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.