Our Craig Caudill recently penned an open letter to one of the most successful creators out there, Ryan Murphy, of American Horror story fame. Craig believes he has found the next great book series to adapt.
Dear Mr. Murphy:
I would like to applaud your efforts in challenging your fellow creators with diversity in a stagnant world, suffering from a cesspool of fake documentaries. It seems all one has to do these days is make one documentary about anything and insert the names Hitler, Aliens, or Bigfoot, and voila instant lazy educational television.
That’s just one complaint I have, but I’m not here to complain.
Perhaps it is tremendous hubris to hope that I may be able to persuade anyone into doing anything, but I’m a desperate man when it comes to entertainment. I know life is short, but without entertainment how do we find our little slices of heaven? Entertainment is a spiritual thing for me and we learn lots of things from the content we digest, whether we know it or not.
I want to discuss a great work of fiction which I know you would just love. It oozes with diversity and enthusiasm and moves at a fast pace. I believe that you, your fans and your production team would enjoy adapting The Nightside series and that it would play extremely well on either HBO, AMC or FOX.
Each novel is short punchy, fast-paced and full of shoot-from-the-hip prose. This isn’t about making a one time movie, I’m talking about a whole series and a vast array of colourful characters that would grow over the years.
When I wrote Simon R Green, I briefly got a response from his assistant who told me that there was going to be a show, but it ended up being cancelled.
We can change that!
Simon R Green describes The Nightside series: “A place where dreams come true and nightmares come alive.”
To see what I’m talking about, get the e-book and/or audio book and play a long file of ambient music while you immerse yourself into The Nightside.
The Nightside is a supernatural thriller narrated by John Taylor, a detective with super powers who only uses them when he has too. Over time, Taylor has become a target for otherworldly beings.
He finds things and solves crimes in London’s underworld where times stops at Three in the morning. Another distinction that makes him a target is that He is the son of Lilith who is notoriously the first wife of Adam. Which is not mentioned in the book of Genesis. Consult the Kabbalah. Each story is a crime of supernatural , that he has to figure out and solve. If not the repercussions of a war between heaven and hell could break out. Each story is a crime of supernatural shenanigans, or ghostly revenge which the plot twists to find John Taylor has a price on his head and he has to figure out who wants him dead this time. Sometimes the repercussions could mean a war between heaven and hell could break out.
So Now that I hope I have your attention. I would like to introduce to you, your new favorite heroine. One That will be your favorite female character for years to come!
Her Name is Shotgun Suzie or Suzie Shooter a tough hired assassin body-guard or bounty hunting gun for hire. Call her what you like she’s dark mean Amazonian Sexy and decked out in black leather high heel, black leather boots and bandoliers. And did I say she was had a shot-gun. I think I did. And of course she is blond. Now I know you have a thousand women you would choose. I compliment your casting choices. God know I love Jessica Lange in AHS. I want to bring to your attention that if you would be so bold to produce such a show or even purchase this book and begin reading it right away. My first choice for Shotgun Suzie is Kristen Johnston.
For John Taylor, I was thinking about Iain Glen who played Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones.
What about Michael Pitt, who was amazing in Boardwalk Empire?
You could have a field day casting the rest of the show.
Others Who Dwell In The Nightside:
Razor Eddie: Punk God of the Straight Razor. He’s dead, he’s punk and somehow a god, yet he’s not completely evil – just scary.
Henry Walker: A rich Tycoon who represents the authorities of the Nightside
The Collector: He collects pricesless works of art along with artifacts perceived to be mythical, like the Grail. It also a good idea point out the dangerous Rococo Robot Cats that guard his precious warehouse from art thieves.
The Collector’s most prized possession is The Speaking Gun. It’s literally a gun made of human flesh and is alive. It’s perhaps the most dangerous weapon in the world.
Alex Morrisey: A man who owns a bar called Strange Fellows, where Merlin Satan Spawn lies dormant underneath a catacomb of the bar.
Dead Boy: A zombie that died and came back to avenge his own death, then eventually winds up doing good deeds.
Merlin Satan Spawn: He is this world’s Merlin the Magician.
The Harrowing. A collection of faceless assassins that possess anesthetic-filled hypodermic needles for fingers
The Walking Man: Who supposedly made a deal with God to righteously kill anyone who deserves to die.
This is just a sample of characters I think you’d thoroughly enjoy.
Each novel is a different adventure with a consistent ongoing story line. The themes are good against evil, with our hero, the paranormal detective, coming to grips with his own powerful identity within the seedy underworld he watches over. It’s loaded with surprises.
