Smash Pages Q&A: Paul Cornell on Creator-Owned ‘This Damned Band’ from Dark Horse


To say writer Paul Cornell executed the modern day equivalent of Jimi Hendrix setting a guitar on fire with his new creator-owned miniseries This Damned Band is an understatement. Cornell has teamed with artist Tony Parker and colorist Lovern Kindzierski on this one-of-a-kind mockumentary 1970s era period piece where a rock and roll band which acts like they worship the devil–only to realize they really do.

Thanks to Cornell for chatting with me about this Dark Horse published six-issue miniseries. Issue #1 was released on August 5, while issue #2 comes out on September 2. Part of me hopes to chat with Cornell after the miniseries wraps to find out more in terms of the Bowie and the Kinks anecdotes.

Tim O’Shea: Which came first the idea to tackle the 1960s/1970s era of music or the storytelling device do it as a mockumentary?

Paul Cornell: I think the band encountering the occult for real was the first thought, and the mockumentary style just felt like a good way to do that.

I don’t want you to spoil the story but am I right in thinking despite the death of Robert Starkey he plays a role of some kind in this miniseries?

It’s indicative of something, but it’s not going to be referred to in the strip.  By the time we get to the end, I think readers will have gotten something extra out of it.

Did anyone on the creative team or an editor push back on the double entendre of Cunning Linguists?

Not at all.

With a period piece like this I would think half the fun for an artist would be the costumes he gets to draw. Did Tony Parker seek out references for costumes or did you provide him with reference material?

He’s been finding so much reference of his own.  He’s kind of immersed himself in it.  It’s wonderful to see.

Given the rich supporting cast you developed for this miniseries I was wondering if there’s one or two characters that stand out for you upon reflection?

I very much like Justin’s complicated mix of motivations.  I identify with how lost he is.  And I love writing Browley dialogue.

In a psychedelic romp like this project I would be remiss not to give you a chance to sing the praises of colorist Lovern Kindzierski?

Isn’t he amazing?  When the ‘local artist’ who draws the recounted stuff is French, in #3 and #4, he brings a Tintin palate that’s just perfect.

Will each issue feature juicy bonus material like discography from issue 1?

Just #2, which has a rock family tree for the band.  After that, we fill those pages with story.

Care to name two or three bands from the 1960s/1970s era that helped inform or inspire elements of the story?

Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and oddly, in terms of anecdotes referenced, Bowie and the Kinks.

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