Behind 'The Veil' at IDW

The Veil #1

What would you think about a person who makes a living working for the dead?

That’s what the upcoming IDW miniseries The Veil is about.

At the center of it is the private eye Chris Luna. Far from the mercucial well-to-do investigator, Luna caters to the lowest common denominator in terms of customers – the dead. You see, sometimes she can see the dead by peering through ‘the veil’ between ours and the next. But even seeing dead people and doing work for them, she’s yet to carve out a living – which forces her to return home to Maine. But there’s dead everywhere, even back in her quite hometown.

The horror miniseries The Veil is created by writer El Torres and artist Gabriel Hernandez. Between the two of them, they’ve carved a considerable niche in comics with work on a variety of American and European books. This four issue miniseries is scheduled to debut in June, and for more we talked with the two Spanish creators by email for this interview.

Newsarama: Thanks for talking to us, guys. First off, how would you describe The Veil?

Gabriel Hernandez: It is a horror comic-book with a strong psychological approach in which, at many times, what's happening inside the main character's head is more important than what’s happening around her.

El Torres: The Veil is a horror story, in which we focus on the surrounding atmosphere more than just showing gore and monsters - although we love 'em too. We try to guide our readers into a creepy ambience. The Veil is also about coming back home; it’s a tale about facing your past and your fears, even those you never knew they exist.

NRAMA: We’ve got a rough idea of what the book is about – but tell us more.

ET: The Veil is not the other side, or the unknown beyond, or Heaven. The Veil is the reason we can't perceive the other side or the unknown beyond. More than a real thing, it's us. We always try to compress reality in terms that we can handle. All that paranormal stuff could be there, but we just look to the other side, or we simply decide not to see.

In the book, Chris thinks something like: "They say only a 10% of our brain is used. That isn't true. The remaining 90% is working like crazy trying to hide the true horror of the entire reality." She thinks that if you can see things it’s mostly because your brain doesn't work at full rate. A handicap instead of a gift.

What could be behind the Veil... we'll see it in the series.

NRAMA: The lead in this, Chris Luna, is a private eye but her clientele is rather unusual. What’s she about?

ET: Well, Chris can see dead people and that leads to a lot of mental issues. Plus, it’s not very compatible with a nine-to-five job. What do you do to earn a living? You could open a psychic store, I guess, or try to help these spirits trapped in-between as a medium with the hope of getting paid. Chris decided to work as a private eye. Not a brilliant idea, because ghosts have some problems understanding the concept of paying bills. Even when she helps FBI solving some tricky cases, that draws too much attention. Due to her "condition", she's more comfortable working in low profile. Finally, she gets broke, so she has to come back to her hometown in Maine, to sell her old family home with the hope of getting enough money to pay creditors.

Really though, seeing ghosts and having dead customers is just the tip of the iceberg. The Veil is not the story of any of her cases, it's a story about her.

NRAMA: Gabriel, El has told us about Chris Luna as a person, but what came to mind when you were designing her visual aspects?

GH: We always thought of her as an "anti-heroine". She's pretty but she dresses in a deliberate non-feminine way, mainly because of a trauma she suffered as a teenager. My wife helped me a lot choosing clothes for her, although Chris really hasn't much time to show many outfits.

NRAMA: This is about Chris going home to Maine to re-assess her whole “detective for the dead” career…. But I never knew Maine to be so spooky.

What’s in her little hometown, and why’d you decide to set this in Maine?

ET: I live in a sunny place (Malaga, Spain). To us, deep forests, frozen lakes and cloudy skies are disturbing. About setting it in Maine is all Stephen King's fault, I guess. Nah, seriously. The Maine Highlands has all that "feeling of the strange" due to all that great literature. Little towns, surrounded by all that nature. When I was writing the story, Maine came instantly. And it was a really good choice, though Crooksville doesn't exist, most of the places appearing in the book are real places.

When we come back to our hometown, most of the times our past is there waiting for us. That’s true too for Chris Luna. She left Maine to taste the Big Apple, and mostly because Crooksville had to do with what happened to her. Sooner or later, you have to face your past, even if you think you already made it up with it.

NRAMA: How did the idea for The Veil initially develop?

ET: Everyone has had that dream of something at the foot of the bed, staring at you. I had a lot of these. Of course, they're just dreams, but sooner or later you begin to wonder if your brain is trying to say something, or if there is really something there that you can't perceive... or you don't want to.

Then our friend Cristina -we named the character in her honor- introduce me to Gaby... and when I saw his work I thought it was a good chance to get rid of these nightmares!

GH: Cristina is my wife’s cousin, and introduced us six years ago and almost since then we began to think of making this comic-book together.

ET: Really, The Veil couldn't be possible if it weren't for Gaby. He's a wonderful artist that can embody in a wonderful panel my confusing babbles about dark feelings and dead things.

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