Interview: Undying Love

Published on October 7th, 2011

Muahahaha! It’s October, which means it’s time to get scared! As a special treat, I (Susan) will be bringing you some awesome features with my favorite horror creators, including a special VIDEO version of “Horror on the 13th” with a very special co-host.

All that stuff is what’s to come. Right now we have an interview with the creators of one of my favorite books out – Undying Love. Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman are as fantastic and fun as their Image title. However, they are much less scary.

undyinglovetpDid you know that the Undying Love came out in trade a few weeks back? It’s the perfect chance to catch up on the first issues of the series. Pick that up, but read this first to see how these two work.

Why did you choose to tell your story with vampires?
For us, the vampires were the clear choice of monster. We wanted to tell a love story and the vampire is the perfect cypher for love, sex, and lust. At the time, we felt vampires were an untapped resource, this was prior to Twilight hitting and I guess we were right. They also served as the perfect “In” to the world, everyone knows what the vampire is and so they accept the other supernatural elements with out question.

Is there a specific vampire mythology that inspired your characters?
The vampires in our story are modeled mostly after ancient Romanian lore and the rest is mix of Chinese folklore. Dracula was a big influence and the cure of the bite comes right out of a Romanian legend, but it fits perfectly with the Chinese tea practices.

Mei is such a strong character. Where did she come from? (As in, is she modeled after anyone or any character?)
Mei, took a long time to figure out. I think in the beginning she was a lot weaker and always in need of Sargent, your more basic and cliche “girl” but slowly she developed into being a much more powerful person and in a lot way, is more in control then Sargent. She is still evolving even now. She’s really the character that keeps surprising even us.

How did the creation of your (very original) vampire hierarchy help structure your story telling?
The blood hierarchy was born from the idea that the blood is like a drug, and the more its cut and diluted, the weaker it gets. That meant the pure bloods were going to be a lot stronger then the ghouls at the bottom. The drug metaphor came from us wanting to do a toxic romance  like True Romance or Sid and Nancy.

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On that note, how does Mei’s “appetite” drive your story?
That’s the thing that kept evolving. Mei has her own urges and thirsts and the idea of what happens when she loses control was like this ticking time bomb. It helped add tension and some urgency to their story. It’s only so long before Mei is going to lose it and at that point no one is safe, not even Sargent. But she’s trying to hold back and not kill anymore because now that she’s found Sargent and fallen in love, she see a way to be “human” again, but thats why she could lose control at any moment.

Besides vampires, what are your other favorite horror monsters/creatures?
I think we love all monsters equally. The key is finding a way to relate, either sympathize or empathize with them,  that or just make them the scariest things ever, that also works well. Growing up the zombie fascinated me and at the same time scared the hell out of me. The idea that your mom could be dead and trying to eat you! Thats nuts.

Do you have any favorite horror projects, writers, or artists?
There’s the obvious ones like Romero, Carpenter and Cronenberg. Also, Bernie Wrightson and in general, Creepy magazine, both had a pretty ever lasting effect.

What’s next for Undying Love?
Whats next is finishing the thing. The Vol. 1 trade contains issues 1-4. Were hard at work on the 5-8 which will round out the first story. It could end there but we have a sequel we’d love to do if there’s enough fans wanting it.

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You heard them! The book is amazing. If you don’t trust the creators themselves (which you should), trust your horror girl, Susan.

Susan
susan@comicimpact.com