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The Lowdown on Killadelphia With Rodney Barnes

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

Last week, Rodney Barnes and artist Jason Shawn Alexander had their new book, Killadelphia, hit the stands. It was absolutely amazing. It was the perfect mix of crime/noir and supernatural. It was one of my favorite new Image books and I had to find out more about this great new book.

I immediately reached out to Rodney to get the scoop on where the idea cam from and what we can expect form the book going forward. Luckily for me, he was more than happy to oblige. I hope you guys enjoy, If you haven't picked up the book yet, I highly recommend you get out to your LCS and pick up a copy before it sells out. Yeah it's that good!

COMIC LOUNGE: Hey Rodney, first off let's talk about your new book Killadelphia which was came ou this past week. For those that haven't picked it up yet, can you talk a little about it?

RODNEY BARNES: Sure. Killadelphia is part horror/mystery, part love story and part social statement. It’s one of those stories that you write because it haunts you. And I can safely say it’s the most personal story I’ve ever written.

COMIC LOUNGE: The mix of a noir/detective/supernatural story is really interesting. Where did this idea come from?

BARNES: I love detective stories as well as horror. Kolchak the Night Stalker/Strangler hit me pretty hard when I saw it as a child. This is sort an homage to that show and a bunch of others.

COMIC LOUNGE: My first reaction after reading it, was that it had a little bit of a David Fincher vibe to it. What were some influences when coming up with his story?

BARNES: The Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing Hammer films, Salem’s Lot, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Blacula, Seven, True Detective, Dennis Lehane, the aforementioned Kolchak the Night Stalker and about a dozen more films, TV shows and books. James Sangster was a screenwriter for the Hammer folks as well as a scribe on a Nightstalker episode. Loved his work. 

COMIC LOUNGE: What made you decide to add the the supernatural and historical fiction elements to this crime tale?

BARNES: I’ve had this idea in my head since I was 8 years old so it morphed and shifted over time. After I saw the play “Hamilton” John Adams was the missing element. Vampires have been a love for the better part of my life. My father, who was a photographer, took a photo of a dead body that had bite marks on it. When I asked him what could have done that he replied “Rats”. In my mind he said Vampires. 

COMIC LOUNGE: How did you and Jason Shawn Alexander hook up for this book?

BARNES: I interviewed Jason for an art book about six or seven years ago. We became fast friends. We’ve pitched each other ideas to collaborate on and Killadelphia hit the spot for both of us. 

COMIC LOUNGE: How long have you had the idea for this book before deciding to move forward with it?

BARNES: Again, since I was 8. I’ve attempted to make it a tv show, an animated tv show, a film, a play...just about everything. 

COMIC LOUNGE: How do you approach writing for comic as opposed to film/television?

BARNES: The approach is the same, but it took a minute for me to develop a working style as a comic writer. My first comic series, Falcon, was tough. It took my roughly 4 issues before I figured out the relationship between words and art, how written dialogue lands rather than spoken dialogue, etc. I’m still learning but this book represents the most comfortable I’ve been. 

COMIC LOUNGE: Is this gonna be an ongoing? Or do you have an endgame in mind? 

BARNES: It’s a 6 issue first arc with a second planned for next year. I do have an endgame in mind lol but I can’t tell you what it is. 

COMIC LOUNGE: What books/shows are you currently reading/watching?

BARNES: Godfather of Harlem, Black Mirror, Mr Mercedes, and a few other things. Looking forward to “The Outsider” adaptation of Stephen King’s book.

COMIC LOUNGE: Lastly is there any other projects you're working on that you can talk about?

BARNES: My second arc of Quincredible for Lion Forge starts soon. There are some things in TV and film I’d love to talk about but those pesky non disclosure agreements won’t let me! 

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