Somewhere amidst the gore and mythos of the Hellraiser universe, the heart-wrenching pages of 1990s Daredevil, the thrill of Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the disarming joy of Terror Inc — GET IT?! — and a whole host of other incredible titles, you can find Dan “D.G.” Chichester: man of many hats both in and out of the comic book industry and, it has to be said, quite the snappy dresser. (Who else could pull off a maroon vest and casual cowboy boots at a comic convention, I ask you?)
Chichester is one of those names that, if you were anywhere close to Marvel Comics in the nineties, will ring a bell even if you’re not immediately sure why. Initially joining the company as an assistant to editor-in-chief Jim Shooter in the mid-1980s — when he was just in his early 20s — Chichester would go on to become an assistant editor, and later a fully-fledged editor in his own right, at Marvel’s prestigious Epic Comics imprint at its height, working alongside legitimate bonafide editorial icon Archie Goodwin during the imprint’s glory days.
Even while that was happening, Chichester was busy writing a number of Marvel’s most underrated titles. Whether it was co-creating the Shadowline superhero books at Epic, launching both Terror Inc. and Nightstalkers in the early 1990s — fans of Marvel’s weird ‘90s horror titles know what I’m talking about — or an underrated (but about to be revisited!) run on Daredevil following Ann Nocenti, Chichester was quietly one of Marvel’s most valuable players of the era…obviously.
And then… he seemingly disappeared. Chichester left comics in 1999, moving into the advertising world until this year, when he’s back at Marvel with a new Daredevil title. Luckily, this also means he’s back in the masochistic saddle of doing comic conventions, which is where I caught up with him for a good chin wag at GalaxyCon Austin, where we were wonderfully interrupted every five minutes because people still just can’t get enough of his work! But I get ahead of myself…
Thanks for agreeing to do this. You’ve been busy!
I’m really excited about it!
Excellent. How’s the show been for you?
It’s good. I come with no preconceptions of anything. So it all goes as it goes unless somebody’s going to overtly insult me and say, “Hey Chichester, you suck”. And even if they say that, I have answers back for that. So I don’t come with an expectation to make a boatload of cash or anything. It’s just to meet people and talk and sort of get a sense of what they think. So it’s been perfectly fine.
Well this has got to be a different experience as well. You did shows plenty more back in the day, and then of course there’s a massive break in there…and now here you are. For a long time you kind of –
Is the word you’re looking for vanished? Totally. “Are you dead yet”? But hmm…how is it different? Well, I mean, the last time I did a convention was probably 1998 or 1999, and it was at an amusement park in Pennsylvania.
Where everyone of note wants to be put on display really.
Have you ever seen the movie This is Spinal Tap where they’re on their decline and they walk into an amusement park and it’s like “Today: Puppet show and “Spinal Tap”? That’s kind of how I felt.
It was a really nice convention, actually, but it was very small. The people were wonderful. They treated us great, but it was tiny; but even the ones I’d done a little bit before were – I mean, you didn’t charge for photographs like you do now. That was different. I guess I was a different person, too. So for me, I was still in between being total imposter syndrome and full of incredible free hubris. I’m in a great place now and it’s freeing because I don’t depend on this. It’s fun to do before this new [Daredevil] series – just to kind of come out and talk to people and get an exposure of feeling incredibly old on one hand because everyone keeps saying “That’s the first issue at Daredevil I read when I was a kid!” So I think it’s my mindset more than anything. I think comic conventions, pop culture conventions, or anything like that are maybe bigger in some ways now.
Oh god, yeah. They certainly are. And in different ways that I think anyone was expecting.
Right. I think the energy of the people is the same, if different. The idea of charging for certain things is still weird to me. But the first one I went back to in 2021, I went in and it was all free, but my peers shamed me into charging.
Look, your John Hancock is worth some money now.
Exactly. Everyone else was like, you’re making us scabs, you have to charge. So I guess that’s what it is now. The biggest thing is that I just have a different mindset. I just kind of enjoyed it a lot more. I don’t feel like I’m on the hook for anything.
