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Talking with Cole Haddon about ‘The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde’

Last week the first issue of The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde released from Dark Horse comics. We actually got the chance to talk with the writer of the mini-series Cole Haddon about the series and whatever else we could throw at him. We're probably one of the first sites to interview him about the book so enjoy this exclusive interview.

PA)  How did this book come to be at Dark Horse? Were you approached at all or was it something you took to them?

CH)  The idea began as a screenplay pitch. Screenwriting is actually my day job, so to say. Mark Gordon Company, which has produced more films than I can count, reacted strongly to the idea and took it to Dark Horse Entertainment. Dark Horse, thankfully, reacted just as positively and, after learning I was actually a comic geek who used to think he was going to illustrate his own comic books – in other words, I wasn’t just “slumming” it in the medium – agreed to let me write the book along with the screenplay.

Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #2 CoverPA)  If I’m not mistaken, The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde is your first comic that you’ve written/published? If so, how does that feel to see it in print?

CH)  It is indeed. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of writing comic books and now, 25 years later, it’s finally happening. Most of the time, I can’t wrap my head around it. I mean, I’m not curing cancer or anything here, but this is a world I’ve been in love with for a long time. To finally be part of it…yeah, it’s kind of awesome.

PA)  In my review I said that the story was made up of three elements those being Jekyll and Hyde, Jack the Ripper and Silence of the Lambs. That’s my take but I really want to hear what you feel makes up the different elements of the story?

CH)  Well, Jekyll and Hyde and the Ripper are the two major elements. The Silence of the Lambs parallel only really exists in the first issue, though I don’t want to expand upon why that is. But more so than any of this, The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde is really an homage to classic monster films and Gothic horrors from Universal Studios and Hammer Films. Basically, all the stuff that Tim Burton also grew up with. With any luck, I’ll get to continue to expand the Strange Case universe to incorporate many other super-villains and monsters from Victorian literature. There are more than a few references to characters and places from those novels in this first series, that’s for sure.

PA)  As a writer was there one key influence in your style? Also do you write in full script or what’s your own approach? Please tell me you write fifty pages per scene?

CH)  My style shifts given the project I’m working on, but these days definitely seems to involve a weird mix of social commentary, satire, and outright camp. I’m a former journalist who’s had to transcribe hundreds of hours of interviews, so there’s also a strong interest in characters that talk and have strong voices. As for how I write: I outline, fill in blanks with research and collected notes, then write the whole script, for the whole series, from start to finish. Much editing follows, as latter issues, details revealed there, often require little tweaks of the first couple of issues.

PA)  How did you end up working with M.S. Corley?

Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #3 CoverCH)  Dark Horse suggested several artists, many of whom were much better known than Mike. But these artists’ styles didn’t quite match what was in my head, and so I kept asking for more samples from my editor. Eventually, Mike’s stuff was passed along to me and I flipped. He has this distinct, heightened, almost hyper-real style that’s completely different from 95% of what’s out there. I wanted Strange Case to stand out on the shelf, and Mike has definitely helped that happen. I mean, look at Issue #1’s cover. It’s just beautiful, right?

PA) Agreed! In fact all of the covers are beautiful.

PA)  What type of project is Hyde is it creator owned or work for hire? I’m just curious since I don’t know how much of a mix there is at Dark Horse.

CH)  It’s not work for hire. Dark Horse and I share ownership of the project.

PA)  What can you tell us about the next issue of Hyde and it doesn’t have to be a major spoiler?

CH)  I think the most exciting thing readers can look forward to is that Dr. Jekyll, who hasn’t left his subterranean prison cell in five years, is finally going to see the light of day. The results are going to be…well, unexpected. The action really dials up with Issue 2, as does the bloodshed.

PA)  After Hyde what other projects are you working on? Anything you can talk about?

CH)  I’ve got another graphic novel coming out later this year from Kickstart Entertainment called SPACE GLADIATOR and I’m co-creating a third with John Romita Jr. – a legend I still can’t believe I’m working with. The Romita project is a bit top-secret for now, so, unfortunately, I can’t really say much more.

PA)  Last question that I always ask, Who would win in a fight: Stan Lee in his prime or Jack Kirby in his prime?

CH)  Jack Kirby, without a doubt.

We'd like to thank Cole for his time and you better believe that we'll be checking in for more details on the secret John Romita Jr. project. WIth the first issue already reviewed you can expect future coverage of the series right here in the comic section of Player Affinity. 


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