Talking Horror With Steve Niles

Over a decade ago Steve Niles took the comic industry by storm with the release of 30 Days of Night. Ever since Niles has been terrifying his fans with scary tale after scary tale regardless if he was reimagining classic horror, shooting vampires into space or even visiting the suburbs of Gotham City. Now writer Arvid Nelson chats with the master of the macabre about all things horror.

Arvid Nelson: Steve! We met for all of a few seconds a few years ago. I think the 30 Days of Night Movie was just hitting the screen. You’ve made quite a  name for yourself as a horror writer both before and since then, but you  do have any plans to branch out into other genres?

Steve Niles: Hey man! A lot of people have a problem being typecast. I really  don’t. I love horror and I always have so if that’s all I get to do I  won’t complain. That said, I have done other genres but I always seem to  land back with the monsters. It’s fine. I’m happy with my monsters.

AN: What is it about horror that intrigues you? Are there any unique  advantages to the medium of comics when it comes to horror?

SN: I like to freak people out, I guess. I’ve never been able to pinpoint  what it is about horror that pulls me in so much. I think it’s a very  honest genre. I like how raw it makes characters. The only advantage for  me is that I’m doing something I love.

AN: You wrote 30 Days of Night as a screenplay before a comic, if I’m  not mistaken. From screenplay to comic to actual movie, it was quite a  long journey for you, wasn’t it? I’m sure there were dark days, but what  inspired you to keep going?

SN: Actually I only had the pitch. I pitched it around for a few years,  usually as my back-up for when they said “So, what else ya got” Nobody  ever bit. Most of the time they’d say it reminded them off Blade of  Buffy. It sucked because I felt like they weren’t listening. Years later  when the comic came out most of those people said I never pitched them  but I remembered because I was working retail in Burbank and every  rejection was pretty hard. I’m not sure what keeps me going, even today.  I just love making things. Why else would I punish myself like this? J

AN: What’s your favorite George Romero movie (the correct answer is  Martin), and why?

SN: Night of the Living Dead. Sorry to disappoint you but that film is too huge and its impact too big to not list as his best. That was one of  the movies that inspired 30 Days. Not only that George Romero was a huge  inspiration as a DIY creator. He made Living Dead on his own so not only  is he a DIY hero he started what has now climaxed as The Walking Dead.

No small thing there. Romero is the Godfather of zombies. Living Dead  was also inspired by I Am Legend which is my favorite book of all time.  I liked Martin too, but if you have to big a fave Romero for me it has  to be Night of the Living Dead.

AN: So you’re writing Ash and the Army of Darkness for Dynamite, and I,  for one, am thrilled to see where it’s going! Lemme ask — I’m sure  you’re familiar with the crazy alternate ending to the original movie,  in which Ash drinks a potion and wakes up in a post apocalyptic setting.  Any plans to incorporate that ending into your story?

SN: I might get to the future someday. I love the time-traveling aspect  of Army of Darkness. For right now I’m staying in the Dark Ages. Ash has  a lot to deal with there and he’s about to stumbling on something that  will change everything. He’s about to discover the true source of the  curse. It might not only be the book. Heh, heh.

Ash And The Army Of Darkness #3 is on sale now.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.

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