Interview with Tom Waltz (Comic Monsters)

Date published: 2010.08.05
Source: Comic Monsters

IDW returns to Konami's horror masterpiece. Jebediah "Hellrider" Foster is a violent outlaw in the Dakota Territoryin 1867. When he falls for a godly widow who longs to move from the Wild West to a family home in Silent Hill, Foster follows--but peace is not what awaits. By Tom Waltz (writer of Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward and the Silent Hill video game to be released in 2011), with artwork by Menton J. Matthews III (Zombies Vs. Robots Aventure). Featuring a character from the new videogame!

We caught up with writer, Tom Waltz, to talk about Silent Hill: Past Life.

Horror News Network: What can you tell us about Jebediah "Hellrider" Foster?

Tom Waltz: Jebediah “Hellrider” Foster is a notorious and violent outlaw in the Dakota Territory in 1867. He's a gunslinger, thief, bully, cold-blooded killer, and has garnered a reputation as a man not to be trifled with. But, unbeknownst to those around him, is a soft, troubled heart lying beneath the cold, hard exterior. And when this soft spot is finally exposed, it will lead to Foster’s greatest happiness…as well as a tragically infinite sadness.

Horror News Network: Who are the rest of the main characters in this tale?

Tom Waltz: There are a number of side characters -- folks with names like Jonas and Helena Leek, Reginald Grimes, as well as our special crossover character (who shall remain unnamed for now) from the SH videogame I'm co-writing. But, besides Jebediah, the other major player is Esther Monroe, a beautiful widow whose life’s travels have lead her to Deadwood – a place she longs to leave for a better life. She falls in love with Foster and tells him of a long-abandoned family property she has inherited in the secluded mountain village of Silent Hill. It is a place she has never visited, but a place she is strangely drawn to. She sees it as an escape from the Wild West and back to civilization – an opportunity for both she and Foster to start their lives fresh and anew now that they are married and she is pregnant. Foster, completely in love with Esther, agrees to leave his life of vice and violence behind. They pack up the few belongings they have and head East.

Horror News Network: What can we expect from this comic, in terms of classic Silent Hill creepiness?

Tom Waltz: Well, just like the games, we'll be exploring a character's harrowing journey through what might be best described as a living purgatory on earth, which Silent Hill is for many who visit the foggy town. In our case, though, we'll get an early glimpse at the town, which is on the cusp of evolving (or is that devolving?) into the spooky, mysterious place we all know and love. There will be visual horrors, physical scares (as much as we are able to provide in static images), as well as terrifying psychological reveals as a once-very bad man is forced to come face-to-face with his awful past.

Horror News Network: What types of monsters will we see?

Tom Waltz: As with all Silent Hill tales, we'll see monsters that represent the main character's psyche -- and Menton3 has some fantastic designs I can't wait for the world to see. One thing I do promise, though -- no Pyramid Head, no Sexy Nurses. All new monsters only.

Horror News Network: The synopsis states that a certain character from this comic will appear in the upcoming game (which you also wrote).What can you tell us about that?

Tom Waltz: I can only tell you that all will be revealed... you need only preorder the comic books to learn more (and right now I'm doing my most sinister evil laugh).

Horror News Network: How is it working with artist, Menton J. Matthews III?

Tom Waltz: Man, Menton3 (as he is often called) is an absolute friggin' pleasure to work with. The guy is insanely talented, yet he maintains genuine modesty and humility. He's open to suggestions and always ready to share his own ideas and opinions of my writing, which only makes the overall story better in the end. Truly, this guy is an A-list talent waiting to happen, and I hope his work on Silent Hill: Past Life catapults him into that upper-echelon of comic book artists, where he most definitely deserves to be.

Horror News Network: What has impressed you the most with his artwork?

Tom Waltz: Well, besides the fact that each and every page is more beautiful than the last, it's got to be his versatility. Menton illustrates in oils, watercolors, chalk, pencils, inks... and, as I've said before, I think blood, too. His art is so deliciously unpredictable, which I honestly feel suits the insanity of a Silent Hill story to a veritable T.

Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about the comic, Silent Hill: Past Life?

Tom Waltz: Great question! We really want to keep doing Silent Hill comics (and other great horror comics just like SH), but we can't continue without some support from our fellow SH and horror fans. What we really need folks to do is to reach out to their local comic book sellers and ask them to preorder Silent Hill: Past Life -- the bigger the numbers we can get, the better our chances of continuing our dark journey through Silent HIll and beyond. To find your closest store, simply phone 1-888-COMIC-BOOK, or go to COMICSHOPLOCATOR.COM. Tell them you want them to preorder SILENT HILL: PAST LIFE #1 through #4. Give them DIAMOND ORDER CODE AUG100356 . Preorders are actually happening now, so no time like the present to let your retailers know you want them stocking Silent Hill comics for you, otherwise you may miss the cutoff for preorders. And, if your Retailers need more info, let them know the ad for the first issue can be found on page 155 of the August 2010 Previews Catalog. And please know, your support is greatly, greatly appreciated by Menton and I!

Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about Silent Hill: Past Life?

Tom Waltz: I just want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to interview me, as well as to everyone who has taken the time to read my answers and who will take a chance on our SILENT HILL: PAST LIFE as a result. I'm absolutely excited (and grateful) to be able to be a part of the creative process behind the greater SH Universe, and as fellow fan (and I'm most definitely a fan first), I CAN'T WAIT for Silent Hill: Past Life to hit store shelves -- I'm proud of what we are accomplishing and know Menton3's art is going to knock everyone's socks off! So, again, many thanks for your support, and get out there and preorder -- show those comic book retailers we want our horror comics!

Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, Tom.