Joe Badon “The Man With Ten Thousand Eyes” Interview
Josh recently got the chance to once more speak with creator Joe Badon about his newest kickstarter project, The Man With Ten Thousand Eyes, a creepy looking comic about a man who begins growing an absurd amount of eyes all over his body. We’d explain more, but we’ll let Joe do the talking for us.
So can you give us the basic premise of this new book?
The story is about a very ordinary, recluse named Wendell whose only interaction with the outside world is through his office/cubicle job. One day, Wendell wakes up with a third eye smack in the middle of his forehead which gives him powers to see into people’s lives and into the future. This gift gives him the ability to help people but also gives him some unwanted celebrity status. Eventually, eyeballs begin growing all over his body. He loses control of his new found abilities and his world turns completely upside down because of it.
What encouraged you to go in a more horror focused direction this time?
I’m a huge horror fan but, in the end, this story is just a human story that happens to have overwhelming body-horror elements.
The best movies, books and comics are basically just human stories but they use genres as a vehicle for the human story.
Star Wars: A New Hope is just the hero’s quest wrapped inside of Sci Fi Fantasy. Eternal Sunshine for a Spotless Mind is just a Romantic Comedy wrapped inside of Surrealist Science Fiction. Eraserhead is just the internal struggles of fatherhood wrapped inside of Surrealism. Dracula (the original book) is just a story about friendship and sacrificial love wrapped inside of Horror.
Genres such as Horror, Sci Fi, Fantasy and Surrealism are great poetic vehicles that are able to transport mundane human life experiences and make them feel larger than life.
So, getting back to your original question:
My daughter does special effects make-up and she made an eyeball on the back of her hand. I saw that and said to myself: “This would be a great starting point for a story!” and the story grew from there.
You’re description of the book blends a number of genres, including even romantic comedy. How does juggling these elements in your script feel?
I hope it feels very natural. Kind of like how you can have an off-the-wall dream that goes in all sorts of directions but it feels very logical while you’re dreaming it. It’s only after you wake up and retell the dream that you realize how strange all the pieces fit together.
What sort of visual references did you use when crafting the look? I definitely get a bit of a David Lynch vibe
Eraserhead is one movie that I’m using as a visual reference. The coloring was also inspired by the works of Sam Hiti. The look of old Noir films is an inspiration. Also, the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey is being referenced a lot.
The black and blue style looks really creepy from a stylistic point. Was this something you wanted to do or just a necessity of indie publishing?
It was definitely a style choice. I have been doing mono chromatic art prints in my easy store for a while now and I dig the noir feel that it gives. I felt like it was appropriate for the tone of the story.
You’re offering custom prints and even stories in your kickstarter rewards. How does this compare to doing your own thing? And have you ever received any odd requests?
I’ve done very crazy commissions in the past – from pooping cats to on-fire teeth to cyborg mutants with a soup kitchen in a garbage dump. I’ve worked on children’s books, company logos, hip hop t-shirt designs, pretty much anything you can think, I might have been asked to draw it at one point in time.
Finally, what would you say to people on the fence about the kickstarter?
If you dig the weird and want something completely different then you’ll definitely dig this! If you like Lynch, Kafka, William Burroughs, Charlie Kaufman then I think you’ll like this!
That’s all for now, if you’d like to know more about the book or even contribute to it, you can check out the book’s Kickstarter page. You can also follow Joe on twitter @joebadon.