Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A with ‘The Creep’ Writer John Arcudi

Review Fix chats with “The Creep” writer John Arcudi, who discusses the inspiration behind the series and the possibility of it continuing.

In terms of comic books, The Creep is a masterpiece, a tale of noir crafted around a mysterious series of suicides and a man who must solve the case before he can find closure for a lost love. In terms of literacy presence, The Creep is a prime example of how some comic books can transcend the genre. No super heroes. Not even a super man. Oxel is just a man. This is just a story. But it’s enough to make you a fan of the medium for life.

Review Fix: What was the inspiration for “The Creep”?

John Arcudi: That’s kind of a two part question. As to the character of the Creep (which is to say, Oxel Karnhus) I’ve always liked police stories, private investigator stories, that sort of thing, but I didn’t want to just do another mystery series because really, others do that better than I can. I wanted to try and work with a character who wasn’t the usual alcohol-soaked loser. I wanted to handle a character who isn’t so much haunted as he is injured. Since I’m a big fan of the work of the character actor, Rondo Hatton, I suddenly found my guy, you know? Acromegaly is also such a visual illness, and that’s perfect of comics, but the trick is always making sure you’re not so much exploiting the illness as exploring it. I hope we succeeded there. This particular story’s inspiration… boy, I don’t know. It’s been in my head for so long now, I really am not sure where it started.

Review Fix: What was the writing process like? Did the story come out easy or did it take some prodding?

Arcudi: The basic plot has been in my head for years, but the funny thing about it was that as I started to sit down and write the actual scripts, things started to change. I made a lot of character decisions that surprised me a little, so while I wouldn’t exactly call it a difficult process, it was very much a work in progress almost to the end.

Review Fix: Why do you think readers connect so much with Oxel?

Arcudi: If they do, I guess it’s because he’s a decent guy. Not a badass, which you always see in such storyline, but a good guy just struggling to do the right thing. Readers may like badasses, but they don’t really connect with them. Or anyway, I don’t.

Review Fix: What was it like working with Jonathan Case?

Arcudi: Great. Jonathan was a pleasure to work with. Very hard worker, determined to get things right no matter how many “takes” we asked him to draw — but it shows in his work. He gave Oxel a humanity that I think a lot of other artists would never have been able to achieve.

Review Fix: What did you read as a kid? How do you think it influenced you as a writer?

Arcudi: I read a lot of science fiction as a kid — big surprise, right? But I don’t think that influenced me too much. The stuff I started reading in my 20s — Charles WIlleford in particular — that made me look at my writing… well, at writing in general, very differently.

Review Fix: How did the idea to get different artists to do covers come about?

Arcudi: We already had Frank Miller’s cover from a “Creep” story we did back in the first avatar of Dark Horse Presents some years ago and I want to re-use it for issue #0 (which reprinted the three part Creep story from the new DHP published last year). Frank gave us his permission and then we thought “Why not a series of guest cover artists?” You know, to catch readers’ eyes, and to match up with the likes of Frank. So I made a list of my dream cover artists and they all said yes! We actually had planned to use a guest cover artist for #5 as well, but Scott and I agreed that Jonathan really should get that slot.

Review Fix: Have you discussed the story with Frank Miller? If so, what does he think about it?

Arcudi: Well, the Frank Miller cover was from a long time ago, so we never discussed this particular storyline. I was just glad that we got to use it again and let a new audience see a great cover that many fans may have missed the first time around because Frank (not surprisingly) killed it.

Review Fix: Any chances at another Oxel adventure?

Arcudi: We’ll see….

Review Fix: How do you want this story to be remembered?

Arcudi: Who wants it to be remembered? I want folks to reread it instead.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 13076 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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