Eliot Rahal On Whisper, Vault’s Cult Classic Line, And Extreme Food Challenges

by Brendan M. Allen

In February 2018, Vault Comics will be releasing the first story in their new Cult Classic Universe. Return to Whisper (previously referred to as Return of the Graveyard Gang) is Eliot Rahal’s baby, and I recently had an opportunity to talk to him about it.

Here’s Vault’s official description of this series kickoff:

In 1997, a group of teenagers discover a treasure of immeasurable wealth. Fearing that their newfound fortune will be stolen from them, they make a pact: One day they’ll all come back as adults, divide their riches, and live happily ever after. Fifteen years later, they have returned. Not to uncover a fortune, but to bury a friend. From Eliot Rahal (Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, The Paybacks) & Felipe Cunha (Flash Gordon, Turok) comes the first full-length series in the much-anticipated Cult Classic Universe!

Brendan Allen: Right. So Eliot, talk to me. What is Cult Classic?

Eliot Rahal: Cult Classic is high concept! The brand! Cult Classic is the name of a creator owned/shared universe line of horror/sci-fi books from Vault Comics! Think of it like Goosebumps. Goosebumps is the name of its line. Cult Classic is ours. Each distinct story/series has its own title. Our first main series is Cult Classic: Return To Whisper. All of Cult Classic is connected on the basis that everything is set inside the fictional town of Whisper. Other creators can be inspired from other story lines, play with other pieces already introduced into the world, add their own, or all of the above!

BA: Stephen King has Derry, you have Whisper?

ER: I think of it more like Springfield, from the Simpsons. But, Springfield in The Twilight Zone.

BA: What’s Return to Whisper about?

ER: Cult Classic: Return to Whisper (available to pre-order now, and is out in late Feb!) is basically The Goonies grown up and gone wrong. It’s a story that uses nostalgia, but also subverts it. A big conversation point is about how there is no such thing as “THE GOOD OLD DAYS.” Our story focuses on a cast of teenage kids who find a treasure. They think to themselves, “Hey, we can’t keep this money. Adults will take it.” So they agree to split it and hide it. They make a promise to return years later as adults. Then… Boom! They are rich. Only… when they return… they aren’t the people who they thought they would be. The whole book is about how sometimes we are disappointed with adulthood. How millennials are restless. And how life… doesn’t exactly work out like we would like it to.

BA: I said I was going to ask about your hopes and dreams and I meant it. Let’s get awkward! What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself with this first series, and later for the whole Cult Classic line?

ER: First and foremost the goal is to tell a great story. Felipe Cunha is an incredible artist and collaborator. Taylor Esposito and Dee Cunniffe are… well if I could always work with them I would. I’m just lucky to have this team of creators working with me. On top of that. Our goals are hopeful and ambitious. We want to create a place where creators can come and tell stories in an expanding universe. A place where they can build lore and also own a piece of it. The best art is the art that’s shared. That’s our goal. That’s Vault’s goal. And I gotta tell you…The Wassel brothers have vision. They are great partners. Almost conspirators. This project couldn’t be built anywhere else. I mean that. ALSO SHOUT OUT TO MY HERO TIM DANIEL FOR BEING ONE OF THE BEST DESIGNERS/WRITERS/PEOPLE IN COMICS!

BA: Is there anything you want to leave us with? A final pitch?

ER: BUY THIS BOOK AND YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER!!!!

BA: …

ER: Or, if 15,000 people buy this book, I will attempt to drink a gallon of milk in 30 seconds!

BA: It only counts if you put it up on YouTube.

ER: Deal.

Okay, so there it is. Cult Classic: Return to Whisper, published by Vault Comics releases in February. The final order cutoff (FOC) is 05 January 2018, so if you want this comic, and you do want this comic, be sure to let your local comic shop know. You can even give them the Diamond order codes to make it super easy. The code for Irene Koh’s cover (the one with the tree) is DEC171930 and the code for Felipe Cunha’s cover (the red one) is DEC171931.

I can’t overstress the importance of pre-order. Everyone wins. You get the books you want. The retailer gets a piece. The creators get paid. The publisher prints enough to meet demand. It’s a win-win-win-win.

Cult Classic: Return to Whisper #1, published by Vault Comics, releases 28 February 2018. Written/created by Eliot Rahal, art by Felipe Cunha, color by Dee Cuniffe, letters by Taylor Esposito. covers by Irene Koh and Felipe Cunha. Rip G. Raves co-created and designed by John Bivens. Order using Diamond Codes DEC171930 (Koh cover) and DEC171931 (Cunha cover). Final order cutoff is 05 January 2018.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It’s a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.