Well I think the fandom is so different for a lot of people too. As we just saw when I first came over, there was a nice young guy who came up and was like, “You write Daredevil? How is it like the show? How do you write it differently from this TV show that now exists?” You certainly weren’t getting asked about Daredevil television back in the mid-nineties.
No, not at all. And some people are clueless and think that my sign says “Dr.” and I am therefore a doctor. Or that they just in general have no idea beyond the show…and all of that is fine. But I would’ve probably been ego struck in the wrong way back in the day. My ego would’ve been struck down by that sort of thing. Now I just don’t care. [laughs] It’s nice when people know me of course, but sometimes I just end up talking to people and they see the artwork and they’re kind of taking it in and then you start talking to discuss things with them and then they learn how comics are done or things like that. Yeah. So that’s really pretty cool.
Well I hate to break it to you, Dan, but you were also my first Daredevil comic in the 90’s.
Yeah. Sorry, but it’s not like it wasn’t going to be a talking point.
Which one was your first?
Ah, see, now you’ve found my professional Achilles heel. I’m garbage at remembering issue numbers and story titles regardless of how many times I try to drill them in now. It’s this whole thing where I always had the bad habit of skipping the title page and getting right into it when I was a kid and now I get to suffer for it in delightful conversations. But it was the big Kingpin story!
[laughs] Of course!
But like…your Daredevil was my Daredevil. And now you have another Daredevil story coming out in November…so you’re going to be a whole other generation’s new Daredevil. It’s the Matt that people really adored making a comeback. How’s that for coming full-circle?
Yeah. I mean, to have people like you or other folks say “you’re the reason I wanted to follow the character”. What’s the big deal now is to kind of have that perspective on it. It’s a little bit thrilling, and it also sort of feels like…I don’t know. I’m just glad I did a good enough job that it made a difference to you all as fans because I wasn’t always sure of it.
In fact, until recently, where different people have reached out – you know, technology is really awful in some ways, but it’s beautiful in others. It connects you to people you never would’ve talked to before yourself. And so I’ve been asked to do different podcasts and then people say, “oh, we want to talk to you about such and such issues or such and such”. I never read my stuff after I wrote it.
Really? Why not?
When I did it back in the day, it was like I didn’t want to return to the scene of the crime. I would write it and I’d move on to the next thing. I very rarely reread it because I was kind of nervous. It’s really bad. And so now having to go back and reread it and recognize what, even the stuff I didn’t think worked, worked more than it didn’t.
Sure, but at the time you’re literally dropping into the shit of it so it’s hard to have to balance that with self-reflection in the moment.
Oh totally. And you’re also suffering, like I said, from massive Imposter syndrome and meeting deadlines and more deadlines, and other expectations. So now the perspective is more gratifying to kind of understand that.
So you finally get to enjoy the fact that people enjoy your work instead of going [panicked noises]
[Panicked noises] But do they really?
Are they just being nice? [laughs] No, it’s actually great. I get to enjoy it now. And the last set of issues I did was this story called “Wages of Sin”, which I wrote under this pseudonym of Alan Smithee because I’d been fired from the book and I got my back up about it and I was going to, “I’ll show you! I’ll put a pseudonym! I won’t even use my name for this!” Like, anyone gave a shit.
[laughs] You know what they say – use an old film credit trick and they’ll come crawling back. That’ll show ‘em.
[laughs] “Fuck me? No, fuck you!” and then they just couldn’t have cared less. But I ended up writing the story full of woe and dread. And somebody even pointed out all the titles of those five issues were about betrayal and anguish. The mental psychology was obviously very shallow, but I didn’t think it turned out to be a very good story in my mind. And I don’t think it’s the best of stories still,, but rereading it recently, actually, even on autopilot, there’s some stuff that really does work. There’s more that does work than doesn’t.
So in that gap where after you stopped with Daredevil – and with comics in general – you’ve done advertising and marketing, right?
