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DF Interview: Tim Seeley sheds light on Sundowners
By Byron Brewer
Later this month, writer Tim Seeley and artist Jim Terry take readers on a dark look at the thin line between heroism … and insanity. Complete with psychiatrist!
Seeley (Chaos!, Evil Ernie, Hack/Slash) seems to love the macabre, always skirting the edge of mainstream superhero-dom. And no book thus far has done this quite like Sundowners from Dark Horse.
Dynamic Forces caught up with Seeley at a coffee shop not far from Arkham Asylum to find out the writer’s secrets. This is the result, submitted for your approval.
Dynamic Forces: Tim, horror seems to be a favorite genre for you – and apparently for fans, since there are more horror titles at the store now than at anytime I recall since the monster mash of the 1970s. Would you call Sundowners a horror title?
Tim Seeley: Yeah, for sure! I think it's a horror comic first, but it's also a superhero comic. I think it sort of takes its cues from the Marvel 1970s horror/superhero books like Tomb of Dracula, Man-Thing and Werewolf by Night, and well as DC’s Swamp Thing and Animal Man.
DF: This is a creator-owned property you are doing for Dark Horse, so tell us how you developed Sundowners.
Tim Seeley: It's an idea I've been kicking round for a few years, but it didn't really solidify until Dark Horse asked me to pitch them a horror comic. When I started actually writing down what I wanted to do, I found the heart of the story, which was an examination of mental illness.
DF: Tell us about the initial story for this ongoing.
Tim Seeley: The first six issues explore the "origins" of this "superteam" as they initially gather to discuss their neuroses and anxieties, and discover what might be an alien conspiracy ... or a big shared delusion.
DF: The title, as one interviewer said, really does sound like a club of vampires. But this gang of costumed adults -- who see a psychiatrist! -- may or may NOT be protecting humanity? Explain please.
Tim Seeley: Yes. This is not a vampire story. Or a western. That seemed way too obvious to me with such a great title. Sundowners is derived from an actual mental illness called SUNDOWNING wherein people become confused and restless when the sun goes down. My grandma has suffered from it for a decade, and I felt like their was a correlation between that real thing, and the urge for a character like Batman to put on a cape and run around when the moon is up.
DF: Tell us about the protagonists and what is they face – or think they face? Is there any POV character? Maybe the psychiatrist?
Tim Seeley: It focuses on a group of five characters, and their particular neuroses and fears. There's no one POV character per se. I think different readers will relate to different characters.
DF: Sounds like it is starting off dark and spooky, but will this be spinning off into a sci-fi world at some point?
Tim Seeley: Perhaps ...
DF: Tim, are you happy with what artist Jim Terry is bringing to the table?
Tim Seeley: Absolutely. Jim's style really helped me define what the book was about. He draws these sort of haunted people, and that really set the tone! He draws really great monsters too.
DF: Could you compare this latest work to, say, something like one of your biggest successes, Hack/Slash?
Tim Seeley: Yeah, I think so. It's certainly in that vein ... both a parody and a straight story at the same time. It's less sexy than H/S maybe, but the heart, the humor and the horrors are similar!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Tim Seeley for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Sundowners from Dark Horse hits stores August 27th!
Don't forget to get yourself a copy of Revival #1 or plenty other books signed by Tim Seeley!
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