Bad Moon Rising on Brian Azzarello's Moonshine

by Vince Brusio

Challenge is what drives Brian Azzarello to work in comics. Complacency is not an option. Moving the needle is where it’s at, baby. Take the London Symphony Orchestra, have it conducted by a backwoods banjo player, and get it all on tape. Then mix it with Sound Recorder on a computer loaded with Windows 97. Sound strange? Well how about werewolves mixing it up with gangsters during prohibition? That’s what Brian Azzarello thinks is lightning in a bottle. Read about Brian’s take on his latest project, Moonshine, with artist Eduardo Risso in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview!

Moonshine Volume 1 TP (FEB170696) is in comic shops May 24.

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PREVIEWSworld: A story set during prohibition which crosses gangsters and the supernatural. That’s quite a cocktail of pain. So what was the inspiration for the story? What kickstarted the brain that now comes to fruition in the Moonshine Volume 1 TP (FEB170696)?

Brian Azzarello: I wanted to tell some stories with classic monsters but with a genre twist-- American Monster from Aftershock Comics is an example of me taking on Frankenstein with that approach. (BTW — If you're supporting that book — and a lot of you are — thanks.) Anyway I started thinking werewolves, breaking down their core elements and the title smacked me: Moonshine. Then the dominos fell.

PREVIEWSworld: The partnership is familiar, but the publishing house is different. Both you and Eduardo Risso worked together on 100 Bullets, but this is the first time you’re doing something for Image Comics. Did the change in publisher have any effect on the story you’re telling?

Brian Azzarello: Not really. At this point in our long careers the madness to our method is etched in stone. We're old dogs. What has changed is all that we're involved in, from solicited to promoting. It's exciting — and exhausting. Like I said, we're old dogs.

PREVIEWSworld: You’re going from picturing city slickers to back woods moonshiners. That’s night and day. Big band music one minute, and dueling banjos the next. Did you consciously clash certain elements together to see what would affect the feel and mood for Moonshine?

Brian Azzarello: I think mixing genre and style elements is something we've done forever. 100 Bullets certainly did. Most of our Batman work too. Definitely Spaceman. So it's no surprise we're doing it again with Moonshine; working that way is invigorating. So is Big Band Banjo music.

PREVIEWSworld: Why did you both decide to work with each other on this project? What is it about this story that made your partnership the right fit?

Brian Azzarello: Well, we both respect each other and we're proud of the body of work we've created together. It's great to have a history. Having a future is pretty cool too.

PREVIEWSworld: What was the most challenging aspect of working on Moonshine, and what was the most rewarding?

Brian Azzarello: Probably the same thing; working on a book at Image. It's a new publisher for us. We're excited to see where this goes.

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Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.

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