Its the beginning of May
and that can only mean one thing for local geeks... Free Comic Book Day.
--- Tomorrow comic stores across the state and nation take part in what's become a traditional giveaway to better promote reading and expose new people to what's currently out in comics. From Phoenix Games in
Gavin: Hey Steve. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Steve: Well, I'm a writer, mostly of horror. I write comics, films, novels and now video games. I've been at it most of my life and love what I do.
Gavin: What first got you interested in comics, and what were some of your favorite titles?
Steve: I've loved comics since I was a kid. I started out reading Creep and Eerie magazines and then fell in love with Batman and Marvel of the 60's and 70's. I grew up reading Spider-Man, Batman and The Hulk.
Gavin: What were some of your first breaks into the business?
Steve: I had two big breaks. Both involved big name writers lending me a hand when I was very young. Richard Matheson was the first. He allowed me the rights to do a comic adaptation of I Am Legend when I was still unproven and his faith in me led to others like Clive Barker and John Bolton working with me as a young writer/editor and really helped me break into the business.
Gavin: How did you first start Arcane Comics? What was it like getting it started up?
Steve: I had no idea what I was doing. I think I was 20-21 at the time and just a bundle of energy. I wound up publishing a couple books and a set of Clive Barker lithographs before I realized I was more motivated by creative ventures than business and then moved into adapting and packaging books with Eclipse in the late 80's. Arcane taught me a lot, mainly that I wanted to write and not be an editor or publish.
Gavin: Where did the idea come from for 30 Days Of Night?
Steve: I got the seed of the idea a long time ago while living through a
Gavin: What did you think of its initial success?
Steve: I was completely shocked. The comic didn't sell that well and I'd already pitched it as a film and comic for years, so when things went nuts I was taken by complete surprise.
Gavin: You then put out Criminal Macabre on Dark Horse. How did the story line come about?
Steve: I had been writing Cal McDonald for years. I already had two novels (Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs & Monsters) out through IDW plus several comics I'd done in the 90's. When CM started I used a story-line that I'd wanted to do for years that gave a possible origin to vampires and werewolves.
Gavin: Why did yo go with Dark Horse instead of IDW?
Steve: Just trying to spread out a bit. I had a lot of books going at IDW and I had a relationship with Dark Horse so I gave it a shot.
Gavin: How did the opportunity come up to work for DC?
Steve: Oddly enough I was contacted by DC because editor if chief, Dan Didio had read and enjoyed the IDW Cal McDonald novels.
Gavin: What was it like working on Batman and creating the series you did for the character?
Steve: Batman is a character I've loved since I was a kid. Writing him is a blast. I like to explore his heroic side instead of the violent sociopath side we've seen so much. Overall I think he's a great character because he has no powers. He's human like you and me. That makes him very potent.
Gavin: During that time, what was it like working on the Creeper series?
Steve: Again, a lot of fun to re-work an older character. DC was really great and trusted me to try some new things. I was really happy with that series.
Gavin: A little industry-wise, what are your thoughts on the state of comics today?
Steve: With readership dropping, as it is in everything from books to magazines, my hope is that diversity and innovation will become a trend. I think comics are still basically all super-heros and as long as that's the case we limit our audience. It's like a bookstore that only carries romance novels.
Gavin: Is there anything you feel could be done to make them bigger or better?
Steve: Try new genres, explore new ways to get books into peoples hands. In the end a good comic does nothing if people don't know it exists so we have to find a way to get books out there.
Gavin: Who are some writers and artists you recommend people check out in comics today?
Steve: There are so many, too many to name. The comic industry is a hotbed of talent.
Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?
Steve: A new novel, video game and a whole mess of new comics. I hope to do more with DC and Dark Horse, and IDW. Right now I am working on a 3rd series with Bernie Wrightson for IDW called The Ghoul. We're having a lot of fun with that.
Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?
Steve: I recently formed Bloody Pulp Books as a way to release more Cal McDonald prose. People can check it out at www.bloodypulpbooks.com. The books will be extremely limited and loaded with extras.