Over the past few years, Mark Miller has established a close working relationship with Clive Barker: he’s the co-head of Barker’s production company, Seraphim Films; he served as assistant editor on Barker’s third Abarat novel, Absolute Midnight, and is editing the author’s eagerly-anticipated book The Scarlet Gospels; and he’s been instrumental in getting the director’s cut of Barker’s film Nightbreed in front of audiences.
On the comics front, Miller wrote several issues of the latest incarnation of Hellraiser for BOOM! Studios, and is now co-writing a just-announced new series with Barker called New Genesis, about a man who claims he is God returned to Earth. Even with this obviously busy schedule, Miller was kind enough to take a few moments to chat with FEARnet.com about the new series.
Tell us how you got involved co-writing New Genesis with Clive Barker.
I was fresh off my stint as the writer for Hellraiser and Clive and I work incredibly well together so we were looking for what our next project would be. We'd actually been kicking around ideas for New Genesis for quite some time and it was the right thing at exactly the right time. I was a free agent, BOOM! was asking Clive for original content, and the stars aligned.
Take us inside the process - how do you two work together? Was this an idea Barker brought to you fully formed, or was it something the two of you developed together?
This is something that Clive and I sort of came up with together. I volunteered to be a living canvass for Clive and, when he was finished painting me, what we had was Wick, the primary antagonist of New Genesis. So he's entirely Clive's creation, but from that moment on, both Clive and I were obsessed with finding out who this character was and what his intentions were. Through tossing ideas back and forth, we came up with a brutal story that really stuck with both of us. And as it turns out, Wick's intentions are less than benevolent. Any more and I risk saying too much, so you'll have to read if you want to find out the rest.
Naturally, when you start talking about Clive Barker and spirituality, people are going to start thinking about his particular vision of hell. Will we be seeing Cenobites as part of this story, or is this completely separate from that mythology?
This is a completely separate thing. But that's a very interesting question because the other visions of heaven and hell never even entered the conversation. Like Weaveworld, or Sacrament, and so on, this story takes place in its own self-contained universe.
You’ve said that the Bible, specifically the Old Testament, is going to be a source for this story. What other kinds of sources and influences are you and Barker drawing from?
How much room do you have? In the first issue alone, there are references to 19th century philosophy, medieval alchemy, and Jungian metaphysics. But we don't throw it in anyone's face. These are things that simply informed the story we wanted to tell. And we make it all very palatable by ensuring that the body count is nice and high.
What does artist Haemi Jang bring to the table? How has her work influenced the series?
Haemi's influence is incalculable. Her work bolstered the series by freeing us up to take bigger visual risks. Knowing that we're in good hands and that she'll be able to pull off the big picture stuff has allowed us to do some really incredible stuff with the narrative and the comic form itself.
You recently did some writing for BOOM!'s ongoing Hellraiser series. Any plans on returning to that world in the comics?
One never knows. We're very happy with where Brandon Seifert's taking the series, so we don't anticipate changing writers any time soon. That being said, it's a great universe to play around in and I'd love to revisit it at some point.
I understand you've been working with Barker on his highly-anticipated Harry D'Amour/Pinhead project, The Scarlet Gospels. Can you give us an update on where that stands now?
It's in good shape. I've been highly involved in the editing process for some time now and it's a brilliant, beautiful, terrifying story. At the moment, Clive's main focus is on Abarat IV, but Gospels continues to be a big part of our world. It will happen. And when it does, I assure you, it will have been worth the wait.
Visit Mark Miller’s official website.
Visit Clive Barker’s official website.
Visit the official website of BOOM! Studios.
Visit the official website of Seraphim Films.
Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.