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Catching Up With Josh Howard
Interview by James W. Powell
Posted May 26, 2005

Josh Howard was thrust into the spotlight toward the end of 2003 when Viper Comics released Dead @ 17, a 4-issue miniseries about a young girl resurrected from the dead to battle demons from the underworld. Now, Howard's saga concludes with Dead @ 17: Revolution...or does it? I caught up with Howard days before the collected version of the final chapter was released to get the scoop on the future of the franchise and the creator, too....

 

 
 
 
 

Bookshelf Comics — The final chapter in the Dead @ 17 saga, Revolution, hits stands this week in its collected format. For those who didn't read the monthly issues, what can they expect from the story?

Josh Howard — Revolution is the conclusion to the story that began in Dead @ 17, the first series and continued through Blood of Saints. I think it's a satisfying conclusion, especially for those that have been following it since the beginning. The story, in a nutshell: The demon Bolabogg is just a few steps away from completing his plan, and Nara must go to extreme measures to stop him.

Dead at 17 interior image

Bookshelf Comics — Dead @ 17 has been your bread and butter for the last couple of years. Are you excited to leave it behind and work on new projects, or is there a little sadness seeing it finished?

Josh Howard — Definitely a little of both. When I started Revolution, I was excited to get through it because I was ready to tell some different stories. But by the time I was writing the final scene, I got a little choked up. I wondered if I was doing the right thing. It was hard to let go, but that was the story I set out to tell from the beginning, so in that sense, I'm satisfied.

Bookshelf Comics — Revolutions is the final chapter, yet there are rumors that we haven't seen the last of Dead @ 17. What are your current plans for the future of the series?

Nara KildayJosh Howard — Well, for starters, the first official spin off, entitled Dead @ 17: Protectorate, will be out in the fall. It's basically the story of Bolabogg's origin and how it ties into the formation of the Protectorate. For this one, I've handed the reigns over to Alex Hamby and Ben Hall, who are will be writing and drawing the series, respectively. In talking to Alex during his contributions to Rough Cut Vol. 1 and 2, I sensed that he had a real handle on the overall story and what I was trying to accomplish. He seemed like a natural to entrust this story to. Ben Hall, who also worked on both Rough Cut volumes, blew me away with his style and storytelling ability. There was never any question that he was the man for the job.

Beyond that, there will probably be one more volume of Rough Cut. And sometime next year will finally see the launch of the Dead @ 17 ongoing series, which will star Asia Black, who first appeared in Rough Cut 2.

Bookshelf Comics — Some books read better as serialized, monthly chapters. Others, however, read much better if read in one sitting with the collected volumes. Which do you think is the best way to read your series?

Josh Howard — Based on what I've heard from people, I think it reads better reading them in one sitting. A lot of people dismissed the first series because they saw it as maybe a little simple and cliché. The story doesn't really begin to shine until Blood of Saints, I think. That’s when you get a real sense of, "Hey, maybe there's a little more to this than schoolgirls and zombies." And of course, most everyone was caught off guard at where Revolution takes the story. No one saw it coming.

Nara and woman in blackBookshelf Comics — How have you grown as a storyteller from your days working on the first arc to the release of the final volume?

Josh Howard — I'm not sure. I hope I've grown, but I honestly don't think I could tell you how! The story is what the story is, and that never really changed much. I tried never to compromise the message of the books and never pull my punches.

Bookshelf Comics — What's next for Josh Howard?

Josh Howard — That's a loaded question! I've got a pretty full plate right now. I've got an art book coming out in July and I've also been working on a book for DC. It's a fun book being written by Andi Watson. I'm just handling all the art this time. There's also another project I'm very excited about which will probably be announced this summer. It's my next big epic, I guess you could say. Look for it in the fall.


For more information on Josh Howard, visit joshhoward.net.

 

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