No one does horror quite like Steve Niles. The comic titan of terror has brought comic readers a host of memorable moments in such works as Spawn: The Dark Ages, Simon Dark, Batman: Gotham After Midnight and many others. In December, Niles will release a crossover featuring two of his most popular titles, IDW's 30 Days of Night and Dark Horse's Criminal Macabre, entitled Criminal Macabre: Final Night -- The 30 Days of Night Crossover #1 (OCT120012, $3.99).
With preorders for the premiere issue due on October 26, the busy and popular creator took time to talk with PREVIEWSworld about the origins of his newest project, and what readers can expect when they pick it up in stores on December 12.
PREVIEWSworld: Where did the idea for the crossover originate? Did you approach IDW and Dark Horse with this idea? Or vice versa?
Steve Niles: I came up with the idea when I realized both books had an undercurrent of an upcoming war between humans and monsters. I phoned Chris [Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief] and Ted [Adams, CEO/Publisher] at IDW and ran the idea by them and they loved it. All I had to do was convince Dark Horse.
I spoke to Mike [Richardson, President of Dark Horse Comics] and Scott [Allie, Editor-in-Chief] and they immediately saw the potential of a crossover between the two books. The one note I got from Scott --and I agreed 100%-- was that it had to be more then just a crossover, that the story had to have weight and consequences that reverberated beyond the crossover. I took that as a challenge and decided that whatever the outcome of the crossover, the events would stick. If somebody dies, they will stay dead forever. It’s hard to let go of your creations but I think it makes this crossover special.
PW: With paranormal investigator Cal McDonald on the hunt for sheriff-turned-vampire Eben Olemaun – there doesn’t seem to be a happy ending in sight. Can you give us any hints on the end result of this series?
Niles: I just turned in the final scripts and while I don’t want to give anything away, it’s a freakin’ massacre.
More than one character goes down and they will not be coming back. It was really interesting writing Cal and Eben in the same universe. They both have a law enforcement background and both wound up undead so when they start going at it, it gets messy. As far as a happy ending, I’ve never really written many of them. There are some very heavy things that go down in this, so I’m afraid happy wouldn’t be the right word … world shattering comes to mind though.
PW: What do you think about this book will surprise or impress readers most?
Niles: Chris Mitten’s art has become some of my favorite work in comics. The poor guy has been doing Criminal Macabre for Dark Horse, 30 Days of Night for IDW and the crossover. Plus he does an Oni book! He’s on such a roll right now. I think people are going to be stunned by some of the imagery of this book. I’ve been torturing the poor man with ghoul versus vampire crowd scenes and all kinds of monster fun. I really think the ending, and the outcome will be the biggest surprise. I didn’t pull any punches.
PW: Along with Cal and Eben, can we expect any other familiar faces?
Niles: The usual suspects from Criminal Macabre are in the story. We have Mo’Lock, Cal’s ghoul sidekick in there alongside Wheatley, Cal’s cop friend. On the 30 Days of Night side we have Eben and Alice Blood making an appearance and many other characters from the recent ongoing series.
There will also be a very special guest appearance.
PW: How do you think fans will react to this crossover?
Niles: Some are going to hate me. I know people will be upset because they aren’t used to characters in comics dying and staying dead. I hope in the end people understand why the outcome will be what it is. If they hate me, I hope they at least enjoy the ride.
PW: Thank you so much for your time! One last question: Can we expect more crossovers in the future? Maybe Simon Dark needs to visit Barrow, Alaska…
Niles: Maybe. Although I think Simon would hate the cold weather. He’s a city kid.
Thank you so much for your time. I’m very excited about the crossover. It means a lot to me as a creator to be able to crossover two of my creations. I really want to thank IDW and Dark Horse for helping make this happen and I hope fans don’t hate me too much when all is said and done!
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