Tim Seeley is one of those extremely talented people that can draw, write and make everyone laugh plus rock the full Duck-Dynasty-Stage-One beard. He has had great success on his creator-owned properties like Hack/Slash as well as doing work-for-hire books like G. I. Joe and Adventures Of Superman. Now he is being given a universe to re-birth. Dynamite Entertainment has tapped him to bring back Chaos! Comics in a single mini-series. Quite the ambitious task.
BLEEDING COOL: I was at a store signing in Orange County with Brian Pulido and Stephen Hughes when Evil Ernie #1 came out. Were you in on the Chaos! Revolution back when it started or did you come to the titles later on?
TIM SEELEY: Ha, we didn’t get store signings in Wausau, Wisconsin when I was a kid. But, yeah, I bought Evil Ernie #1 off the rack when it came out. My brother and I also somehow managed to get involved in this underground/horror comics community called “RAW COMICS” where we would get a catalog in the mail, and order all the CHAOS! stuff (and a whole host of things my 15-17 year old eyes should probably never have seen. Thanks FAUST.)
BC: We’ve seen a few line relaunches lately with Valiant and the Gold Key books at Dynamite, but this is the first time I’ve seen anyone try to relaunch a line in a single title. How did you get involved in this project and how did it end up being a mini-series?
TS: At this point, I can’t really remember how I got involved. All I know is I’ve been talking to Nick and Joe about it for a few years, and I always said I’d love to do it. I drew covers for the Ernie relaunch, and…shit, I guess basically I’ve just been hovering around it for so long, no one knew who to ask but me.
Our idea right from the get go was to launch it all at once with the BIG crossover being right in the beginning, rather than later on. We wanted to firmly establish who these people (And unpeople) were and how they related to each other.
BC: What is the purpose of the mini-series? Are you just revisiting the characters or are you world building here? Are we looking at a self-contained project or is this the start of something bigger? And are we starting from scratch or building on the existing histories of the characters?
TS: It’s a wide line reboot I guess, with which we hope to reintroduce a bunch of great characters and a fascinating universe upon an unsuspecting populace. You won’t have had to have read anything previous to this. It’s a self-contained tale designed to make you want more.
BC: With the way Chaos! Comics came to an end, it has left a few elephants in the room… but I think it’s only fair to ask you to address one of them. There is one major Chaos! character that didn’t come with the deal… Lady Death. How are you dealing with this missing piece to the original puzzle?
TS: We’re not, really. We have a character who in some ways fills her old spot, named Mistress Hel, but she’s kind of her own thing…less of a warrior, less of an anti-heroine, more of a schemer and manipulator. But, since we’re rebooting the universe, we don’t have to do any of that weird “Well, Lady Death was on vacation while this story occurred.” I love the character, but I think LD has done totally fine on her own. I think without the shadow of her rather large lady pillows, the other characters, like Purgatori and Chastity get a chance to shine more.
BC: You’re a guy who has balanced your time between creator-owned properties and work-for-hire. There is a very vocal community encouraging more creators to do their own projects. What are you feelings on balancing between the two? How do you justify the risk/reward nature of self publishing versus the guaranteed paycheck of working for others?
TS: Well, I think I recognized pretty early in my career that creators have to have a few of their OWN things, and I’m lucky for that, because it’s really enabled me to do what I do now. I spent my early years drawing WFH, and writing for creator-owned stuff. Now, I seem to JUST write, but I still dance between both sides of the industry. I do think creator-owned projects and genres outside “superheroes” are the future of the industry, but I also have no problem doing some choice work-for-hire and/or superhero gigs either. We have to reach for new readers, and thoroughly entertain the ones we have. I’m mostly interested in reaching a wide audience and enjoying my work.
BC: You always seem to have multiple irons in the fire… with the ending of the Army Of Darkness Vs Hack/Slash series, what else do you have in the pipeline besides Chaos!?
TS: I’m writing BATMAN ETERNAL for DC, a new series for DARK HORSE called SUNDOWNERS, and a big, fat one-shot (also for Dark Horse) called JACK KRAKEN. It’s an action/sci-fi series about a mysterious guy who works for HUMANOID INTERACTION MANAGEMENT (H.I.M), tasked with dealing with incursions between non-human humanoids and humans, as well as between each other. In Jack’s world, humans aren’t the only humanoid entities on Earth, and we get to use that conceit to tell stories about the tribal nature of humanity, racism, classicism and, of course, big explosions, and cool fights. The tagline is “Someone’s got to keep the mermaids and bigfoots from killing each other.”
I have two other cool things waiting in the wings too. SEEEEEcret things. So, yeah, I’m busy, and I’m happy, and…READ CHAOS!
Issue one of Chaos hits the shelves May 7th.