EAT MY FLESH, DRINK MY BLOOD, created by Frankee White (Broken Bear, Starless Daydream), Adam Markiewicz (The Great Divide, Broken Bear, and Into The N-Zone) and A.H.G. (Boom Studios’ Dark Blood, Broken Bear, Starless Daydream) is an absurd romantic horror encompassed in a 52-page magazine-sized graphic novel.
John and Lisa are engaged and looking towards their future when John receives a letter from his past. John’s estranged father is dying, and his mother wants him to meet with them both for mass at their parish. Lisa, curious about this mostly blank spot in her fiancé’s life, presses him to heal his family wounds. John agrees on one condition: Lisa must join him. What comes next is a dive into a uniquely absurd romantic horror by the creative team behind the critically acclaimed graphic novel, BROKEN BEAR, that asks: How far will you go to be with the one you love?
Cass: What’s your favorite sandwich?
Frankee: Great first question! I’m pretty simple; I could go for a ham and cheddar but with potato chips on it.
Cass: In the book, you take an everyday situation (meeting in the in-laws) which already has a bit of scare in it. Why do you think everyday life is a source of inspiration for such intense horror?
Frankee: Honestly, because everyday life can be a bit scary. The tension and anxiety that comes with everyday life is a perfect well for horror to pull from. The fun of it comes with exaggeration of those anxieties to create a space using real fear that can be fun to inhabit (just for a little bit).
Cass: What do you think makes horror and romance mix as well as it does in Eat my Flesh, Drink my Blood?
Frankee: In the case of Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood, it comes from being true to our leads, Lisa & John. The best romances and horror work when you genuinely care for those characters, when you want to see them succeed as they go through their trials and tribulations. Making them feel real is the first act of that, and then putting them through the wringer is a similar process for both genres, even if the act of it is wildly different. I guess matters of the heart and horror aren’t too far off from each other.
Cass: One thing I found interesting about the book is the way you turn metaphoric language into literal situations creating a horrific scenario. What made you think of this connection between metaphorical and horror?
Frankee: Turning metaphorical into literal felt like the natural thing to do here, considering a good portion of the foundation for the narrative is rooted in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In the Catholic faith, what is considered a metaphorical act in many other religious doctrines is a literal one. The bread and wine ARE the body and the blood of Christ. Taking that ritual and amplifying it times 100 felt like the right way to go.
Cass: What are the best instruments that the comic medium gives you to write horror?
Frankee: I actually think the comic medium makes it harder to write horror as opposed to Film or TV. Not having music to guide your viewer means that you need your words and images to be doubly effective, but that’s where the benefit of the medium comes in. Those images aren’t going anywhere. A kill in a film can be on the screen for a second or two. A kill in a comic sits there, and it’s up to the viewer to look away from it if they can.
Cass: What are some of your favorite underrated horror and romance tropes?
Frankee: I’m a bit traditional for both, but in horror, I love it when a person goes into a dark room alone, and in romance, I love when the couple gets the big romantic kiss as the music swells.
Cass: Did the team dynamic change from Broken Bear (your previous work as a team) to this project?
Frankee: Not really. Adam Markiewicz, the artist, A.H.G., the colorist, and I have a really great working relationship, so that process remained relatively the same. We all trust each other to do the best work possible for the book. The biggest difference this time around was using Discord as our primary means of communication, so we were constantly talking through ideas every step of the way.
Cass: How would you describe your favorite scene of the book only using the emotions it made you feel while writing it?
Frankee: Sad, then a combination of surprise, happiness, and fear for what could possibly come next.
Cass: What would you say is the main motivation for telling this story?
Frankee: I love the horror genre, and I wanted to do something that felt totally new and unique. Not to “elevate” it but to lengthen what we consider horror to be. I’m hoping this book can be a bridge that satiates diehard fans of the genre but brings new readers in who may tend to avoid the genre.
Cass: What are some of your inspirations that might make people interested in Eat my Flesh, Drink my Blood?
Frankee: My inspirations for this were primarily driven by grindhouse horror, taking the extremity of content and bluntness of message those films had, but combining it with genuine, earnest human relationships that the reader might see in their everyday life and take part in. Being in a relationship with a partner, your parents, or your faith can be hard and demanding. Sometimes those relationships require you to make hard decisions. So it’s a book for people who have had to make hard decisions and live with the consequences.