A widespread plague of new and creepy horror stories that choke the Internet burrowed into Tim Seeley’s mind, and ultimately turned him psychotic. Yes, he still puts on a cape to write superhero fare, but once a horror guy always a horror guy. An idea that germinated years ago has now morphed into the putrescent Polly Peachpit, and readers will soon be exposed to her mangled murderous mind in DC Vertigo’s Imaginary Fiends, which writer Tim Seeley talks about in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview.
Vince Brusio: What particular nightmare did you unearth from your locked mind to make Imaginary Fiends? Or was it more like you found a small spiral notebook back from college that reminded you to “not do this AGAIN!” and that chemical reaction is now dressed up as a new Vertigo series?
Tim Seeley: It was mostly inspired by the 'new crop' of horror stories/folklore coming off the internet...the creepypasta type stuff. I'm fascinated by the way people are building new legends essentially in chat rooms and message boards. The Slender Man attempted murder case is obviously an extension of that....some kids were so convinced of the reality of stories that they tried to kill someone in real life. That idea that fiction can be so frightening and scary that it becomes real is terrifying. And that's the basis of a lot of the inspiration for Imaginary Fiends and our monster, Polly Peachpit.
Vince Brusio: Did the story change at all as it moved through production? As you’re dealing with a subject matter that’s not regularly on rotation for people watching TV, were there moments that you kept turning the nuts and bolts to build a more perfect beast?
Tim Seeley: Well, the story was originally conceived of like three or four years ago, and I wrote the pitch and series bible around then. So, by the time I started writing the first issue, IF had been out of my head for awhile, while I spent all my time thinking about Nightwing and Green Lanterns. So, when I went back to it, a lot of little things just changed in my brain. Sometimes it's good for a story to let it simmer for a bit, and having time to let Polly get creepier and more twisted totally helps the book be more disturbing!
Vince Brusio: Who are some of the supporting characters in Imaginary Fiends, and who among them needs to be watched closely?
Tim Seeley: Melba is our star...she's the 'host' to Polly Peachpit. Polly is our main supporting character, a very creepy spider woman who lives in a cave behind a waterfall, and haunts Melba's mind. We also have Melba's FBI partner, Virgil Crockett, who is this very intense, very intellectual guy, who hates the fact that he lacks the imagination to be able to see these 'imaginary' monsters. And, then we have Charlie Chokecherry, who is Polly's 'husband,' and a pretty scary monster in his own right.
Vince Brusio: What are some of the most rewarding and challenging moments from working on this book? Was there ever a tug of war over visuals when it came to nailing down specifics with artist Stephen Molnar?
Tim Seeley: One of the reasons I wanted to work with Stephen is that he's an awesome storyteller, and I know I can trust him with all of the emotion and acting for our cast. I also liked that he'd never done a horror comic before, but really wanted to. He's mostly known for doing Danger Girl and Star Trek stuff...slick, superhero type images. So, we get to use those skills, and do really unexpected stuff with them. I have 15 years worth of experience doing horror comics, so on the rare instances that something he draws falls too far into the superhero-comic realm, I can help him out a little.
Vince Brusio: If you were tasked with putting together a minute-long trailer for this book, what music/artist would best fit the mood and pace for this story?
Tim Seeley: I would put some goth-industrial in there...maybe some Sisters of Mercy or Clan on Xymox. Let's cut a trailer with 'Jasmine and Rose!'
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.