That’s right. From 1999 through, well, I still do it now, but I do it now after Covid layoffs and all. Welcome to our world. [laughs] Then the staff job I had went away. So I just started doing freelance advertising and marketing, which has been great because now I get to do a variety of things and I’m not tied to any one thing, but that was nothing I expected to do. But I think it gave me an extraordinary amount of discipline and focus and the need to look at things from a totally different perspective that I just continue to do comics. I would never have developed in that way.
There are a lot of people who talk about why they jumped into comics, but the thing that I was good at, and it’s what I thought I could do. And then you learn that there’s a whole bunch of other ways that you can branch off with and be good at. That’s not uncommon for a lot of people really. I’ve talked to plenty of folks where once they go and do something else as well, they’re like, oh, thank God I didn’t just stick with comics. Do you feel like there’s a lot of crossover there? Any skills that you learned from being an editor, being a writer, that carried over into marketing and vice-versa?
I’ve worn a lot of hats in both businesses. I was, for most of it, a creative director. So as a creative director, you are given assignments, you are managing art directors, writers, interconnecting with other departments like developers. I did a lot of digital work dealing with clients, changing things up because the client notes, alright, what do you do as an editor? I have a deadline. I have to manage a writer. I have to manage an artist, I have to manage a letter. I have to manage a colorist. We have to get X amount of books out on time. Everything I learned as being an editor became transferable to that work unconsciously. It wasn’t like I sat there one day and did a Venn diagram and said all these things crossover or anything, or even that I should go into advertising.
In fact, the first time I had an advertising gig was a lark. The woman called me, I don’t even know where she got my name. And I think she was kind of intrigued by me having worked in comics. I worked for one month, and it paid really well. And then when it was over, I was too stupid to sort of say, “do you have anything else”? And then it wasn’t until that same woman, thank God, called me a year later and said, “we have something else”. I didn’t even think it could be something, but I think all those skills were translatable in that way, especially as an editor. I always thought I was a better editor than I was a writer.
Like you were more confident? Less of the imposter syndrome?
Yeah, that’s it probably. I was more confident. I was very confident actually.
I want to say something about you needing to have had more faith in what you were doing from the jump, but honestly when you started, you were fucking young. No one is really that confident when they’re young.
I was! I was super young!
You were like 21! That’s just mad.
I was like 22. Yeah, I was 22 when I started. So by the time when I took over I was 24, 25, which was impossibly young and there’s no way they should have given me that title. [laughs]
Where’d you find the discipline at 22? I mean you were overseeing an entire imprint, and that’s insane as an editor, and you were also writing.
I mean as an editor, it was just the job. That was the job. And I had editorial assignments and you just sort of made it up as you go along. It was tougher when you’re writing, because then you are young and…I wasn’t a party animal or anything like that, but you’re still easily distracted.
You’re 22. You want to have at least a little bit of a life.
Yeah…I mean, no. I didn’t really. I didn’t have much of a life. You really had to self-regulate. When you’re on a staff job as an editor, you’re surrounded by people. “I’ve got to manage that assistant, I’ve got to manage this, and I’m a boss”, and all those different things. When you’re the writer, you are your own boss in a way, and you have to then manage the time that you have. You’re taking on more assignments, things are picking up, and then you’re trying to manage that, too. And I did it! Sometimes I did it really well, and sometimes I fucked up.
Sometimes I got really distracted by weighing up what was more important than the other and I let the schedule slide on that. Sometimes I could recover from that and let my mind go like with S.H.I.E.L.D. I loved working on S.H.I.E.L.D. I screwed that schedule up and the editor fired me, and was right to do so because he’d given me a couple of passes and I didn’t honor that. He was absolutely right to do that. But on Daredevil, that was not the case.
Easier to see that now than it was at the time, or was that pretty clear even then?
Oh no, I saw it even then. I mean,I screwed up and I broke my contract and I didn’t explain. He didn’t say, “oh my God, something happened,” I just broke the contract. I didn’t say any of this maturely, of course, but I was cool with that decision. That was of my own doing.
