In perhaps the greatest team-up since chocolate and peanut butter, Dynamite Entertainment has teamed up with IDW Publishing to unite two of Bruce Campbell’s iconic characters into one groovy, kick-ass mini-series, Army of Darkness / Bubba Ho-Tep.
In the series, Ash embarks on a soul-searching road trip to Texas on a hunch that Elvis Presley may still be alive and kicking (and supposedly vanquished a mummy)! What follows is a series of universe-spanning events that involve an Elvis jumpsuit with special time-travel abilities, a trip to 70’s Vegas, plus the reveal of an evil new Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon Ho-Tep. Has Ash met his ultimate match when trading barbs with a 4,000-year-old, foul-mouthed mummy who sucks souls? Can his idol Elvis mentor him through a mid-life crisis before it becomes his final crisis?
FOG! sat down with our old friend (and previous FOG! contributor), writer Scott Duvall to discuss the book’s origins, writing the different voices of Bruce Campbell and his possible upcoming projects.
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FOG!: What was the genesis of Army of Darkness/Bubba Ho-Tep?
Scott Duvall: This idea has been rattling around in the back of my mind for a few years. I couldn’t believe it had never been done. Once the stars aligned and everyone got on board, it didn’t take long to map out Ash’s journey and how it would bring him and Elvis into contact.
I already knew exactly the kind of interplay I wanted to see between these two iconic Bruce Campbell characters and once it was approved, everything fell into place from there. And thanks to my amazing collaborators, it looks better than I ever could have imagined!
Bubba Ho-Tep creator Joe R. Lansdale stated, “Script and artist for the first issue of Army of Darkness vs Bubba Ho-tep are as delicious as a fried peanut butter and ‘nanner sandwich. I’m as excited as if I had good sense and owned Ft. Knox. Can’t wait.” What was your reaction when you read that?
I could not be more thrilled to hear Joe say that about our efforts! He’s been incredibly encouraging from day one. With some of these legacy characters we get a chance to work on, we don’t always have the opportunity to receive feedback directly from the creative forces behind these works which we are adding to the tapestry of, so it really is a confidence boost when you feel like you’re living up to the creator’s vision of how a character should be presented.
Having Joe’s support means everything and we’re honored to get to tell this story.
How did you come across artist Vincenzo Federici and what does he bring to the project?
Vincenzo was a new and welcome discovery for me that Dynamite editorial brought to my attention. I loved everything about his take on the two lead characters from the moment I saw them and knew we’d be in great hands based on those initial designs. Vincenzo manages to top my expectations with each issue. His superior eye for action and talent for making each karate chop and flying kick leap off the page has pushed me as a writer to up the ante and throw as many crazy ideas at him as possible just to see how he handles it.
Luckily for all of us, Vincenzo takes everything to the next level and combined with Michele Monte’s striking color palette and Taylor Esposito’s top notch lettering, it’s page after page of glorious eye candy.
Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams has a very distinct voice (appearing in three movies and in three seasons of a television series), whereas Campbell’s Elvis has only appeared in one film. Did you find finding either voice harder than another to write?
Ash’s voice has been in my head for way longer, and having grown up with it, it wasn’t too hard to come up with good Ash lines. Joe Lansdale’s version of Elvis has an unmistakable voice as well which was a blast to play with and so putting words into the mouths of both of these characters simultaneously was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.
In addition to watching the movies on repeat while developing the story, I read the original Bubba Ho-Tep short story the movie is based on to further capture Lansdale’s Elvis, as well as the comic book adaptation of Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers, a must-read for fans of the original Bubba story.
What else do you have coming up?
I have pitches in various stages of development, but nothing I can talk about yet. Although I always like to tease that I’ve got something brewing with my previous collaborator and friend Ralf Singh who is doing some amazing work with his latest Zinnober from Scout Comics.
You previously worked as a publicist for several different comic companies. If you were to use one sentence to tell sell readers on Army of Darkness/Bubba Ho-tep, what would it be?
It’s TWO Bruce Campbell’s for the price of ONE!
What are you currently geeking over?
I just read Age of X-Man: Alpha and loved it so I’m really enjoying the X comics I’ve been picking up. The last movie I saw in theaters was Into the Spider-Verse and I loved that too. I geeked out over the trailer for Us from Jordan Peele. Get Out was one of my favorite movies in recent years so I’m pretty excited to see what he does next. I rarely listen to today’s music anymore, I just keep discovering “new” music from three decades ago (including an unexpected Phil Collins deep dive) so please hit me with some recommendations!