I think along with American Horror Story you could turn this show into quality prime-time television.
As I watch American Horror Story, I envy your sense of the macabre. I was very pleased with the pacing in the last season, as well as the ensemble cast that just blew me away. I believe your attention to detail would do justice to The Nightside project. You’re probably the only producer with the guts to do a project like this.
I would like to congratulate you on the success of your current projects American Horror Story and American Crime Story as well. and I applaud your moving tribute to David Bowie in Season Four’s “Freak Show”. The use of Life on Mars as a premise was brilliant.
In closing, I hope I gave you something to consider and hope to hear good news that you will make this happen one day!
Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigCaudill
ComiConverse contributor Craig Caudill brings the second installment of his series, Speculative Yahtzee. Today he interviews noted writer and eighth degree black belt, Jonathan Maberry.
CC: What novel changed your life, and who is your favorite author?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Richard Matheson gave me a signed first edition of I Am Legend when I was thirteen. A Christmas present. That book absolutely changed my life. It’s landmark in that it’s the first novel in which hard science is used to tell a horror story. And, also, having Matheson and Ray Bradbury as mentors when I was a teen was pretty amazing. Without I Am Legend I would never have become a science geek and would never have written the Joe Ledger series or most of my other science-based horror and thriller novels.
CC: Do you think Wonder woman is sexy, specifically Lynda Carter, and why?
JM: First, I was a Marvel kid, so Wonder Woman wasn’t on my radar until the TV show came on in 1975. I was seventeen. There is not one straight carbon-based male life form who was not in love with Lynda Carter. Anyone who denies it is lying.
CC: You are a super hero, what is your name, power, and costume? Who is your Arch Enemy?
JM: My super power is flight. I used to fantasize about it while sky-diving. (Luckily I’d come to my senses and pull the ripcord!). I would not, under any circumstances, wear skin-tight spandex. Trust me on this. My costume would be a baggy flight suit with cool insignias My enemy would be a villain called Flak who tried to shoot me down.
CC: What is your preference, cosplay or LARPing?
JM: Cosplay. I am a huge fan. I did a bit of it in the past, mostly in zombie crawls. I have friends who LARP, but I haven’t participated. So far.
CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?
JM: Even though I’m a Marvel guy, I’m partial to a drink called The Dark Knight. Vodka, black raspberry liqueur, a lemon twist and served in a martini glass. Trendy yet very cool.
CC Who is your favorite villain?
JM: Doctor Doom, but written with subtlety and restrain. The way Lee and Kirby did him in the late sixties. An aristocrat, not a raving lunatic. I tried to capture that vibe in my Marvel miniseries DoomWar.
CC: Are vampires ruined and not scary anymore or just played out?
JM: Vampires, like zombies and werewolves, can be comical but they can always be made scary again. Twilight made them romantic and Count Chockula made them funny, but books like The Strain and my own V-Wars series bring back old school badass vampires.
CC: Could we Co-exist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?
JM: Society will panic and people will flip out –for a while, but then things would settle down. What you’d have, tough, would be an immediate political battle between right and left wings. Always. No matter what the controversial issue is.
CC: Are you high on V right now?
JM: Not anymore. It wears off. I bring myself down to earth with a nice, cold Dark Knight cocktail.
CC: Stephen Hawking has warned everyone not to interact with aliens. However if you suddenly meet one. what would you talk to him about?
JM: Logistics. How the hell did they travel so far and why the hell did they come here? They’re reasonable questions.
CC: Do you believe in Life on other worlds?
JM: I do. But I don’t pretend to know what it’ll be like.
CC: Did you cry when E.T. Died?
JM: I did, and I’m man enough to admit it.
CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?
JM: Sean Connery. The Bond in the books was a cruel bastard. Roger Moore always seemed too genteel.
CC: Does working for Rotor-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?
JM: I should think so. There’s some very weird shit down there.
CC: Do you fear a zombie reality?
JM: No. But I do think that a plague scenario is more likely than is comfortable.
CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?
JM: Nope. I would be merciful but not suicidal.
CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?
JM: In a heartbeat. And pour some wine to go with it, because chocolate goes great with coffee. And enough wine would soothe my remorse for eating a friend.
CC: If there was an election now between Emperor Kang Vs Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?
JM: I’m Team Kodos all the way.
CC: Who would win in fight Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?
JM: Daryl would cheat, so…him. He also takes a better punch than Sawyer.
CC Same question but the original Ricardo Montalban, Wrath of Kahn vs Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?
