Jason interview

by Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer
Posted: February 8, 2008 — More From This Author

"Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused" on sale April 30
There's no doubt that "Friday the 13th" is one of the most successful horror franchises of all time. Since the original film’s debut in 1980, the series has spawned 11 feature films, one television show, and numerous novels and comic books. "Friday the 13th" follows the legend of Jason Voorhees, an abused and neglected boy who drowned at Camp Cystal Lake and years later returned to exact his revenge on the camp with a hockey mask on his face and a machete in his hand.

While the franchise hasn't seen a new chapter since 2003's "Freddy vs. Jason," the “Friday the 13th” has lived on in comics, the most recent series published by DC imprint Wildstorm. This April, acclaimed indie comics writer Joshua Hale Fialkov ("Elk's Run," "Punks") gets a chance to add his horrific view to the franchise in the one-shot "Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused," illustrated by newcomer Andy B. CBR News spoke with Fialkov about his story.

"Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused" tells the story of a girl named Maggie who's been abused by pretty much everybody in her life. After finally deciding she's had enough, Maggie uses the "legend" of a certain masked killer to exact some revenge. But when she takes her fight to her "hero’s" stomping grounds, Camp Crystal Lake, things go terribly wrong as Maggie discovers the legend may actually be fact.

Andy B pages from "Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused"
The main message of the book is simple -- "Stay the fuck out of Camp Crystal Lake," Fialkov told CBR News. "I think there's a bit of the revenge story in all of the 'Friday the 13th,' as Jason is constantly exacting his revenge for his own abuse, but I think there's certainly a parallel to be drawn between the main character of Maggie and Jason's mission, which finds the two so completely off base in their methods, even though what they're doing is justified. These characters and, hopefully, this book, are really about having a fucking blast being scared, excited, titillated, and enthralled. We've had horror has a literary form for centuries, it speaks to the very roots of our species, and all of the morality inherent within the execution, owes a big debt to that cultural touchstone."

Fialkov said he's crazy about the "Friday the 13th" franchise and when he set out to write this tale, he was motivated by a need to do something that captured the fun and horror of the films. "I wanted to take it into the vein of the old E.C. books, where it's almost a morality tale, taken to an insane extreme," said Fialkov. "I'm also fascinated by how different people react to the abuse of their lives. You have person a who's heavily abused, and yet, grows up to be a Senator or Media Mogul or whatever, and then you have somebody who's equally abused grows up to be a serial killer. To me, the difference between the two has a lot to do with the role models one takes on in life."

Andy B page from "Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused"
Wildstorm editor Ben Abernathy and Fialkov have been talking for almost five years about the possibility of working together. Fialkov's patience paid off when Abernathy called to tell him what he was looking for in a "Friday the 13th" story, and off Fialkov went to his keyboard to work up his script. "I'm a big fan of the films, and they were a big part of my childhood (although, truth be told, the Romero zombie movies will always be closer to my heart, as I grew up where most of the trilogy was shot, and in fact worked in the mall featured in the original ‘Dawn of the Dead’). I think Wildstorm's attitude about licenses is really dead on. Find people who love the material, and respect it, and you'll get good books," said Fialkov. "They treat the licensed books as well as they treat their own corporate book, and I think it shows on the quality."

With "Elk's Run" and his self-published "Western Tales of Terror," Fialkov's cemented his place as a quality horror comics writer, but "Friday the 13th" offered him new challenges. "I've been writing a lot of different styles of horror the past few years, and, the 'Friday the 13th' style just wasn't something I'd done," Fialkov explained. "Doing something that's got a different sort of wit and, stay with me here, whimsy is a really exciting challenge. Jason's an icon, for sure, but we've always seen him in pretty much the same general plot structure. For me, the real thrill was to get to try and tell a very different kind of story while still staying true to what makes 'Friday the 13th' great."

Andy B page from "Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused"
With so many stories about Jason Vorhees already produced, what sets "Abuser and the Abused" apart from the rest? "I think it's really the structure thing, and again, to really make something that's clearly a story about Jason, while at the same time being a radical departure from that formula," said Fialkov. "I mean, once Jason shows up, it's twelve pages of blood guys and gore, but, at the same time, you get to see another side to it all. I think Jason, as a character, has become a force of nature, something that nobody even bothers to reason with. For me, the core question of this story is, what if someone did? And what if it maybe started to work?

"Plus, Andy B.'s art on the book is simply breathtaking. When you turn in a script, never in your wildest dreams do you get someone who draws exactly what's in your mind, but goddamn if I didn't strike it rich with Andy. The guy's going to be huge, and I'm trying to convince anybody who'll listen to let me do more work with him before he's too famous to be bothered."

Outside of "Friday the 13th," Fialkov's been keeping busy with a variety of other projects, including the recently released "Punks: Christmas Special," the follow-up to the "Punks The Comic: Summer Special.” The decidedly offbeat "Punks" series of comics stars characters Dog, a man with a dog's head; Skull, a man with a skull head; and Fist, a man with a fist for a head; and Abraham Lincoln. "I think we had the misfortune of the Christmas issue coming out right around Christmas, meaning everybody ignored the crap out of it," said Fialkov. "We're working on a new 'Punks' product that's not a book and, unfortunately, I can't talk about yet. That's hopefully going to be announced in a few months. Once [co-creator] Kody [Chamberlain] and I clear off our schedules a bit, we'll be getting back to some more comics, probably in 2009."

Andy B page from "Friday the 13th: Abuser and the Abused"
In addition to "Punks," Fialkov's been writing the classic horror character "Vampirella" for Harris Comics. " I think I'm doing some of my best work in the book," said Fialkov. "Unfortunately, a lot of people just write the character off because of the big boobs and lack of clothing. The fact is, Vampi's been around longer and done more for strong females in comics than just about any other comic character this side of Wonder Woman. She's got a rich history, and it's been amazing to get to play in the sandbox, especially following up on plots and stories written by guys like Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Mike Carey, Phil Hester, and, of course, Archie Goodwin. This first trade that's coming out has an issue written by Phil Hester, and then three of my issues (including one that was double-length) to round it out. It's a great introduction to the character, and the new status quo from the end of the book has been a blast to keep working on. And, this art, oh my. The art is amazing. Steven Segovia drew the bulk of the book, and that guy is going to go places."

"Friday The 13th: Abuser and the Abused" goes on sale April 30.

Now discuss this story in CBR’s Wildstorm forum.