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The Last Drop In The Glass - Rafael Scavone Talks Hailstone

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Hailstone, a new horror thriller from Stout Club Entertainment, dropped this week through ComiXology Originals. The comic from writer Rafael Scavone, artist Rafael de Latorre, colorist Wessllei Manoel, letterer Bernardo Brice, and editor Bis Stringer Home, brings the scares to the woods during the U.S. Civil War. I had a chance to speak to Scavone about the project.

In the isolated Montana town of Hailstone, food is running low. Trapped in by relentless snow, the hungry and desperate townspeople come into conflict with the well-stocked military factory. And to make matters worse, a local girl -- Mary -- has just disappeared. Sheriff Denton Ross and his deputy Tobias step in to keep the peace, but their efforts start them down a dangerous path of investigation; into Mary's disappearance, the factory, and just what it is doing here in this isolated place, so far from the war.

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James Ferguson: What drew you to the setting and time period for Hailstone?

Rafael Scavone: The 19th century is one of the most fertile grounds to develop stories for multiple reasons. Not only because we have enough historic distance nowadays to properly see it better, but also due to what was really going on back in that century, with technology, economy, and also society as a whole. The 19th century, especially the last half of it, paved the way to what would become the world we live in today, with its wonders and tragedies. I've worked previously with the 19th century when adapting Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald with Rafael Albuquerque and since then I've been waiting for an opportunity to go back to that fascinating time period.

More than two years ago this opportunity appeared. It was like this story came to me, found me -- and not the other way around. I was with Mateus Santolouco and Rafael Albuquerque brainstorming new stories for our upcoming Stout Club's comics when we found some old concepts and notes of a project they had started to cook a decade ago. That initial idea talked about a story situated in the 19th century, and it called my attention immediately. They had no intention to go on with that project so I asked if I could play with some of those elements and they agreed. I picked the characters I liked most and started writing a new story. And that's how the first draft of Hailstone was born!

The setting and time period came with the context and needs of those characters, as well as my desire to write about the 19th century again.

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JF: What can you tell us about what's lurking in the woods near Hailstone?

RS: If I tell you, I'm gonna have to kill you... jokes apart, this is an important part of the mystery Sheriff Ross and Deputy Tobias are trying to solve, but it is more complex than just something hiding in there, in the woods. Something very weird is going on in that place and people who live there have been feeling it for a long time. That new disappearance is only the last drop in their glass which is already very full. So what's lurking in the woods is one of the pieces in the puzzle that the story will unveil.

JF: You've described Hailstone as “weird-fiction.” How do you define that?

RS: You can also call it speculative fiction. The way I would describe this specific genre is that it is when you make use of reinterpretations of classical horror stories mixing other elements to give the reader that feeling of awe. So if you want to, you can easily put a lot of horror stories under this. I'm not much attached to genres when I'm writing my creator-owned comics. I understand the conventions, they're needed to define an audience, to make things easier for the reader to know what to expect, and it helps even the writers too -- I have used these terms when researching for my own stories many times, to know what's already out there. I also know that intentionally or not, any story will end up jumping genres according to the interpretation the reader gives to it. With all that said, "weird-fiction" is the most precise genre I have to describe for Hailstone, but it may be that you will see it differently too.'

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JF: How did the creative team come together for Hailstone?

RS: I've been looking forward to teaming up with Rafael de Latorre for a long time. I love his style and I followed his work since Superzero, Animosity and now Black Widow. I already knew he's a fan of Westerns, so when I had Hailstone outlined I called him and it didn't take more than two minutes for him to jump in.

JF: How did Hailstone land at ComiXology?

RS: Hailstone is part of a multi-title deal Stout Club signed with ComiXology last year. Funny Creek was the first of this deal followed by Hailstone, and we still have two more to come. I can't reveal much about the next projects but I can say the titles will be very distinct from Funny Creek and Hailstone. Also the creative teams working on them are amazing, we got some big names in the next titles too. Stay tuned!

Horror DNA would like to thank Rafael Scavone for speaking with us. Hailstone #1 is available now through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle. Subscribers to ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime can read it for free.

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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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