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Tales Halloween Large



Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Sandy King, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Storm King Comics is no stranger to horror. She's a noted producer of movies like Village of the Damned, Vampires, and Ghosts of Mars, as well as producing a number of solid horror comics through Storm King and she's married to John Carpenter.

James Ferguson: You offer a pretty unique perspective on the horror genre, given your background. How did you decide to get into comics publishing?

Sandy King: It was definitely a change. People have been asking John [Carpenter] to put his name on comic books for years, but they were always just to use his name to sell sub-standard comics. It wasn't a field we considered going into, but I had a story and we had it set up at Universal to be a TV series, but then all the questions started. Can't you make it a sleepy little town? No, we don't want to shoot in North Carolina. The city of Los Angeles was a character in this story. Some assistant said it's not like there's a graphic novel we're matching to or anything, so I looked at her and said, “It is.” We always do a lot of art for our presentations, so this is our comic. I went home and John asked me how it went. I told him we're doing a comic book. What do we know about comic books? Nothing, but we'll learn.

We spent two years researching the business and the art of making comics. We had great assistance from people like Steve Niles, Tim Bradstreet, and Jimmy Palmiotti, who were very generous with their advice and time. That's where Asylum, our first comic series, started. We wanted something from John for local comic shops around Halloween and that's how the anthologies started. While looking at the table I realized we were missing science fiction, so now we have Tales of Science Fiction. In December, we're launching Storm Kids for 10-18 year olds. They get horror and sci-fi, but dealing with issues that pertain to kids. Our adult lines are more existential.

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JF: I'm so happy to hear that because I have two kids, so I want to find age-appropriate horror for them.

SK: The big deal when addressing kids, which I didn't really find except for Goosebumps, is that their fears are different than ours. Their first experiencing loss, death, monsters under the bed, and identity problems. That's different than adults who are dealing with issues of faith and much bigger political things that are over their heads. Why not gear the same writers like Steve Niles, Louise Simonson, and Neo Edmund to them?

JF: A big chunk of what you've published has been in anthology series like Tales from Halloween Night. What is the decision to steer more towards instead of more ongoing series?

SK: We have Asylum as our ongoing. Tales from Halloween Night happened by accident and it was suddenly really popular. It won awards, which shocked me because I never win awards for anything. I realized that as much as I don't think awards matter, God, it's nice. [Laughs] They're little tiny statues, but they're mine. It just seemed that a lot of people want short stories to read at night.

Tales of Science Fiction is a series of mini-series. That's kind of in between. People can get five or eight issues and put them in a trade. It's not a commitment for four years. You can give up your characters at the end.

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JF: Aside from Storm Kids, is there anything else coming down the line from Storm King Productions you'd like to share?

SK: Night Terrors. That is the horror that doesn't fit into the anthology. Some times that will be multiple issues and some times it'll be a graphic novel. There are a couple titles coming for that. That will probably start mid next year.

JF: How do you source out the content for these anthologies and mini-series?

SK: Usually the writers come to me and pitch a story, then I match up the artist to them and to the tone of what's written.

Horror DNA would like to thank Sandy King for taking the time to speak with us.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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