JM: Ricardo was badass, but Cumberbatch was more restrained and calculating. So…Cumberbatch.
CC OK, True or False: There is only one Batman, Adam West?
JM: False. Sue me, but I have high expectations for Ben Affleck. The thing is, much as I enjoyed the old Batman show, I generally don’t like campy versions of super heroes. I like dark, edgy, and as realistic as the subject matter allows. It’s why I liked Christian Bale and why I will probably dig Affleck,
CC: Okay, Big Foot is now discovered he’s booked on your talk show, but everything he says is outdated, racist, sexist, and Homophobic…but he’s Big Foot. How would you handle this situation?
JM: I’d want to kick his hairy ass. Being a legendary monster doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior. Or, I might get him rocked on Dark Knight cocktails and try to talk sense to him.
CC: What superhero would you like to portray?
JM: Reed Richards or T’Challa (I know, bad casting choice, me being a white guy). Those are my two favorite heroes. Tough and smart.
CC: Big Foot, Chuck Norris and Danny Trejo are in a room. A brawl breaks out. Who is the last man standing when it’s over?
JM: I hate Chuck’s politics but he used to be a superb fighter. And I knew him. He’d kick Big Foot’s ass. Danny is great, but he’s an actor. Now, if the question was Chuck Norris or Machete…then, Machete, clearly.
.CC: Ok, seriously, the last question. How has moving changed your writing better worse and what surprises await your fans
JM: I get to sit at my desk and watch whales and dolphins outside my window. That is a measure of what my writing career has done for me and my family. I grew up dirt poor in the inner city.
The 8th Joe Ledger book, Kill Switch, comes out in April. Other new releases include the anthologies I edited, The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, V-Wars: Night Terrors and Out of Tune Vol II. And my 2nd middle grade novel, The Nightsiders: Vault of Shadows, debuts in a few months. Plus my first board game just came out, V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal.
Jonathan Maberry Essentials:
NY Times Bestseller and 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner
The Nightsiders Bk 1: The Orphan Army – Simon & Schuster
Rot & Ruin Series- Simon & Schuster
The Joe Ledger Thrillers- now in development by Lone Tree Entertainment and Vintage Picture Company
Bad Blood – from Dark Horse Comics
X-FILES: a series of all-new anthologies from IDW Publishing
V-WARS: IDW -anthology and comics; now in development for TV
Ghostwalkers – A Deadlands novel from TOR
Website & Blog: www.jonathanmaberry.com
It is a goal of mine to spark a dialog with creative individuals in various fields and ask them what is entertaining to them. And I hope these answers are an indication of what gives us meaning in our downtime, and what inspires us to dream in story, in music, and in the arts. No medium has allowed us to dream that more than fiction. And perhaps everyone’s favorite in many cases is generically referred to as “speculative fiction.” But this umbrella term treads many genres: horror, thriller, supernatural, noir, science fiction and countless shades of fantasy. With that I aim to ask someone who works close to the medium or works in the field. I ask them various questions — some silly, some serious. Some of the answers may surprise you.
My first participant is Mather Zickel, starring in the new horror flick Southbound, which sounds very promising to me.
So I welcome Mather Zickel in my first Q&A exchange.
CC: What novel changed your life? and who is your favorite author?
MZ: My favorite author? Hmm. Tough. I don’t generally get fixated on one particular author. Books just come into my life for some reason or other, and I like to think that there’s a reason for why they do when they do. I find I keep returning to Robertson Davies’ novels. I really enjoy his quirky Canadian world of academics, artists, priests, and eccentrics. I like his odd humor. I think he really tries to reconcile the life of the mind with the life of the spirit. And he seems to actually love humanity.
On the darker side, I also like Robert Cormier’s young adult books. Several of his novels were lauded and won awards, while simultaneously being challenged in many school libraries around the country. I went to boarding school at 14 and the first book I happened to grab out of the library was called I Am the Cheese. It really gave me the creeps. Then I read The Chocolate War and I felt completely justified in my paranoia regarding institutional structure, indoctrination, or any kind of groupthink in general. I distrust crowds.
CC: Is Wonder woman Sexy to you — specifically Lynda Carter — and why?
MZ: Yes, I find Lynda Carter/Wonder Woman sexy. The reason being, I’m not blind.
CC: You are a superhero. What is your name, power, and costume, and who is your arch-enemy?
