Writer/artist Colin Lorimer’s latest project from Dark Horse Comics, Daisy, is sure to satisfy fans of horror comics, especially those interested in the religious horror subgenre. Lorimer’s deep dive into non-canonical Biblical texts sets readers up for a modern horror tale, filled with ancient evils and transgressions.
We got a chance to speak to Lorimer about Daisy and his previous series, The Hunt, in this exclusive interview (and if you see him at a convention, don’t ask him if it is dark fantasy!).
What are the origins of Daisy?
Colin Lorimer: Stanley Kubrick, daily prayers, and a hair shirt.
As a horror aficionado, the Bible is usually my go-to book when looking for ideas on disturbing content. I’d also been reading up on the astrologer and alchemist, John Dee who believed he was communicating with angels to the point of even transcribing his own divine language. This Enochian language led me to the non-canonical, somewhat controversial Book Of Enoch which tells of the fall of the Watcher angels and of how they copulated with humans creating these monstrous, cannibalistic children called the Nephilim. Combining these bloodthirsty giants with Dee’s divine language gave me the germ of a book.
I mean, what if one of the immortal Watcher angels lived among us today? Perhaps the Book of Enoch had been removed from the Bible because it held truths within that the church wanted desperately to keep hidden.
And what if a gangly, awkward, teenage giant named Daisy was descended from this ancient tainted bloodline and held a secret that could shake the meaning of creation to its very core?
The title of the book is taken from the song ‘Daisy Bell’ by Harry Dacre. It’s largely remembered as the song that the A.I. Hal in Kubrick’s 2001 sings as he slowly deactivates.
I lied about the hair shirt. I’ll pray on that one later.
Is there greater pressure when you are both the illustrator and writer on a comic or is there less due to the amount of personal control you have?
Lorimer: There is a certain amount of pressure that comes from writing and drawing a book so to avoid becoming too overwhelmed I approach it very methodically. It’s a matter of wearing a few creative hats. I try to manage and separate my time out as both writer and artist, making sure that everything script wise is working before I take it to the drawing table. Similarly as I would working with another creator.
I do enjoy the collaborative aspect of comics, not only for the camaraderie and the sharing of ideas, but also the motivation that comes with knowing that someone else is relying on your efforts as you do theirs. Working alone you don’t always have that added incentive. Thankfully, having worked a long time in TV and film production where you just can’t afford to lose focus… I’ve learned to be reasonably disciplined.
Any negatives are largely outweighed by the fact that I get to tell my story exactly as how I had originally envisioned it and for a creator—there’s nothing more rewarding.
And, let’s not forget that I do have some collaborators on this one; the remarkably gifted Joana Lafuente on colors who takes my art to a whole new level, and the equally talented Jim Campbell on letters.
Daisy veers from the mundane, real world, into areas of the fantastic. How do you give both aspects equal time?
There are a lot of elements at play in the story and with the very rich subject matter I had a huge canvas to play around on. The pacing was very important. I didn’t want the flashbacks to Biblical times or the ‘other’ visual and narrative side steps to be distracting but rather to have them impart the information needed whilst continuing to push and drive the story forward. It wasn’t easy but I think I achieved the right balance—just be warned as the story progresses readers may experience temporary memory loss, blindness, demonic possession, and stigmata. But don’t worry by issue #5 you’ll be miraculously healed.
Do you consider Daisy to be horror or dark fantasy or a combination of both?
Lorimer: Fantasy?! How dare you! Historical/horror, maybe?
Many fans remember your Image series The Hunt. How would you compare it to Daisy in terms of scope, theme?
Lorimer: The Hunt took elements from Irish folklore and turned them on their head and with Daisy I’m doing a similar thing with regards to the Bible. I guess you could say that Daisy is a spiritual sequel to The Hunt. Both books veer wildly into the fantastical but at their heart they are human stories about loss and grief. If The Hunt was W.B Yeats in tone Daisy would be William Blake.
You have worked on a number of intellectual property series. Do you have a favorite and how is it different in terms of creativity when compared to a creator-owned title?
Lorimer: Yes, I’ve worked on a few. I need to have some serious interest in the show to work on existing IP and I had that in spades with The X-Files, and The Prisoner. I also worked on a short of Hellraiser.
The biggest difficulty from an artist’s perspective is that as these projects are television based you have to capture the likeness of the actors, and with The X-Files, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny just aren’t that easy to draw. The Prisoner solved that problem by cleverly creating a new protagonist. As a writer you also have to contend with having knowledge of years of TV canon and making sure that your scripts pass muster with the copyright holders. You can be faced with a lot of red tape and many cooks in the kitchen!
It’s fun getting to work on those type of comics but I find creator-owned work much more preferable—building new worlds with complete freedom and having ownership over your own property is a much more satisfying prospect.
Lorimer: Having completed Daisy I’m in the early stages of developing another comic book and have a YA novel in the works. I’m also currently working on The Last of Us TV series having recently completed art duties on James Gunn’s Peacemaker.