Well, my fellow readers, I’m back with another installment of Behind the Pages and I couldn’t be more excited about my next guest. Tim Seeley, author of Hack/Slash, Loaded Bible, Witchblade and Revival, has been kind enough to answer a few questions for Nerd Says What? and given us a chance to delve deeper into the mind of one of the comic industry’s most prolific horror writers. So, sit back and buckle up because you’re not going to want to miss this.
Have you always wanted to be a comic book creator? If not, what did you originally want to do?
Seeley:Nah, this is really all I ever wanted to do. From my earliest memories even.
Are there any writers that inspired you to become a writer? What was it about their work that inspired you?
Seeley:When I first read WATCHMEN at the way too rip age of 11, it profoundly affected me. And then, later, when I read novelist Chuck Palahniuk’s stuff, I got that same excitement/inspiration. With Alan Moore it was the depth of the plot of characterization, and the sense of how to take advantage of the comic medium. With Palahniuk it was just how fast and economical the writing was, along with the lack of fear about subject matter. That dude gets GROSS, and DARK. I like subversive stuff.
After reading such books as Hack/Slash, Loaded Bible, and now Revival, I get the feeling that you may be a fan of the horror genre. Why? What is it about that genre that makes you want to keep writing it?
Seeley:Partially it’s nostalgia. I grew up watching a lot of horror movies. And, I guess partially it’s just a weird obsession with the darker side of life. I’m kind of a warped dude, and it turns out that works better for horror than like, romance.
I’m a huge fan of Hack/Slash, I have to ask, how did you come up with the idea for the series? Was there a particular movie or character that inspired you?
Seeley:It’s really just inspired by all slasher movies…the good ones, the bad ones, and the even worse ones. There’s a lot of Friday the 13th in H/S, but there’s also a lot of Evil Dead and Scream too.
One of the many things I love about the book is the humor sprinkled throughout. Do you think humor is an important element of horror?
Seeley:To me it is. I think horror as a genre is all about the controlled fear. We escape into it by diverting our fears about real world stuff into this very controlled environment. When it’s not fun, it’s just too close to real life, and that’s not escapist.
I know that you’ve had other writers come in to write for Hack/Slash. Does it make you nervous to have someone else in the driver’s seat? Do you give certain guidelines or hand over the keys and give them free reign?
Seeley:Well, I usually only hire people I trust, so that makes it a lot easier. I used to find it more nerve wracking than I do now…I’ve mellowed.
I’m sure you’ve been asked this question a million times, but any update on the possibility of a Hack/Slash movie? Who do you think has the chops to step into Cassie Hack’s boots?
Seeley:Yeah, at this point, I can only wish I had anything to say about the movie stuff. I’m like a jaded ex… I’m not sure I even care if it lives or dies. 😉
Revival’s slow burn paceis definitely a change compared to Hack/Slash. What made you want to do something like Revival? What inspired this chance of pace?
Seeley:Partially a desire to prove I could do it. And partially just a need to try a different kind of story.
Do you have a specific ending point for the story or is this something you plan on continuing?
Seeley: We definitely have the ending in mind. But we have lots of time to get there.
Dana is a strong female type with a definite chip on her shoulder, a lot like miss Hack. What is it about strong female protagonists that keep you writing them?
Seeley:I love the ladies, like even beyond the normal way dudes like women. And, I feel like they’re underrepresented in genre stuff, so I’ll try to balance that out.
While Revival does focus quite a bit on Dana and Em, many other characters get their chance to shine. Will the story always revolve more heavily on the sisters or are there plans to rotate the focus more heavily on the supporting players?
Seeley:Em and Dana will be the “stars” but it’s an ensemble cast story with LOTS of interesting people popping in and out.
Which character is the most fun for you to write?
Seeley:Em I think. Cooper too. I love writing Blaine’s dialogue. Lester too.
With multiple books going on right now, do you find it hard to keep everything separate when you’re writing? How do you keep everything straight in your head?
Seeley:I split it up into weeks. That’s the only way to do it. I have to be focused on one book at a time.
Since it seems to be a growing trend that comics are bleeding over from movies to television, do you see Revival making its way to the small screen?
Seeley:It could I think. I’m not actively trying to be a “TV guy”, but if someone wants to do it, I say, have at it.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Seeley:Hopefully pretty close to where I am right now.
Do you have any advice you want to instill for aspiring comic book creators?
Seeley:Well, most importantly, if you want to make comics, you have to make comics. So often, people tell me that they have an idea. To which I always want to respond, “So what?” Ideas aren’t worth anything in entertainment. They need to be ‘things.” A web strip, a comic book, a screenplay….SOMETHING. Get your stuff made. Then you’ll have something to bargain with.
What comics are you reading now?
Seeley:Lessee….Invincible, Savage Dragon, Oglaf, Darkness, Artifacts, Glory, Supreme, Prophet, Youngblood, Hoax Hunters, Morning Glories, Hellboy, all the Transformers stuff, anything John Byrne does, It Girl…I read a lot of stuff digitally and in trade too…sheesh..more than I thought!
If you could only pick one book, one movie and one person to take with you on a deserted island who and what would they be and why?
Seeley:Hmm..well, I’d pick a book I haven’t read….a long one. Let’s go War & Peace. Movie wise, well, I’m gonna want something comforting for that. So, maybe like Toy Story 3, to uplift my spirits when I feel like crushing my head wit ha coconut. And, for a person…ell, my wife is the right answer, but I feel like Bear Grylls would have a better chance of getting me off that island.
What other projects do you have in the works? (Fingers crossed for Loaded Bible: Book 2).
Seeley:Ha…well, I’m kinda busy with Witchblade, H/S, Revival and ExSanguine. I’m working on a surprise crossover comic, which will be fun. And I’m always picking away at creator owned stuff. But, yeah, poor Jesus will have to wait for LB 2!
That concludes this installment of Behind the Pages. If you’d like to find out more about Tim Seeley I’ve included links to his blog and twitter account below. Make sure you make your way to your LCS to buy Revival, Hack/Slash, Witchblade and other classic Tim Seeley books. Don’t forget to help spread the good word of the nerd.
– Joe D.