MZ: My super hero is called Osrick of Mantos. He wears a white cloak over studded leather armor, has a pronounced limp, an eyepatch, and three ragged scars across his face, a shock of white hair by his right temple, and carries a quarterstaff. He is a sorcerer of the mind (can read minds, control minds, knock people unconscious with his mind, move things with his mind, cause horrible bodily wounds with his mind, etc.). His arch-enemy is his doppelgänger, known as Osric (spelled without a k), who appears in a black cloak and looks about 10 years older than himself.
CC: What is your preference — cosplay or LARPing?
MZ: I don’t cosplay or LARP myself, but the LARPers truly seem to go for the gusto. I think the cosplay folks are looking for a date, but the LARPers really don’t want to come home from the Faire.
CC: Can you name a trendy drink named after a superhero?
MZ: The Human Torch. 2 oz Bacardi 151, ½ oz Goldschlager, ½ oz Campari. Pour contents into shaker over a cube of sugar, shake well, pour onto bare chest, light on fire, have friend slurp contents off, Uber home.
CC: Who is your favorite villain?
MZ: My favorite villain is Julie Newmar.
CC: Good answer. Are vampires ruined? Not scary? Played out?
MZ: I think we’ve heard enough from the vampires for a while, particularly the attractive and tortured ones. I exclude the vampires from What We Do in the Shadows. Those guys are funny.
CC: Could we coexist with vampires in a True Blood scenario?
MZ: If Donald Trump becomes president I don’t think there will be much hope for peaceful human/vampire coexistence. I believe he would try to deport all the vampires to China. If Bernie Sanders wins, I think he will try to break up the banks.
CC: Are you high on V right now?
MZ: V? Never touch the stuff. Reminds me of Winston Churchill’s fingers.
CC: Stephen Hawking warned everyone not to interact with aliens if you meet one. But if you did, would you talk to him? And what would you talk to him about?
MZ: I’m not a very social person so I don’t think I would approach an alien — or Stephen Hawking. Obviously, I would help either one if they needed directions. I’m from New York. I like to give directions.
CC: Do you believe in life on other worlds?
MZ: I’m no statistician, but life on other worlds sounds entirely probable. I’m guessing most of that life resembles bacteria more than Leonard Nimoy, but you never know.
CC: Did you cry when E.T. died?
MZ: At the time I saw E.T., I was reading Orwell’s 1984 and was terrified about the dominance of a Soviet-style totalitarian superstate. And, yes, I cried when that little puppet died.
CC: Roger Moore or Sean Connery?
MZ: Sean Connery.
CC: Does working for Roto-Rooter qualify anyone to be an expert on the paranormal?
MZ: I don’t know if working for Roto-Rooter qualifies you per se, but it would help to have some expertise in plumbing. I think we all know that when you flush the toilet the contents are sucked down straight to Hell.
CC: Do you fear a Zombie reality?
MZ: Yes. Every time I go to a mall or amusement park.
CC: If your significant other was a zombie would you let them eat you?
MZ: Why does my significant other have to be a zombie to do that?
CC: If someone you knew was made out of chocolate would you eat them?
MZ: Are they solid chocolate or hollow like an Easter bunny? I’m just asking because too much chocolate makes me break out.
CC: If there is an election between Emperor Kang vs. Emperor Kodos who would you vote for?
MZ: I’m not familiar with either of those candidates, but I definitely don’t believe in voting for Emperor.
CC: Who would win in a fight — Sawyer from Lost or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead?
MZ: Once again, not familiar with those two characters, but Daryl Dixon kicked some ass in The Boondock Saints so I’m going to go with him.
CC: Same question — the original Ricardo Montalbán, Wrath of Khan vs. Benedict Cumberbatch in the Star Trek reboot?
MZ: Ricardo Montalbán.
CC: OK. True or False? There is only one Batman, Adam West.
CC: OK. Bigfoot has been discovered and he’s booked on your talk show. But everything he says is outdated — racist, sexist, homophobic — but he’s Bigfoot. How would you handle this situation?
MZ: I would expect that from Bigfoot. He’s a 70’s celebrity. I would let him smoke and drink Chivas on my program and ask him about his time in Alaska.
CC: What superhero would like to portray?
MZ: I would very much like to portray Harry Greb, The Pittsburgh Windmill.
CC: Final question. You can refuse to answer for noble reasons. God gives you permission to kill one person.
MZ: I never let my enemies know when I’m coming for them.
Yes Mather, you won this round of Speculative Yahtzee. But you may not be so lucky next time. When I see Hail Caesar… Bwa ha haaa!
