Q&A – Kevin J. Anderson on Dune Books and Comics

In an exclusive interview with Dune Universe, Kevin J. Anderson answered questions about current and potential future Dune publications, including The Duke of Caladan and House Atreides. Anderson together with Brian Herbert, son of Frank Herbert (author of the original Dune novels), have been collaborating on Dune stories for 20 years and have co-authored 14 novels and 1 collection in the setting. Recently they’ve expanded into comic adaptations and are working with partners on new games.

Kevin J. Anderson, co-author of multiple Dune books and short stories.
Kevin J. Anderson

Dune Universe: This year is incredible for Dune fans. So many news, so many new projects are coming. Besides Dune movie by Denis Villeneuve, what is the most excited project for you personally?

Kevin J. Anderson: Brian Herbert and I have been working on this for more than two decades, so many different stories, so many ways to enter the Dune universe. We are very thrilled with all the new comics projects, the monthly House Atreides series from BOOM and the detailed DUNE graphic novel from Abrams, but we’re most excited about our original new novel THE DUKE OF CALADAN.

Cover of Dune: The Duke of Caladan, a book by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
Dune: The Duke of Caladan, first book in The Caladan Trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

DU: There was quite a big break between last Dune novel and The Duke of Caladan. Why?

KJA: Yes, it was four or five years since NAVIGATORS OF DUNE. As you can see with all the new projects coming out, we were working hard on the Dune movie, the comics, and the games. Also, Brian and I wanted some time to recharge our batteries to dive back in to new stories in the Dune universe.

DU: The Duke of Caladan takes place one year prior the original Dune novel. Will The Lady of Caladan and The Heir of Caladan continue to explore this “year before Dune” or it could explore other time periods as well?

KJA: Yes, the trilogy itself is a continuous story that will lead up to the beginning of the novel DUNE.

Main cover, by Jae Lee, for Dune: House Atreides comic issue 1.
Dune: House Atreides, a monthly comic series adapting Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s eponymous novel.

DU: I was really excited to hear about new Dune comics. What is the difference between writing a novel and working on a script for comics? Were there any challenges while you were working on the script?

KJA: I’ve done a great deal of comics, from Star Wars, X-Files, Predator, Justice Society, and others. There’s a difference between telling a prose story and a visual story, but Dune is such an epic, visual story and we felt it was an excellent venue to translate those stories.

DU: Let’s talk about House Atreides comic book series. Have you had to make any plot adjustments or changes in comparison to your original novel?

KJA: The pacing is an important part. In a novel, you can write the chapters as you need to, but in a comic series, there are rigid episodes, twelve of them at 22 pages each. That required a little bit of juggling to make all the pieces equal, but I think we pulled it off. We just delivered script #6 and will soon start #7.

DU: Can we expect comic book adaptations of House Harkonnen and House Corrino in the future?

KJA: Well, that makes sense, but it’s up to the publisher. We need to see how the first series does!

Cover of Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1.
Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1 in a 3-part graphic novel adaptation of Frank Herbert’s original Dune novel.

DU: Have you and Brian considered writing the original stories for comic books? I would love to see them! 🙂

KJA: The definitive graphic novel adaptation of DUNE is coming out from Abrams Books next month. So, it’s in the works. Again, we need to see how the first books do before we plan to extend to the other books. So, I hope people like them!

This Q&A was originally posted as a Twitter thread by Dune Universe. If you enjoyed this content, like and follow @TheDuneSaga.

For more on these books and comics, see our non-spoiler review of Dune: The Duke of Caladan, the first six pages in a preview of Dune: House Atreides #1, and an expanded preview of Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1.

Source: Dune Universe’s Twitter account