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AICN COMICS SDCC Q&@ (2/15):BALLS OF FURY's Dan Fogler talks about his new comic MOON LAKE & movie HYSTERICAL PSYCHO! + preview!

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AICN COMICS: Q&@ is our new semi-weekly interview column where some of your favorite @$$Holes interview comic bookdom’s biggest, brightest, newest, and oldest stars. Enjoy this latest in-depth interview filled with @$$y goodness and be sure to look for more AICN COMICS as we gaze into the future of comics every week with AICN COMICS: SPINNER RACK PREVIEWS every Monday and then join the rest of your favorite @$$Holes for their opinions on the weekly pull every Wednesday with AICN COMICS REVIEWS!

Q’s by Ambush Bug!

@’s by MOON LAKE’s Dan Fogler!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with the second of fifteen mighty interviews I conducted at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. This time around, we have Dan Fogler, who most may recognize for his comedic talents in such films as BALLS OF FURY and FANBOYS. But turns out Dan likes comics too and has a new comic coming out this fall from Archaia called MOON LAKE and a new film called HYSTERICAL PSYCHO. I had a chance to sit down and chat with Dan about both at the Archaia booth early on in the con. Here’s what Dan had to say about MOON LAKE and HYSTERICAL PSYCHO…
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): So tell me a little bit about MOON LAKE.

DAN FOGLER (DF): Sure, MOON LAKE comes from a movie I directed called HYSTERICAL PSYCHO which will be out around Halloween. That movie takes place at this eternally haunted evil region up north called Moon Lake. In that movie, I was told it’s kind of like Hitchcock on acid. So I thought it would be cool to do a HITCHCOCK PRESENTS on acid or TALES FROM THE CRYPT on crack or TWILIGHT ZONE on THC. That’s basically how I’ve been pitching it. It’s an anthology. And it tells all of these hysterically psychotic stories from prehistoric times until now. And some of my favorite stories are the ones that take place eons ago before the flood, you know.

BUG: So were you a fan of those old anthologies, the EC comics stuff?

DF: Oh yeah, the TALES FROM THE CRYPT stuff, CREEPSHOW. Of course. I grew up on that. TWILIGHT ZONE. AMAZING STORIES. And this is an homage to all of that. And definitely HEAVY METAL THE MOVIE. I love the movie because of the narrative that is all connected. In our movie and comic, we have this narrator, this obese Hitchcockian guy. Did you see the panel last night?
Editors note: Dan’s talking about an early clip from HYSTERICAL PSYCHO that was shown at the Archaia panel the first day of the con.

BUG: Yeah, I loved that footage. Can you tell me a little more about the movie that’s coming out in the Fall?

DF: It’s called HYSTERICAL PSYCHO. It’s the first movie I directed that went to Tribeca and it’ll probably play some of the horror festivals this year. I made a black and white version and we now have a color version now, which is very cool. It’s got a drive in feel to it. That was with my studio called Studio 13 which is my production company, and we’re making movies all the time now. That movie is basically a bunch of friends go up to Moon Lake. It’s a classic, friends go out to the middle of the woods to find themselves and they may never come back.

BUG: So is this an anthology too?

DF: No, it’s a movie, but it could be one of the stories in the comic.

BUG: Are you planning on adapting that at some point for comics?

DF: Ahh, yeah…I mean…I feel weird about taking a movie and then reverting it back to a graphic novel. It’s tricky.

BUG: Yeah, sometimes it seems like movie adaptations are not that successful.

DF: I think people sometimes feel like it’s regurgitated, you know? It would look fuckin’ cool, though. If I reverse engineered it into a graphic novel, I think I would add several more bells and whistles and really expand the story.

BUG: So you come from a comedy and film background. You’re best known for comedies like BALLS OF FURY and FANBOYS. Has horror always been a part of your life or are you new to this genre?

DF: I’m a fan of storytelling. I’m a huge fan of HEAVY METAL and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. I’m a fan first. So when I had the idea for HYSTERICAL PSYCHO, there’s this movie coming out where I play a young Hitchcock. And I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting in preparation for that film to make my own black and white homage to Hitchcock?

BUG: Is that your voice in the cartoon?

DF: Yeah. (laughs)

BUG: Yeah, I thought it was. You did a great job with that.

DF: Thanks. So that was my little screen test in animated form. And for the cartoon, that’s his older version. The movie I’m in has him in his twenties. He’s bohemian. So HYSTERICAL PSYCHO was an experiment, kind of. I was like, OK, I’ll go a little method with this and make it modern with a hallucinogenic twist.

BUG: So what’s the name of the movie where you’re playing a young HitchcocK?

DF: That’s called THE NUMBER THIRTEEN. And that’s way down the line, but HYSTERICAL PSYCHO was in preparation for that role. And then that blossomed into a love of directing I have. And now I have this universe and now I’m trying to make it into a franchise. That’s the fuckin’ beautiful thing. You know, I’ve got a million ideas, but sometimes something just comes to the front burner and somehow you have a possible franchise on your hands and you can expand on that in comics.

BUG: How does the fact that you are an actor and a comedian help you in making comics?

