Kids in the Hall comedian giving character new life

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Scott Thompson takes on the graphic novel

Lindsey Rivait
The Lance (University of Windsor)

WINDSOR, Ont. (CUP) –– Scott Thompson’s phone isn’t co-operating as well as it should as he speaks with me from Los Angeles. He always opts for cheap phones when he’s down there.

“I get one of those drug dealer phones that are disposable, but I’m always having people call me constantly,” Thompson explained.

Thompson recently released a graphic novel focusing on one of his classic Kids in the Hall sketch characters – Danny Husk. The graphic novel, Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet, is the first book of the Husk trilogy and is based on a screenplay Thompson wrote 10 years ago.

“I tried to get it made for years and everybody told me that it was ‘wonderful, original, hilarious, fantastic – we’ll never make it.’ After years of heartbreak, I went, ‘Oh jeez, I have to get this story out, it has to be told,’ so I decided I would do it as a graphic novel,” he explained.

The story centres on Danny, who loses his son at an amusement park. Years later, no one in his family has moved on and just when you thought Danny has lost everything, he ends up losing more. It sounds entirely too depressing, but it’s also funny, charming, and kind of sexy. It’s the type of well-rounded story you’d expect from Thompson.

The second book reveals what happens to Danny’s wife the night Danny disappears. “She’s been left on the surface of the earth with three missing people she can’t explain. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see what happens to her,” said Thompson, who is about one fifth of the way through working on the second installment.

One of the benefits of Husk not becoming a movie is the limitless creative freedom Thompson now has.

“I can write whatever the hell I want and no one can say, ‘That’s too crazy, that’s obscene, that’s too expensive.’ Those are the three things that I love – crazy, obscene, and expensive,” he said.

“This whole project was just a way for me to release my imagination and not worry about whether it’s possible to do and whether it was even smart to do. This is just a really pure creative endeavour.”

The past few years have been difficult for Thompson, but he says he is thankful to have a project like Husk to see him through. After being diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin’s gastric lymphoma in March 2009, Thompson underwent chemotherapy and radiation and is now cancer-free.

“For me, chemo, radiation, Hollow Planet, Death Comes to Town, family and friends, those are the things that got me through this,” he said.

“What’s really interesting for me, and kind of scary, is that so much of what I went through the last couple years is mimicked by Danny Husk. Danny loses everything, even his hair, just like me, and he comes back, stronger and better. In my darkest days I would look at those pictures and go, ‘Well, look at what Danny’s lost.’ It’s kind of weird to talk about an imaginary person like that, but that’s how I roll. I sound like Charlie Sheen.”

When Thompson was in his third chemotherapy treatment and had lost all of his hair and was very sick, he received illustrations for Husk from comic book artist Kyle Morton, depicting Husk with no body hair.

“It kind of freaked me out because I wrote that whole idea 10 years ago, how would I know? It’s almost as if the book was there to help me get through it,” said Thompson.

Beyond Husk, we may see projects featuring Thompson’s other popular Kids in The Hall characters, namely Buddy Cole.

“I definitely hear Buddy calling lately. He’s like, ‘Dude, where have you been? It’s time.’ I can’t say yet, but there is going to be something most likely coming from Buddy very soon,” Thompson teased.

Also new for Thompson is his website NewScottLand.com, featuring videos, blog posts, podcasts and more. The website is a new incarnation of Thompson’s online project from the 1990s, ScottLand.com.

“Finally the Internet is caught up to ScottLand in a way. We had no idea how naïve we were when we were creating that site. We just thought everyone will be able to see it. But it turns out very, very few people could ever really access what it was supposed to be,” Thompson said.

One of the most popular features on ScottLand was the chat rooms where Thompson himself would often visit and chat with fans.

“I don’t have a chat room yet, but that’s going to be the next thing. I hope to create a real online little empire,” he continued.

Thompson is a busy guy, adding new projects to his roster regularly. He’s pitching a series in the U.S., working on a project for Canadian television, writing a movie, doing stand up and putting together a new one-man show.

“And my number one thing is keeping my health and I’m very healthy. I beat cancer, so now it’s all about, how do I maintain that and keep moving forward,” explained Thompson.

Thompson’s passion and dedication to get Husk’s story out is unwavering. The story is connected to Thompson’s life more than ever now.

“I decided I could never let this project die. So, I had the symbol that Danny has branded on him tattooed on my shoulder. It always reminds me that I must never rest until this is done. And also to make sure that when the movie comes out, I’m playing Danny. ‘Wait a second, I permanently marked myself. You’re going to save hundreds of dollars not having to do the tattoo every day,’” said Thompson.

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