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A Good Case of the Creeps – Eric Powell Talks Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

True crime is hot right now, as my podcast library will certainly tell you. We, as a society have become fascinated by those who would take the life from another. Perhaps none is as layered as Ed Gein, the serial killer who terrorized the people of Plainfield, Wisconsin in the 1950s. He's the subject of a new graphic novel from Albatross Funnybooks, Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? Currently on Kickstarter, the book is written by Harold Schechter and Eric Powell and illustrated by Powell. I had a chance to speak with Powell about the project.

James Ferguson: Of all the serial killers we've seen, what drew you to Ed Gein as the subject of this graphic novel?

Eric Powell: I think the initial angle of this story that drew me in was Gein’s isolation driving his mental illness to complete derangement. The concept evolved and grew larger out of that single idea, but that’s the origin of the book. Through working with Harold, it ended up becoming a real examination of Gein and the impact his crimes had on society and pop-culture. A much broader scope than I think I would have been able to pull off alone.

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JF: There was quite a lot of research done to prepare for Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?. What was that experience like preparing to create the book?

EP: This is the first non-fiction work I’ve done and the research that went into it was pretty extensive. It was a bit difficult for me to not follow every little thread of information down a rabbit hole. Several times I had to stop myself because I knew I was just wasting time. That some minute bit of info I was tracking down would not affect the narrative of our story in any way. And of course, you want to uncover something new, so the digging really slowed down my writing process. But luckily I was working with the expert so I can’t imagine doing this project from square one.

JF: What is the co-writing process like with you and Harold Schechter?

EP: It’s been great. Getting to pick the brain of my favorite true-crime author on a regular basis has been really amazing. We got on the phone and discussed the direction we wanted the book to take and the details we wanted to cover. We each wrote a couple of treatments. Then Harold wrote a draft of a loose script. I went through and rewrote the script and broke it down into a comic book format.

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JF: Did you approach this any differently from an artistic standpoint as compared to some of your other work, like The Goon?

EP: Yes, this is a completely different animal. It’s still my art, but I'm approaching this from a much more serious mindset than my typical comic work. I have to. It’s a pretty serious subject matter. I’m not out to make light of this or glorify a serial killer. It’s a study of the abuse and situation that led to the creation of a very disturbed individual. I would say the artistic difference would be The Goon is Evil Dead, this book is Silence of the Lambs.

JF: What brought you to Kickstarter to fund the book's release?

EP: We’re a small independent publisher, and we knew we really wanted the production of this book to be really high end. A really nice hardcover. So we’re going through Kickstarter to help offset those production costs.

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JF: What do you hope fans get out of Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?

EP: An appreciation for the benefits of making sure people can get good mental health treatment, and a good case of the creeps.

Horror DNA would like to thank Eric Powell for speaking with us. Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? is currently on Kickstarter.

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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