Black Beetle Anniversary At Dark Horse Comics

by Vince Brusio

It's not every date you celebrate a milestone. However, that moment in the sun is about to happen for Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle character, which is commemorated in the upcoming Dark Horse Presents #28 (SEP160045). There's nothing more dear to a creator than a character of his or her creation, and the folks at Dark Horse wanted to help Francesco celebrate in style this year, so they gave us a golden opportunity to talk with the talented writer/artist in honor of the 10-year mark that will celebrate the Black Beetle's tenure in comic book history. Check out our PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview below, and look for Dark Horse Presents #28 (SEP160045) in comic book shops November 16.

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PREVIEWSworld: In Dark Horse Presents #28, a Black Beetle story is featured to commemorate the character’s ten-year anniversary. Is it safe to say that you’re looking forward to the next ten years? Is the plan still to keep pressing on for the indefinite future?

Francesco Francavilla: This year I’m celebrating ten years in comics and in a way celebrating ten years of The Black Beetle too, because I came up with its concept and design very early in my comic career. Originally I had started a couple of stories on my blogs; one ended up becoming No Way Out, the Black Beetle mini Dark Horse and I published back in 2013. The second was Kara Böcek, which readers will soon have the chance to read in the pages of DHP. I’m definitely planning to stick around and tell more Beetle tales. I’ve got so many ideas that are still waiting to be translated into sequential stories.

PREVIEWSworld: The title of the story is Kara Böcek. What can you tell us about the story itself, and what is the significance of the title?

Francesco Francavilla: Kara Böcek is literally “black beetle” in Turkish. The significance will be revealed at the end of the story, so I’m not gonna spoil it here *winks*, but what I can tell you is that this tale takes place a few years before No Way Out and recounts a very important quest for our beloved hero.

PREVIEWSworld: Of those characters featured in the story, will any of them be familiar to the reader? Or is this a new road crew? And what can you tell us about the warm bodies that will be populating the pages of this new tale?

Francesco Francavilla: Other than the Black Beetle, all the characters are new, so it’s a perfect jumping-on story—the fact that it takes place chronologically before No Way Out makes it even better for new readers, while old readers will recognize a thing or two by the time the story is over.

PREVIEWSworld: What was the inspiration for the story? Is it one that you’ve chiseled at over time? Or did the story originate over the past year? Did you approach it like any other story, or differently because of the anniversary?

Francesco Francavilla: As mentioned earlier, this is one of the first tales I came up with, even before the publication of the first mini. When we were talking with Dark Horse about doing more Black Beetle, they suggested an all-in-one tale for the Dark Horse Presents anthology, the same way I did with Night Shift. I thought Kara Böcek was perfect for this kind of format, so we went with it. I am working on a new and much longer story, which will be the Beetle’s second mini, Necrologue — out in 2017 — that will pick up from events at the end of No Way Out.

PREVIEWSworld: What do you get out of writing stories for the Black Beetle? Why are you passionate about this character? And what makes Dark Horse the right fit for your vision?

Francesco Francavilla: The Black Beetle is one of my earlier creations, kind of a first child of my creative mind, so I’m particularly attached to it, especially considering my love for all pulp things. Once I started drawing pages and nailing down the look for these stories, I instantly thought Dark Horse was the perfect place for it, so I’m glad things happened this way, and that DH is now the home of The Black Beetle.

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