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Red Mother #1
Written by Jeremy Haun
Illustrated by Danny Luckert
* Jeremy Haun returns to his The Beauty roots as he teams with Danny Luckert, hot off Regression, for a new psychological horror series.
* After losing her eye and the man she loves in a brutal mugging, Daisy McDonough is left trying to put the pieces of her life back together. Just when she begins to think she can heal- move on, she begins to see strange things through her new prosthetic eye. And The Red Mother sees her in return.
* Continuing BOOM! Studios’ string of successes, The Red Mother follows Faithless, Once & Future, and Something is Killing the Children for a new original series that examines the dangers that hide in plain sight – and the consequences of digging beneath the surface to find the truth underneath.
Diamond Code: OCT191378
FOC due November 18th, 2019
In stores on December 11th, 2019
Why It’s Cool:
“Before the horror starts, you need a character, and for that horror to truly hit home, that character needs to feel real. Daisy McDonough feels real, with a career moving along, and a relationship about to move to the next level. Life is good. Until the horror starts. The first flash is over before you can blink; in comics it only takes a page, sometimes less, to lose everything, and while Daisy doesn’t lose everything, she loses plenty, with no answers in sight. Most of this first issue is taken up with her trying to process and cope with this loss, and as we near the end she seems to be making progress. You’re rooting for her because you hope that if she can find her way through the pain and the misery, then you might be able to as well, y’know, if you were in her shoes. But this is a horror comic, so nothing is easy and nothing is simple, and every step forward just means that, inevitably, what’s coming next is going to be far, far worse. And the Red Mother is coming.”
Q&A with Jeremy Haun and Danny Luckert
Tell us a little bit about Red Mother. How did everything come together?
Jeremy Haun: I spent so much of my childhood afraid of things. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of my grandparent’s big creaky old farmhouse. Afraid of that closet that just wouldn’t ever quite shut all the way. Somewhere along the way that changed for me. I faced those fears– decided to not let them control me. Over time…I started to miss them a bit.
Fear is pretty personal. The things that scare you aren’t necessarily the things that creep me out. True horror is about the combination of just the right things.
THE RED MOTHER is my combination of things.
Daisy’s journey is one of loss– both of the man she loves and her eye. She’s a woman who has always seen the world a bit differently…now though, for some horrible dark reason she’s starting to see beyond our reality into the horrors beyond. Daisy sees glimpses of RED and a terrible thing standing just in the distance– smiling. And it’s getting closer.
I’d been talking with BOOM! for quite some time about working on a project. Schedules get busy, but we kept saying “we really need to do something together”. What stuck was that they kept asking what I really wanted to work on– what was personal to me. During the chaos of San Diego last year, I pitched the concept THE RED MOTHER. Even there among friends, I was a little scared to do so. The fact that I was just a bit afraid meant I was on the right track.
Danny Luckert: Red Mother has been a blast to work on so far. This book has it all. Some creepy visuals, a little suspense and a fair amount of heart. And that’s just the first few pages. As for how everything came together, it was all fairly quick and out of the blue. Well, on my end of the equation at least. I had just finished up work on Regression with Cullen Bunn and was contacted by editorial staff at BOOM! Studios asking if I would be interested in possibly working with them on a new project with Jeremy Haun. It was an opportunity I immediately jumped on, especially since BOOM! has been putting out some really amazing stuff and Jeremy’s a super talented comic creator.
What are you reading/watching/listening to as inspiration for this work?
JH: It should probably go without saying that I love horror. It tends to be what I put on when I’m drawing. If you’re in my studio there’s probably some horror film on in the background. I watch a lot of classic stuff, but I’ll pretty much watch anything. There has been a lot of pretty fantastic horror over the past few years. Generally smaller, independent projects. Hereditary, Us, VVitch, Haunt, Midsommar, Braid, The Apostle, and Mandy were all fantastic in vastly different ways.
I’ve been reading a lot of Japanese horror manga. Junji Ito is easily my current favorite creator. Uzumaki, Tomie, and his short story collections get to me in the best kind of way. He manages to find truly unsettling moments in every story that stick with me long after I finish it. I’ve also been reading (and listening on audiobook to) Laird Barron. Like Junji Ito he has a way of creating truly unsettling moments. His short story collection “The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All” is one of the most beautifully horrific things I’ve ever had the chance to experience.
I listen to soundtracks and ambient music when I write. I just can’t do music with lyrics. I like to think that I’m just going for true immersion…but I’m probably just easily distracted. I write THE RED MOTHER to the It Follows, Legion, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Social Network soundtracks. I like to pick pieces for every scene. I use the music to help create mood as I build the story.
DL: This may seem like an odd answer, but what I currently read/watch/listen to doesn’t really affect my drawing process. Whatever my eyes and brain take in rarely travels down to my hands. So with that said, I find myself often listening to a comedy podcast (Comedy Bang Bang for example) laughing along, or getting glassy eyed from some heart breaking scene in a movie, all the while I’m having to draw a really creepy horror scene. Like I said, it’s odd. Also, I try really hard not to be influenced by other artists’ work to a certain extent, especially when it comes to genre stuff. You tend to avoid a lot of classic genre tropes that way, be it horror, fantasy, or whatever.
