Steve Niles interview

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(WoW #296)

Steve Niles is the writer of such books as Criminal Macabre, 30 Days of Night, and Batman: Gotham County Line. This month he teams up with legendary artist Bernie Wrightson for City of Others from Dark Horse. Westfield's Roger Ash caught up with Niles to find out more about the book.

Westfield: How did you hook up with Bernie Wrightson for City of Others?

Steve Niles: We met in Dallas at a con. It was Tim Bradstreet who introduced us. Of course I'd known of Bernie since I was a kid. I'm a longtime fan, but I'd never had the chance or worked up the nerve to speak to him before. As it turns out, Bernie lived only a few blocks from me here in LA. We had dinner a few times. Even though I was thinking about it, I didn't dare bring up working together. I was just happy to meet somebody I could talk horror with who felt very much the same way I did.

Westfield: Did knowing he was drawing it influence your writing at all?

Niles: Yes, very much so, but not in anything but a good way. City of Others is very much a collaborative effort between Bernie and I. We talk the whole thing through. I script, and then script again after Bernie takes a pass on the art. It feels good, like we're really working out every possible kink.

Westfield: What can you tell us about the story of City of Others? Who are the main characters?

Niles: The lead character's name is Blud. He's a cold-blooded killer who lives in a very real world that is suddenly interrupted by some very unreal events. I don't like to give much away, but I can tell you it's very different from the horror comics most people know me for. A lot of the stuff I've done is sort of updating or deconstructing horror stand-byes like vampires and werewolves; both in Criminal Macabre and 30 Days of Night are the result of a virus, or an affliction of the blood. In City of Others, Bernie and I are going for all of the supernatural elements and it's wound up being very fun and liberating.

Westfield: If the mini-series is successful, do you have plans for more City of Others stories?

Niles: Definitely. I really hope it takes off because we have at least two years or more of books planned. We'd like to do them in arcs like this first series, and the occasional one-shot, but yeah, I'd love to make City of Others a regular book.

Westfield: You're also working on a new Cal McDonald series, Two Red Eyes. Is there anything you'd like to say about that?

Niles: I'm so happy to be back and doing regular books with Dark Horse, and going monthly with Cal McDonald is something I've wanted to do for a long time. We have Kyle Hotz doing an incredible job on the interiors and Tim Bradstreet on covers. Cal is my favorite to write. Between Criminal Macabre and City of Others, I'm having the time of my life. Dark Horse is also releasing Supernatural Freak Machine, the series that stalled out at IDW. Kelley Jones is back and doing the remaining 44 pages of material, so we'll have those annoying gaps in Cal's continuity smoothed out and a great new trade paperback.

Westfield: Are there any other projects you're working on that you'd like to mention?

Niles: I have a couple one-shots hitting the stands soon from Image, The Cryptics #2 with Ben Roman and Pieces For Mom: A Tale of the Undead with Andrew Ritchie. I'm also finally moving ahead with an original title for DC called Simon Dark. We just got an artist signed on and we'll be making announcements soon. Early next year, look for a huge 88 page original graphic novel called 28 Days Later: Aftermath from Fox Atomic. It was really an honor to write because it will actually serve as a bridge between the original film and the upcoming sequel.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Niles: I think I've said enough. Thanks so much for talking with me!