Meet Billy Hatchet. An angst-driven child with a taste for blood and a score to settle, who has been terrorizing small town Pineville for a couple years now. Hacking limbs and taking eyeballs is a steady Saturday for Little Billy Hatchet, and the townsfolk have no understanding of why. While the book itself is small, it packs quite the powerful message.
Billy Hatchet was written in a format that really reminds me of kindergarten reading time, but has a very dark subject matter. While I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s bad for children, it might be a concern for some parents. Reading it as an adult was very enjoyable though. The blood and interesting art style really set this book apart from the others.
Part of the reason I love this book is because it’s a shining example of the existence of good, creator-owned works still being made outside of the mainstream comic industry. For some, the world of comics has become nothing but capes and short-lived crusades, but there are stories out there that deal in more contemporary fare. Not to mention the writer is one of the nicest people I’ve met – although, he may be a little twisted. I was able to ask him a couple questions about Little Billy Hatchet.
Nerdlocker (NL): Wolfe, how did you come up with this character? Is Billy a reflection of your own childhood in anyway?
Johann Wolfe Heisey (JWH): I came up with Billy when I was at Borders Books with a few teens I was teaching to read. We were looking at all the basic reading books and my first thought was, “There are no cool children’s stories for young adults, just kids.” About 2min later the character of Billy Hatchet jumped into my head and it just took off. I think Billy is a reference for a part that lives inside of every person, either you grew up as a Billy type child or knew of one and that’s why I feel that the story hits home with everyone who reads it. I wrote Billy as a “Children’s book for mature readers” and it focuses on the age groups of 14 and up.
NL: The serious subject of this book makes me curious. Did you write this to reference the current state of abuse in our country? Without giving too much away, of course.
JWH: The abuse and parental neglect, yes. It definitely has roots in today’s society and is the main focus of the story. The story stems from the result of when parents turn a blind eye to their children and the others in their community.
NL: Do you have a hatchet of your own, or is that too much of an incriminating question to ask?
JWH: I have a few..lol. Really, I do.
NL: Is there anything in the works for you?
JWH: I’m currently working on a screenplay. Don’t want to give it away, but it’s my take on a classic and a total revamp of characters that I know people will love.
NL: What is your favorite vVideo game, comic, and movie?
JWH: Video game would have to be Zelda. It’s one of those games you can just play over and over. Comic book, well that’s a tough one because as you know I am a huge comic nut and I’m covered with comic character tatts, but Green Lantern has always been one of my top. My favorite movie is timeless, once again one of those things you can just watch over and over and never get sick of it and that’s the original Conan.
So there you have it. The things you have been dying to know from the mouth of the Wolfe himself. If you would like to keep up to date on the works of Mr. Heisey, you can visit his website at www.BillyHatchet.com or like him on Facebook.
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