From cult film to upcoming comic, the Boondock Saints are making their way onto comic book shelves this summer with a two issue miniseries entitled Boondock Saints: In Nomini Patris. The miniseries, published by 12 Gauge Comics in partnership with the media production company Infusion, uncovers the origins of the McManus brothers’ father and original saint, Il Duce. The two-issue series is Intended as a deleted scene – or in this case adjacent storyline – to movie’s sequel, All Saints Day, which was recently released on DVD. Boondock Saints infamous writer/director Troy Duffy co-wrote the comic with help from newcomer comics writer J.B. Love and art by recent SCAD graduate Guus Floor.
Newsarama talked with Duffy and Love, as well as publisher Keven Gardner for more.
Newsarama: With two films under your belt and big name recognition both inside and outside Hollywood, why’d you decide to venture into comics, Troy?
Troy Duffy: Natural progression. Fans have been asking for years. Boondock Saints seems to be “comic-ey” anyway. Superheroes have costumes, and so do Connor and Murphy. [Superheroes] have a credo; so do Connor and Murphy. [Superheroes] fight evil. So do…. Seeing a pattern?
Nrama: I’ve read that this comic is both an adaptation of the second movie, but also with some new scenes. What can you tell us about the comic story?
J.B. Love: Well, the original concept for this series was always as an “in canon, deleted sequence/story” from the second movie, Boondock Saints: All Saints Day. With the comic In Nomine Patris we have two stories going on simultaneously. We're 'cutting' back and forth between the flashback story of Il Duce -- how he earns his reputation and learns to cover his tracks -- and a sort of modern day mini-adventure with the Brothers McManus, wherein they take out some contract players working for Yakavetta. Il Duce's story focuses on he and Louie figuring out how to avenge Noah's father's death while saving others from the kind of tragedy the Mob has inflicted on Noah's family. While this is happening we're going to let the readers/viewers in on some of the progression of the relationship between Noah and Louie: how that friendship ends up where it does in the second film. You'll see a few scenes that you'll remember from 'All Saints Day', but most of the content is new and fills in the blanks in the flashback sequences. The story with the brothers takes place over one night -- the night before the climactic battle at the end of the film -- and is balls-out action. Big guns, big jokes, big damage. Helluva lot of fun.
Nrama: Troy, this book explores more into the Il Duce’s origin. Besides what’s seen in the two films, how much of the Saints – all three of them – have you got mapped out in your head?
Duffy: Lots. In the comic world you are not bound to space and time. Comic fans will be getting the best of both worlds, as this will go far deeper into Il Duce's story while getting the present day brothers gigs on top of it. We don't have it all mapped out… but I don't really want to. J.B. and I have been coming up with good things together in creative gatherings. I don't want to have too much in my head, as it cuts off good ideas from others. Besides, it wouldn't be fun if you already knew everything.
Nrama: Everyone knows Troy here – he's synonymous with Boondock Saints. But tell us J.B., how did you get involved with co-writing this comic with Troy, and what made this a project you wanted to do?
Love: This is pretty much all due to the hard work and magnanimous nature of my old friend, the devilishly sexy Eben Matthews. (He 'may' have paid me to add that.) Eben owns a media development and production company (INNFUSION) and they designed and built the Boondock Saints websites and got to know Troy and CB through that experience. Meanwhile I was still living in Savannah, GA and learning how to write comic scripts. Eben had the idea to do a Saints comic series and suggested I watch the movie -- which I loved -- and then we immediately started talking about doing a comic script to show Troy. I worked up a little ten-page action story featuring the Brothers and Eben showed it to Mr. Duffy. Troy called Eben when he read it (I was in LA at this point) and said he liked what we'd done. (I think he also got a kick out of the fact that I blew up a guy with a rocket launcher.) From there Eben and I had several talks with Troy and CB (Both ‘Saints’ films’ Producer) and -- once we'd assured them we were serious about it and weren't going to screw it up -- they were kind enough to put their faith in us and let us take a shot at the property. After that, Eben, working with Keven Gardner of 12 Gauge, brought in the art team. Then I got with Troy and we wrote and rewrote, and we ended up with what I think is a pretty damn cool comic.
As for why I wanted to do it, well, the characters are always what hook me in to any story. Having a brother myself, I strongly related to the dynamic between Connor and Murphy, especially how they love each other fiercely and yet at the same time can end up brawling at the drop of a hat. Besides that, like most people, I think, I see a lot of injustice around me and I can't deny the impulse that says "I wish there was somebody around to set this straight. Somebody unencumbered by the law." I feel like that draws a lot of people to the film, and it's not a bad thing. It's the nature of storytelling to let us live vicariously. And it's a credit to the intelligence of the film series that it doesn't exactly let the Saints off the hook in regards to Vigilantism. In those 'man-on-the-street' interviews, pretty much every viewer's opinion of this is represented with equal weight. Basically, it's a smart action story that happens to be kick-ass and frickin' hilarious, to boot. I'm a fan and I got tremendously lucky to be involved with this.
Nrama: You’re not the only newcomer to comics with this, J.B. Drawing the interiors is artist Guus Floor, who I haven’t seen before. Can someone tell me about him?
Keven Gardner: This is my first time working with Guus. John Lowe, the Dean of Communication Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design, sent me his samples (I’m always asking John to keep me posted on his students) and I liked what I saw. He did some character designs for us and they just kicked ass. Troy approved and here we are. Guus has been a real workhorse and I couldn’t be happier with his pages. He’s got a great style and has a bright future in this industry.
Nrama: Since we’ve got you here Keven, let’s talk about some logistical questions: the second movie came out late last year, with the DVD arriving any day now. Why is this coming out after – and not coinciding with one of those releases?
Gardner: Lawyers. Contracts. And I think a few more lawyers. Seriously, when we all agreed to do this thing last year we had no idea when Sony was going to release the movie (Troy was still editing and really didn’t have the time to start writing the comic anyway). Then the release date got set and we simply didn’t have the time to get it done to coincide with the theatrical release. Around that time Troy and J.B. started writing and we started lining up an artist. We could have pushed it and had something out this month, but decided to let everyone take their time in order to do the best book possible. On top of that, Guus Floor (the artist) is 100% finished with issue #1 right now and #2 is well under way, so we don’t have to worry about shipping anything late.
Nrama: Turning back around to you Troy for the final word, now that the second film is done, what do you have planned next for film work?
Duffy: I will be attempting to set up one of two films I have written. One is called The Good King and it's a buddy comedy set in the 1500's. The other is called The Blood Spoon Council, and it's a serial killer thriller. Both have comic potential, especially the serial killer one.