While attending this year’s Emerald City Comicon I was able to sit down with two awesome talents, Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening.
UTF: The first question I have to ask is about Mass Hysteria, how’s it going so far?
Erik Burnham: It’s going awesome. I just wrapped up writing the first half of the series. Four parts to go. Dan is already a quarter of the way through drawing it. It’s been a dream as far as the process goes.
Dan Schoening: It’s wonderful to be able to bring in new characters. Adding Tiamat to the comic book is huge. Just being able to play around more with all these amazing characters, Ray [Stantz], Winston [Zeddemore], Peter [Venkman] and Egon [Spengler], plus the new Ghostbusters.
Erik is really nailing the writing. I laugh every time I read the script, so I know it’s a success.
UTF: I have to agree with you there. So was it always your intention to bring in the video game addition: the Rookie?
Erik Burnham: It was the intention to expand the cast, just to have a little bit of a different mix. You know how Peter is going to react to Ray, to Egon and so on, but you throw somebody else in there and then you have a chance to do something different.
I actually hadn’t intended to use the Rookie directly on panel, but fans had been asking for him, so I threw him in. The joke is we still don’t get a name for him.
UTF: The next question I want to ask is about the art. Dan, how’d you find your style?
Dan Schoening: Since we can’t draw the exact actors from the movie, I try and capture more of the personality than the likeness. I find that I’m able to show that childhood essence of Ray with a softness in his face. The expressions are huge too. With Peter a lot of the times his eyes are half open because he is that cocky wise-cracking guy.
The style develops over time. Looking back at issue #1, I can see a huge difference in how it looks now. That’s nice to see it evolve. It’s time and a love of the characters too. You’ve got to know the personalities and let them shine through in the art.
UTF: So after the 30th anniversary wraps, do you guys have any notion of where the series might go?
Erik Burnham: Right now, we’re just focusing on the 30th anniversary. We haven’t gotten anything approved past that that I can mention. There is one thing that’s kicking around between the licensors that I can’t talk about. If they approve it, we should be starting to talk about it around abouts of July / August, but until then, it could still fall apart. I don’t want to jinx it. I can’t directly mention it.
Other than that, we don’t have any concrete plans, but things come together quickly for Ghostbusters. I could have something plotted and approved within a day if I needed to.
UTF: One final question. If you were to pitch Ghostbusters , as a comic book, to the average fan of the film how would you sell it to them?
Erik Burnham: Honestly, we’re just shooting for the exact tone and feel of the film, so if the movie is something that’s up your alley then give the book a look. That sounds terrible, but that’s what it is. We’re going for the same vibe, so if you liked one, God willing, you’ll like the other.
Dan Schoening: If you like the stylings of the actors that were in the films. If you’re interested in having a comic that’s just fun to read, because there’s so many out there that aren’t. With vibrant colors, wonderful stories by Erik plus my pencils, you can’t go wrong with that.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. Erik Burnham and Mr. Dan Schoening for chatting with me. If you haven’t been reading Ghostbusters, it’s time to catch up and enjoy some solid paranormal shenanigans.
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!