|ALEX DE CAMPI
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DF Interview: Alex de Campi amps up the teen terror in No Mercy’s new arc
By Byron Brewer
Writer Alex de Campi and artist Carla Speed McNeil launch a new story arc in December in their ongoing horror series, No Mercy.
The coming arc is rumored to be as bloody as the last, widening the tension out to bring a larger cast of characters into the drama.
To discover more, Dynamic Forces sat down with Alex de Campi and talked teens and terror.
Dynamic Forces: Alex, I have heard nothing but good things on No Mercy at the LCS. What do you think of the positive feedback fans and critics are giving your book?
Alex de Campi: Well, seeing as it's my first monthly Image book, and it's a rather unique book in that there's no powers or aliens or talking cats or supernatural elements, I've been over the moon that it's had such a good reception. The biggest element in our success has been word of mouth – and of course that nice cheap Image $9.99 first trade!
DF: For the uninitiated, could you give us a capsule description of No Mercy thus far?
Alex de Campi: No Mercy is a John Hughes script directed by Sam Peckinpah. It's about texting, emoji and sudden death in Central America: a group of disparate American teens go on a university-sponsored volontourism trip to build schools before their freshman year of college starts. A Very Bad Thing happens, and they never reach their destination. Most will never go home again.
DF: Now tell us some of the things (non-spoilery, of course) that will be happening in a new arc come December.
Alex de Campi: Murder. Mayhem. And a particularly fine maiming. Also, if the first arc was the kids and the Very Bad Thing – the stone hitting the water – this second arc is the ripples that move out from that hit. We start to see what is happening elsewhere, back in the U.S., with parents and school administrators. And blame, of course, starts being assigned.
DF: Can you hint at all on how the lives of our teens may be changed?
Alex de Campi: Well. Many of them die. The others ... some are relatively unscathed. A couple have pretty severe PTSD. Still others don't go home, one by choice; the other two by outside influence.
DF: And I hear issue #6 just MAY BE the final curtain call for one of your protagonists?
Alex de Campi: Perhaps.
DF: Have you been satisfied with how Carla Speed McNeil has been handling the art chores here?
Alex de Campi: Carla and Jenn [Manley Lee, colorist] are a dream to work with. Every part of the book's production is easy, collaborative and fun. They've completely spoiled me for working with other line artists and colorists.
DF: Why is Carla the right artist for this book?
Alex de Campi: She does teens and expressions so well! A good bit of the drama in this book is from quiet character moments and people talking to each other, so I needed someone like Carla who can do horror, action – and a simple but devastating conversation.
DF: Alex, are there any other projects you might be working on currently or in the future you’d care to mention?
Alex de Campi: Lawks! I've three miniseries coming up but none have been announced yet! If you pick up No Mercy and like it, I'd suggest my Dark Horse books: Archie vs. Predator, Grindhouse, and Smoke/Ashes. I also have an epic fantasy thriller, Valentine, on Comixology.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Alex de Campi for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. No Mercy #5 hits stores December 9th!
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