Thrillbent is doing some pretty cool things. For just a $3.99 monthly subscription, you get new chapters of Mark Waid's EMPIRE and starting today, you can get James Tynion IV's new series THE HOUSE IN THE WALL, along with all the other content on Thrillbent. (Click here to subscribe: http://thrillbent.com/subscribe)
But what is THE HOUSE IN THE WALL? For those familiar with James' writing, you know it's going to be something different and pretty rad. But if that wasn't enough, if you need to hear the juicy details, we can accommodate. We spoke to James about this new series and even found out a little about his childhood. You might never watch a certain movie the same way again.
COMIC VINE: What’s the story about?
JAMES TYNION IV: This is basically my take on a ghost story. My best friend Noah [J. Yuenkel] and I were talking last summer when THE EIGHTH SEAL was starting its run on Thrillbent.com about ideas that we’d been kicking back together in high school. One thing we were also talking about is how ghost stories, in general, are kind of in vogue, but they’re all playing with the same tropes over and over and over. We wanted to see if whether or not there was a way to do a ghost story in a very original way and in an original setting that doesn’t play into any of the standard tropes. The way we really wanted to do that was by making it center on a character, much like ourselves and also a lot of people in our lives. This isn’t “you inherit a house in the country and it turns out to be haunted.”
This is the story of Ariel Carpenter, who is a young woman in her mid 20s, feeling aimless, and living in a crummy apartment out in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. She’s been fired from three consecutive jobs. She has her English degree, but has no idea how to turn that into money. She has no idea what her life will hold and she’s feeling more and more disconnected from everything in her life. The only thing that seems real is this house she keeps dreaming about. It frightens her, but it excites her. It has that feeling of something with weight that none of the rest of her life has. It’s something she starts obsessing over and gets lost in.
That’s really where the horror begins. She discovers the door to that house in the wall of her tiny Bed-Stuy apartment. By opening that door, she’ll unleash absolute horror on the lives of her and her friends.
CV: So the door is actually in her apartment while she’s awake?
JT: Right, correct. But that doesn’t mean it always leads to the house. This is something where she discovers the actual entrance way into this house that shouldn’t exist. This is an impossible house. You go down one corridor one time and the room’s on the right. You go down it the next time and the room’s on the left. There’s doors on corners that should intersect into the same room, but they don’t. The fact that she can enter this place, is very upsetting, but is also exciting. It’s the first thing she feels has happened to her in a long time.
CV: You mentioned Noah. You guys are best friends? Is this the first time you’ve collaborated together?
JT: At least in a professional sense. We’ve been kicking ideas back and forth together since we were freshmen in high school. We’ve collaborated before on little projects that no one will ever see. This is something we came up with together that I wanted to do by the two of us. Thrillbent seems to be the perfect platform for that.
CV: Have you ever been a sleepwalker?
JT: I have not actually. I had a roommate who talked in his sleep. I’ve never really encountered a sleepwalker. I think it would be very unsettling. I read about and I’m very fascinated.
CV: What about reoccurring dreams? Have you ever had those?
JT: Oh, absolutely! When I was a kid, I had lots of reoccurring dreams. Typically nightmares. It was a series of dreams. I saw E.T. at a young age and I was terrified of E.T. I had this dream where he would just sort of sit there in my room watching me while I was asleep. When my family moved when I was five from New York City to Milwaukee, I had a dream that a portal opened up in my wall and E.T. came. He climbed up the ladder of my bunk bed and climbed over me into this portal and he’d be waiting for me once I got there. That’s just one of many horrifying reoccurring dreams.
CV: Was it really you were afraid he’d eat all of your Reese's® Pieces?
JT: Oh yes. You know, I can’t let anyone steal my Reese's® Pieces.
CV: How much of a supporting cast will be in the book? Will it mainly focus on Ariel in her dream? Will her boyfriend and friends maybe not believe her or think she’s crazy?
JT: It’s absolutely that. I mean this is the friend in their lives who hasn’t really gotten her shit together. She doesn’t really know what she wants or what she’s doing. She’s not really moving towards doing anything or changing anything in her life. So when she starts talking about this impossible door and impossible house, they’re just more and more worried by her. She’s rooming with her ex-boyfriend who is often around with his current boyfriend. He’s bi-sexual. Also one of her co-workers is also very much a member of the team. And also her boyfriend. There’s a pretty good cast in there. They all very very much love and care about Ariel, but she’s not really doing anything to pull her life together.
CV: HOUSE IN THE WALL comes out twice a month?
JT: Yes. It’ll be coming out every other week. Opposite, I believe, Mark Waid’s EMPIRE.
CV: Will it make it to print someday?
JT: Very much like THE EIGHTH SEAL, the primary focus is using the Thrillbent format to do things in ways we can’t do in print. Print has never been a concern, although now with THE DAMNATION OF CHARLIE WORMWOOD seeing print and a few other Thrillbent projects on that path, I think there’s always the chance that these guys will seek paper copies. Right now, our focus is telling a great story in this format.
CV: Why should people check this out? Besides supporting you and reading a really cool story?
JT: I think right now, we’re at this cultural moment where ghost stories really do have a strong place in the cannon. We keep seeing them over and over and over again at the movies. I think people are fascinated by that but want to see something different and want to see a new take, a new approach to that kind of horror, in a much more contemporary sense with young characters that hopefully mirror themselves as much as they mirror Noah and myself. If so, I think this is really the series for you. Also, I can’t say enough great things about the amazing art that Eryk Donovan has been doing on this project. I started working with him on my IN THE DARK horror anthology short. I immediately locked him down for this project because I knew I just had to keep working with him. And then the colors by Fred C. Stressing are absolutely phenomenal. They’re very bright and strange colors that give it a very spooky feel. I want to do things in this series that people haven’t seen before. I think Noah and I and Eryk and Fred, the whole team have really been pulling it off.
Make sure you check out THE HOUSE IN THE WALL today. You can find it directly here: http://thrillbent.com/comics/the-house-in-the-wall/