Craig Caudill is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @craigcaudill
Over the years I have had the strangest dreams of all times and would rival the most extreme opium eaters pipe dream. All my life. Drug related or not drug related I always felt like I was connected to a pipe line to nether regions which I had filled journal after journal until it became beyond words what I was dreaming. Plus it also confused and alienated me even more than before I started doing this
My favorite Dreams are the ones with famous people or sex with famous people which would make you laugh and also make you say Yuk!!!
I dreamed very quickly that Iggy Pop was tearing my clothes off as I screamed like a girl. I had this dream twice. I was safe because I would wake as soon as the clothes began tearing and I was screaming
I will note here that many of my friends told me 20 years ago they had these Burroughs Dreams with me in them. Mostly it’s me showing up at their house and Burroughs just left or he and I were sitting together discussing things. One dream there was someone chasing me around the house with an axe while Burroughs was calmly sitting smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. At this point I felt left out of the Burroughs equation because I’m the one who told them about Burroughs. And its not like I’m bragging on how I got everyone into Burroughs. Someone told me about it. My literary friends and I would pass on the info to someone else
I remember feeling jealous they were dreaming of him and I wasn’t that didn’t happen until fifteen years later long after he died.
But it was like a demon version of Burroughs all I know He would not leave when I asked him too. Now Ginsburg was more upbeat. He wore this baggy hippy hat with these fringed tassels and on the end of the tassels were these lit up fiber optic eye balls that would blink.
My First dream about Lou Reed was amazing. I dreamed he was driving me in a Monster truck and drove the forest knocking down powerful red wood trees. At one point it seemed like we were stuck. I liked around and it was like an ocean of trees crushed under the powerful wheels Lou’s Truck.
“Uh oh I think we’re trapped here for a little while” I said to Lou.
“Do you think so?” he said so smoothly then changed gears and the tree began to grind and tear apart and we were off again. I looked out the window and all I could see was logs being pulverized. The whole image was soothing so powerful that 25 years later I still have not forgotten.
I once dreamt of David Bowie. It was a concert that was outdoors and I remember when he sang the opening lyrics to Moonage Day dream “I’m an Alligator the crowd grew wild and screamed as his mouth grew and into an Alligator’s mouth after things got blurry.
When I have these dreams I feel safest than in certain other dreams far too many to mention.
I’m bringing a point that I always referred to David Lou and Iggy as the Holy Trinity I would affectionately refer the Devil would be Andy Warhol those were my favorite artists 20 years ago and I wanted to be in a band write poetry and make art.
The next part is hard to talk about but last night dream might sheds some light. I was in the hospital again I was on life support and with a cruel medical staff. It’s the stuff of nightmares and is a hard subject for me. I had a ventilator in my mouth and I was all alone. Somehow I find myself being rolled out of the hospital by in visible forces. Got in the elevator then got out when my floor arrived. I went out the door of the main entrance, and past ambulances, the parking lot and quickly off hospital grounds.
It would be important to note I was alone and still connected to Telemetry, IV’s and ventilator. And must say ii was alone. There was nobody around to spot me or stop me or run me over in their car. So somehow I was in my neighborhood going up and down the street.
Then suddenly I saw a star in the sky it was bright and beautiful and was coming down slowly until it finally stopped there was a mist light that bled through so I did not get a clear view. But there intricate patterns then I heard musical notes and I knew just from the sound it was Lou Reed. Each light intensify with whatever note was played and the songs were like a culmination of his entire career. From before and after Velvet Underground and then beyond. It was so enthralling to hear music I never heard. Music so sweet so powerful it was as if Lou evolved into this ethereal being. The memory is fading from me I can remember the feelings I got and that remember my body heave every time he had a guitar solo. It made me think of the song “I’m beginning to see the light”
I met myself in a dream
And I just wanna tell you, everything was alright
Hey now, baby, Im beginning to see the light
Now that I’m awake I feel strange I feel envious of anyone who saw Lou Live or even went to the underground Reunion tour. You guys were lucky. I feel weird now because people that something to me and slowly going away yet I go on like a rabbit in a cage being poked and prodded I always told my wife then when I go I want to go like Elijah and just be spirited away in a chariot of fire I almost thought that’s what that was. I thought it was time to exit. Well as I write this that’s not the case. All I can think of now about the last line
How does it feel to be loved? How does it feel to be loved?
Truly a strange book. i love Philip. his work has changed how i see novels. i like normal people instead of stories about important alpha male types who just bore me to tears.
I bought this cheesy book when i was teenager and i couldn’t put it down and loved every minute of it. including the cheesy devil hologram. man… Zebra books is a cheap book company