Speaking of some decisions being made on your part…I heard somewhere that you almost edited Toxic!? A choice.
Yeah, Toxic! was over in the UK. They had asked me to do it but I didn’t. I was tight with all the Britts and the Brits in the industry at the time liked me.. I mispronounced Chichester and they could mock me. “It’s ChI-chester!” “NO IT’S CHIH-CHESTER” Anyway – I think pretty famously with Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Alan Grant and the crew..they all seemed to get along well with me. And then I don’t remember if Simon [Bisley] also remembers working with me on some things!
But when Toxic! was coming to life, they were looking for an editor; they asked me, but I had just gone freelance. I had just left staff and I wanted to – well, my intention was that I wast going to write. That was the track I wanted to take. But I had recommended Margaret Clark, who had been my co-writer, and we were in a relationship at that time, and she ended up becoming the editor for that line for a short amount of time.
Don’t get me wrong, Toxic! is very much a personal passion of mine – what a delightfully trashy little collection – but it seems like a decent bullet that you dodged honestly.
I remember sort of struggling with it, and asking myself if I should take the gig. Ultimately, it was just too soon. Just sort of changed the course of having done that. Karen Berger had also called me at DC as there had been an opening at a little mildly-popular imprint called Vertigo. Archie Goodwin had recommended me to her, and I went and talked to her, but it was kind of the same thing. It just felt like it was too soon. I just felt like if I’m going to do this then I want to try this and I don’t want to go back to editorial. And also, DC was less/not flexible at all about people also writing for Marvel. That was almost like the thing – you could be on staff, but you could also write or pick up freelance assignments. And that was very frowned upon at DC. So Karen wasn’t too keen on that idea, which also would’ve cut into me thinking I could do stuff.
Well now you’ve gone and done it though – tell me a little bit about that whole experience with Hellraiser. I imagine that that was a whole other kind of whirlwind to deal with.
That was one of the best things I ever had a chance to work on. I was, and still am, a big horror fan. Big Stephen King fan. And I had always been on Archie Goodwin, who was my boss, to do a horror comic. I’d been on Archie saying, “Can we do a horror anthology?” because he’d worked on so many of the great war comics and Creepy and things like that. But he had the history and he would be the first to say that horror doesn’t sell.He loved it. It’d be fun to do… but it’s not going to sell.
Of course I was like “God, man! I’m the young turk and what do you know?!” But he said it had to have a hook. So the hook turned out to be Clive Barker, and New World had just bought Marvel Comics in that weird in-between time when anybody with a couple bucks would buy Marvel. A guy who had become a good friend of mine was in the foreign licensing division at New World. So he was friends with [Clive] Barker through the Hellraiser [movies], and [he] wanted to get into real film production, not just do foreign licenses. So he made the connection with our offices and Clive Barker wanted to come in and talk to Archie Goodwin about something. It was my first real fan moment I think I’d ever had really.
When Clive Barker showed up at reception and this guy, Mark – who would later go on to become very famous – wanted to get into comics and worked as our receptionist, the most overqualified receptionist on the planet; brain bursting with a thousand ideas, but he’s the guy who sits outside the Epic offices and he’s supposed to go greet the people who come in through the main entrance… So Clive Barker shows up, and I literally push Mark out of the way and run my way down the hall to like, “HI, CLIVE BARKER I’M DAN CHICHESTER AND I REALLY LIKE YOUR WORK” And he could have cared less who I was, because he’s there to meet Archie Goodwin. [laughs]
So he and Archie go into Archie’s office and they close the door. Later they come out and Clive doesn’t say goodbye but Archie comes into my office and says, “Be careful what you wish for because you just got it. Because he wants to use Hellraiser as a launching pad for a horror anthology.”
