Tag Archives: Exorcism

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Interview: The creators behind SOUL PLUMBER are on a mission to make us all aware of Archons and exorcism machines

Soul Plumber #1
Soul Plumber #1

Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski have never been hesitated to go down the belly of the beast and see true horror for the sake of their horror/true crime podcast The Last Podcast on the Left. From serial killers to 9/11 conspiracies to the search for the Archons, the semi-hostile world-creating rulers and lowest derivations of the Godhead.

For reasons that will make sense in the reading of this wildly and unapologetically bizarre book, being aware that these two podcasters possess a wealth of knowledge which knows no bounds is reason enough to get excited for their new DC Horror comic Soul Plumber.

Soul Plumber defies classification as it’s about religious scams, digitized exorcisms, and blind devotion to the point of gratuitous sinning. It follows a man called Edgar Wiggins, a devout Christian desperate to find his divine purpose. He finds it in the form of a machine that exorcises demons by creating a small portal that reaches into a person’s soul to cleanse it. Wiggins sees this and all becomes clear.

Park, Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel, along with John McCrea and PJ Holden on art, have crafted a deliciously sinister and darkly comedic story that finds its strengths in pushing buttons that only bring discomfort. Their will is strong and the comic’s first issue is indicative of the lengths they’ll go to poke fun at the things we shy away from.

Zebrowski and Parks corresponded via email with Graphic Policy to talk all things Soul Plumber, especially on the things that lurk behind reality that we should be aware of to better understand the Easter eggs strewn around the series. It follows below.

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Soul Plumber #1

RICARDO SERRANO: Often when I get my hands on a new horror comic, the influences are very obvious. In your face, even. It’s something along the lines of EC Comics Horror or Tales from the Crypt. Soul Plumber is something different and I think it will haunt me for the rest of my days. How did you land on the concept behind the book? 

Henry Zebrowski and Marcus Parks: We were approached by the Vatican with some very private information. Actually that is not the truth. We were all inspired/traumatized by our various religious upbringings. We wrote a story that weaved our backgrounds into our present love for sci-fi horror. 

SERRANO: Anyone who’s ever heard your horror podcast The Last Podcast on the Left knows that all the madness you guys bring to the show is backed up by an encyclopedic knowledge of all things horror, but also that you each have unique takes on it. Taking all this into consideration, how was the writing process?

Zebrowski/Parks: Our experience writing our book (Last Book On The Left) gave us an inkling of what kind of discipline it takes to sit down and put letters on paper. Then the wonderful guiding hands at DC gave us examples of comic book scripts so we could have an idea on how this type of script structure works. Marcus and Henry break down the outline of each issue together, then write scenes individually and swap back and forth to make sure we have bits of our DNA all over the comic, yum. Long story short, we had fun with it.

SERRANO: You have some heavy hitters on art for this book in John McCrea and PJ Holden. Did you script the story with their art styles in mind or did you go take a different approach?

Soul Plumber #1

Zebrowski/Parks: We knew that the comic was going to be gross and dark, and McCrea was floated as a possible artist. We were like “would he even lower himself to work on our paltry words?” And he did lower himself. He barely lets us know though! Honestly, we couldn’t be luckier to have McCrea and Holden working on our script and bringing it to life. It’s a miracle to write on a page “a war between millions of nude women alien races is happening in the background” and then POOF there it is!

SERRANO: Upon reading Soul Plumber, it’s evident your comedic tastes run dark. It’s reminded me of your book The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers, which fans of the comic will surely appreciate. Did you bring anything from The Last Book on the Left to Soul Plumber?

Zebrowski/Parks: More so than any information it really was the experience of writing a full book that showed us we could even accomplish this. There are a lot of easter eggs of information from Last Podcast all over the series. You’ll see some true crime familiar faces, perhaps, you’ll definitely see some of our deep dives into cults inspired us greatly.

SERRANO: For fans, both new and old, that want to get hyped for the comic, do you have any particular Last Podcast on the Left episodes you’d suggest they listen to so they can get into Soul Plumber mode?

Zebrowski/Parks: Brush up on your knowledge of Archons and the Intergalactic Committee, I would also revisit the story of Michael Taylor and Anneliese Michel. That’s if you wanna be a nerd about it! I’d say most people could use a brush up on the nature of Archons and their abilities to manipulate humankind. You can’t see them until it’s too late.

Soul Plumber is available wherever comics are sold.

The Conjuring prequel comic will usher in the new ‘DC Horror’ label

The Conjuring: The Lover

With The Conjuring having its feet firmly planted in its own universe, it’s only natural comics got the opportunity to flesh out the franchise’s particular brand of terror. DC Comics has answered the call to do so with the launch of a new imprint called ‘DC Horror,’ which will premiere with a prequel comic to the latest entry in The Conjuring franchise subtitled The Devil Made Me Do It.

The series, titled The Conjuring: The Lover, will run for five issues and will set up the events that lead into The Devil Made Me Do It. It’s co-written by the film’s screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and author Rex Ogle (Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan), with art by Garry Brown (Babyteeth) and colors by Chris Sotomayor.

The story follows Jessica, a college freshman, returning to campus after winter break, that’s dealing with the anxieties of mounting schoolwork and grades, a sexual encounter with a guy she’s now regretting, and the odd feeling she’s being watched by something.

The idea shares some elements with that of The Exorcism of Emily Rose movie, in which the titular character starts manifesting “possession” symptoms while in college, throwing every single aspect of her life into disarray. In a sense, it’s fitting that the story echoes that of the aforementioned movie given its basis on real events, something it shares with The Devil Made Me Do It.

The Conjuring: The Lover

The third entry in The Conjuring series is based on the first legal case in American history to have a defendant claim innocence due to demonic possession at the time of the crime. The Exorcism of Emily Rose, on the other hand, is also based on the true story of Annaliese Michel, who underwent 67 exorcism rites in a year, which eventually led to her death. The cause of death was attributed to malnutrition. Her parents and the priest that conducted the exorcism were convicted of negligent homicide in the case.

How much of this case actually inspired (or not) The Conjuring: The Lover remains to be seen, but the premise promises a story worthy of the name that graces its cover. Additionally, The Lover will feature short back-up stories written by some of horror comics most popular creators, including Scott Snyder, Juan Ferreyra, Che Grayson, and Denys Cowan. These stories will focus on the haunted objects that resided in Lorraine and Ed Warren’s infamous artifact room (which is where they kept the Annabelle doll).

It bears mentioning that this new horror imprint might be riding on the shoulders of Joe Hill’s own recent horror imprint, Hill House Comics, which was headlined by Hill’s own Basketful of Heads comic, illustrated by Leomacs. The series that were published as part of the imprint received mostly universal praise and felt as if they belonged in the same habitat as DC’s classic House of Mystery comics.

The Conjuring: The Lover

DC editor-in-chief Marie Javins seems to be aware of this connection. In a statement she released on the new horror imprint, Javins said that “DC has always been the home of great horror comics and characters. DC Horror continues this tradition with new frightening tales from both well-known and new storytellers that will keep fans spooked and entertained.”

With The Conjuring possessing a well-established horror universe and DC recognizing the weight horror carries within its company’s history, it looks like this year is shaping up to be a good one for both veteran and emerging horror fans. The potential behind the new imprint for pulling in new readers, especially in the wake of Hill House’s success, seems to lean favorably towards success.

One thing’s for sure, if this move inspires other publishers to invest in their own horror imprints, they’ll be able to say ‘DC made me do it.’

The Conjuring: The Lover arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms the same day as the U.S. release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It—Tuesday, June 1, 2021, with issue #2 available on July 6, 2021.

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