Devil to us.
To get the latest on this Kickstarter project, Dynamic Forces spoke with the scribe in a seedy coffee shop just outside Gotham City. Here is what we learned.
Dynamic Forces: Brian, tell us about how your creator-owned Sons of the Devil came about.
Brian Buccellato: It’s inspired by a historical photograph I saw online of a bunch of infant babies laying on blanket in Jonestown. It got me thinking not only about cults, but about what would happen if you were born into one. The story was born from me wanting to explore what it would be like to be an orphan from one of those horrifying cults.
DF: It got funding from Kickstarter?
Brian Buccellato: It sure did. It’s a transmedia project that includes a short film AND a one-shot comic book … both of which I would like to spin off into ongoing series (digital and comic).
DF: Tell us Devil's storyline.
Brian Buccellato: SOTD tells the story of David Daly, a charismatic cult leader who makes a deal with the devil that IF he sacrifices 99 followers (including his 9 infant children), the devil will be reborn through him. The night of the sacrifice, one of his members escapes with 6 of the infants and David’s devil-pact is not completed. The 6 children are put into foster care and David goes missing. Twenty-five years later he resurfaces to finish the deal. The story is then told through the eyes of those children …
DF: What excites you so about this project?
Brian Buccellato: I am intrigued by human nature and the kind of personality that would create a cult leader like Charles Manson or Jim Jones. I want to explore the psychology of these types of people AND how they impact others.
DF: How would you compare Devil to your other creator-owned book, Foster?
Brian Buccellato: They are both dark, gritty stories that explore the theme of family – but from very different angles. Foster was a story about parenthood, using the device of monsters living among us to explore a father’s need to protect his child from the harms of the world while teaching him humanity. SOTD is a story about family but told through the prism of orphaned victims of David Daly’s cult. Abandonment, belonging and finding a family are at the forefront of this tale.
DF: I am seeing more and more creator-owned books on store shelves. Does this mean creator-owned is on the upswing now? And where does this leave work for hire?
Brian Buccellato: I think they both co-exist and have for a long, long time. The difference now is that creator-owned books are on the upswing in the marketplace. I guess that just means that comic fans are more open to buying books outside of those published by Marvel and DC. Creatively speaking, this is just another opportunity for writers and artists to develop their own properties and maintain creative control. In my opinion, it’s not a replacement for and won’t replace work for hire.
DF: Tell us a little bit about the adventures you had in publishing with Foster over the years, and how does it finally feel to have it collected?
Brian Buccellato: It was definitely a challenge to self-publish Foster. The responsibility of self-publishing is enormous and proved to be too difficult for me to do long term. I managed to print five of the six issues as in limited edition runs, but the sixth one never saw print. I learned a LOT about self-publishing and it was incredibly rewarding … but the biggest lesson I learned was that I am NOT good at doing it all myself. LOL.
I’m super excited to see the first story arc collected! Hopefully I can reestablish some momentum and continue with the next chapter in the lives of Eddie Foster and Ben.
DF: Dynamite Comics’ The Black Bat was a personal favorite of mine and I was sorry to see it end, but it must be exciting to be writing Detective Comics for DC in the 75th anniversary year of Batman?
Brian Buccellato: I’ve been pretty upfront that I had only ever planned a 12-issue story for Black Bat. It’s a redemption tale that had a definitive ending from day one. I’m just super grateful that Ronan was able to do the entire run with me – and I can’t wait to see it collected!
As far as Detective Comics, what else can I say but… IT’S BATMAN. It doesn’t get any better than that for Francis and I.
DF: So where does Sons of the Devil go from here?
Brian Buccellato: With the Kickstarter locked in, we have begun preproduction on the short film and Toni Infante is busting his tail doing the art for the comic. We plan to have both done sometime in October. As I mentioned earlier, my goal is to do SOTD as an ongoing comic AND as a live action digital web series.
DF: Finally, the fans would be disappointed if I didn't let you say something about your phenomenal run on The Flash.
Brian Buccellato: I miss Barry. For a dude that’s been around for half a century, I feel super proprietary about the Scarlet Speedster.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Brian Buccellato for taking time from his busy schedule to answer our questions.
Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Flash #1 signed by Brian Buccellato!
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