So suddenly we’re all go and we’re having to pull this thing together! But now you have to deconstruct Hellraiser, which is great because the second movie was just about to come out at that point. So we got an early preview copy, but even between the early preview copy of Hellraiser II and the movie that was already out… what does this all mean? I mean, aside from Doug Bradley –
– doing Doug Bradley stuff.
Right, and Nick Vince shattering his teeth! But what does it mean? What is the big diamond? What is all this stuff? So we had to figure it out to make sense of the anthology. So we got to convene this brain trust of myself, Archie, Clive, Eric, and say “Okay, you made this deal happen”. And that’s kind of where we became friends. Then there was this weird addition of this guy, Phil Nuttman, who was sort of a splatter-punk adjacent author, but for some reason we got it in our heads that he was part of Clive’s “inner circle”, but he really wasn’t.
[laughs] So you just kind of invited some guy? Like he was just A Guy?
Yeah, he was like a guy! And like, he had kind of been mentioned a couple of times, like Clive had said something about him. So me and Archie got in our heads that obviously Phil must be part of his inner circle…so we invited him to kind of the brainstorming session and then later found out it was nothing. [laughs] So I don’t know how much he actually contributed, but we all got together and we just started spitballing. That’s when I realized how Clive was totally just Clive Barker, which you would expect. A twisted deviant in the best of ways, but also absolutely beyond charming. He is like the living Loki, right? He’s so charming. And creatively, it wasn’t like, “Let me tell you what it is”, it was like, “I think it’s this – what do you think?” And then we just started to run ideas all together as a group and I got to capture it all and then turn that into what became the Hellraiser Bible, essentially.
So I wrote out this entire proposal, and that was aimed at the people we wanted to recruit. So we sort of explained, “You’ve seen the Hellraiser movie, and this is what it means. We’re doing an anthology after all. It was detailing: “What is Leviathan?” “What is the Lamont Configuration?” The types of stories we’re looking for. We aimed as high as you possibly could, and just started to try to generate those stories coming in, which then became a mix of people coming in with the most hackneyed EC Comics ideas that they’d obviously been sitting on to the most racist material possible. Then there were guys like Ted McKeever who did marvelously. He was very Ted McKeever about it.
That’s the best way to put most Ted McKeever things is that he did a very Ted McKeever thing about it. And it always rules.
It does and he did. Ted McKeever did everything he did for us very McKeever-y. And between Clive’s very giving nature and what would become a very trusting nature, I think he trusted me kind of implicitly after a point. As he put in an interview one time, “Dan will always go the extra distance in a twisted way”. [laughs] He had approval over everything, but I don’t think he ever balked over anything.
That alone is a hell of a compliment.
It was big. I mean, this is his world; it’s his thing. But I also think he would work with other people. As long as you kept it moist. [laughs]
A little sticky. [laughs]
A little sticky! As long as you made his world continue to be his world and you weren’t backing off from things, you were honoring the intention of it. He was okay with people exploring. It wasn’t like this rigid sort of thing.
Cenobites could be this or that, Cenobites could be in love. Cenobites could be EC Comics-ish if it was a good EC comic. As long as it honored that intention of what we put out in that Bible and spun it out even wider than that, or introduced something new, or brought some other stuff. He was totally cool with it. The only hiccup with it was in that first issue where there’s a Jan Strnad and Bernie Wright story called “The Warm Red”, which was the one, when I saw that story, I knew the book was going to work. I knew the book was going to work both when the John Bolton cover came in, which John Bolton issue looking up painting flames from Hell. It was beautiful and twisted and erotic, and scary and nasty…and it was the story that the editorial group then said, “You’re not running the story in the first issue. It’s too much. You’re coming in too hot. Take it out of the first issue, run a different story. We’ll run it in the subsequent issue.”
I dug my heels in and I said, the book is called Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. That’s what it’s called. Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. What the hell did you think you’re going to get? And the book would be inconsistent across its many issues. We had, like Rod Sterling famously said with The Twilight Zone, a third of them are okay, a third of them are duds, and a third of them are really really great. Maybe we had a quarter of that. But I just dug my heels in. I said, if you do this, I’ll quit. Not that they could have cared, but maybe they cared enough that they backed off.
