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Clifford Meth interview (JUN 2008)

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Clifford Meth is the author of such books as God's 15 Minutes, Wearing the Horns, and Crawling From The Wreckage, and the recent comic from IDW, Snaked. Westfield's Roger Ash recently caught up with Clifford to find out what projects he has in the works.

Westfield: You have a number of projects on the way from IDW. First up, your mini-series Snaked is being collected. What can you tell us about the collection?

Clifford Meth: In first grade, while other kids were reading run Dick run, I was soaking up Tales of Suspense and Daredevil, so I was elated to learn that Gene Colan had written a foreword to the Snaked collection. I'd been absolutely weaned on his work... I also added my own introduction, which gives readers more insight into the makings and motivations of this comic than they're used to seeing in graphic novels. When I see collections fattened with "original scripts" I shudder. Who wants to read that? Instead, we gave them the two short stories that I published a decade ago which had formed the basis of the comic series; stories that took different paths than the comics. The collection also includes original illustrations that Dave Cockrum did for those stories, and Christian Krank, who is a sensational colorist, had a great time playing with those. And, of course, you get all three issues. In all, the book is a much more robust "snaked" experience.

Westfield: Speaking of Gene Colan, you're pretty much doing for him what you did for Dave Cockrum.

Meth: I'm helping Marvel help Gene, who has been very ill. Gene is a friend and this is what friends do when you're down.

Westfield: Back to Snaked, the main character is sort of an anti-hero. Can you tell us something about him?

Meth: Timmons is a Galitzianer like me, like Phillip Roth. He just wants to be left alone, to live his life in quiet desperation like the rest of us. But people won't let him be. He has abilities that certain government officials want to exploit - abilities he'd prefer to keep hidden - but someone drags that genie out of the bottle and then has to deal with the consequences.

Westfield: Snaked was recently optioned for a film. Where is that in the production process?

Meth: I've completed the treatment and plan to meet with Richard Saperstein, the producer, soon to discuss his notes. The treatment was developed under contract with Elysium. If they like what I've written, I'll get a crack at the screenplay. If they don't, I get a kill fee, a bruised ego, and go find an old enemy to take it out on. Either way, the target is for a film release by mid-2009.

Westfield: A book of your stories, One Small Voice, was published recently. How has the reaction to that been?

Meth: I liked it (laughing). The guys at my local pub liked it, but what do they know? You'll find some interesting reviews of the book if you troll the web. One guy compared me to Kurt Vonnegut. Imagine that!

Westfield: You're also editing a new line of books from IDW called New Classics of the Fantastic. What can you tell us about that series and how did it come to be?

 height=Meth: New Classics of the Fantastic will be an essential science fiction library. It will bring back Hugo and Nebula Award winning books that have fallen out of print. Sadly, most award-winning genre titles don't last long on the shelves - that's a function of space, not quality. So I've assembled a list of extraordinary books - titles that represent the very best selections of the very best authors in science fiction. Our first title will be Robert Silverberg's Nightwings, which is a genuine must-read for science-fiction fans.

Westfield: Outside of IDW, you're involved with the Dave and Paty Cockrum Scholarship for the Joe Kubert School. What can you tell us about that program?

Meth: Paty Cockrum and I are jointly selecting and awarding a scholarship to a worthy art student at the Joe Kubert School each year. It was actually something I thought of and suggested to Paty last year as a way of preserving Dave's memory. The scholarship is being funded by the sale of Dave's personal comics collection, which people can see on my blog at thecliffordmethod.blogspot.com. I'm not sure what more I can say about this other than Dave would have been very pleased - he and Paty were terribly generous people, even when they didn't have two nickels to rub together. I couldn't be prouder to be part of something like this.

Westfield: You also have Comic Book Babylon coming. What is that about?

Meth: Comic Book Babylon collects and reassembles my "Past Masters" and "Meth Addict" columns from SilverBulletComicBooks.com and ComicsBulletin.com - it's a behind-the-curtain look at the comics industry and creators that is likely to make me a few more enemies, but life would be terribly dull without enemies. Guest appearances by Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Neal Adams, and the usual suspects. Stan Lee wrote the introduction.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Meth: I'd like to invite people to visit my blog at www.thecliffordmethod.blogspot.com where they can keep up with my various projects. They'll find themselves in intelligent company.

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