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Revisiting City of Others with Steve Niles

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Dark Horse Comics is releasing a 10th Anniversary Hardcover of City of Others, the first series where writer Steve Niles collaborated with legendary artist Bernie Wrightson. The comic follows Stosh Bludowski (aka Blud), a hired gun with no emotions other than rage. When a routine hit won’t stay dead, he discovers a horrific mystery in this frightening city. I spoke with Niles on the eve of the book’s release about the project, working with Bernie Wrightson, and more.

James Ferguson: How does it feel to revisit City of Others ten years later?

Steve Niles: It’s strange and nice at the same time. City of Others was the first project I ever did with Bernie, so it brings back a flood of memories. I had only known Bernie for a few months and I had no intention of asking him to work with me, simply because people bugged him all the time for that kind of thing. I was seriously content just being his friend and getting to know him. But one day, after Bernie had done a Treehouse of Horror issue with Len Wein, he actually came over and said he’d like to do some comics with me. Except for the Simpsons book, he hadn’t done comics for years. We started jamming on ideas and it was Bernie who came up with the original concept for City of Others; a city populated with monsters. The idea was to slowly introduce characters and populate the city. Blud was our first character.

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JF: How did your collaboration with artist Bernie Wrightson evolve and change after first working together on City of Others?

SN: We became closer and closer friends and the process became much more comfortable. We would play Scrabble every Friday night and discuss stories while we played over beer and pizza. We would hang out and joke and talk stories then I’d go away and write. It was a really fun way to work. Effortless really. I was so in awe of Bernie’s talents. It was amazing to work with him.

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JF: I can't imagine the feeling of seeing Bernie Wrightson's artwork come in for your story for the first time. What went through your head when you first saw the artwork for City of Others?

SN: It was pretty surreal the first time I saw Bernie draw something I’d written. Before I met Bernie, I was a lifetime fan of his work. I grew up on his Frankenstein and was a huge fan of Swamp Thing. Seeing him at work was incredible and he was one of the nicest guys ever.

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JF: Are you interested in revisiting City of Others with new stories?

SN: The original concept was to populate the city. When City of Others ended, we went ahead and did the stories as a separate series in Dead She Said, Doc Macabre and The Ghoul. The only thing that never happened was incorporating Blud. I would love to see that happen, but I wouldn’t do it without Bernie. I’m just grateful for our friendship and the time we had to work together.

We’d like to thank Steve Niles for taking the time to speak with us. The City of Others 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover is set for release on June 5th, 2019.

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About The Author
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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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