And we did run the story, and I think it was the exact right mix for that first issue, to switch a stake in the ground of what the book could be. Because then you start to get inventory stories in, and – well not inventory stories – but you start to amass enough stories for an anthology to keep yourself going that are of less quality than others.
So when you’re doing something like that – an anthology where you’ve got so many different creative minds and it’s kind of a jam project – that’s got to be herding cats at a certain point. How do you balance all those different personalities? You’re throwing out all these names of people that worked on these books and it’s a painful amount of talent but a hell of a mix of mindsets – especially working on something already as twisted as something like Hellraiser.
A little bit. I mean, it’s also what made it work. It’s also probably what hurt it, and probably what Archie was also indicating toward, in the sense of an anthology – like that somebody may really love that Ted McKeever story, but every story is not the Ted McKeever story. Okay. So what do you do? Do you skip past the great Mike Mignola story to get to the Ted McKeever story all the time? Well, I don’t want to pay for only one portion of the book. So it becomes its own worst enemy in the sense that you realize the depth and breadth of a Hellraiser universe. But you also potentially throw off the game. And I wonder even as we’re talking about it just now if that would be different in today’s market, which seems like it’s much more open and eclectic for that range, whereas back then I think you were still much more contained…especially perception wise. “Well, it’s a Marvel comic or it’s a DC comic, or this or that” sort of thing.
Well on that note, how did it sell over in Britain? Because you think of weekly anthologies like that with a whole bunch of creators doing shorter stories together. That’s very much the British model of a lot of comics. I mean look at 2000 AD or even The Beano.
Hmm..you know, actually I don’t know. I don’t think there was much more UK sales, but I don’t know that those numbers tracked back as much to the overall picture or affected it one way or the other. I never got any indication of that. It’s a great question though, considering the market there. But overall the book did okay. I mean, it did well, and it continued on for a while, and it changed the publishing schedule a few times. I think it was also because people wanted to be in the Clive Barker business.
Who can really blame them, honestly. It’s still incredibly beloved.
I mean, I consider it one of the things I was most proud of and…I mean, I wont’ say I was a backbone of it but I will say that Clive said at one point, “Dan’s the godfather of the comic book”, which was nice. That was – and still is – really reassuring. And I’m not just name dropping.
Oh god no. You keep that little nugget close to your chest. A little morsel just for you courtesy of Clive Barker.
[laughs] A little morsel. Yeah. I mean, I put everything into that. Everything I possibly had in my bag of tricks at that time, I put in to make that work as well as I possibly could. There were a few things I tried to make work and I should have just ejected out of it, but I’m immensely proud of what we made happen with that. And then for me, it also then led to me taking over Nightbreed as the writer and then doing the Nightbreed/Hellraiser crossover.
God, those were so good. They were so fucking good, Dan.
They’re fucking good, right?
Just fantastically twisted.
They were. They’re good. And that’s the best flow state – one of the best flow states I think I’ve ever been in.
Hellraiser and Nightbreed, specifically?
Yeah. I mean, I wrote that probably in one night.
Really? Jeez, that really is a flow state. I’m jealous.
It was just right. I mean, I wrote Jihad, the crossover, in the same way. I felt like everything had sort of amassed itself over time, and all these immunology books and stuff I had read over the years and scarification studies and all these weird little influences just… it wrote itself as much as anything.
It sounds like this is all kind of born of a personal obsession.
I think it’s like, it’s a little bit of osmosis – the kind where you’re interested in certain things and you immerse yourself in them. And then,I mean, creatively, I’ve always found that things work better when you let the story and the characters write themselves. That’s not an epiphany, I know, but talking more in opposition to times when I’ve tried to force words or situations into things I’m working on. So I think in the sense of having done so much of that Barker world and having that both freedom and that confidence, I didn’t feel that imposter syndrome on that.
