"Haven't you always wondered what slasher monsters--the masked home invasion family, the mindless unkillable monster, the serial killer trapped in a doll--what they do for those couple of years in-between their murder sprees? They're at Wilmhurst--a gated community in the middle of nowhere where they relax--or try to--until they get the call to go out and kill again."
After being released by Dark Horse Comics as individual issues earlier this year, Where Monsters Lie is now available as a trade paperback and it's the perfect read for Halloween! I flew through the four issues in a single sitting and it's one of my favorite horror comics released this year, so I jumped at the chance to catch up with series writer Kyle Starks for our latest Q&A. Kyle talks about the origins of the series, working with Piotr Kowalski, and more. We also have a preview of the series that you can read right now!
What were the origins of WHERE MONSTERS LIE? And what was the process of getting the series set up at Dark Horse?
Kyle Starks: The origins come from a bunch of different place. I was deep in a horror film run and I think something about watching a bunch of slasher franchises and I was just wondering “where were these guys between films?” These guys aren’t just standing around in the woods for three years. Like Chucky is SOMEWHERE, right? He has to be watching cable somehow, right? Which leads into the other thing - I love the idea of domesticating the unreal. Or less that but rather considering that domestication. And it just lead into more and more question that I wanted to know the answers for myself. What if there was a support group for all these killers? What if they all lived together? What’s Jason like at the slasher neighborhood barbecue?
To set it up I was put in contact with my great editor Daniel Chabon and I was coming off a couple books that did pretty well. Daniel is a horror guy too so he was excited about it. We just needed an art team.
Piotr Kowalski seems like the perfect creative partner for this material. Was there a standout moment where the creative partnership with Piotr changed or resulted in something different than you originally planned?
Kyle Starks: Piotr is the best thing that’s happened to this series. Daniel and I went around a bunch of options and I think it’s a miracle we got Piotr. He’s pitch perfect for the book and what I want to do with it. The moment where I KNEW Piotr was the one early. He sent that needle-eyeball page from early in Issue 1 and I was so floored. I was like this guys gets it. The second was when I saw he made the drapes in the meeting room skull print. He’s brought a ton to the book and I can’t say enough, Piotr is a CONSUMMATE professional. A joy to work with.
The series does a great job of being horrific and humorous. What's your approach to balancing horror and humor?
Kyle Starks: I get asked this type of thing a lot and it’s tough one to answer because it’s just something I do. It’s a feel. It’s touch. It has to be right or the series doesn’t work. All that stuff is additive to a mix and the you want that balance so it all feels organic and right.
By the end of the series, a second gated community is teased. Is there anything you can tell us about where you'd want to take future stories?
Kyle Starks: Hmmm, I don’t know what I can say or not say here hahaha.
At the same time, you developed so many great characters that met their demise by the end of the series. Is there any interest in further exploring some of those characters in flashbacks and/or prequel series?
Kyle Starks: I think I would? It would have to be the right time and right place but I think there’s a whole sandbox of stories there just waiting to be let out.
It's clear from this series how much you love horror movies. With Halloween coming up, can you share some horror movie recommendations to our readers?
Kyle Starks: OH MAN, I got so many I don’t know where to start. I just watched Barbarian and I loved it. If you haven’t seen Get Out or It Follows correct your ship immediately. Man there are so many horror flicks and flavors - it’s hard to rec without knowing who you’re recommending to!
WHERE MONSTERS LIE
A brand-new meta-horror story that's Cabin in the Woods meets Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
"Haven't you always wondered what slasher monsters--the masked home invasion family, the mindless unkillable monster, the serial killer trapped in a doll--what they do for those couple of years in-between their murder sprees? They're at Wilmhurst--a gated community in the middle of nowhere where they relax--or try to--until they get the call to go out and kill again.
Connor Hayes survived his first slasher in summer camp. A handful of years later he barely escaped a psychopath who built torture puzzles for his victims. Since then he's been training and planning for running into these creatures again. He's a respected special agent. And now he knows where the monsters lie and he's planning for war."
Collects Where Monsters Lie #1 - #4
To learn more, visit: https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/3010-761/Where-Monsters-Lie-TPB