Dan Fogler Exclusive Interview MOON LAKE (His Graphic Novel That Premieres at NYCC This Weekend); Plus Updates on His Film Projects

     October 8, 2010

Although most people know Dan Fogler from his work in front of the camera (Fanboys, Balls of Fury), and on Broadway (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Fogler has been working on a few other projects that feature him both writing and directing. The two projects I’m talking about are M’Larky and Hysterical Psycho.  If you’ve seen either, you know Fogler has a taste for the weird.

With New York Comic Con starting today, I was able to speak with Fogler about another project he’s working on and premiering at the Con – his original graphic novel Moon Lake for Archaia PressMoon Lake is a collection of short horror stories based in and around a haunted body of water, which was the basis of Fogler’s independent horror movie, Hysterical Psycho. Fogler has written some of the book, and they’ve also brought in a number of other writers and artists.  Hit the jump for more:

With the book getting released today, I was able to do an email interview with Fogler yesterday.  As you read his answers, you’ll see Fogler has an interested way of writing…I didn’t edit what he sent me.

dan_fogler_imageFor more on Moon Lake, here’s the Archaia website which details what other artists and writers are involved with the book.  And if you’re going to NYCC, stop by Archaia’s booth and pick it up.  It’s always good to support indie titles.  However, if you’re not going, don’t worry.  Moon Lake will be online and in stores this Halloween.

And if you haven’t seen his show M’Larky, you can check out an episode here.  

Collider: I’ve spoken to you a number of times but never realized you were into comics.  Were you a Marvel or a DC kid growing up?  Why?

Dan Fogler:  well my all time favorite character of both universes is the JOKER- but i grew up with comic books, i played the MARVEL GAME,  -created characters for that universe and eventually drew and wrote my own kid comics  with those characters- which is kind of like story boarding and making movies – it’s all related…

When did the idea for making a graphic novel happen?  And once the conversation started, was it quick to get going…or did it take some time?

Fogler:  this is a dream of mine i just needed someone who would publish my stuff and archaia dug it right away-they got the concept immediately – they are creator friendly so i went with them- but this particular idea is a spinoff of the universe of a movie i directed called HYSTERICAL PSYCHO

How involved were you in getting all the writers/artists involved?  Did you say we have to get so and so?

Fogler:  i had a wish list- i wanted all my favorites- but i deferred to archaia’s expertise and we got an incredible roster of new comers and legends.

You’ve written and directed before, how did what you’ve done help you when writing for a comic?  What surprised you the most?

Fogler:  i guess i see the world in a heightened comic book style i think- like i have TODD Macfarlane-goggles on-i’m just a visual person and i think that helps cross over into all of the different art forms-writing is still a strange monster to me- i’m still getting a handle on it and building confidence -i’m testing the waters with the portion i’ve written in moon lake and i think people will dig it- next volume i will defiantly do a lot more writing. but all the stories in the anthology have my imprint on it- whether i created a character’s origin story or just gave a character a name and let the writers run with it- i think it was a fun little haunted  playground i set up for the ensemble and they all had a great experience-

You made the movie HYSTERICAL PSYCHO.  When are people going to be able to see it and how does the movie exist in the comic book MOON LAKE?

Fogler:  hysterical psycho IN COLOR will be out this HALLOWEEN in select theaters in LA and NYC –

the movie is about a bunch of friends from NY who go up north to party at the MOON LAKE INN MOTEL… and they never return…- it’s like HITCHCOCK ON ACID meets EVIL DEAD.  HYSTERICAL PSYCHO is just one of many horrific tales that have happened at the haunted region which has been an inherently evil place since the beginning of time and is linked to our history and our future- MOON LAKE recounts these funny, funky, spooky stories- it’s like the twilight zone on THC baby!

When did you first start writing this universe?

Fogler:  soon after the completion of the film i guess early 2009- it kind of came out of nowhere and was put on my front burner and has now become a potential franchise- it could easily be parlayed into a late night animated tv show, movies, etc…any of the characters can have spin of stories- i’m trying to create my own dark little twisted marvel universe…

You’ve based in NYC…what does premiering the comic at NYCC mean to you?

Fogler:  i grew up in nyc this is my home base i love that the book is premiering here -we will be throwing parties during comicon at bar13 and  on sat a moon lake radio play followed by a midnight screening of hysterical psycho will take place at village cinema east 12th street!

You were obviously influenced by Tales from the Crypt and Hitchcock Presents.  Do you have any favorite episodes?

Fogler:  i remember this one tales from the crypt episode where demi moore was trying to seduce the dad from arrested development who was in a massive fat suit- man she was hot- and boy was he repulsive – that really scared me i think… the best thing about hitchcock presents was hitchcock -his amazing introductions-  this dead pan weirdo who looked like your grampa holding an axe  would creep into your brain for 30 seconds at the top of each episode and it was magic. there’s a movie that is in pre-pre production called the number !3

i am to play a young hitchcock in that film and i thought in preparation to play the part i would direct an homage to him- That was hysterical psycho- the narrator is the man in the moon and very much based on an obese moon cheese stuffed stir crazy Alfred hitchcock- voiced by myself -kind of as an audition so people would know i could do the voice. it all started out as an experiment really- and it grew out of CONTROL! Mwa-HA! HA!HA!HAHAHAHAHAH!

Now that you’ve finished the book, what was the hardest challenge to overcome?  What did you learn that will help you with volume 2?

Fogler:  the hardest thing was trying to fit all my ideas into one book- thank god for editors and thank goodness archaia’s interested in a volume two. if folks dig it there’s plenty more moon lake cooking up in my brain for them.

You’ve got a few film projects on the horizon….can you talk about Mars Needs Moms!, Number 13, and what else is on the horizon?

Fogler:  MARS NEEDS moms is a disney/zemeckis motion capture space epic! like die hard meets goonies meets star wars- it’s going to be visually amazing and hysterical i play a dude who has been a cast away on mars since ’87! seth green and joan cusak in that one too! and kids in america is like a lost john hughs movie- R-rated fun with topher grace and anna farris. both in MARCH 2011.

i’m also currently directing my 2nd film DON PEYOTE which is essentially existential Annie hall -that will be out next year as well…

And for my last question…how did M’larky come together and what did you take away from that experience?

Fogler:  m’larky came from a bunch of improv guys who dug watching miami vice re runs and playing with  video cameras and splicing  video game car chases in for action sequences- we’d watch that crap and make ourselves laugh for days- it was like watching the beastie boys sabotage video with a semi plot- with fake mustaches flipping in the breeze and all- my character Lt.black is basically  me doing my best al paccino- on crack of course… sounds like fun right? it’s a web series now on atom.com and we hosted Atom tv on late night comedy central in character recently and it was hilarious-the next step is seeing if this  Frankenstein’s monster has legs as a series somewhere…

For those interested in checking out Moon Lake, the graphic novel will be at the Archaia booth at NYCC this weekend and in book stores and on line this Halloween

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