Author and Creator Jeff Lindsay Talks About the Dexter Comic Book Series by Marvel

Dexter author and creator Jeff Lindsay talks on USAtoday about Marvel's Dexter comic book series. The above photo is from the comic book where Dexter's "Dark Passenger" takes shadowy form.

via USAtoday: "It's not because I hope I'll get Stan Lee at my birthday party or something. I'm just really thrilled to be doing this at Marvel," says Lindsay, 60, who as a child would ride his bicycle five miles each way every Saturday to get his comics at a south Miami drugstore.

The writer's hometown is a familiar locale for fans of the Dexter series and the role played by Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall. The new comic, however, takes place in the world of Lindsay's novels and features a story where Dexter goes to his high school reunion and has a run-in with old classmate Steve Gonzalez, who might be the next guy our antihero brings to his twisted form of justice. (In high school, young Dexter strapped him down to a table and took out his scalpel — a glimpse of many, many similar scenes to come.)

Dexter editor Bill Rosemann sees the character almost like one of Marvel Comics' various superheroes because of his secret identity. "He has a private life, a public life, and it's drama when you see the two sides of it bumping into each other." Read the rest of the article after the jump.

Lindsay originally had mentioned Gonzalez in one paragraph in one of his novels, and he's a former bully who's "about 18 guys I used to know" from school, he says.

"It's a fascinating crossover for me. You never really make something up."

As for Dexter's own origins, he jokes that "my snarky response is they've never proven anything," but much of the character, his tactics and his literary kills have been inspired by Lindsay's talks with psychologists in his own family. "Your instincts take over when you've done a certain amount of research."

One difference Dexter TV fans will see in the comic is that his "Dark Passenger" — the inner voice who pushes him to murder, albeit with a moral code his foster father Harry gave him — takes visual form as a shadowy presence so readers will get the sense that it's a character, too.

And those who still miss Dexter's wife Rita (played by Julie Benz), who was murdered in the show by the Trinity Killer, will be glad to know she's alive and well in the comic.

When she died, Lindsay recalls, "I was on a book tour all around the world that year, and people would meet my airplane with angry signs: 'Why did you kill her!' And in different accents."

The comic marks the first time Lindsay has written Dexter outside of his novels — the seventh, Dexter's Final Cut, comes out Sept. 17. In the early seasons of the show, both his wife and agent told him not to write any episodes.

"Ernest Hemingway said, 'The only way to deal with Hollywood is to throw your book over the state line, wait for them to throw back money, and then grab it with both bands and run like hell.' That's remarkably sane advice," Lindsay says.

To reach book-buying audiences and mainstream viewers alike, Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso wanted the covers to look a bit like a novel and also describe the unique content within: "It's noir told under blue skies. It's the serial killer who you wouldn't mind your sister dating."

He's still popular, too, almost 10 years after the release of Lindsay's first 2004 novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. This past Sunday's episode marked the highest-rated Dexter season premiere ever for Showtime.

The continuing appeal? It's a fantasy thing, according to Lindsay.

"There's a guy who's worse than the bad guys but he's on our side. Every miserable bastard who ever did you wrong, Dexter'll get to him," the author says.

"It's fun to be able to fantasize that you can push a button and that person will regret ever having done that to you."

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