Jasper Bark is a novelist, children's author and script writer. His credits include Fistful of Strontium and Sniper Elite: Spear of Destiny. He’s also the writer of Beyond Lovecraft, a graphic novel currently seeking crowdfunding. We caught up with him to find out more.
STARBURST: What is Beyond Lovecraft?
Jasper Bark: Beyond Lovecraft is a graphic novel written by me and drawn by multiple award-winning artist Rob Moran. It’s a portmanteau horror story that draws directly on the works of legendary horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. The linking story takes place in the apocalyptic aftermath of the return of the great god Cthulhu. A group of scientists from Miskatonic University find a way to access the fabled Library of the Yith. This is an alien archive that contains the entire history of the universe. They hope to find a way to banish the old gods and win back their planet. Instead they uncover four tales of cosmic terror that will change the way you view the Cthulhu mythos forever.
Why the anthology format?
Both Rob and I love anthology horror films and wanted to do a graphic novel in the same format. It allows us to explore many facets of Lovecraft’s amazing mythos. We get to go to Innsmouth in the story Out in Innsmouth, which examines what it’s like growing up gay in Lovecraft’s most iconic town. We visit the mountains of madness in the story Occupy the Mountains of Madness, where a group of eco warriors, protesting arctic oil drilling, uncover an evil far worse than the 1%. And we also get to explore the blasted heath of Arkham in The Cover Out of Space, where you’ll meet a sentient comic book that gets high when you read it. So the anthology format lets us have a lot of fun with Lovecraft’s work and also allows us to give fans of Lovecraft’s writing their full money’s worth.
Why is Lovecraft so popular?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I think it’s partly to do with his intense imagination; an imagination that created an entire universe and depicted beings that seem truly alien to humanity. I think it’s also because he was able, through his fiction, to build the mythos so convincingly. He used location amazingly well and his mastery of language took in everything from journalistic styles to academic prose and good old terrifying horror. Finally, I think his view of the cosmos as not only vast, alien and utterly incomprehensible, but also totally indifferent to the plight of humanity, strikes a chord with contemporary readers. It’s still relevant to our view of the world today.
What should we expect with the art?
Expect to be blown away. It’s isn’t for nothing that Rob has won a slew of awards for his work. This is a dream project for him so he’s pushing the boat right out on this one. He’s using a multimedia approach to the visuals, along with a variety of styles and techniques, to fit the mood and narrative of each of the stories. Nonetheless, every page will be stamped with his unmistakeable style.
Why Indiegogo? Is it the future of indie comics?
I don’t know if it’s the future, but as comic markets shrink, due to a lot of factors, crowdfunding has stepped in to help many creators, who once made a living in comics, (like Rob and I) to not only continue to receive an income, but also knuckle down and produce those life changing, dream projects. All of which is accomplished through the kindness of other people. So I think it’s a pretty amazing think when you think about it.
What is your next big project?
I have a novel coming out with Crystal Lake Publishing and a novella coming out with Knightswatch Press in the new year. I’m also at work on a new novel. I’m writing a one-woman stage show for steampunk superstar Veronique Chevalier and I have some comic stuff on the go with Rob. All of which are pretty big projects.
How can people help?
Visit our campaign on Indiegogo, and check out all the amazing perks we’re offering contributors:
We can honestly promise contributors one of a kind experiences and unique products that they won’t find anywhere else. Including the opportunity to buy and own a house in Innsmouth, one of Lovecraft’s most iconic locations, and it won’t break the bank (though it may cost you your soul). For other contributors, there’s the opportunity to appear in a story, have yourself transformed, through the power of art, into a Lovecraftian being. And you can even interact with the characters from the stories, in real time on social media.
Beyond Lovecraft’s Crowd Funding Campaign can be found here.
Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.
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