Caligula: Heart of Rome.

While many are pointing at 12/21/12, some people interpret the Mayan calendar to predict this Wednesday, 12/12/12, to spell the end of the world as we know it. But, David Lapham feels fine.
The Eisner Award-winning author has three of his own personal series hitting comic shops this Wednesday, all published by Avatar Press. In addition to the debut of Caligula: Heart of Rome - the sequel to his supernatural horror tale set in ancient Rome - Wednesday will also premiere the trade collection of his original Ferals werewolf crime/horror comic series, and the most recent issue of his gonzo detective series, Dan The Unharmable #8.

Having been in the comic industry for over twenty years, Lapham has worked with Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Valiant, Wildstorm and many other publishers as both a writer and an artist. He won the Eisner Award for his creator-owned series Stray Bullets, as Best Writer/Artist in 1996. It is with Avatar Press he has found a home, allowing him to publish stories near and dear to his heart.

This Wednesday’s Caligula: Heart of Rome #1 allows Lapham to revisit his 2011 hit series set during the horrors of ancient Rome. “The time period is so twisted all on its own,” explained Lapham. “In a matter of years, we go from one of the most depraved and insane men who ever lived in Caligula, to the next most insane and depraved man who ever lived in Nero. The stories kind of just suggest themselves.  Introduce a demon into the mix and everything just fits in like a perfect puzzle.”

Writing a period piece like Caligula can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. “The research has been fun,” Lapham added.  “It's amazing how much is known and unknown about that time period.  It's just separated enough from the line that leads to us that there's an alien sensibility about it.  The real challenge though comes in the details.”

And what gory details they are. Having been known for his over-the-top horror in Crossed (Family Values and Psychopath, for example), the first Caligula did not disappoint. Will Caligula: Heart of Rome deliver?
“It's very disturbing visually,” Lapham admitted. “It all fits. Even better here than in Crossed.  I feel, while Caligula might be more visually graphic, it's also more purposeful.  Again, there's a theme of depravity.  But the heart of the story is that one man is trying to retain his honor and dignity in the face of that.”
Staying in the same vein, Lapham’s on-going series, Ferals, is collected for the first time this Wednesday. Ferals takes a much more sophisticated approach to the werewolf mythos.

“The idea was to do Werewolves differently,” Lapham explained. “In that I had a certain tone and landscape I saw for a setting. The snow, the mountains. Small town America. Simple people. Dale Chesnutt suggested himself. He's the detective from Mayberry on the wrong side of the tracks. He's really turned into a very dynamic character and very natural to write. For my part, I do think of it like the what if the Andy Griffith Show were invaded by booze and werewolves... and David Koresh.”

“I think one of the most successful aspects of Ferals is that we really created a credible secret society within our own,” Lapham continued. “The Ferals are out there and they want to be left alone, but if we're not going to leave them alone then we're going to die. Nobody puts the Ferals in a corner.”
Ferals Volume One collects Lapaham’s complete first story arc and is available as a soft cover, hard cover and limited signed hard cover in stores everywhere. 
Also arriving this Wednesday is Lapham detective series, Dan The Unharmable #8, taking him back to his crime roots. “I wanted to do more traditional crime, and going back to Stray Bullet's Amy Racecar and Sadie Dawkins from Young Liars,” compared Lapham. Fans who want to get caught up on the misadventures of Dan can expect to see the first trade paperback in January.
With all three of Lapham’s personal projects arriving the same day, this Wednesday, it may just be the end of the world. David Lapham isn’t phased, though. “I ain't scared of nothin'.”