|FRED VAN LENTE
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DF Interview: Fred Van Lente gives birth to Resurrectionists
By Byron Brewer
Imagine you can not only remember your past lives but you can actually become them! That is just part of what writer Fred Van Lente and artists Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinisio have on tap in their new offering from Dark Horse Comics, The Resurrectionists.
To delve more into the comic book, its past and its future, Dynamic Forces met with FVL at a medium’s tent near the circus off NYC’s Broadway. For the new book, both the medium and Van Lente predicted the following.
Dynamic Forces: Fred, how does it feel to bring your first ongoing creator-owned series to Dark Horse?
Fred Van Lente: It's great, I had been doing work for hire books for them for a while -- Brain Boy, Project Black Sky, Conan the Avenger -- and my editor, Jim Gibbons, asked me if I had any ideas. I pitched him three, and they wanted to do all three! So you're going to see a few more from me down the pipe, I think...
DF: Tell us the difference in feel and approach on putting out Resurrectionists as opposed to work for hire like, say, Archer and Armstrong for Valiant.
Fred Van Lente: I don't really see it as hugely different. You still want to tell a great story. You have a lot more freedom, obviously, because when you're working with other people's franchises there tends to be some larger corporate mandate you're expected to serve.
DF: We are intrigued by the title: What or who are the Resurrectionists?
Fred Van Lente: Resurrectionists are a rare group of people -- they not only can remember their past lives, they can actually become them -- they can channel those expert skills and abilities and use them for good or evil. Jericho Way, our lead character, discovers vivid visions of what he realizes are as a past life of a tomb robber in ancient Egypt -- while he himself is a modern-day thief.
DF: So Way is on the run from twin threats: Sojourn Corp. and some modern-day grave robbers. Can you introduce and compare the two groups for us?
Fred Van Lente: Way begins to realize he is caught up in an ancient struggle between two rival groups of Resurrectionists, that can only be solved by pulling off a thousands-year old heist with the reincarnations of his old crew from ancient Egypt. Their archnemesis, Lennox, a reincarnation of the ancient Pharaoh, wants to wipe them out first -- but not before they pull off a few jobs on his behalf first...
DF: Some of this sounds like Incredible Hercules. Can the two be compared?
Fred Van Lente: To a certain degree, yeah. Hercules has "mythbacks" to his adventures in Ancient Greece, while in Resurrectionists we have two parallel storylines, one in Ancient Egypt and one in modern-day New York, which are equally as important, exciting and adventurous -- with the same group of characters each of whom are reincarnations of each other! It's rad!
DF: This is a really unique twist on the resurrection theme. What inspired this ongoing?
Fred Van Lente: I had originally developed it as a crime series set in ancient Egypt, starring professional tomb robbers. It wasn't until I hit upon the idea of the reincarnation of theme, and having a bit set in modern day, that it really began to gel for me. I realized I could bring in all of these aspects of Egyptian mythology that will really scary and exciting all at once.
DF: Does this tie in at all to Project Black Sky?
Fred Van Lente: Not at all, Project Black Sky is Dark Horse's super hero line, and entirely owned by them.
DF: Will there be any of the famed Van Lente humor in this SF opus?
Fred Van Lente: To a certain degree, if only because I'm writing it, but the best way I can describe it is historical fiction noir, with a bit of dark fantasy thrown in? It's really a unique series, something I'm very proud of.
DF: What's it been like working with artists Maurizio Rosenzweig (Clown Fatale) and Moreno Dinisio (Dead Body Road)?
Fred Van Lente: Absolutely amazing. Their design work, from the characters, to the power effect when they switch between different incarnations, from their layouts, I mean I could go on and on. Maurizio is like the love child of Jack Kirby and R Crumb, which sounds crazy when you hear it, but once you see the book you will know what I mean. This book won't look like any other on the stands. It will knock folks' socks off.
DF: What projects are going on for Fred Van Lente outside Resurrectionists?
Fred Van Lente: Quite a few! Over at Dark Horse, I still have the Secret Files of Project Black Sky web comic and Conan the Avenger. Magnus Robot Fighter is still ongoing from Dynamite and the -- proud to say -- three-time Harvey Award nominated Archer & Armstrong concludes with a bang this summer. Plus I've got the edutainment YA series Howtoons out from Image so there's no shortage of Fred on the stands!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Fred Van Lente for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Look for The Resurrectionists #1 in stores in November!
While you are here, grab your copy of G.I. Joe #1 signed by Fred Van Lente!
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