We had the pleasure of interviewing comic veteran Dean Haspiel about his comic The Red Hook when it hit LINE Webtoon in 2016. And Haspiel continues to be prolific, penning new stories from the Red Hook’s world and making his universe more robust and rich.

Case in point: On Thursday, March 19th, Haspiel has a play opening in New York City titled The War of Woo, a tale that acts as a prequel story to The Red Hook series. Today, we’re proud to give you an exclusive first look at a video Haspiel penned about Woo, featuring actor Seth Gilliam (who stars in Woo) of The Walking Dead fame.

Take a gander and enjoy!

The War of Woo debuts Thursday, March 19, in New York City.

From the official press release:


Seth Gilliam (“The Walking Dead”) and Stoya star in the Philip Cruise-directed production, which opens March 19 at New York’s Gene Frankel Theatre

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2020 — THE WAR OF WOO, a new play from Emmy Award®-winning writer, artist and cartoonist Dean Haspiel, brings a never-before-seen comic-book/Neo-Dada hybrid to New York’s Gene Frankel Theatre March 19-April 4. Directed by Philip Cruise, the cast includes Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead, The Wire) and Stoya (A.I. Rising, Slate’s “How to Do It” column).

The ambitious production, which marks the first time a play has served as a prequel to a graphic-novel series, follows a diverse and dynamic gang of New Yorkers (dubbed “The Bombastic Four”) as they explore the complicated, violent and passionate relationship between Hollywood, Heaven and Hell. Ultimately, this cross-dimensional love story sets in motion the cosmic genesis of New Brooklyn, the setting of Haspiel’s Ringo Award-winning comic series “The Red Hook.” The production recently raised more than $10,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo.

Says Haspiel: “My passion for sequential art and the stage finally hit an apex when I realized I’d written a theatrical prequel to my comix series—which makes sense, since THE WAR OF WOO is a play about the unholy merge between the kind and the profane.”

In addition to Gilliam and Stoya, the cast includes Olivia Baseman, Philip Cruise, Tad D’Agostino, Alfred C. Kemp and Christopher Lee. THE WAR OF WOO marks Haspiel’s fourth foray into NYC theater and will be produced by Thin Duke/Sparkplug Productions, a theatrical collective created by Cruise, Lee and producer/actor Edward Miller.

“I love working with Dean,” says Stoya. “His scripts are so complicated and bizarre—there’s twists everywhere.” Adds Gilliam: “It’s provocative and profane. It’s probably gonna be about an hour and a half of a gut-punch of entertainment.”

Lighting, sound and props for the production will be managed by Gemini CollisionWorks, the creative team of Ian W. Hill and Berit Johnson. Set design and construction will be led by Joe Kay, with costumes by Holly Pocket McCaffrey.

“Seth, Dean, Ed and I have been friends and colleagues since we met as teenagers at SUNY Purchase, and Stoya has been performing Dean’s work since 2017,” says Cruise. “When the cast has such a deep understanding of the author’s material, the possibility for fireworks onstage is increased exponentially.”

Tickets for THE WAR OF WOO are on sale at warofwoo.brownpapertickets.com. The Gene Frankel Theatre is located at 24 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette).


Emmy® and Ringo Award winner Dean Haspiel is best known for creating characters The Red Hook and Billy Dogma and illustrating for HBO’s Bored To Death. He has written and drawn comics for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie and other major publishers, and his acclaimed collaborations include work with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames and Stan Lee. In addition, he is a Yaddo fellow and webcomics pioneer. Haspiel’s previous plays include SWITCH TO KILL, HARAKIRI KANE and THE LAST BAR AT THE END OF THE WORLD.


Philip Cruise is a New York-based actor, writer and director who formed Thin Duke Productions in 2003. His directorial credits include the political comedy KING GEORGE II and Tom Ellis’ BRIGHT DAY, and he currently serves as a technical director for the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre. An accomplished actor, Cruise’s recent stage credits include LET TRUMP BE TRUMP and playing Hugh Hefner in Kallan Dana’s PLAYDATE (2019).