Mike Garley’s releases have had a regular place in my reading list and with him bringing a collection of his Samurai Slasher series together I HAD to fire some questions his way…..cue the interrogation……eh…..interview.
What was the inspiration for the original Samurai Slasher Trilogy?
The Slasher was inspired by my love of 80s horror. Horror played such an important part of my life growing up. It offered escapism and explored themes in such a weird and fun way that I was completely obsessed with it. When I started creating my own comics I wanted to tackle a big slasher so I decided to make my own. I wanted to do my own spin on the genre and wasn’t sure how popular it would be, so I decided to just have fun with the first graphic novel, which was conceived as a one-and-done. Luckily for me though the Slasher seemed to resonate with people, and I got to continue his story. I already had an idea where the story could go so I started to work on the Slasher as a trilogy.
Do you have a favourite story in the book?
…Pretty much all of them. The great thing about the Slasher being an anthology is that I’ve got to work with so many incredible creators, and with each one we’ve told a completely different type of story, that suits their particular style, which means it’s a really eclectic collection. The Slasher’s always been about me trying to have fun with the character, which means we’ve been able to put him into really great/unusual situations. A sole survivors anonymous group (for previous survivors to meet and discuss surviving), as a museum exhibit, fighting Santa at Christmas, the Slasher in hell, etc…, etc…
You’ve broadened things further with the Survive-Your-Own-Adventure and the game but were they always part of the plan?
Not at all. I’ve just been luckily that the Slasher’s given me the opportunity to tell whatever type of story I like, and when I’ve wanted to work on other projects (such as the game) it just made sense to use the Slasher as he’s so visceral and simple in definition that he translates really well.
What can you tell us about the new stories that you’re introducing for the collected edition?
There’s four short stories that have appeared elsewhere (various charity anthologies, and a Christmas special) as well as two all-new stories. The four shorts include the aforementioned battle with Santa, a guest appearance in a war comic, the Slasher at an auction house trying to reclaim his old items, and an appearance in a charity comic that focuses on isolation. The two new stories tie the collection together and hint where he may go in the future…
The semi-autobiographical Late Fees is available on the Kickstarter too – how did that feel having something a bit more personal on there?
Late Fees explores my relationship with horror and how it’s tied into my own life. It’s a deeply personal story about the relationship with my father, and how in-turn that influenced my relationship with my children, but featuring a killer samurai… Strangely out of everything I’ve ever written this is the one that most people seem to relate to. I think we all have relationships with certain nostalgic elements in our lives, and although we don’t always explore them, they can define us.
How’s it been with the Kickstarter so far?
It’s been really encouraging – there’s still a way to go as bringing this much together isn’t a small task, but so far we’ve had some great support. I don’t normally run Kickstarters for the full 30 days as they’re pretty much a full-time job in themselves, so maybe it’ll be best to ask me that question again in a few days! I know I’ve already bored myself on twitter, but unfortunately promotion is so important and it can make the difference between success and failure.
Do you think you’ll do more Samurai Slasher in the future?
I hope so – like I said, I’ve set up the idea for a new series exploring different themes. I’m a big fan of stories having a conclusion so it’ll fit within the world of the Samurai Slasher, but will be separate to this collection. My hope is that there will be enough momentum from the Kickstarter to dive straight into a new series. I really love the idea of developing the community side of the comic and getting the readership more involved. I think that’s the great thing with independent comics, they allow you to actively interact with the readership and to shape the future of what you create. The Slasher in particular is built from a place of nostalgia, and even though the series goes in its own direction I hope it’ll always have that feeling that so many find relatable.
Massive thanks to Mike for taking the time out to answer those questions and give us a bit more insight into the world of the Samurai Slasher.
You can get your hands on the full collection, Late Fees, the enamel pins, the game and LOADS more through the campaign link below: