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The Black Forest 2 Preview With Robert Tinnell
Article by James W. Powell
Posted July 8, 2005

Bookshelf Comics Preview:  The Black Forest

The creative team of Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell, and Neil Vokes are preparing to take readers back to The Black Forest, where pulp adventure collides with classic horror. But instead of forcing fans to wait until the next installment hits the shelves in September, Tinnell, the graphic novel's co-writer, has provided Bookshelf Comics with a sneak preview of the five pages from the book. Plus, as an added bonus, he agreed to field a few questions based on the images he provided...

BOOKSHELF COMICS — I just checked out the preview pages, and wow, that Neil Vokes...he's outdone himself this time.

ROBERT TINNELL — I keep saying Neil is in competition with himself — and any way you cut it, he's winning! As it happened, we gained a little extra time to finish the book and Neil's really thrown himself into it. You can see the affection he has for this milieu in every stroke of the brush.

BSC — Judging from the pages you've sent, it looks like the events in The Black Forest 2 take place right after the original. How much time has taken place between the two stories?

RT — Just a few hours. The Black Forest 2 is a little different than what went before and what will happen in the future of the series. Perhaps we shouldn't have labeled it a GN, the reason being this is more of a jumping off point for the continuing adventures — adventures that may or may not contain Jack and Archie. We don't want to lose sight of the fact that the Forest itself is a major character in the book. That being said I'm pretty sure the next book will take us out of the Forest — at least temporarily.

BSC — So who's this bald guy? This Dr. Tones Bosch. He's creepy...

RT — He's a real nasty little guy. Part Peter Lorre, part Albert Decker, part Charles Laughton. He over-compensates for his myriad short-comings. He's another of the Kaiser's henchmen. That being said, don't look for the henchman of the month as the series progresses. This was a logical way to construct the springboard...

BSC — I'm glad to see Ilsa's back with our heroes, Jack and Archie. Will she play a larger part in the sequel?

RT — She plays an enormous part in the book. I just love her character. Plus I love the way Neil draws her.

BSC — Lots of shadows in these pages. Very dark. Can we expect more of that throughout the story?

RT — The whole story takes place within the walls of the Castle of Shadows. I guess that answers that question! We wanted to get out of the Castle and into the Forest proper, but this was not the book to do it in.

BSC — The original Black Forest was loaded with pulp adventure and spooky horror. It felt like a classic war tale thrust into the world of old school monster movies. Can we expect more of the same the second time around?

RT — We've gone even heavier into the pulp, though the war is even more peripheral this time. That being said, next time look for the war to come back blazing. TBF2 is in a sense a more intimate story. We're slowing down a bit; Neil is focusing on delivering gorgeous visuals. We want to wrap things up and give the reader an amplified taste of what the first book was all about. There's nothing profoundly philosophical about this book. What you see is what you get — action and nifty reinterpretations of the types of characters and events that dominated 30s and 40s classic horror and pulp.

BSC — And for those who are misfortunate enough to have overlooked the original...what have you done to help get them up to speed?

RT — In addition to Jack's opening monologue, there's a flashback sequence that succinctly brings new readers up to speed. Better yet, it gave Neil a chance to play with some imagery from the first book again, which he did beautifully.

BSC — I have hundreds more've really hooked me. But I'll leave it here and let the pages speak for themselves. Thanks for sitting down with us and offering some preview pages.

RT — Thanks for caring enough to support us on this. I hope fans enjoy the trip back to the Forest, as well as the short Wicked West story that serves as a backup. Plus, there are some other nifty extras in there as well. We plan on continuing The Black Forest on a fairly regular basis, with The Wicked West running as backup stories...and any other stuff that strikes our fancy. Our main goal is to continue to pack in as much value as we can into the book.

For more information on The Black Forest, check out Livingston, Tinnell & Vokes Productions.

To view the preview pages, click any of the images below...

The Black Forest 2 cover
The Black Forest 2 page 1
The Black Forest 2 page 2
The Black Forest 2 page 3
The Black Forest 2 page 4
The Black Forest 2 page 5
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