Vampires And Golems And Factions, Oh My – Talking With Steve Niles

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SteveNilesSteve Niles is a master of modern horror. He returned horror comics to their long lost glory with the original 30 Days of Night series at IDW, and hasn’t stopped since. His work runs the gamut from gothic horror to horror-comedy, and has gained a strongly vocal fan following due to works like the aforementioned 30 Days of Night series, Criminal Macabre, Mystery Society, Lot 13, Freaks of the Heartland, and too many others to list here.

If you love horror comics, chances are you love Steve Niles’ comics. Luckily for us, with his prolific output, there’s a lot to love.

With the Nosferatu Wars one-shot in stores today, and before my review goes up later today, I thought it was a great time to chat with Steve about the book, his current and upcoming projects, and working with artists like Menton3 and October Faction’s Damien Worm.

NW2You remain an insanely prolific writer, with Ash and the Army of Darkness, Monster and Madman, Criminal Macabre, and Chin Music being published now, as well as the forthcoming October Faction. Is there anything I missed?

Ha ha. A couple things but let’s not get greedy. I guess one we shouldn’t leave off is Frankenstein Alive Alive with Bernie Wrightson. #3 is about to come out and we plan to have 4 wrapped by Christmas and that will conclude the first chapter.

You tend to work with Dark Horse and IDW primarily, with forays into other publisher territory. How do you choose a publisher, or do they choose you?

I usually shop ideas and whoever grabs it, gets it. With October Faction I showed it to everybody but only IDW came back with a solid offer. Very happy about that deal. It will be ongoing and I get to work with one of my oldest friends in comics, Ted Adams. The only pub who ever comes to me with work is DC and they’ve actually been pretty great. After we lost the house in the flood Dan DiDio made sure I had a steady stream of gigs. I have a Superman short coming up and a few other things happening. Just small gigs.

NW3Nosferatu Wars was an interesting book, and that surprise twist was Twilight Zone level good. Where did the idea for the ending come from?

That one-shot is basically the first, opening chapter of a much larger story. I hope we get to tell it.

That out of left field ending definitely left me wanting more. I know you already have a million projects in the pipeline, but is there a chance of you continuing the story of Moria and Tarquin?

I spoke to Dark Horse yesterday and we were discussing possibly telling further chapters in illustrated prose with Menton doing the art of course.

I love the time period in which the story is set, especially the creepy plague doctors. What was it about this particular era that drew you to it?

It’s the Dark Ages, the plague was tearing the world apart. It’s just a great setting for a story. Plus Menton3 has a way of making all that death and horror really beautiful.

You always work with astonishingly good artists, and Menton 3 is no different. You had worked with him previously on the Lust hardcover, and his work on Nosferatu Wars was disturbingly gorgeous as always. How did this particular collaboration come about?

We met at the IDW booth at San Diego a few years back and hit it off immediately. We came up with the pitch for Transfusion right there at the booth within minutes of meeting and we’ve been friends ever since. Menton is one of the good ones.

BoBBreath of Bones was just released as a hardcover. It was a very different type of book than I expected. How did you and Matt Santoro become co-writers, and how did that collaboration work? What was it that made you want to tell this story?

I brought the idea to Matt as a possible movie pitch. We’d been working on a Sci-Fi thing that got destroyed in development and we wanted to work on something else. I told him the story and he did this amazing film short using actual WW2 footage and the Golem (film). We tried pitching it around but nobody bit so I went off and wrote the comic.

What was it that made you want to tell this story?

This is the kind of horror I love to write. I feel like BoB and Freaks of the Heartland have a similar feel, horror with heart, I guess. These are the hardest to tell because you have to put yourself into it but when it works it’s the best feeling.

OFOctober Faction looks creepy, interesting, and like the most Steve Niles-iest of Steve Niles books. What can we expect from you with this one?

Everything. Instead of writing a bunch of mini-series, those stories will now go into October Faction. I just want to focus on one thing for a while. Almost 20 years of mini-series, world building, I just want to spend some time with characters.

You’ve worked with the fantastic Damien Worm previously with Monster and Madman. How did your partnership happen?

I found him on Facebook and stalked him until he agreed to work with me. I can be very annoying.

You’ve mentioned that you would be whittling down your output to only a couple of main books, with occasional minis, one shots, etc. What can we expect from you in the foreseeable future?

See above. 🙂

Thank you Steve for the interview. Nosferatu Wars is out today from Dark Horse Comics. While picking it up, why not grab a copy of the Breath of Bones hardcover that came out last week?

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