A famous independent film director and a cover model will make an appearance at Logan’s Hot Cup coffee house on Saturday to promote the director’s latest project — a graphic novel continuation of his film “Chillers”.
“Chillers” director Daniel Boyd has brought his Troma Entertainment film to the comic book page and will be promoting the newly-released graphic novel in downtown Logan tomorrow with a 4 p.m. visit to the Hot Cup on the corner of Water Street and Dingess Street.
Joining him will be Erica Martin, who posed for artist David Michael Beck as the damsel in distress on the painted cover of the graphic novel.
Boyd said that, after producing, writing and acting in numerous movies, he may have found a new calling.
“With graphic novels, and I can tell bigger stories, faster and I have an unlimited budget to do all the special effects I would like to do in a movie. I can do epic,” Boyd said. “I’ve been in film for over 30 years and made more than 30 movies and, three years ago, I fell into the graphic novel world and fell in love with it. Now, I can do multimillion dollar-looking products.”
The movie “Chillers” was a 1987 independent film written and directed by Boyd and produced by Troma.
The movie features five passengers in a bus depot who tell each other horror stories to pass the time as they wait for an overdue bus.
The graphic novel isn’t an adaptation of the film, but more of a continuance of the story. The stories are all told with an ironic twist ending, reminiscent of the Tales from the Crypt horror comics of the 1950s. “Chillers” the graphic novel features the bus driver from the movie on the bus from Hell as the narrator.
Boyd is familiar with the coalfields of West Virginia. He taught a class at Southern West Virginia Community College before heading to teach a film class at West Virginia State, where he currently works. Boyd said coming back to Logan is like coming home again.
“I worked at both the Williamson and Logan campuses,” Boyd said. “I started my career down in Williamson and everything I write has Williamson in it. My next big graphic novel, called ‘Carbon’, is set in Mingo and Logan counties.”
Raised in Logan, Martin has always dreamed of working in the entertainment industry. Leaving the state on a college softball scholarship, a few twists and turns in the road eventually brought her to Charleston, where she heads the household of her mom and three children.
Moving to Charleston’s West Side didn’t take her away from her showbiz dream, though, because Boyd lived right around the corner and recognized Martin’s talent.
Boyd used Martin as the model for the lead character in the “Chillers” graphic novel story, “Ghoulas,” and as the cover girl model for the final book.
Boyd said he was happy to Martin agreed to let him put her into “Chillers.”
“She did such a great job as the cover model,” Boyd said. “I’m getting her booked on big comic conventions. She gets her picture made in front of the big banner and it’s a joy just seeing her light up when people treat her like a star.”
The graphic novel is planned as a series that will be edited by Boyd who also contributes some of the stories.
“Chillers” is published by Transfuzion Publishing and will be on sale in book and comic stores and Troma Films is supporting the release of the graphic novel with a re-release of the film on DVD that will be available in May and the Buddy Black Band is releasing a tribute album, Witchfinger, to also coordinate with the graphic novel with the album and videos.
Boyd said the first “Chillers” graphic novel has already been so successful he’s got a deal to do a second book.
The book features an introduction by West Virginia native filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.
The appearance at the Hot Cup is open to the public and Boyd urges everyone to attend.