PopHorror recently had the opportunity to chat with author and filmmaker, Richard Wilson, about his new graphic novel series, Halloween Girl. This is a fantastic book about courage, friendship, and spooky adventures. Richard talks about the inspiration behind Halloween Girl, his plans for the series, and much more!
PopHorror – Hi Richard, it’s great to chat with you. How is 2021 treating you so far?
Richard Wilson – Great to talk with you too, Tori – thanks for the opportunity! As far as 2021 is concerned, well, it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, hasn’t it? The stress of the pandemic and all the bat shit crazy things going on in the world really got to me this year. Having said that, all these challenges have made a better person in the end – and, dare I say, a better writer?
PopHorror – That’s great to hear that you turned a negative situation into a positive one! At what age did your passion for writing begin?
Richard Wilson – I’m pretty sure it was the last day of school in the 4th grade when the teacher handed out random pictures to the class to write a story about. Well, I got one of the old Apollo missions blasting off from the launch pad – and I was in Heaven! At the time I was a massive Planet of the Apes and Lost in Space fan and proceeded to write a story about these three cranky astronauts who were – wait for it! – Lost in Unknown Galaxies! Well, school let out and I was hooked – all I wanted to do was write all summer long!
PopHorror – I can relate to that! Can you tell us about your film company Mad Shelley Films and how it came about?
Richard Wilson – Mad Shelley was essentially born out of grief. Back in 2014 I lost both my parents, only months apart, and realized I needed to take a break from my educational film company, OutreachArts, and do a more personal film to help work out that pain. What came out of that was our film, The Halloween Girl (starring Catherine Kustra) and it did just that – and was very well received to boot. The film got great reviews, Hollywood screenings – it was all very exciting! Having said that, I still thought it would be a one-shot – but as time went on I found all these other stories knocking on the door that included Charlotte – and our supernatural web series, Under the Flowers was born!
PopHorror – That’s awesome! How did the Halloween Girl graphic novel series come about?
Richard Wilson – Well, as we were wrapping the last season of Under the Flowers, I realized I had so many more of Charlotte’s stories to tell that I just couldn’t fit into the series. Long story short, I had been envisioning a graphic novel adaptation of the characters featured in The Halloween Girl and Under the Flowers films for a while by this point – and so, I finally dove in! Almost immediately, I felt the Halloween Girl adventures just pouring out and realized I had never enjoyed writing anything more!
PopHorror – Can you please tell the readers more about Charlotte?
Richard Wilson – Charlotte was/is a single teen Mom whose mother, Marie had a similarly challenging background. Unfortunately, Marie repeated many of the same mistakes with her daughter that her parents had made with her, ultimately raising one angry, resentful daughter! After Charlotte’s son Luke was born things only got worse between them, leading to Charlotte angrily storming out of the house one Halloween night – never to return. Killed in a fiery car crash by a drunk driver, Charlotte’s restless, wounded soul never quite leaves the past behind. Even after she meets her ghostly guide and new best friend, Poe, and becomes a supernatural superheroine, she still pines for what could have been.
PopHorror – Such a beautiful story. How did you get involved with the artist, Stephen Mullan for Halloween Girl?
Richard Wilson – I had been looking for someone who could capture that 70’s Black and White horror comics spirit but with a softer, more emotional tone. Stephen fit the bill beautifully! His love of that same era, youthful exuberance, and incredible talent really make the book come alive! I couldn’t ask for a better partner!
PopHorror – I definitely love his style! How many volumes do you plan on having in this series?
Richard Wilson – Well, I’ve already written a second volume entitled, Gods & Monsters and I’m currently at work on third, entitled Seasons of the Witch. Honestly, right now, I’m having such a great time with Charlotte and Poe that I don’t want it to end!
PopHorror – I LOVE the titles for those! What is your ultimate goal for this series?
Richard Wilson – Well, as the father of an incredible daughter, to showcase smart, funny, strong female characters that don’t look like empty-headed pin-ups for one. I’d also really like to deepen the conversation in comics in much the same way Neil Gaiman did with his amazing Sandman series. To me, that’s what it’s all about really, having a conversation.
PopHorror – Any other projects you’d like to talk about?
Richard Wilson – Yes! We are reviving Under the Flowers to do mini-episode tie-ins with the Halloween Girl book. We are shooting our first mini-episode this November and, if all goes well, we’ll shoot more in 2022. Fingers crossed!
PopHorror – That’s exciting! Thanks again for chatting with me. I look forward to all your upcoming projects and the next issues in the Halloween Girl series. Grab the first issue – HERE.