Interview: Stephen Mooney on IDW’s Half Past Danger

Half Past Danger #1

Half Past Danger #1


Stephen Mooney has worked on such books as Angel, CSI: Dying in the Gutters, and The A-Team. Now, he’s writing and drawing his own series, Half Past Danger, at IDW. Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Mooney to learn more about this upcoming project.

Westfield: What was the genesis of Half Past Danger?

Stephen Mooney: Basically the simple fact that I wanted total control over the kind of story I was telling, I guess. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some fantastic writers on some quality titles, but up to this point I’d never gotten the chance to really sink my teeth into my favourite genre; period pulp action-adventure stories. I figured that the best way to get to work on a book featuring the kind of characters and situations that I really wanted to depict would be to create the story and scenario myself from the ground up. That way, for better or for worse, all the onus, decision-making and responsibility would rest with me. I’m managing to scratch a massive itch with this book, and regardless of how well it’s received, I’ll be glad that I took the time to do it. That it’s easily my best work bears testament to the fact that it was worth doing.

I don’t see many of these types of throwback, action-adventure Saturday matinee serial type books appearing these days. Whether that indicates that the audience simply doesn’t exist for them or not I don’t really know, but I figured that there maybe was a gap there that Half Past Danger could fill. Bottom line is it’s the kind of comic book I’ve always wanted to read, so the best way to make it happen is to get out there and start swinging.

Half Past Danger #1 page 0

Half Past Danger #1 page 0


Westfield: What can you tell us about the story and who are the main characters involved?

Mooney: The lead character is Staff Sergeant Tommy Flynn, or ‘Irish’ to his squadmates. He’s one of a very few Irishmen fighting for the U.S. Marines in the second world war. Tommy and his squad experience something cataclysmic on an Island in the Pacific theatre that sets off the chain of events that comprise the story. He’s a bit of a grumpy so-and-so, but sells a good line in wise-crackery.

The other three protagonists are MI6 Agent Elizabeth Huntington Moss, Captain John Noble of the Marines, and a Japanese ex-pat special forces operative called Ishikawa Minamoto.

The story is at its most base level Nazis versus Dinosaurs, with a generous helping of secret agents, two-fisted swashbuckling, and derring-do on the side. Plus a ninja.

Half Past Danger #1 page 1

Half Past Danger #1 page 1


Here’s the pitch:

DAMES. DINOSAURS. DANGER.

Summer, 1943, and in the midst of a war waged by monsters, Staff Sergeant Tommy ‘Irish’ Flynn never expected to encounter a real one. But on a remote island in the South Pacific, Flynn and his squad come face-to-fanged-face with creatures long thought dead. As the world falls apart, a unique set of characters come together: An embittered Irishman in a war not his own, a beautiful and enigmatic British agent, a U.S. Marine Captain with incredible resilience and a secret, and a mysterious operative from the land of the Rising Sun, all served up in a stew of piping-hot Nazi intrigue.

History meets Prehistory in this two-fisted race against time. And there ain’t no time like Half Past Danger.

Half Past Danger #1 page 2

Half Past Danger #1 page 2


Westfield: Since the comic is set during World War II and you have lots of dinosaurs, did you do research for the comic?

Mooney: Oh yeah. LOTS of research. Weeks and weeks of it. Because there are so many fantastical elements to the story, I wanted to base each facet in as much actual fact as I could, to try and sell the premise that little bit more. I mean, obviously there are many out-there concepts in this story, but the nuts and bolts stuff about the hardware, locations, and organizations etc. is as nailed down as I could make it. In a way the research period was one of the most fun aspects of this project, I gave myself an entire month way back at the start to wade through many books and internet essays about the various warring factions, military intelligence agencies, and of course, dinosaurs. A lot of enjoyment to be had sifting through all of that stuff. My dad is a bit of a historian, and very well versed in all things WW2, so I ended up running major parts of my ideas past him to authenticate.

Half Past Danger #1 page 9

Half Past Danger #1 page 9


Westfield: You have a blog in which you talk about the progress of the book. Why did you decide to do that?

Mooney: Well, mainly because I find the genesis and process of projects I’m interested in to be fascinating. I got the idea from Nate Simpson’s blog that chronicled the ups and downs of working on his Nonplayer book, a site that I read religiously as it went along. It’s fascinating to know exactly what machinations go into getting a project off the ground, finding a publisher for it, and then executing the bloody thing. Well, at least it is to me. I guess I’m hoping that like-minded individuals will be the main audience for Half Past Danger, and if these people are indeed anything like me then they’ll enjoy knowing the ingredients and technique that went into preparing the dish. I tried to make the blog as interesting and candid as possible; warts and all. The dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, the creamy centres.

Also, I wanted the blog to serve as a promotional tool, to drum up interest about the book. As I’ve gone along over the last year or so I’ve tried to think of any and all ways that i can to get the words HALF PAST and DANGER out there, and notify as many prospective readers/buyers as humanly possible about the series. So hopefully the blog has gone some way towards doing that. I’ve updated it at least once a week, usually more, since the project began, so there’s plenty of meat on it. It’s located at www.halfpastdanger.com if any of your readers wanted to take a peek.

Half Past Danger #1 Subscription Variant Cover by Tommy Lee Edwards

Half Past Danger #1 Subscription Variant Cover by Tommy Lee Edwards


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Mooney: Just that I hope people will give the book a chance, really. I’m genuinely convinced that it’s unlike anything else on the stands right now; I mean there have definitely been books with similar elements of premise out there before this, but definitely not in the way that Half Past Danger presents them. I honestly think that anybody who has an interest in solid pulp action-adventure tales like Raiders of The Lost Ark or The Rocketeer will get something from Half Past Danger. But then, I would say that!

And also, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about my book, I sincerely appreciate the support. Look for the first issue from IDW comics this May!

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Half Past Danger #1

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  1. Beau Smith Says:

    Sign me on!

    Beau Smith
    The Flying Fist Ranch