The 5 Question Interview #48 with Steve Collier

We put 5 Questions to Kaiju Steel co-creator Steve Collier (he's the short one in the picture)...

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Steve Collier. I’m a writer and human with zero superpowers. I co-created "Kaiju Steel,” with artist, Lee Killeen (issue 4 in the works) and “The Mystery Boys” with artist, Andy Clift and am working on getting brand new title out there. Always looking for artists! ;) I also write for the screen. Mostly dark horror comedy stuff. I took a year off to go travelling so 2016 marks my return to the con floor and creating proper.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

First of all, if I’m not using the loo, me so sorry about that. A few empty coffee cups, chocolate bar wrappers… oh yes! Comics! Lovely "Kaiju Steel” comics in which you’ll get to follow our hero, Scott as he deals with Kaiju attacks, mystical swords and destiny. 

We’ll be doing a deal: the first 3 issues of “ Kaiju Steel” for £10. And there’s more! If you pick up the 3 issues for £10 deal and write down your email address, we’ll throw in a link for a free download of a two page prequel which has only appeared in a special "Dead Universe: Year One” anthology book- currently out of print. The short story has links to future issues so you don’t want to miss it. Great art by Lee.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Writing, especially comic books, is the greatest excuse to create anything your imagination desires. When I sit down to write (with a coffee- there’s a theme here), usually the plan I had for the script changes organically. That sounds slightly pretentious but I love being surprised by a character when I realise they’re dictating to me how the story develops. The effect is even more astounding when the art comes back from the (significantly more talented) artist and reveals some new elements to the story you hadn’t even thought of. The collaborative process of creating comic books is one of constant excitement because you never really know how different the end result is going to be from the original concept. For instance, there are many times while writing "Kaiju Steel" or "The Mystery Boys" when the dialogue would change at the lettering stage purely because it made more sense in conjunction with an expression or action the artist had put down. It’s a fluid process and I like that. With film, you have to write to various logistical and budgetary constraints (unless you’re James Cameron) so it’s quite a freeing form.

What was the first comic you collected?

I have to admit I arrived quite late on the comics scene in collector’s sense and perhaps I still wouldn’t class myself as a “collector" per se. I like what I like. I read a bunch of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Spider-Man" and "The Beano" as a kid. I guess the first one I had to read on day of release every week was the excellent "Sonic The Comic” or “STC." That book ran for well over 100 issues in the UK and was kind of an anthology book collecting stories from various Sega characters. Sonic, Decap Attack, Shinobi… The art, character design and storytelling was incredible and the pinups plastered the walls of my room for years. The writer/ artist team ups between Nigel Kitching and Richard Elson are phenomenal. It still runs online by fans and I have a dream of having something Sonic based made eventually. I absolutely hate that I got rid of those comics. Little did I know what I would eventually do later on in life! 

After that title ended it was many years later until I returned to comics after discovering “Powers" by Bendis and Oeming. It was unlike any book I’d ever read and I still love it to this day. The letters pages and script excerpts in the back were both hilarious, invaluable, and tight me a lot about pacing and dialogue structure. The deluxe collected editions are some of my favourite books on my shelves. If you’re a kid and reading this, don’t even look at this title until you’re at least 15 though! "Usagi Yojimbo" by the insanely talented Stan Sakai would be my other favourite. That’s series is, in my opinion, probably the finest example of long running storytelling, adventure, mythology and character and it’s been going since 1984! What a guy. "TMNT," both the old collections and new, brilliant IDW “TMNT” titles are also still a big part of my collection and are one of the main reasons I attempt to do what I do.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Wow! Tough question. There are people I know who are far more read than I am who would have a better opinion than me! I’m not sure about ever but I’ll tell you something I read recently that I really enjoyed. As a Star Wars fan, I was really excited to read the new Marvel titles based on classic characters. I thought the “Lando” limited series by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev was great fun. The writing really understood the character, the art was gorgeous and consistent and the ending was really satisfying. I’m not putting this above ever other comic out there but this title could have been a massive failure and actually turned out to be hugely enjoyable. 

Special shout out to everyone involved in Dead Universe Publishing who put out my books. Great bunch of talented humans. Now where’s that coffee..?

Thanks Steve.

Be sure to check out the Kaiju Steel Facebook page and stop by Steve's Table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello"