Swamp Demon: Talking to the Two Joshes

Ortega & Medors on Swamp Demon

Frank Frazetta's Swamp Demon is back on track.

With Frazetta's Swamp Demon delayed due to Josh Medors fight with cancer

Image Comics and Frazetta Comics is happy to announce Swamp Demon is on the

way to readers.

We had a chance to catch up with writer Joshua Ortega and artist Josh Medors

to give up some insight to this prequel one shot to Frazetta's Death Dealer.

Newsarama: Joshua, as the writer of the Death Dealer series released last year, what can we expect from this one shot story? Do we see direct ties, returning characters and the like?

Joshua Ortega: Yeah, Swamp Demon is set 500 years before the "Shadows of Mirahan" story chronicled in Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer, and it'll feature two of the main characters from Death Dealer: the druid Dreovid and the three-headed demon known as Dazaka. The story will explore the rise of Mirahan, the Oblivion God, and how Dazaka and his demonic cabal went after the druids in order to allow Mirahan to manifest in Iparsia 500 years later.We'll also introduce some new characters, including the witch-goddess Kallista and the gigantic demon Rakta...both are featured on the legendary Frazetta cover, and we'll also get further insight into the Land of Iparsia and its history.

Josh, Nat, Jay and I have been making sure that we stay true to the look and feel that was established in Death Dealer, making sure the level of storytelling and the pacing is similar to Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer. Since this is a prequel book, we definitely wanted fans of Death Dealer to feel right at home as they read this one shot...though that's not to say there won't be a lot of surprises along the way!

NRAMA: Josh, how did you get involved in a project like this and can you tell us your approach on how you handled the art?

Joshua Medors: Frazetta has always been, hands down, my favorite illustrator since I was a kid! So when Jay [Fotos] asked if I’d be interested in working on one of the books based on his paintings following up the Death Dealer series I about crapped my pants and passed out. I’m not sure if it was in that order though [laughs]. I remember staring at Frazetta’s paintings for hours when I was younger. My parents thought it was because of Frazetta’s famous full-figured woman, but honestly I was amazed by the action and energy that is present in every painting, also Frazetta’s paintings would have so much detail in them but yet he would leave parts that look unfinished, letting the viewers eye fill in the rest. I absolutely loved this! Umm… and maybe the women had something to do with it…

NRAMA: Joshua, in the world of Frazetta Comics what do you have coming down the pike and can you share some of that with us?

JO: After this one-shot, we'll have the next Frazetta Comics miniseries, Frank Frazetta's Silver Warrior. That'll reunite the Death Dealer creative team, and I think it's a story that readers are really gonna dig. It's set north of Iparsia, and takes place at the same time as Death Dealer, and there's even one character in there with familial ties to one of the characters in Death Dealer.

And of course, as we've announced, there will be another Death Dealer series, and I hope to be able to say more about that soon!

NRAMA: Josh Medors, most of the comic industry knows your fighting cancer right now, how are you doing and will we be seeing more work from you in the future?

JM: I am doing ok. The response from the comic book community has been amazing. Actually as soon as I finish typing this I am getting ready to head out to my last Radiation treatment, and cripes am I happy to be done with those! I then get a two and a half week break we’ll do some scans then I start chemotherapy (good-bye hair). All in all the pain and the numbness are the worst part of it now. I wake up with excruciating pain in my hips and my legs are almost completely numb so walking is tough. I try to avoid using my wheel chair when I can, so I have to be careful to watch where I put my feet when I take a step. Some days are really hard, I coach my son’s baseball team, and he was recently selected to be on the all stars. I had to turn down helping out with the all stars this year due to the fact I can’t get out and run drills with the kids. It’s little things like that, that tear me up and remind me that ‘Yeah I am sick.”

Workwise I am gearing up to get started on another Frazetta based book for Frazetta/Image comics! I was so excited when jay asked if I would be interested in doing another , and when I found out that I would get a chance to work with Steve Niles again (I think the last time we worked together was on the 30 Days of Night Annual) I was even more jazzed. I am also still cranking away on Willow Creek. Which I hope to have some news for everyone about real soon.

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