A Saturday spent with Steve Niles. The Puppetmaster of published print talks Count Gore de Vol, Cal McDonald and the excitement as Eli Roth preps to direct and Jim Carrey becomes ‘Aleister Arcane.’
Jersey born, D.C. raised and, now, L.A. resident; this creative mastermind has re-animated the notability of horror comic books. Giving life to such works as 30 Days of Night, its sequel, Dark Days (IDW Publishing) and Criminal Macabre (Dark Horse Comics) Steve keeps our horror comic desires, alive.
Copious and vast with creativity, Steve put his time to good use before finding his place and rhythm in his craft. Working in several comic book stores around Washington D.C., he was also in a couple of punk rock bands; both of which released records on Dischord Records label in the 1980s and 1990s. Catching Night of the Living Dead on a creature feature, Steve married his talents to his love of horror, and our genre has benefited ever since. We have seen his stories leap from page to the big screen in such films as 30 Days of Night and 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, to name a few. And currently, another one of Steve’s characters has caught the attention of Eli Roth (The Green Inferno) and Jim Carrey (Dumb and Dumber). We talk Aleister Arcane and so much more with Steve Niles.
Terror Time: First, please tell me this ( the movie, and main character by the same name, Aleister Arcane) is a real “thing”?
Steve Niles: It’s real. It’s still very early.
TT: I am so very intrigued by how all this happened. What was your trigger point of inspiration in creating ‘Aleister Green’(a.k.a Aleister Arcane)?
SN: It is from a comic I did years ago. Almost twelve years ago. I was inspired by my childhood Creature Feature host in Washington D.C. His name was Count Gore de Vol. He is still at it today.
TT: How does Aleister differ from your others characters, like the hard hitting protagonist, Cal McDonald from Criminal Macabre?
SN: Aleister is very different. He is an ex-horror host who puts a curse on his hometown. I hope to do something with Cal someday.
TT: Would love to see Cal transition to a character on TV or film. In reading all three issues of Aleister Arcane, there is a new breed of Monster Squad in characters that seem almost as vital to the story as Aleister himself. Are you excited?
SN: I’ve always wanted to do Cal as a TV show. There are so many years of material on him. But we are trying. Dark Horse has been great and has been working on getting him on TV. I usually don’t let myself get excited about deals because it’s so hard to get a movie made, but I’m very excited about this one. I can’t wait to see what they do.
TT: Jim (Carrey) has such a physicality he adds with his acting, he just “fits” for Aleister.
SN: He really does. I can’t wait to see what he does with the character.
TT: So, we’ve established Eli Roth, Jim Carrey, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Michael Aguilar are going to pump life into Aleister on the big screen. Hopefully, we get to see it sooner than later.
SN: Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell when or if AA will happen but I am still excited
TT: How do you sleep? These characters are alive because you write them into existence. How do you turn them off to be ‘Steve?’
SN: (laughs) I dunno. I go through phases where I can’t stop ideas and other times when I can’t think of a thing.
TT: Which one keeps you up the most? Cal?
SN: You got it. I think about Cal the most. I’ve been writing him so long that he’s a part of me now.
TT: You have a fascinating skill. So, Steve, we need a human element. It’s Saturday; Steve Niles has muted the characters in his head and planning an evening of fun. What does he do?
SN: I live in the middle of nowhere so I don’t go out that much anymore. I usually will play music or watch movies. It’s pretty boring.
Terror Time: I think you certainly earn your down time! Thank you, and we can’t wait to see everything the future has in store for you!
Steve Niles: Thanks so much. Keep up with Steve by visiting his website: www.steveniles.com
Be sure and grab all issues of Aleister Arcane. I am an avid user of Comixology.com for all my immediate comic needs. Lastly, please visit www.countgore.com and watch Creature Feature with host Count Gore de Vol. Eighteen years and over 900 shows on the internet.