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Coffin Bound #1
Story by Dan Watters
Art by Dani
SERIES PREMIERE! Cars! Guns! Entropy! Chased by an unstoppable killer, Izzy Tyburn has decided that if the world won’t have her in it, it can have nothing of her at all. She’s re-treading her life, leaving nothing but burned rubber, ash, and the sun-scorched bones of those who get in her way. Join writer DAN WATTERS (Sandman Universe: Lucifer, LIMBO), artist DANI (2000AD, Girl with No Name), and colorist BRAD SIMPSON (JESUSFREAK, MCMLXXV) on a road trip through a blood-splattered life.
Diamond Code: JUN190026
FOC due JULY 15th, 2019
In stores on August 7th, 2019
Why It’s Cool:
“Coffin Bound reminds of old-school Vertigo, say circa 1995 or so, in the best way possible. It’s weird, unpredictable, and focused on oblivion over everything else. The whole book feels like the desert after a nuclear blast; dead and brown and awash in a sickly chartreuse haze. There’s also a monster called EarthEater! and a robot vulture, and so much more. It’s a long days journey into nothingness and I’m along for the ride 100%.” -Edward
Q&A with Dan Watters & Dani
Tell us a little bit about Coffin Bound. How did everything come together?
Dan Watters: Coffin Bound is a book about Izzy, a woman who’s about to die. There’s a price on her head that will be paid, and so rather than fight it, she decides that she’s going to burn down everything she’s created or touched throughout her life, to leave the world as though it never had her in it, or as close as she can. Which basically leads to a road trip with a gun and a robot vulture in a bright yellow Camaro. She’s living out her own eulogy and flipping it the bird.
The book has been a labour of love for me and Dani. We met at Malta Comic Con a few years back, and quickly realised that we had plenty of influences in common, and really liked each other’s work. I’d just created Limbo with Caspar Wijngaard, and Dani was just starting to work with 2000AD, so we saw the opportunity to work together and leapt on it- though we leapt rather slowly. We didn’t want to create a book just for the sake of making a book, so waited until we thought we had something special. That something special is very much Coffin Bound.
Dani: This project basically started out as a semi-drunk talk between Dan and I on a con night in Malta a couple of years ago. We both agreed that we wanted to work on something together so as soon as we got the chance we started talking more deeply about it and BOOM! Here it is now!
What are you reading/watching/listening to as inspiration for this work?
DW: Coffin Bound is very much a direct combination of the two of us and our influences. It’s a book that neither of us could make alone or with anyone else, which is the style of collaboration I always want to seek out.
On my part I’ve been revisiting the crime comics I’ve always adored like 100 Bullets, Stray Bullets, and other books with Bullets in the title. For this project I’ve also been all about wonderfully camp 70s films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Sometimes it feels like we’re taking the ingredients for a Tarantino flick and trying to push them as far away from what Tarantino would do with them as possible.
Music-wise my Coffin Bound playlist is a mix of melancholic dreampop ala Desire that helps me get into Izzy’s head, dirty bluesy country like Dax Riggs and The Dead Weather to invoke the rusting, stagnant world we’ve been building, and a little bit of doom metal. If I was to pick a theme song for the book, I’d plump for the Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers.
Dani: Whenever I start working on something I do a brain storming of images or videos so as to figure out the direction I want to follow. It is almost like a ritual.
With Coffin Bound it was mostly an exchange between Dan and I of random images, posters of old movies or vinyl covers and stuff or even articles that we liked.
For example, once I found an article with a list of the top 10 deadliest birds, for some reason I sent it to Dan and we ended up having many bird inspirations in the story such as Izzy’s cassowary helmet.
It was all pretty random but driven from our aesthetics.
When you started this project who did you have in mind as an audience for this, and did it change by the time you finished?
DW: It’s an old cliché, but we started putting this book together with an audience of two—we wanted to make a book that we’d want to read that we weren’t seeing on the shelves. We wanted it to be weird and wonderful and break conventions where they needed broken.
The book we’ve ended up making, however, I’d think should appeal quite widely. It certainly has the trappings of the old school Vertigo stuff I grew up loving—Doom Patrol for one might be a good touchstone for this. But Coffin Bound has at its heart a straightforward crime narrative of love, murder, and betrayal. Universal themes wrapped up in a blood-soaked grindhouse blanket, and rendered beautifully in Dani’s black inks.
Dani: I think the audience we both had in mind when we started was literally us two (trying REALLY hard not to sound too self-centered here!!)
But for real though, this is exactly a story we would like to read so we basically had this as a guideline. And that’s the great thing with creator-owned stuff like this and working with friends who have the same brains and taste as you: You end up working on stories that you really love!
Can you give us an idea of what readers can look forward to in this series, maybe a little down the line?
DW: Coffin Bound is a book about death, so it’s probably not giving away too much to say that we’re not going to be sticking with one protagonist the whole way through… we want to look at death and how we deal with it as humans from every angle, the grim and the funny, the sad and the life-affirming, and how it can sometimes be all these things at once. Which certainly isn’t to say we’re making an anthology book—all lives impact each other. We just want to be able to switch angle and perspective when we need to, as something like The Wire might do.
Philosophies and structure very much aside, we have plastic surgery obsessed biker cults, big machine-guns, chainsaws put to wholly irresponsible use, and the origin story of a vulture skeleton in a robot suit all to look forward to.
Dani: Readers can look forward to never getting bored while reading this!
What’s great in comics right now that you’re currently reading?
DW: Three books that spring to mind that I’ve found tooth-achingly good are Peter Cannon by Gillen and Wijngaard, Ghost Tree by Curnow and Gane, and These Savage Shores by Ram V and Kumar. Peter Cannon feels like such an audacious love letter to Watchmen and all its followers, while also a challenge to the superhero genre as a whole—asking what are you going to do next? Which is equally audacious. I adored it.
Ghost Tree is two issues in, and I can’t work out the shape of it yet—which I find exciting. But so far, it’s spooky and serene and heart-aching and absolutely beautiful; both the story and Simon Gane’s art.
Ram V is one of my studio mates, and the work he’s doing on These Savage Shores is so very special, in ways that I’m really glad people are picking up on. It’s a special book.
Dani: There are so many great comics coming out every day I can’t even start making this list!
I always end up reading older books that I didn’t have the chance to read though.. Most of the stuff that magnetize me are some classic black n white noir stories. Right now I’m reading Jose Munoz & Carlos Sampayo’s Alack Sinner.
There’s a character called EarthEater! How would you describe him and where did the idea for him come from?
DW: EARTH EATER! He’s probably one of my favourites. He’s an unstoppable hitman with a supernatural tenacity. He’s basically the Terminator with a little more poetry in his heart and far better dress sense, and he’s going to be dogging Izzy, at her heels the entire way through her story.
The idea of Earth Eater came from a weird little philosophy book I was reading called On An Ungrounded Earth, which posits that when we dig into the planet—perforating it—we’re acting out its death. Decay begins from within, and spreads outwards via perforation. I thought that was wonderfully, horribly nihilistic, and a great starting point for a villain. He literally tracks his victims by eating the earth they’ve trodden, and picking out its notes like fine wine.
Dani: Eartheater is such a dramatic figure, the comic isn’t even out yet and everyone keeps telling us about him! Truth is I can’t even remember the first time he came into the conversation and how he popped up from Dan’s twisted thoughts, but I know that my visual inspiration for his design was an image of a really muscly pitbull I had found on the internet. I just wanted to pass this feeling of him being a total symbol of power in the comic, something out of this world.