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?
JH: Initially this was just a story for me— this thing that existed and evolved in my mind. It was an examination of all of the things that truly creep me out. At first I wasn’t even sure it was a story that would work. Sometimes that happens. During I trip to LA, I sat down with Filip Sablik and Bryce Carlson from BOOM! and they asked what kinds of stories I wanted to tell. I was a little hesitant to pitch THE RED MOTHER. I hummed and hawed about it a bit, but finally laid it out there. It connected. I realized in that moment that these things that give me chills landed with other people.
Beyond the horror, THE RED MOTHER is a story about loss— about finding strength to carry on after losing a loved one and even a part of ourselves.
In the end, I feel like this story’s audience is much bigger than I ever could have imagined. This thing I created to spook myself has become a more than just horror. To me that’s the best kind of story.
DL: I don’t know if I personally had a specific audience in mind when it came to me putting (digital)ink to (digital)paper. I can certainly see it affecting the writing process, but I don’t know about the art side of things. I guess all I can say on this front is that I try to steer away from rendering Jeremey’s scripts like a “typical” horror comic. Meaning I don’t use a lot of heavy inks and deep shadows. Also, to a certain extent, you draw how you draw, and I don’t know if that can, or even should, be changed because of the audience. That said, we all know that comics take a long time to make. You work on these things you love all day, everyday and so I would say the only audience I have in mind while working is myself, Jeremy, and the great editors at BOOM! Studios, who have to sit with these things.
Can you give us an idea of what readers can look forward to in this series, maybe a little down the line?
JH: I’m incredibly lucky to be able to tell THE RED MOTHER as a maxi series. We initially discussed it being six issues, but I kept feeling as if it needed more room to breathe—to grow— to scare the hell out of you. After our initial conversation about the project, Bryce messaged and completely independently asked if I’d considered expanding the story a bit more. That kind of faith in me and my story was absolutely inspiring. I sat down and wrote everything out. It perfectly fit into three four issue acts.
Daisy’s journey is one of loss, change, and new beginning. This is the story of a woman who loses someone she holds dear and her eye in the same night. From there she has to find herself again. Of course something dark and terrible has other plans.
DL: Readers can look forward to getting acquainted with the Red Mother and seeing her in all her glory and horror.
What’s great in comics right now that you’re currently reading?
JH: Ugh. I’m so behind on everything. I feel like it’s become pretty cliche for comics creators to say they don’t read comics. I’m definitely not there. Frankly I don’t ever want to be that guy.
I’ve been trying to step outside of mainstream American comics lately. I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic Manga. There’s so much stuff I should’ve read long ago. Other things I started and never quite finished or found myself needing to reread. Junji Ito’s horror manga is amazing. I’ve also recently restarted 20th Century Boys, and Blade of the Immortal.
I’m currently in Europe and have picked up a ton of French albums. My French is admittedly horrible, but I translate what I can and absolutely adore looking at the breathtaking art.
As for American comics, I’m always excited to read anything set in the Mignolaverse. I’m a bit behind, but I love what the Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Series has been building to. I’m also reading and constantly loving HEADLOPPER by Andrew MacLean. It’s brilliant fun. We need more fun in comics.
I feel like we’re in an exciting time at BOOM! Studios . With amazing new stuff coming out from Kieron Gillian, James Tynion, and Cullen Bunn, I couldn’t be in better company.
DL: I am currently LOVING what Hickman, Larraz, Silva and Gracia are doing with the X-Men books right now. I am an unabashed Superman and DC fan, but my god are those books(Powers/House of X) amazing. I’m also really digging Cullen Bunns and Kyle Strahm’s Unearth. Grant Morrison is always amazing and so I’m really digging his Green Lantern stuff. Also since joining the BOOM! Studios Team I’ve been catching up on what they have been doing with the Power Rangers line and I’m loving every bit of it.
We hear you write THE RED MOTHER in a pretty unique place. Can you tell us a little about that?
JH: Heh. Yeah. I’m writing THE RED MOTHER in an vacant old building nestled away in Downtown Joplin. It’s this old three story warehouse space built sometime at the turn of the century.
I like writing in strange places. Certain areas just “fit” a particular story. Years and years ago I got to explore this building and came across a particular room inside that just called to me. I thought at the time “This place is crazy spooky. I’d love to write something in here sometime.” Around the time that I started working on THE RED MOTHER, my friend Jeff bought the building to restore it as part of an effort to develop the Joplin Downtown corridor. I immediately asked him if I could write in the space. He agreed, so I set up a table and creaky old chair in that room and started typing away.
It’s a huge, creepy space, filled with dark corners and strange sounds. I force myself to the long walk upstairs to the second floor room and back down without turning on any lights. It’s silly and a bit unsettling tempting the darkness like that. Still, I can’t help but try and coax THE RED MOTHER out of the shadows.