Geiger Webskin

The Hunt: Colin Lorimer's New Horror Epic [Interview]

IMAGE COMICS: THE HUNT features supernatural beings called the Sluagh. What can you tell us about these creatures?

COLIN LORIMER: To give you a bit of background on these creatures: THE HUNT is loosely based on the European myth of "The Wild Hunt," which was about a horde of ghostly huntsmen who were said to traverse the sky, some say in warning of an upcoming earthly disaster. Every country has their own variation on the tale—mine is the Irish take and deals with the soul-stealing creatures known as "The Sluagh." Legend has it that the Sluagh are a band of spirits so evil and utterly depraved they were kicked out of the Faerie otherworld and cursed to roam the skies for all eternity, seeking out the dying. The souls that they stole would then travel with them, forced to join them in their nightmarish pursuit.

IC: Are you utilizing a traditional depiction of the Sluagh, or reinterpreting their design for this story?

LORIMER: I took my cue from some of the written descriptions of the Sluagh that I had encountered while researching the project, but I knew I had to make the design my own. The Sluagh are often described as flying together like a tangled mass of deformed birds, all beaks and talons, merged into one monstrous mess of shadow. This alone was enough to work with and helped me to arrive at a design that was not only frightening as hell but also suited my story needs. All in all, THE HUNT is a bit of a visual feast, and some of the sights are not for the weak of heart—just wait until you see the various Faerie and Changeling creatures that also inhabit this world.

IC: Joana Lafuente is providing colors for this series. How did you find her? What is it about her work that made you want to collaborate with her?

LORIMER: I have Denton J. Tipton, editor at IDW, to thank for putting Joana and myself together on an X-Files project a few years back—and I've been working with her ever since. Joana is the first person I think of when it comes to putting together a new project, as she has very unique approach and does things with colour that I wouldn't even have thought of. I believe the first time I worked with letterer Jim Campbell would have been on the book Curse, published through BOOM! Studios, and his lettering/font choices and placement on that one were just flawless, so it was no-brainer that I would approach him for THE HUNT, too.

IC: Orla Roche is the star of THE HUNT. What can you tell us about her? What's her life like?

LORIMER: Orla Roche, is a sixteen-year-old girl who can see Faerie creatures. Her first experience, or "awakening", was witnessing her dying father's soul being literally ripped from his body by the Sluagh. She has had a terrible time with this "gift" and has been labeled as the "mad kid." She has been the victim of bullying, medical misdiagnosis, and having her stories and visions being discredited as untrue. Thankfully, Orla's resilience and strength of character has helped her cope with most of what life has thrown at her.

IC: In addition to the supernatural, teenage bullying and grief loom large in this comic. What do these aspects add to the story to you? What feelings are you trying to evoke?

LORIMER: We all know that for all the invented monsters and horror books that we create, they will just never quite match up to the terrible things we can do to one another. My aim was to create a book that not only hopefully entertains in its reimagining of Celtic lore and all of the "fantasy" that comes with that type of storytelling, but also touch upon how an individual's perception of self can breed belief systems of prejudice and downright cruelty towards others—their "fantasy."

IC: At one point in the book, a character says that the "rules have changed," which feels particularly notable. The conflict in THE HUNT begins as a small one, a young woman looking to save her father from suffering. Does it expand from there, to have broader implications?

LORIMER: The first arc is a rather intimate one, focusing mainly on one family. As the book progresses we will learn that the Roche family have a rather large backstory that, in fact, dates back centuries, and that family tree and lineage will be explored and fleshed out as the story continues. So, yes, that one line does have major ramifications for Orla and her family. The Fairie world and its various inhabitants have co-existed with our world for the longest time and the rules have always been adhered to. Now, due to the actions of a few, many are going to suffer.

IC: You've mentioned before that you're very comfortable creating horror comics. What is it about the genre that attracts you, both as an artist and as a reader?

LORIMER: I've been attracted to horror from a very young age and genuinely have always loved the feeling of being scared. As an artist, it's really wonderful to be able to really let loose and create images that can surprise and in turn rattle, even if only momentarily, a viewer's sense of reality. As a reader, horror is a jolt, a slap in the face, and can force us to experience and take a look at subjects that perhaps our mind isn't quite always prepared for, allowing us to look inward and face up to our own personal darkness, in effect, taking a dive headfirst into that vast abyss that makes us "human."

THE HUNT #1 is available now.