Mr. Steve Niles is a name familiar to most comic book readers, especially those who enjoy a bit of the strange. He has been credited with reviving the horror comic with series like 30 Days of Night (based off the movie from his screenplay), Dark Days, Criminal Macabre, The Ghoul, Monster and Madman, and his current series The October Fraction. He’s also worked on many other titles, such as: Spawn: The Dark Ages, X-Files, and few DC titles.
Outside of comics, Niles as written for the silver screen, including the above mentioned 30 Days of Night, as well as a big screen version of his Criminal Macabre character Cal MacDonald, with actor Thomas Jane. He also produced several projects with the hellbilly himself Rob Zombie.
Niles, is in an elite class of writers I feel, joining the likes of Moore and Miller in my humble opinion. His horror sensibilities are inspired, classic in nature. Niles’s skill, I think, would even make Shelly, Bradbury, Sterling, and King envious, or at least view him as contemporary.
With the comic gods smiling down upon me, I was able to get in a few questions to Mr. Niles…enjoy!
Duff: I just finished The Ghoul Treasury Edition, really great…enjoyed it more than the original actually, can’t beat B&W….anyways here are my questions, keeping them on the light side!
Steve Niles: Thanks!
Duff:When I think of a “Steve Niles” comic–great characters are the first thing that pops in my head…where do they come from? Does the character come before the story or are cohesive?
Steve Niles:I had to learn to write beyond what I know. I think the “write what you know” rules is good to get you started but to create a wider array of characters you have to break that rule. I try to assign each character something very relatable through dialogue usually, try to make them feel real…and then I kill them. The story idea usually comes first and then the characters seem to grow.
Duff: I’ve read before horror master Stephen King’s greatest fear is Alzheimers, also heard him say the dark…what’s you’re greatest fear?
Steve Niles:Mine is similair. The idea of losing my mind, losing control of my body, anything like that is horrifying.
Duff: You’ve worked some great artists, Bernie Wrightson and Damien Worm, come to the forefront. Is the creative process 50/50 or do they take your lead? Also I’ve never seen a light hearted Worm picture, does he secretly My Little Pony on the weekends?
Steve Niles:I generally take the lead since the script usually comes first but from that point on it’s 50/50. The artist brings it to life and sees things I never would.
Steve Niles:I am a HUGE classic horror fan. I love everything from Price to Karloff to Cushing. I play Hammer and Universal films while I work sometimes instead of music.
Duff: You’re current book October Fraction, one of my favorite of the year, is dark, witty, scary…it leaps off the page…if you were do a film version…who would you cast? Especially the role of Fredrick…I’m thinking Walken,
Steve Niles:I think you won. Walken would be kind of perfect as Fredrick. And glad you like the book. It’s really the only thing I’m doing right now, focusing on the one series so hopefully it can go on for a long time.
You can purchase many of Nile’s work at IDW, including his most recent hit, “The October Fraction”– Purchase Here. Of course, you can also snag them at our favorite comic shop!
Thank you to Kahlil to helping facilitate this interview. 🙂