Review Fix talks with David Crownson who made Harriet Tubman into a demon hunter through his successful indie comic Kickstarter. And what’s in store for the future.
Review Fix: How did you get started in comics?
Crownson: In the 1990s DC Comics had just killed off Superman in a graphic novel called “The Death of Superman.” The book was extremely popular so my Dad bought it in hopes that one day it could be of value in a few years. I ruined that by reading it and bringing it to school everyday. I was hooked on the storytelling told through images. I began dissecting comic strips from the town newspaper and spent most of my allowance on comic lol.
Review Fix: Your reimagining of Harriet Tubman successfully mixes a set of genres (horror, vampires, magical realism). How did this idea come about?
Crownson: I was on vacation in Africa. One day I was chilling out & channel surfing through the TV. I happened to land upon a documentary about Harriet Tubman. Once it ended, I watched “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Something about Zhang Zyi, Michelle Yeoh’s fight resonated something inside my head. Immediately after, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” came on. I was pumped to watch it! Unfortunately, I was let down by the film. That night, I started writing in my journal about my day. “Watched Harriet Tubman documentary, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and awful Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunter movie.” All of the sudden it just came to me. I wrote it on the side of my note pad. HARRIET TUBMAN: DEMON SLAYER.
Review Fix: Are you going to extend this universe, or showcase other Black historical figures?
Crownson: Maybe [That maybe has an emoji that speaks volumes]
Review Fix: If you could go anywhere at anytime in history where would you go and why?
Crownson: November 2008 lol. Reasons: Obama lol
Review Fix: With the trend of comic books leaping into other media genres, do you see Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer being an animated film on the small or big screen?
Crownson: I do! Been in talks with a few filmmakers to adapt it for the screen!
Review Fix: What is the collaborative process like with the artists who have worked with this title?
Crownson: I love it. I write the dialogue, specific visual cues and Courtland Ellis and Joey Vazquez ALWAYS elevate what I wrote! I feel like a kid on Christmas when they email or text me what they draw. It’s a blast!
Review Fix: I was watching a television show where one of the characters mentioned that there was never a good time for black people in history. In light of this claim, what sort of impact do you want for Harriet Tubman?
Crownson: I agree with that statement! I wanted to start from a point of view that this was a Horror film that just happened to have demons, witches, werewolves and vampires etc. To make the bold choice of escaping slavery is scary enough. The paranormal will be a highlight. We’ll explore more of that especially in issue 3.
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Crownson: Looking to partner with a publisher to print and distribute more “Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer” comics. After this, I’ll be acting and directing a web series titled Black Irish. My next comic will be “12 Years a Slave and Zombies” with the same art team from this book.