Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Steve Niles on loving his "Days" job

Steve Niles has been a superb horror writer. I read his original 30 Days of Night series when I purchased the TPB and it is simply awesome. I can't wait until the movie hits the big screen to watch it.

Steve Niles' meteoric rise to comic book superstardom really was like that of a fairy tale. No one gave him a chance when he pitched 30 Days of Night. He was rejected over and over again until IDW Publishing decided to take a chance on him...and then 30 Days of Night became one of the hottest series of all time. And Hollywood soon came coming. A property that was met with so much rejection all of a sudden started commanding millions of dollars as a property in Hollywood!

I've always been interested in reading Steve Niles' Criminal Macabre as well. Perhaps the TPBs would be a good place to start.

The writer hopes the big-screen adaptation of his ‘30 Days of Night’ opens up some doors at the Big Two

By David King

Posted September 25, 2007 4:55 PM

With a major Hollywood film version of his horror graphic novel 30 Days of Night set to terrorize mainstream filmgoers and fanboys alike next month, you might think Steve Niles’ mind would be focused on the megaplex. You would be dead wrong.

“I love comics more than anything in the world,” says Niles over the phone at a Baltimore airport as he kills time before his flight. “I would choose comics over movies any day.”

In fact, Niles hopes Hollywood success will enable him to put his hands on more of the characters he has always wanted to write and let him steer comics away from the bloated flash he thinks is killing the industry.

“People keep asking, ‘Now that you’ve made this movie, I guess we will lose you from comics?’ That’s nonsense! I’m doing this so I can do more comics.”

Niles says DC has given him some dream assignments that the company will soon unveil, and he is happy working on his creator-owned work, such as Bad Planet and Criminal Macabre: My Demon Baby, which came out last week. Niles has been so excited by the prospect of writing some of the books that he grew up reading that he has gone way out on a limb. He has repeatedly offered to write Hulk for Marvel for a year free of charge.

But right now Niles is focused on the independent, horror/sci-fi titles that have built him a name among the hipster comic-book sect. Niles is proud that Bad Planet, a book of his that hit some snags because of the health of his artist, is now back on track.

Niles remembers how he met one-time Punisher Thomas Jane and how the idea for Bad Planet was fleshed out.

“He was out promoting Punisher and I had just sold ‘30 Days,’” he says. “I remember meeting him at Wizard World Long Beach. [Wizard contributor] Todd Casey came up to me and said, ‘The Punisher is looking for you!’ And that is not what you want to hear. He came up to me and goes, ‘Hey, I like Cal McDonald.’ And I said, ‘Apparently, you are Cal MacDonald.’ He’s like, ‘Hey, I got a story I want you to do. Help me put it out! I got crazy thoughts in my head!’ So he came over to my house and told me this long story that actually wasn’t that crazy. It needed some organization, but we took his big, crazy idea, reined it in together, and I am really happy with how it came out.”

Back on track with new artist James Daly for issue #4, Niles is happy to have his and Jane’s work out there: “Now we have got it off the ground. But we had a rough time to get it going. We got the first issue out, and then an artist became sick halfway through the second issue. We are all partners; we are a team, so we kept sticking with him until it was really too late.” Penciler Lewis LaRosa, once returned to health, decided not to return to the fold. A replacement was found in the form of Daly, and finally the book is running on full steam.

For Criminal Macabre: My Demon Baby, Niles also started with inspiration from a collaborator. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever written that started with a cover. Jim Bradstreet did the cover for #1 with Tom Jane posing with a baby, and it all went from there.”

Niles says that Cal McDonald operates in a horror world that is a bit different from his other characters, a world with a bit of humor as well as horror. “Cal McDonald is a little different. Monsters are something he can deal with. And, you know, he can do it with a little bit of humor. Cal is…how do we put this? A little worse for wear. He does not really take care of himself. He does not have any friends.”

And yet, for My Demon Baby Niles decided it was time for Cal to give a damn about something. “I took a well-known horror theme and turned it on its head,” explains Niles. “This cult is going to give birth to the antichrist to bring about Armageddon. But first it’s a girl—an adorable girl—and Cal is not convinced that if it is not raised as a demon it could grow up as a sweet kid. So he butts into it. Cal’s idea is just to get the kid out and if it’s not raised by a bunch of satanic psychos it might be a happy kid.”

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