P.C. Cast and her daughter, Kristin Cast, may be relatively new names to the comics world, but to YA fans, they are the beloved co-authors of the incredibly successful series of novels set in the world of House of Night. Now the Casts bring their high school vampires to comics with House of Night: Legacy (978-1-59582-962-7, $14.99). Published by Dark Horse Comics, and tying directly into the prose series, the novel is adapted with writer Kent Dalian and featuring art by Joëlle Jones (Troublemaker, Fables).
Until recently, Zoey Redbird, the heroine of House of Night, was an average high-school student worrying about grades, boys, and breakouts. But priorities have a way of changing when you are Marked as a vampyre, enroll in the vampyre academy House of Night, and have to figure out a whole new social hierarchy, affinities for elemental magic, and physiological changes that make you crave blood.
In this story, taking place between scenes from Betrayed (the second book in the House of Night series), Zoey is in desperate need of guidance as she prepares to take over the elite student group known as the Dark Daughters. Surrounded by her group of devoted friends, Zoey turns to The Fledgling Handbook, a historical vampyre tome, in hopes of better understanding this big, new world of vampyrism. For more information on the book, Dark Horse has created an info sheet which includes art and story.
BookShelf spoke with PC Cast about the graphic novel, her comics background, and her plans for future graphic adaptations. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)
What inspired you to bring the House of Night story to comics? Did it seem that you were branching out to a new audience?
PC Cast: I've been a longtime fan of comics. I grew up reading old-school Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Swamp Thing, Fantastic Four, etc., etc. As an adult I still buy graphic novels on a regular basis.
I didn't so much think of it as a new audience, probably because I'm such a fan of the genre, so I don't look at it like, "Hey, comics readers don't know House of Night because all they read are comics," I just thought it would be cool to have my own comic!
How did you come to work with Dark Horse Comics? What made you decide on them as a publisher?
I approached Dark Horse! Their reputation is pro-author, pro-artist, and I respect their work. THEY PUBLISH JOSS WHEDON! What's not to love?
How does the story fit into the novel series?
House of Night: Legacy fits early in the series between books one and two (Marked and Betrayed). It complements what I've already written and enriches the world.
Would this be a good introduction for someone who hasn't read the novels?
Absolutely! I give enough background for new readers to understand the world, but not so much that House of Night fans will be rolling their eyes and bored.
How was the story changed in adapting the narrative from novels to a comics medium?
It's such an interesting process! My adapter, Kent Dalian, is a longtime friend and screenwriter. He and I worked together to build a bridge between prose and what really amounts to visual storytelling. So, the story wasn’t really changed, just adapted and visually expanded.
What are the liberties the comics medium allows you that you feel bring more to the plot and mood of the story?
Well, I don’t have to write "he said/she said" and dialogue tags! It all gets told with expression and setting, which I think is really cool.
Has your novel audience sent you correspondence about your comics adaptation? What seems to be their overall impression? Did you find their comments insightful? And will they affect your future comics work?
My House of Night fans have expressed feedback about the beauty of the art in particular. They also like learning the history behind the world. I agree with them!
Are there plans for future House of Night comics?
Yep! Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes stories of some of your favorite characters!
What are some of your favorite comics?
I will eternally be a Superman fan. I also love all the early Spawn. And I am sooooo glad I can get my Buffy/Angel/Spike fix through graphic novels! Oh, and Dollhouse, too!