Creator Tyler Crook comes into his own as little nightmare comic auteur with The Lonesome Hunters.

For his creator-owned series The Lonesome Hunters with little nightmare comicauteur, Harrow County artist Tyler Crook is responsible for writing and creating the artwork.

Howard was a champion against dark magic, according to his family. The liars. Howard has now spent a century avoiding magic as much as he can. Lupe, who lives above him, has recently been thrown into a magical horror show, and only Howard can save her. In Tyler Crook’s The Lonesome Hunters, the two of them combine to form an Odd Couple of mages.

When it comes to The Lonesome Hunters, which will be released by Dark Horse Comics on July 22 and is known for its watercolour depictions of strange Americana in books like B.P.R.D., Colonel Weird: Cosmagog, and Harrow County, Crook is pulling double duty as both writer and artist.

Newsarama spoke with him before of the start of the series to learn more about the comic, his favourite horror film, and a few peculiar birds. Continue reading to learn more, and don’t forget to ask your neighbourhood comic book store to order the Lonesome Hunters right now since it’s free on Monday, May 30.

For Newsarama, Grant DeArmitt: Starting out Tyler, talk to me about the magpies. They were really disturbing in this book. From where did they originate?

Timothy Crook It’s challenging since I began working on The Lonesome Hunters just before finishing the Witchfinder novel. That was maybe nine years ago, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t recall where the magpies came from, but they were there from the beginning. It’s odd since I recently become interested in birds, but I’m not sure how it relates. Birds, in my opinion, are strangely cool. We purchased chickens a couple years back, and it was really probably one of the factors that started taking this project back up and working on it.

The idea that magpies amass sparkling objects has always appealed to me about them. I’ve always been curious as to what that may be. During my study for this book, I discovered that’s not quite the case. It is a folkloric concept. No bird collects [shiny things] more than magpies do.

Nrama: I unquestionably believed that to be the case.

Crook: Well, in The Lonesome Hunters, they definitely care about flashy items.

Nrama: Do you have a source to draw upon in terms of folklore? This work has an occult element that is firmly rooted in folk horror. Is that what you’re referencing?

Crook: Sincerely, I’m attempting to draw from as many occult and folklore sources as I can. At the very start of the book, there is some Freemasonry-related information. The magpies have some influences from mostly European mythology as well as certain Native American beliefs and tales about animals taking on human characteristics. As the comic develops, there will be a lot of historical beliefs. At this point in the series, we’re only going to briefly touch on it.

Nrama: What episode is this from? Does it imply that beyond these first four issues, there will be more Lonesome Hunters?

Crook: Tap the wood. I’m hoping I can continue it for some time. These two individuals have a lot of tale to share.

Nrama: So, is this comic more associated with Hellboy? Was it your intention to develop these characters and then place them in a setting where they might have an endless number of adventures?

Crook: I don’t believe there are countless options. However, I believe that I got the idea that I wanted to create a tale about how these individuals met and began their adventures. You know, I hear people discussing this book and expressing their excitement for a traditional “monster hunter” type of tale. However, I believe that after reading it, readers will realise that it’s not exactly that. Certainly not in the manner they had anticipated. These characters differ slightly from what people are used to.

Nrama: You’re right, just like Howard’s persona. He may have begun as a conventional monster hunter, but that quickly changes.

Yes, it is pretty evident in the first four pages that he is not the character that the other characters in the story anticipate him to be. Crook I’m not sure if I should continue. It’s challenging to navigate knowing what constitutes a spoiler and what does not because this is my first series as a writer. In Harrow County, I wrote a few backup stories, but this is my first complete series.

Nrama: Do your methods as a writer and an artist vary in any way? Did you ultimately decide to write a conventional script?

I didn’t write a script in the conventional sense, Crook. Since I’m new to writing, my method is still sort of developing, but the way I went about this was to plan everything. Before I had the outline where I wanted it, I probably went through five or six different revisions of it. The dialogue was then just put on top of pretty sloppy thumbnails to create my initial pass. The conversation was then further written down, pencilled, and finally coloured.

Writing and sketching it makes [the tale] feel more pliable, which is a very great thing. Normally, we don’t want to make many changes to a script once I receive it from a writer. However, there are several story-related items that I don’t discover until much later. Oh my, I have to remedy this, I think as I locate them. I’ll simply do it because I’m also the writer. I’m not required to complete a whole email thread or anything of the kind. That’s nice.

Nrama: So, would you say that the process is more streamlined?

No, Crook. Without a doubt. It’s just as hard. There’s always that discussion on Twitter about who does what, a writer versus an artist. It’s true that both the writing and drawing the story are both very hard to do. So basically I simply made it twice as hard by writing it myself.

Nrama: How much did the Lonesome Hunters’ success be influenced by your work on Harrow County?

Crook: Working on Harrow County has been a lot of fun, partly because Cullen [Bunn, the author] and I have similar approaches to writing tales. particularly narrating frightening tales We both enjoy creepiness a lot. Because that small amount of scary is, in my opinion, a lot more emotionally engaging than attempting to do other forms of horror, I believe it’s a much better thing to accomplish with comics than gory horror or shock horror stuff. We both seem to agree on that.

I can do it as much as I can now that I’m writing this one. I believe that horror content that speaks to me is grounded in real-world events. That makes me a lot more frightened than the idea that “here’s that specific sort of monster with eight legs instead of six.” The human response is the thing that terrifies me.

Nrama: Could you give me an illustration of that? What is a horror story based on real-life events?

The episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy’s mother is dead and nobody can communicate to them is, in my opinion, a pretty excellent illustration. All of these individuals are coping with the trauma, but they are unable to discuss it, and a monster is actually pursuing them. Even so, the physical altercation and scurrying around are really just a metaphor for the real-life drama the characters are experiencing.

Additionally, this story arc in which some hunters visit Harrow County was one of my favourite things we’ve ever done there. When they engage with our character, The Abandoned, they do this thing where they raise their heads as if they are about to howl, but they don’t really make any sounds. They have a tonne of hunting dogs. They’re just acting strangely.

I adore that because I would worry out to death if my dog did something similar. That’s not right, but it’s also just strange enough to make you think, “That might possibly happen.”

Of course, I also enjoy other things. I enjoy pure magic and that kind of stuff, but I also enjoy it when events are grounded in reality so that we can disrupt that reality and give it significance.

Nrama: In relation to constructing reality, I wanted to discuss the colour scheme you used in this book. You employ hues that resemble subdued parchment brown. Why?

Crook: I went through a very peculiar approach to get at the colour scheme. Much of it stems from just like yellows. Although it may sound unusual, I believe that yellow in general is one of those hues that serves as the foundation for a lot of things. Simply add a yellow to red to make it more vibrant. The yellow glows due to its chroma. The same is true for green; adding it raises the chroma level of your green and makes it appear brilliant and shining.

Because I was loving utilising a lot of yellows and the physical act of painting those, I became drawn to working in really warm hues. But like I keep saying, I wanted it to seem both grounded in reality and little floppy and dreamy. The book has quite a few topics that are sort of vignetted. The panel’s corners are a touch dark, giving the impression that you are seeing an antique photograph of something. However, I didn’t want it to have a completely constrained colour scheme, so I’m sort of saving it for flashbacks and other such situations.

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