As Senior Managing Editor at Dark Horse Comics, Scott Allie's name is attached to titles like Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Umbrella Academy, and"”in the vein of a true renaissance man"”his own comics series.  At Emerald City ComiCon, Scott shared details about the sequel to last year's smash The Umbrella Academy, as well as a Seattle-centric graphic novel in 2010, and his upcoming projects in 2009.
Amazon.com:  Dark Horse's publishing spectrum covers it all: high profile Horror like Hellboy, properties like Buffy and Star Wars, classic reprint series like Creepy and Eerie, and totally bizarre projects like The Perry Bible Fellowship. What else is Dark Horse going to surprise fans with in the coming year?
Scott Allie: The guiding principle is that we publish what we like, and that is why we hit so many genres. The book that we're announcing this weekend is a graphic novel about the Green River Killer"”written by the son of the detective who caught him. When the writer, Jeff Jensen, first pitched the story to me and told me about The Green River Killer"”wow, it sounded like such a spectacular story. He had such an inside track on it, with his dad being the lead detective, the guy who eventually caught Gary Ridgway, but what grew on me as I saw the short pitch, then the longer pitch"”and as we started getting more specific"”was the saga of his father.
His father was involved in this investigation for about 20 years, and over the course of these years, the investigation affected his life so much. It's a real story about growth; about his dad, who is still a cop. Tom Jensen has never told his story. It's such an epic True Crime story, but it's not a True Crime story in the traditional sense. It's the growth of this guy reflected in some pretty dark circumstances.
Amazon.com:  A true story like that sounds a little atypical for Dark Horse. Will Green River Killer be available in singles or will it be an original graphic novel?
Scott Allie: It's going to be an original, 200-page graphic novel. It's coming out in 2010. There were so many amazing things that happened to Tom over the course of the story that we needed a really big format, and it didn't make sense to serialize it.
Amazon.com:  One of the chances that Dark Horse took last year was The Umbrella Academy, Amazon.com's #1 pick for Graphic Novels in 2008. I know there is a sequel to be collected later this year"”can you tell fans what they can expect in Volume 2: Dallas?
Scott Allie: Well, Volume 2 is crazy"”it's really, really nuts. In the first series, we learned about Number Five, the boy who traveled through time to the end of the world and back. He didn't really give a lot of details about how he got there, but he did drop a casual hint right before Pogo died.
Number Five said, "Well, I suppose I should start with the Kennedy assassination." That little line was dropped, and a few people asked about it"”but not a lot"”and that's basically the crux of Volume 2, called Dallas. [Number Five] was set up by a group of agents to assassinate Kennedy, and he refused to do it. He backed out, and now they are forcing him to do it. So now The Umbrella Academy is being lined up to kill Kennedy. As of this interview, the outcome has not yet been revealed, but it's pretty crazy what we're doing in that book. The Umbrella Academy is a really fun book to work on because the story evolves a lot over the course of writing it.
Amazon.com:  Like all good, crazy stories, it even involves a trip to Vietnam.
Scott Allie: That was surprise too. That wasn't really planned, and then at one point it was like, "Yeah, and then they'll be in Vietnam for a few pages." But then we thought, "You can't do Vietnam in a few pages." You do Vietnam in a few pages, and suddenly it's a punchline. And that's not appropriate, that's not fair. Going to Vietnam had to be more significant than we originally realized, and suddenly it took over Chapter Five.
Amazon.com: Aside from your editorial role at Dark Horse, you also write your own titles. What do you have ahead in 2009?
Scott Allie: We just wrapped up the Solomon Kane miniseries, and the trade paperback collection comes out in July. It's going to include all five issues, plus the short story we did for MySpace, and I think a 20-page sketchbook gallery with monster designs by Guy Davis. Guy is the artist on B.P.R.D., and he designed all the monsters on Solomon Kane, and some of the architecture. There's a bunch of audition pieces by Mario Guevara; we reprinted all of John Cassaday's covers; [Mike] Mignola did the new cover for the trade, which is amazing. It's a thick book with a lot of extras.
My next big thing coming up is an original graphic novel in October. It's with a Seattle artist, Kevin McGovern, a guy I've been working with for a long time. Before Dark Horse, I self-published for a while, and I started a bunch of different projects in that time. The only one I followed through with is Exurbia. It's a story about a disillusioned guy in his 20s, and he's living in this town that's completely on the edge of madness. Everybody in the town worships this talking-rat-Messiah who is actually just a raging alcoholic. The town is being terrorized by a mad bomber who has been knocking over buildings, and ultimately what shakes Gage out of his apathy is that through sheer chance, he gets pinned with these bombings. In order to defend himself"”in order to figure out the truth and clear his name"”he needs to finally snap out of it.
Amazon.com: It sounds like a huge concept, but it's told through semi-cartoony artwork.
Scott Allie: Oh yeah, it's real cartoony. Maybe not "cartoony" in a traditional American animation sense, but Kevin has a very bizarre graphic style that's evolved after all these years. We did our first Exurbia story in 1994, and watching his artwork evolve over the years has just been incredible. The book that he's finally drawn for us now, he never could have drawn when we were doing in 1994, and I never could have written it. Kevin's got a super distinctive art style, and I like that he's not imitating some other guy. You can look at his stuff and see his influences, but I don't think he's drawing like anybody else.