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The Original ‘Kolchak: The Nightstalker’ Comes To Kickstarter

Kolchak Night Stalker Cover crop

Bram Stoker award-winning editor and writer James Aquilone has been on a tear with the classic property Kolchak: The Night Stalker, revitalizing it for the modern age. And now he’s going back to the start with a limited edition printing of the original novel by Jeff Rice that kicked the whole thing off.

“I love the idea of the reporter as a hero,” Aquilone told Comic Book Club over email. “Maybe that’s because I have a journalism degree and have been working as a journalist ever since I graduated. (Still haven’t stumbled upon a monster though.)”

For the new project, Jeff Rice’s book is getting reprinted in full from the 1973 edition of the novel, with a few fun bonus bits: a new forward by David Dastmalchian; an afterword by Rodney Barnes; an essay on Jeff Rice from Kolchak expert Mark Dawidziak; and a brand new cover and spot illustrations by Russ Braun.

To find out more about the Kickstarter, and Aquilone’s continued obsession with Kolchak, read on.

Comic Book Club: James, we’ve definitely discussed this before, but what keeps drawing you back to Kolchak?

James Aquilone: I love the idea of the reporter as a hero. Maybe that’s because I have a journalism degree and have been working as a journalist ever since I graduated. (Still haven’t stumbled upon a monster though.) 

Specifically, what was it like revisiting this original novel? And what differs from the Kolchak from TV?

I reread the novel for this project and still loved it. It’s a great read and an interesting look into the ins and out of being a reporter in the 1970s.

In the novel, Kolchak is a little different — he’s a heavier drinker and not as solitary as the TV version. But he’s still very recognizable as the Kolchak we all know and love.

Kolchak Night Stalker Cover

Talk about bringing this project together… Was it a no-brainer to get David Dastmalchian and Rodney Barnes to write about the book?

Yes, they were both at the top of my list. They’re two of the biggest Kolchak fans out there. You can see the Kolchak influence on Rodney’s Killadelphia and Dastmalchian’s Count Crowley.

What makes Russ Braun the right person to provide illustrations? And what can folks expect from his work?

I knew Russ Braun was a big Kolchak and that he once put him in a Swamp Thing comic written by Nancy A. Collins back in the day. He had done an amazing Morlock cover for Monstrous #2, my comic book magazine, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to do the art for this project.

Similarly, what can we expect from the Kickstarter?

The novel is a deluxe hardcover that will contain the original story as well as a foreword by David Dastmalchian, an afterword by Rodney Barnes, and a profile on Kolchak creator Jeff Rice by Mark Dawidziak.

Anyone who backs the print book will get a free Kolchak fan club membership, and on the flipside is a Kolchak press card.

We’ll also have prints of the interior illustrations. 

There are a ton of Kolchak books… If this is successful, should we expect you to tackle the rest of the series?

You can definitely expect a lot more Kolchak projects. We’re doing new Kolchak stories in comics, novels, and anthologies. And you might see more reprints as well.

You can pledge the Kickstarter right now.

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