The Past Catches Up With You
Old Haunts is a new supernatural gangster series by Rob Williams, Ollie Masters and Laurence Campbell, out in June and here’s Tripwire’s editor-in-chief talking to another one of its writers and creators Ollie Masters for our second chat on the series…
TRIPWIRE: What was the genesis of Old Haunts?
OLLIE MASTERS: I can’t remember the exact genesis. But me and Rob were trying to think of a story to co-write together and it turned out we’d both been working independently on similar crime/horror stories, so we decided to join them together.
TW: How did it land at AWA?
OM: Axel had called me to say he was working on a new project (that turned out to be AWA) and did I have any pitches for him. Because me and Rob were in the middle of getting Old Haunts together, it seemed like the perfect thing to pitch.
TW: How did you end up joining forces with Rob Williams?
OM: We’ve been friends for ages and share some similar sensibilities and inspirations, so we thought it might be fun to try writing something together.
TW: How collaborative is it with Rob?
OM: Extremely. Everything is 100% co-written
TW: You haven’t worked with Laurence Campbell before. How did he join as artist?
OM: We talked about some other artists, but really Laurence was the only person who could of done this story how we wanted it to be done. So we approached him before any one else. I’ve known Laurence longer than I’ve known anyone else in comics (he actually really helped me out when I first got started) and he’s one of my favourite artists so I’m really happy to finally be working with him.
TW: It starts off as feeling like a straight gangster story but it quickly turns into something that is cross genre with elements of the supernatural in it too. How do you balance a story that crosses genres?
OM: Almost everything I write is crime related so that half came pretty easily. I just focused on writing a horror story, and let the crime stuff figure itself out.
TW: Also it is a very American story but the three creators here are all British. What do you think this brings to such an American tale?
OM: Honestly, I don’t know. We’re so inundated with American culture (Especially in comics) that it doesn’t seem out of place to write American based stories. But saying that I’m sure American readers will be able to tell us where we fall short.
TW: You have written for other publishers like DC, Vertigo, Marvel and Titan. How different is it seeing your work come up from AWA?
OM: To be honest, it’s not much different seeing my work come out through them than anyone else. It was great working with them though, they gave us full creative freedom (which isn’t always the case) but great notes as well.
TW: The timing of its original release was around when the virus hit the industry and the world. How much momentum do you think the series has lost with its new release date?
OM: It’s impossible to tell. I haven’t seen any order figures yet, or how they’ve changed with the delays or anything, I guess that’ll be what tells us. I mean, I can’t imagine it helped us, but also, what can you do? I could moan that the delay has meant this might not have been the hit it deserved to be, but people are dying right now, so it doesn’t seem quite as important.
TW: Without giving too much away, do you and Rob leave things open for a second series featuring these three protagonists or was this always designed as a one off mini series?
OM: We don’t have any plans, but there’s a possibility we could do more in this world, but these three character’s story is very much designed as a self-contained story.
TW: If you had to pick, what is the gangster film that has had the greatest influence on you, particularly for Old Haunts?
OM: That’s really hard. Probably for Old Haunts it’d be something like Heat. But personally, an obvious one might be the Godfather films but it’s probably Goodfellas, that’s a film I’ve probably watched more than anything else. Although over the years Killing Them Softly keeps creeping up as a favourite.
Old Haunts comes out from AWA on 10 June