Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley are the writers behind Hoax Hunters from Image Comics, which originally appeared in Hack/Slash. Those backup stories were recently collected as Hoax Hunters #0. Now, the book launches as an ongoing series from Image Comics and Westfield’s Roger Ash spoke with Moreci and Seeley to learn more about the book.
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Westfield: What is Hoax Hunters about and where did the idea come from?
Steve Seeley: The easy and quick pitch for Hoax Hunters is that it’s “MythBusters meets X-Files“.
With that being said, it is about a reality type television show that investigates the strange happenings of the world, whether it be paranormal, cryptozoological, or alien. Like MythBusters, the show “busts” or disproves the events and presents them to the public as hoaxes. In reality though, the group covers up the happenings and attempts to keep society oblivious and to keep the world of the weird hidden.
The idea came from an amalgamation of a few of Mike’s and my ideas. We see Hoax Hunters as a compelling and fun story that plays off of both or our strengths and knowledge and at the same time it’s a way for us to pay homage to the stuff we grew up on.
Westfield: Who are the main characters in the series?
Michael Moreci: The leader of the Hoax Hunters is Jack, a former FBI agent with a mysterious past—one that’s deeply entrenched in the workings of the Hoax Hunters organization. He’s the anchor the Hoax Hunters team needs. Despite his own personal issues, he’s the rock everyone else relies on. Keep in mind, the Hoax Hunters are people whose existences are founded on deceit and isolation; Jack is the glue that holds them all together when times get tough. We’ll learn a lot more about Jack in the first arc—his past is about to erupt into his present in a major way.
Regan is a former child star who literally became possessed by dark spirits. The experience left her with, let’s say, unusual abilities (which will be explained in time!). On the surface, she’s the eye candy of the Hoax Hunters television show, but to the team dynamic, she’s much, much more. I’d call her the heart of the team.
Then there’s Ken Cadaver, a former NASA scientist who was reanimated from the dead. He’s the cerebral member of the team—the calculating, pragmatic scientist. He has a special power of his own, which again we’ll explore in future issues. Just know for now that dying and coming back from the dead doesn’t come without certain advantages.
And then, of course, there’s Murder. An astronaut made of crows who is kind of alive…but kind of dead at the same time. We have a lot of fun, interesting things planned for Murder. He’ll be given more depth than one would anticipate, I think.
Westfield: What can readers look forward to in the story?
Seeley: A lot. Mike and I have a pretty large story to tell. We like to say its gonna be equal parts action/adventure, horror, and sci-fi, with hopefully a (very small) touch of comedy.
Before we began writing #0, we knew we wanted to do something grandiose. Something that we could take our time in both flushing-out and solidifying. We are pretty confident we accomplished that.
Westfield: You two are co-writing the book. How do you work that? Who does what?
Moreci: Steve usually tricks me into meeting at our studio, then locks me inside with demands for completed pages in exchange for my release. Funny that I’ve fallen for this ploy dozens of times…
No, we work diligently together in all aspects of the story. It’s great having a combo because, in my mind, it strengthens the work. We get together and talk things out in such detail, which as a solo writer, you’re only doing mentally. Verbalizing ideas and story beats really fleshes them out, at least for us, in a effective way. We’re very intense about getting the story straight—down to many of the fine details—before sitting down to actually write the script. When that time comes, it’s usually me that translates our story into script form. Steve’s more of the idea guy; I’m the nuts and bolts storyteller.
Westfield: What can you say about the artist you’re working with on the book?
Seeley: JM Ringuet did issue #0. It was a pleasure working with him, but when it came time to expand our comic to an ongoing, he had to step down due to other projects. After some searching for the perfect artist we found Axel Medellin , who has brought great life into our story. He’s an extremely talented and dedicated artist and both Mike and I look forward to working with him.
He also currently does the art on Elephant Men for Image. Beautiful stuff.
Westfield: Are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?
Moreci: We have a lot of projects on our plates, in various forms of production. We just released a short comic with Double Feature called “The Omega Family.” It’s a throwback story—kind of Space Family Robinson by way of Jack Kirby. Tom Scioli handled the art duties, and his work is absolutely incredible. I cannot praise him enough.
Individually, I’m currently operating a Kickstarter drive for my graphic novel, Reincar(Nate). It’s a crime noir book in the vein of Chew with the visual look of Drive. It’s being released digitally with Viper, but the Kickstarter drive is an effort for the artist, Keith Burns (a tremendous talent), and I to print it on our own.
Steve is always working on his painting in one form or other—he regularly has shows all across the country, and his work keeps getting better and better.
Westfield: Any closing comments?
Moreci:: All I can is that Steve and I really believe in Hoax Hunters; we’ve worked incredibly hard to craft a well-told story, and I think readers will respond to what’s there. There’s a lot of craziness in the pages to come, but a strong human story is in there as well. Give the series a chance, you’ll be glad you did!