Kind of funny the way that works, isn’t it? It’s amazing what kind of confidence comes with feeling supported as a creative.
Right? And I felt confident and supported because he had given me the creative backing and privilege to work in that.
I think that’s a horror thing. Like, in the horror community the mindset is this weird willingness to just say, yeah, run with it. “Go! Run! Now! I’ll support what you want to do as long as it’s fucked up and cool!” sort of thing.
Exactly! It’s part of the mentality I think.
Let’s get a little same-track, different-train here: what are some horror flicks you’ve liked recently? Do you have favorites?
What’s the one? Is it It Follows? That scared the shit out of me. Really. I watched that and I was like, I mean, it’s a simple concept, but the way it’s delivered is just so intense. The Ring is good, but it’s the same sort of pattern obviously. But [It Follows] just blew me away. Oh, or Train to Busan.
Train to Busan rocked ass.
It did! And really just kept delivering, especially when you think about the oversaturation of zombies. It just totally stood out for me. Barbarian was not my thing because it just felt like… I mean, it’s got scary bits to it, but it’s just all over the map.
Little too heavy-handed?
Well…it felt like four different people wrote it. Like someone started to write one story and then someone else started to write a different story while also smoking crack. Then someone else comes to join in and they’ve done a bunch of edibles.. It’s just like everything under this sun. I mean, Midsommer and Hereditary are movies I’ll never watch again, but are awesome. They were so evil.
What’s funny is I actually hated Midsommer when I first saw it. I saw it when it came out in the theater and I absolutely fucking hated it. And no one shut up about it for years and I spent the entire time pissed off and telling people to shut up about how bright horror was the new thing. And then I went back and rewatched it about six months ago and I was like ‘Oh god dammit this is really good”.
[laughs] It really is good though. And Hereditary is super well done, but in the moment, they’re the kind of movie where I’m glad I could watch them on video because I could stop them. Like they’re very good and I enjoy watching them but I want to have the option to stop and not watch them again. I mean, I love all the [Sam] Raimi stuff. It’s ferociously crazy, and I love when he’s just that evil. What’s the one where the woman gets cursed recently? I can’t remember the title of it.
Are you talking about Evil Dead Rise?
No no, Evil Dead Rise was pretty well done. No, he did one that was kind of like I Spit on Your Grave but it wasn’t I Spit on Your Grave.
Man, talk about a great movie.
Yeah! I tend to go for things that are intense but not necessarily grizzly. I like evil to thrive a little bit and kind of take me in. I saw The Pope’s Exorcist recently –
I just watched that the other day! It was fucking solid, wasn’t it?
Yes! It was really solid until that stupid CGI shit at the end. Even like Russell Crowe chewing the scenery. It was really solid. I really dug it much more than I thought.
I’m such a massive fan of The Exorcist, and so I was like, oh, this is going to be stupid and a rip off and I’m gonna hate this…but I just watched the whole thing and got totally sucked in.
I love the idea of there being a sequel and them being like, and now we’re going to go do some more. But anyway, I’ll try anything horror.
Well, I mean…you can’t work on the things you’ve worked on and not gravitate towards horror. You like the sticky stuff after all. [laughs]
I like the sticky horror, it’s true. [laughs] And you know, it’s sticky but it’s also – Archie Goodwin is the one who had the epiphany on night, which was that the Nightbreed were, the X-Men of the Horror.
…They kind of are, aren’t they? Archie Goodwin, man.
Archie Goodwin is right. They are on the outskirts of everything. They have these amazing powers. They’re misunderstood for what they are, and that’s how I treated them. I wasn’t trying to make them super heroic, although there’s a lot of action in who he adventures in it… but they were the heroes of it.
And that’s the thing I think that Clive always celebrated was the other, which is usually the enemy. But with Barker and with my work as well, the other is the world. It is the world to either celebrate because you are that character or you are being introduced to that and you either accept it and become the other, or you go with the status quo and it eats you alive. It’s a world I’m proud to be a part of.