Stephen King

Interview with Robin Furth





The Dark Tower comic book was planned for 30 issues and Battle of Jericho Hill was supposed to end this project. Surprisingly for all, the information about next 30 issues appeared. Who was the originator of the new chapter, 'The Gunslinger'?

While I was plotting THE FALL OF GILEAD, the folks at Marvel told me that they were really interested in doing another thirty issues following Roland's travels and travails seeking the Dark Tower. They spoke to Steve King and he agreed to the new series, but he really wanted us to focus on some of Roland's later adventures. I thought that was a great idea, since we were in the perfect position to move from THE BATTLE OF JERICHO HILL to the events recounted in THE GUNSLINGER and THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA. My biggest challenge then was to bridge the time period between THE BATTLE OF JERICHO HILL and the story of Roland's experiences in Tull, which as you know opens the first novel of the Dark Tower saga. In order to do this, I turned to the original novels and the tales of Roland's youth which can be found there, hidden like gems within the narrative. I also turned to Steve King, whose brain is a goldmine. When I mentioned giving Roland a bumbler companion, he really liked the idea. In fact, he said that we should make Billy be the tet-mate (and Twinner) of Oy. As you've probably already guessed, the story of Hax which you'll find in Issue 3 is taken directly from THE GUNSLINGER.

Unfortunately the amount of the readers descends with each new arc. Do you afraid that MARVEL at some point will stop the project?

Luckily for us, even though the number of comic book readers decreases with each arc, we still have a decent following for the graphic novel versions. In fact, many readers don't pick up the comics since they want the whole tale as it is recounted in the hardbacks! So, with all that in mind, I really hope we can continue tale.

With the beginning of a new chapter an artist was changed again. Jae Lee was replaced by Sean Phillips. Why?

To tell you the truth, I don't know all of Jae's reasons. I do know that the Dark Tower deadlines are incredibly intense, so a break from the stress is probably a good thing for his health! Jae did a fantastic job and I'm sure the fans miss him. We're incredibly lucky to have gotten Sean to take over the penciling. He is doing an amazing job too.

What do you think about Philips' works. How do you feel about differences in styles between these two artists?

They are really different artists, but I'm a fan of both. Jae's work is sinuously beautiful, and even though he loves to draw broken things and ruined landscapes, they are always gorgeous! Sean goes for a grittier style but at the same time really gives a sharp focus to the ruined landscape, the characters, and the story flow. I love both.

The new chapter is about "unknown years" of Roland's live. Will we see events we have already get to know from the novels?

Ah yes! I don't want to say too much since I don't want to spoil what is to come, but you WILL meet Hax again. And for those of you who are intrigued by Not-Men, or by what happened to Farson's troops after the battles were over, well... you'll learn about them too.

Many fans hope for the adaptation of 'The Little Sisters of Eluria'. Can we count on in?

The LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA is one of my all-time favorite tales. You will be seeing A LOT of them!

We think that your article in 'Journey Begins' #2 is some kind of apologizing for changes and novelties that appeared in the new series. Did you get some critical mails after premiere of issue #1?

Actually, I didn't! That apology was a "just-in-case"! As I was writing this story arc, I kept wondering what long-time Dark Tower fans would think of it. Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy, so I imagined all the arguments against what I was doing. Then I answered them. I guess it was my way of arguing with my own self-doubts. If in the end the article proved illuminating for readers or people who wondered what the heck I was doing, then that's good.

Concerning your articles in the bonus section. You wrote about Mid World, characters, events, customs, etc. Then you focused on showing us the process of making the comic, so we could know how you and the rest of the team create each issues. What will you focuse on in next articles?

I want to spend a little time analyzing Roland's relationship with Hax, the traitorous head cook from Gilead. I also want to take another look at bumblers. After that I'm going to examine the workings of ka more closely. But in the long run, I think I'll return to telling some Mid-World folktales and expanding on Mid-World history. That's always fascinating for me.

You are a director of 'Discordia' project. What happens with it? There was a great trailer that promised a great game. Meanwhile we got one short chapter in which we saw few locations where we could find not many objects. It has been few months since then and nothing is going on...

Don't worry - there is more to come! The folks designing the game had a lot of other work to catch up on for the website. However, the next chapter is in the works now. (We're having some meetings about it this week.) I'm very excited since it's going to be good!

Stephen King annouced that he's going to write another Dark Tower book. It has been already entitled - 'The Wind Through The Keyhole'. You worked on the last three volumes. Did King invited you to work with him this time? Do you know anything about this book?

Steve has told me about the new book and about how relates to what has already happened. Fans are in for a treat! It's going to be a great tale but unfortunately at the moment it is also top secret! So, the Crimson King will come for me if I tell . . .

Thank you and we hope to talk to you again after these new 30 issues being released.  

Thanks Grzesiek!

[With Robin Furth talked: Grzesiek Tupikowski]


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