Interview with Christopher Golden: Award-Winning Novelist and Co-Creator of Baltimore

Posted May 6, 2015 by Chris White in Comic Books

To mark the release of Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #1, I got a chance to interview its co-creator and bestselling novelist, Christopher Golden. Christopher has a body of work that spans the literary medium and has written his own novels such as The Myth Hunters, Of Saints and Shadows and The Ferrymen. As well as these hugely influential and highly regarded novels, Christopher Golden has also worked on popular comic properties like Hellboy, Daredevil and X-Men, along with a plethora of other media tie-ins such as Star Wars, Uncharted and Alien; however, it is his popular graphic novel and comic book series (co-created with Mike Mignola) Baltimore that we endeavour to find out more about and Christopher was able to answer some questions we had on the process, origin and future of Lord Baltimore and this wonderfully gothic masterpiece.

WTN: Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King feels greatly unique. It has a real class to its horror and partners its rich story with well – developed characters almost effortlessly. I can imagine the likes of Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft created something deeply gothic and wholesome like this. Would you say that you’re inspired by these greats or does the inspiration come from elsewhere?

CG:  Firstly, thanks so much for the kind words.  Mike and I have all sorts of disparate influences, but in BALTIMORE, we’re almost always working within the window of our shared interests and influences.  BALTIMORE is influenced heavily by DRACULA, MOBY DICK, FRANKENSTEIN, Hammer Films, and a ton of myth and folklore that we both love.  In THE CULT OF THE RED KING, we’re getting much deeper into creating our own mythology and folklore, taking bits and pieces from history and legend and using them only to inform what we’re building.  I think that was inevitable at this point in the story and it’s both frightening and exciting.  As for the characters, they’ve taken on their own lives and personalities now, but there’s also a classic structure to the way we’re splitting them up and the way they’re taking on certain roles, and that’s certainly intentional.

WTN: How long did it take you and Mike to come up with the idea for The Cult of the Red King after building up this world for some time and will we see the story draw to a close in #5?

CG:  THE CULT OF THE RED KING is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end.  I can’t reveal just how many arcs or issues we have left, but I can promise you that WE know.  While I was working on volume five, which is comprised of THE WITCH OF HARJU and THE WOLF AND THE APOSTLE, we had a longer time frame in mind.  But then I started to think about volume six, which became THE CULT OF THE RED KING, and when I realized how this arc was going to unfold, I knew how the rest of it was going to unfold.  I called Mike and talked it through with him, and he agreed.  We’re not interested in spinning this story out for as long as possible.  We want to tell the story we set out to tell, a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  And once we knew what the events were that would set us on the road to the climax of the story, there was no turning back.

WTN: When The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire was released in 2007, did you envision Lord Baltimore’s journey  standing the test of time as it has done, or was it originally conceived as a one off?

CG:  We had talked all along about doing a second novel and maybe doing comics, but we were just focused on what was in front of us.  At the time, I was writing the screenplay for the movie version that didn’t happen (though we always hope that possibility will return).  We talked about doing comics and graphic novels then, and eventually those conversations turned into the comics and now the comics have taken on such a life of their own.  This is a huge world we’ve built and I love moving through it, discovering it.

WTN: Is there any series ongoing or defunct that you would like to work on that you haven’t had the pleasure of doing so yet?

CG:  I love all of those 1970s Marvel horror characters.  I’d love to do something great with them, something horror instead of the sorts of things they do every time they try to resurrect them.  Damon Hellstrom, Satana, Lilith, Dracula, Jack Russell, Morbius…all of them.  Other than that, I’m much more interested in doing my own thing, doing something new.

WTN: And finally, after the popularity of Baltimore, would you be willing to see it made into a video game or feature film or would you prefer to keep it in its current form? It was a real shame to not see the planned David S. Goyer directed feature come to fruition. 

CG:  The executive at New Regency who originally optioned Baltimore and who was on board with our vision for it left in the middle of my writing the screenplay.  The exec who took over for him was not interested in what we were going for at all, which is why it fell apart.  The rights are back with us now.  If the right people came along and wanted to do a feature or, maybe better, a premium television series, we’d absolutely want to have that conversation.  Same thing with a video game.  It’s a huge world and would make a fantastically unique game and I still love exploring this world, so sure.  The right people, the right company, yes.  The novel is always there on the shelf.  The graphic novels are in hardcover, right there beside the novel on my shelf.  That’s not going to change if we explore Baltimore’s story in other mediums.

WTN: Thank you for taking time out for us and on behalf of We The Nerdy, I wish you all the best for Cult of the Red King. It is a truly remarkable read.

CG:  Thanks so much!

You can read our review, of Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #1 here

About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.