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Exclusive: Cullen Bunn Talks Sixth Gun, NBC pilot, Sons of the Gun Spinoff & More

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Posted by: Byron Brewer, Contributing Editor
created 03/30/2013 - 4:47pm

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When he is not ruling the roost at Marvel’s Fearless Defenders and Venom, writer Cullen Bunn is guiding the fates of a group of Old West characters caught up in a magical mystery tour of his popular creator-owned series from Oni Press, The Sixth Gun.

Between his travels and convention appearances, Bunn agreed to sit down exclusively with Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer and discuss what’s up in the rootin’ tootin’ world of Becky Montcrief and Drake Sinclair.

Cosmic Book News: For new readers and old ones under a rock, tell us about the series. What is The Sixth Gun? Are there other guns, and what do they all do?

Cullen Bunn: The Sixth Gun is an epic fantasy set in the Old West. It is the story of “the Six,” a set of magical weapons that have incredible power. The most dangerous of these weapons, the Sixth Gun, falls into the hands of an innocent farmer’s daughter, and it helps her to become one of the deadliest guns in the West.

Each of the Six has a unique power. One strikes with the force of a cannon. One rots the flesh from its target. One helps the wielder heal from even a mortal wound. One spews forth the fires of Perdition. One raises the dead. And the Sixth Gun grants visions of the future.

CBN: Tell us about one of your protagonists, Drake Sinclair. What makes him tick?

Cullen Bunn: Drake is a co-lead with Becky Montcrief. Drake is a gunfighter and rogue with a dark past, and his motives may be in question, especially in the beginning of the story. He has a connection to the villains of the story -- and to the Six!

CBN: Who is your favorite big-bad for the Old West adventure and why?

Cullen Bunn: There are many villains in the story. General Oliander Bedford Hume, who is this caustic Confederate General with supernatural powers. The General’s Horsemen, who have been “mutated” by the power of the Six. The Knights of Solomon, a shadowy conspiracy working to claim mystic artifacts.

But I think Missy Hume, the General’s widow, is my favorite villain. She’s crazy as hell and pure evil. She’s eternally youthful, thanks to the power of the Six, but she has to commit terrible atrocities to maintain her youth.

CBN: There is a lot of mysticism in The Sixth Gun? Will we ever see Becky or Sinclair walking in the boots of Dr. Strange for a Ditko dimension-hopper?

Cullen Bunn: It’s an interesting question. This is a magical world, and as the story progresses, it treads strange territory. The story gets more and more epic, and I think the destinations awaiting our heroes will surprise the readers.

CBN: Speaking of the mystic, can you draw back the curtain just a bit and tell us something about the mysteries of Billjohn?

Cullen Bunn: Billjohn is my favorite character in the series, which means I treat him pretty poorly. He goes through some big transformations over the course of the story. There’s some mystery about him, sure, but I don’t plan on revealing too much about that until later in the series.

CBN: Congratulations, Cullen, on so many Eisner and Harvey Award nominations with this work. How does this strip inspire such a standard of excellence?

Cullen Bunn: It’s quite an honor to be nominated for these awards. Of course, I don’t write for an award. I just try to tell the best story possible. I put my heart and soul into every issue. And Brian Hurtt, the artist, and Bill Crabtree, the colorist, have put so much effort into making the book look great. I’m glad that dedication has been recognized.

CBN: Can you tell us anything about the NBC pilot based on your comic, and how does that feel?

Cullen Bunn: Well, there is a pilot being filmed right now. Carlton Cuse, of Lost fame, is producing. Ryan Condal provided an amazing script. Jeffrey Reiner is directing. The cast is incredible, and everyone involved really seems to love the comic. It’s a pretty surreal feeling, but it’s also pretty amazing. I can’t wait for folks to see this thing!

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CBN: How much input did you have on that project?

Cullen Bunn: We’ve been kept in the loop on the project, and the cast and crew have been very open to feedback and suggestions. In the end, though, there are some very, very talented people involved in the show, and I have a lot of faith that they’re going to knock this out of the park.

CBN: What's coming up in the near future of The Sixth Gun?

Cullen Bunn: The Sixth Gun will end with issue 50, so we’re starting to move toward a major climax. We just finished up the “Winter Wolves” arc, and we’re moving into a really wild story called “Ghost Dance” where readers will see some things they’d never expect. After that, we’re going to rocket toward the climax … which will be epic and bombastic and scary and emotional.

CBN: What other projects would you like to discuss?

Cullen Bunn: In addition to the main series, we are also doing a spin-off limited series -- The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun -- which tells the story of some of the General’s Horsemen. It’s a much darker story than what we see in the main storyline. It’s co-written by regular series artist, Brian Hurtt, and illustrated by Brian Churilla. The second issue just came out.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Cullen Bunn for taking time out of his very busy schedule to once again answer our questions.

The Sixth Gun #30 hits shelves April 17th!

 
 

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