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Brian Buccellato discusses Sons of the Devil

by stephengervais on March 12, 2015

One of the many titles we were excited about from this past January’s Image Expo was Brian Buccellato’s Sons of the Devil. Brian has been busy the past few years as the best selling writer of the Flash, Detective Comics, and Injustice. This will mark his second foray into the exciting world of creator-owned comic books. Joining him on this original psychological horror thrill ride is up-and-coming artist Toni Infante.
 
Sons of the Devil was launched as a Kickstarter campaign and was successfully funded last June. The story centres on TRAVIS, an average guy trying to get by, who discovers that he has familial ties to a deadly cult. Told across three decades, this thrilling new series is an exploration of cults, family, and the dark side of human nature. The tag line being used to describe the series is, “It's TRUE DETECTIVE and ORPHAN BLACK meets HELTER SKELTER.”
 
In anticipation of the May 27th release we had the opportunity to chat with Brian about series and what it was like putting it together.
 


To get started, for the readers who don’t know what this book is about, how would you describe it?
 
Sons of the Devil is an exploration into the dark side of human psychology.  It follows a father and son in the past and present across 40 years. Most of the time we focus on an orphaned adult who is searching for his lost siblings to save them from their murderous cult leader Dad – whose own narrative makes up the rest of the show. The story balances the real world with elements of the supernatural. It’s gritty, and character-driven. At the same time, it’s genre and tonally somewhere between American Horror Story and Orphan Black.
 
I’m always very curious to know what the inspiration of a story was before reading it. Could you tell us what made you want to write this story?
 
 
I’ve always been fascinated by cults. Jonestown and the nine hundred dead because they literally “drank the Kool Aid”… And Waco with the Branch Davidians going up in flames. I even read the Manson book Helter Skelter, which scared the HELL out of me.

What really intrigued me about these cults is how they were all driven by charismatic leaders who imposed their will upon others. So I wanted to write about these kinds of master manipulators who could inspire people to commit murder or even suicide…

…and when I saw an old picture of a dozen babies from Jonestown on a blanket I knew I had my way into the world. I wanted to know what happened to those kids… and if they every found out they were born into a cult.
 
 
A lot of your work is a collaborative effort with the great Francis Manapul. How is working with the equally awesome Toni Infante different than Francis and why did you want to do this story with him specifically?
 
 
When I work with Francis, we CO-WRITE together, he draws it and I color it. It’s is a very unique collaboration that we have. All the other writing I do (injustice, Black Bat, Foster) is solo… which is a completely different experience. As far as why I wanted to work with Toni, the answer is simple… he’s REALLY REALLY good. I found him online and was fortunate that we were able to partner up on Sons. He is bringing so much life and energy into the story that I can’t imagine anyone else doing it.
 
 
How long do you picture this series going on for? Is this a long-term project or a short-term?
 
 
I have at 5 story arcs that I would love to have the opportunity to do. Obviously, the challenge with creator owned and independents – even Image – is maintaining the sales necessary to keep the book profitable.  Fingers crossed, I would love to do at least 24 issues… hopefully more.
 
 
This being your first Image title, how is working at Image different to DC or Dynamite?
 
 
It’s apples and oranges. Working for Dc or Marvel or even Dynamite is WORK-FOR-HIRE. You are given a set of parameters and have to write within that box. And there are also people like Editors and publishers who weigh in on your work and can influence what you are allowed to write. The upside of dealing with those challenges is that you get to use awesome established characters like Batman and Flash. The downside is that you don’t always get to do what you want to do. Image is a company devoted to CREATOR-OWNED comics, which means that what you are reading is 100% the creator’s unfiltered vision. Creatively I answer to no one. So if you hate Sons of the Devil… I have no excuses. J
 
In your overall career, what does this book mean to you and how do you think it’ll impact your writing going forward?
 
 
Well, if it’s successful, then it will allow me another platform to deliver original content. If people buy Sons of the Devil and enjoy it… I’ll be able to follow it up with other stories.
 
 
This book has been compared to True Detective in the solicitation texts. How would you say it relates to that show? What will fans of that show like about this series and is the setting of the story as important to SOTD as True Detective? 
 
 
It’s like True Detective in overall tone and in its grounded take on horrific and potentially supernatural events. It’s also very much about relationships and character – which is hands down what I enjoyed most about the show. Both Sons and TD are character-driven explorations into the darker side of humanity.
 
 
What about this book sets itself apart from other projects you have worked on? 
 
 
It’s not at all like my DC superhero work. It’s darker and has a more real work Los Angeles setting. The stakes are different and in some ways are more personal than those you would see in my superhero work.
 
 
One question that has nothing to do with SOTD, are there any superhero comics that you would love to work on in the future, Marvel or DC?
 
 
I wish I could do a SUPERBOY comic using the version of Conner from Geoff and Francis’ run on Adventure Comics – but have him in Metropolis instead of Smallville.
 
 
And finally do you have any final plugs for any current or upcoming projects you’d like to share with the CTG readership?
 
I’m putting all my energy intro SOTD right now, so it’s all about getting the word out. I hope people really give the book a shot. And to those reading this… If this sounds like something you like, please ask your store to order it ASAP. J
 
We want to thank Brian for taking the time to talk to us here at CTG. We received an advance copy of issue one, which we will be reviewing on the release date, but trust us folks its fantastic! Image Comics will be publishing Sons of the Devil #1 on May 27th, 2015. Make sure to reserve your copy today at your local comic shop with the pre-order code, MAR150481.
 
 
 

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