INTERVIEW: Lawrence Goodman Dives into the City’s Dark, Supernatural Underbelly in Gray Cells

Cover of Gray Cells #1 (Inked Dreams Comics, 2021)

Something monstrous is stealing the children…

In Lawrence Goodman’s Gray Cells, 8-year-old Josh Glass is an aspiring artist who loves to draw, but the frightening images of the Frogman that he shares may be the only clue to who has taken him from his home. Not that anyone believes his mother that he’s been kidnapped. The police don’t care much for a child caught up in the foster system, and it certainly isn’t newsworthy to anyone. Anyone, that is, except Lina Santos who finally has her chance to do some real journalism instead of fluff pieces. While Lina digs deeper into the unnatural darkness of the city’s underbelly to find the truth, Josh struggles to save himself and the others from the Frogman.

the cover of Gray Cells #1

Featuring art by Kay, colors by Cory Ranson, and letters by Nikki Powers, Gray Cells is a neo-noir story that promises supernatural chills as it examines the dark reality of today. Here, creator Lawrence Goodman tells us more:

You’ve connected Gray Cells to stories like SE7EN and Stranger Things. What is it about these stories that intrigues you and inspires Gray Cells?

I’m a big fan of David Fincher and the worlds he creates. I definitely had them in mind when writing Gray Cells. Se7en is Gotham without Batman to me and that’s the kind of world I wanted our characters to find themselves in, where the odds are stacked against them and no one is coming to rescue them.

With Stranger Things, there’s the supernatural menace and missing kids, but also that all the characters are active in trying to fight towards a solution. Joyce and Hopper, Nancy and Jonathon, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Eleven, even Will isn’t just a passive participant waiting to be rescued. They are all working on their individual parts. It’s the same in Gray Cells. Josh is abducted but he isn’t sitting around waiting to be rescued. It never occurs to him that someone might try to rescue him. He thinks he’s on his own.

Tell us a bit about the main character. Who is Lina and why is the story of Josh Glass’s abduction so important to her?

Lina is a journalist looking to establish herself in her career and this is her first big story. Her family isn’t very supportive but journalism is important to her and she sees it as her way to make a difference. When she looks into Josh’s abduction and sees his home life, there are some things that resonate with her. Not on the same level, but Josh is this creative kid who is trapped in a bad environment even before he is kidnapped.

A frightening frog/man creature haunts the dreams of a young boy

The Frogman is a frightening creation, not only visually, but in his nature. What was the inspiration for his appearance, abilities, and purpose?

I went back to the things that have always scared me, not being able to trust your senses, losing control of your mind and your body. Visually, he’s based on a Vodyanoy from Slavic mythology who would drown people.

He’s changing his appearance in an attempt to be disarming to these children that he’s taking, sort of a perverted Kermit the Frog, but his emotions leak through and he becomes monstrous.

Gray Cells is a six-part complete series. You can download a free preview now, with a Kickstarter coming soon from Inked Dreams Comics that will give you the entire 130-page story.

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.

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