DF: I’m very visual in the way I see the world. I think that it’s hard to do comedy in written form. I think that the freedom that they gave me with the narrator to just be as raunchy and insane and over the top as possible. They let me take a lot of risks. I think people are going to dig it. I don’t think people have ever seen this much hysterical raunchiness coming from one character before. So I’m hoping people really dig it.

BUG: I really like the concept you have for this MOON LAKE universe you created about the moon being the bastard son of the earth and developing this hatred for earth. Can you tell the readers a little more about that? It’s a really cool concept. Did that come from a fever dream or an all night binge or something?

DF: You know, I was watching the Discovery Channel one day and I was learning about how some scientists theorize that our planet was once something called Tiamat, which was this larger thing, then another planet…basically while the pool balls were settling on the table, they smashed into us and that broke off a piece of the earth and created the moon. And I thought, whoa, that’s like STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, you know, ships passing in the night. These two hot and heavy bodies crashing together and they create this other being. And it’s a piece that becomes the moon. And I thought, why not call the earth the mother and maybe the moon is the bastard son. And the moon’s job is the shield in our solar system and basically it protects us. And that’s why it’s riddled with craters. It’s basically this defense shield we have from all of those meteorites and comets from the universe and I thought it would be interesting to give the moon a consciousness. How would he feel if that was his plight in life? So now you have this seething moon that hates his mother for bringing him into this world and during one of those meteor strikes, a piece of the moon is broken off and lands on earth. And now, he has a little foothold on earth so he can do his little deeds and hurt his mother and mankind in the process.

BUG: And that crater becomes MOON LAKE. So all the stories are centered around this lake.

DF: This crater is irradiated with lunar radiation which makes people go insane. It has different effects on different people. It gives some people super powers, kills some people, creates hybrids, creates creatures, supernatural storms. There are so many reasons why that spot is evil. There are rips in the space time continuum. There’s influences from different multiverses. It’s like a grand central station where all of these evil things merge.

BUG: So this book coming out in October is an anthology. What part do you write in the story?

DF: I’m writing the narrator. And I basically, I conceived the universe and all the story ideas come through me. Some of them, like BLACK BEAR BLUES, I went to the guys behind that and I told them, how about a were-bear story? And they were up for that and it turned out as a sick twisted version of the documentary GRIZZLY MAN.
And then there are other stories like DESENSITIZED DIEDRE who I created with R.H. Stavis. We thought about this girl who is this perfect girl who was born on the day of a supernatural storm over Moon Lake. And all of these other weirdoes were born on that day who turn out to be different heroes and bad guys as they grow up. But her thing is that she’s so perfect. She’s the cheerleader type. Everyone loves her. Then one day everything goes wrong. Her parents are killed. She doesn’t get into the college of her choice. Her boyfriend is involved in some really weird fratboy activities and she comes home and her house if burning down. And she goes insane and gets hit by lightning. So she goes to this wonderland, this cartoon fantasy world where she thinks she’s feeding lollipops to teddy bears when in actuality she’s shoving a brain saw into her nurse’s face. I love that character.
There’s Cave Girl who I love. She’s a prehistoric sorceress. One of the first heroes in MOON LAKE. These zombie dinosaurs attack her village. She disperses all the zombie dinosaurs but one, who we dubbed Z-Rex, who becomes her friend. So you have this team of a hot cave girl sorceress chick and her pet, love sick puppy, zombie dinosaur.
There are alien stories. We have this concept where there are Grays living on the dark side of the moon. And they also use Moon Lake as a stronghold to take over the world. We have Moon Wars where we’ve been at war with the moon for years and the government has been trying to keep it from us. They recently bombed for water on the moon, but in the story that’s bullshit. That’s a cover up for this war with the moon.

BUG: So are you planning on bringing all of these stories together at some point to a more epic story?

DF: Yeah, definitely. It’s all tied into the beginning and end of time.

BUG: Well, it sounds like a really exciting book. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

DF: Great, thanks, man. It was fun.

BUG: Look for MOON LAKE in stores in October from Archaia and Dan’s movie HYSTERICAL PSYCHO in theaters in October as well. I’ll leave you with the frikkin’ awesome trailer for HYSTERICAL PSYCHO!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Check out his ComicSpace page for his entries the MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 & MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1 anthologies. Bug was interviewed here & here (about AICN Comics) & here & here (on VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2). Bug’s latest comic is VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21: WITCHFINDER GENERAL (available in June’s Previews Order # JUN10 0825) on sale in late August. Bug was also interviewed here & here about his upcoming original vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK (available in June's Previews Order #JUN10 0824) due out in late August. Bug also has a 10 pg story in Zenescope’s upcoming WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 (in July Previews Order # JUL10 1200). Support a Bug by checking out his comics!

Interested in more SDCC 2010 coverage? Check out these previous reports from AICN COMICS!
Bug's Post-SDCC Wrap-Up!
Bug hosts Horror Filmmakers Discuss the Art of Fear Panel at SDCC!
superhero's Pics from SDCC 2010!
SDCC Q&@ (1 of 15): Bug with LOSERS artist Jock!
Bug Moderates HALO-8's SDCC Panel + GODKILLER review!

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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