Posts Tagged horror
Growing out of my recent Crystal Skillman interview, I learned about playwright James Comtois‘ upcoming production of The Little One (opening June 18 [after a June 17 preview] and running through to July 10 at New York/East Village’s Kraine Theater [85 East 4th Street). As described at the Nosedive Production site: “Cynthia, a fledgling vampire, is taken under the wing of a more venerable one, Marie. Marie tries to teach Cynthia how to hunt, be merciful towards humans and make the most out of immortality. However, like all rebellious children, Cynthia intends to carve out her own path.” My thanks to Comtois for talking to me about the play in this email interview, as well as discussing the 10th anniversary of the theater company (a company with the motto of “Theatre for Sick Little Monkeys”) that he co-founded.
Tim O’Shea: Vampires are a frequently explored theme in movies, plays, novels and music–how did you decide to approach the subject in a way that makes it stand out from the current Twilight-happy trend (Given that as you noted several months back: “My goal was (is) to make the main characters interesting, sympathetic and (in their own way) likable, but periodically remind the readers/viewers that if they were to hypothetically meet any of these characters, they’d be running for their lives, crying and screaming.”)
James Comtois: Well, making The Little One different from Twilight was pretty easy, since not only am I not very familiar with the Twilight franchise, but from what I hear, I’m not very interested in changing that. My interest level in exploring the vampire as a metaphor for unrequited young love or abstinence is at about zero.
In a lot of ways, the vampires in The Little One are very traditional. They drink blood. They stink of death. Some of them get off on terrorizing humans. They’re the stuff of nightmares.
A few weeks back, I got my hands on an advanced copy of The Nightmare Factory: Volume 2 (Fox Atomic/HarperCollins). As described by the publisher: “The mind-bending universe of horror master Thomas Ligotti awaits in another graphic adaptation of his haunting work … Four more of Ligotti’s arresting tales are adapted into fine graphic literature by famed creators Stuart Moore, Joe Harris, Vasilis Lolos (The Last Call), Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), Toby Cypress (Killing Girl), and Nick Stakal (Criminal Macabre: My Demon Baby), featuring all-new introductions to each story by Thomas Ligotti.”
With the help of HarperCollins’ Greg Kubie, I was able to get in contact with both Moore and Harris for email interviews to discuss the book. First off, we’ll begin with Moore. Here’s his official bio (via his must-read blog, Pensive Mischief): “Moore has been a writer, a book editor, and an award-winning comics editor. His recent writing includes Iron Man (Marvel Comics), The 99 (Teshkeel), Firestorm (DC Comics), the original science-fiction series Earthlight (Tokyopop) and PARA (Penny-Farthing Press), and the prose novels American Meat and Reality Bites (Games Workshop). He was a founding editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint, and has also edited the Marvel Knights and Virgin Comics/SciFi Channel comics lines. Stuart lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, author Liz Sonneborn, and three of the most spoiled cats on the planet.”
Tim O’Shea: In adapting someone else’s prose for graphic novel, how hard is it to find your own voice while maintaining the spirit of Ligotti’s work?
Stuart Moore: I don’t do a lot of comics adaptations, but I always find them interesting. You exercise different writing muscles, and it makes you think differently about the way you construct your own comics.
With the Ligotti books, I don’t really worry so much about finding my own voice. These are really beautifully crafted stories, and I always try to keep as much of the original prose as I can. The trick is to figure out how to make each individual piece work in comics form. It’s a challenge, because in their original form, these stories rely much more on interior narrative and moody prose than on dialogue.