Meet Chris Sebela, he’s the Kansas City native who’s penning our newest series, DEMONIC. After working on titles like Screamland, Fantastic Four, and Escape From New York, Sebela’s turning his attention to a series centered around an NYPD officer afflicted by dark forces. Comic Book Resources recently sat down with Sebela to discuss the comic’s origins, main character, and ties with Robert Kirkman:
CBR News: How did you get on board with “Demonic?” What was your reaction like when you were asked to be part of the series?
Chris Sebela: Back in 2013, Ibrahim Moustafa and I put out our book, “High Crimes,” as a digital-only comic through Monkeybrain. We’d set up an email for the book to take letters and do a letter column, and put the address in the notes for the first issue. A few weeks after that issue came out, there was an email from an editor at Skybound saying how much they liked the book, and whether I’d be interested in working with them on something.
At that point, no one knew who I was, or what kind of books I was capable of doing beyond this tiny book that hardly anyone was reading, so just getting contacted by Skybound was insanely validating at a time when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with me and comics. Once we started talking, my editor sent over some ideas they were working on. “Demonic” was the one that interested me the most and we were off to the races.
CBR: What can you tell us about “Demonic’s” main character Scott Graves, besides the fact that he is possessed?
Sebela: On the surface, Scott’s got it all. He’s married to his childhood sweetheart, Jamie, they have a daughter, Lucy. He works as a cop, a detective, one of those noble defender types, trying to save lives and serve justice. But there’s only so long a normal guy and his ideals can withstand what the world has to offer before they both get a little tainted.
I mean, even before the demon shows up, Scott’s haunted several times over by the things he’s gone through. When we meet him, he’s on the rebound from a bad stretch of road in his life he’s trying to put behind him. Back then, he drank too much, cheated on his wife, put his family through hell and got as close to the brink as he could before pulling himself back. Now, he’s put the pieces of his life back together and is trying to get them to stick.
When we say Scott is possessed, we mean it in a different kind of way. Scott is owned. He’s a piece of property, and Aeshma, the demon inside him, holds the lease. They have a deal between them. Scott will go out and get her all the blood she demands, and she’ll keep his family alive. Aeshma gives him some aspects of power to do these things, making it so when Scott puts on his mask, he’s a force of nature, doing all sorts of things people could only dream of. There’s something almost thrilling about it to Scott, if it wasn’t in service of slaughtering people.
When Aeshma shows up, it threatens to destroy everything Scott’s struggled against to achieve some kind of normal, happy life. Now he’s got to hold this shaky life together while he lives a new, bloodier one every time the sun goes down, when he has to go out and feed his demon.
(Demonic #1 Cover B by Witch Doctor’s Lukas Ketner)
CBR: What was the story development process like with Robert?
Sebela: Robert wrote the original first issue of “Demonic” back in 2009, and that’s what was given to me to read over, and that’s the issue that got me interested in trying to tackle this concept. There was a lot of back and forth in the early stages, deciding what stuff we wanted to keep and what we wanted to start over from scratch. The nice thing was, there was no huge rush.
Everyone wanted to get things right before we moved into scripting and arting. Once we got it to that place, I went off and wrote the scripts, getting notes from my editor and Robert. It was an incredibly smooth process, all in all. This was my first time flying solo on something like this, and working with everyone at Skybound kind of spoiled me.
Catch the rest of the interview over at Comic Book Resources!