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Dynamite Entertainment has rapidly become one of the more prominent independent comics entities. Two big reasons for this are their acquisition of key licenses from TV and movies, as well as getting huge A-List talent. We here at Midtown got to speak to Steve Niles and Dennis Calero, the creative team behind the sold out hit, Ash and the Army of Darkness!

Artist Dennis Calero

1) Congratulations on selling out the first printing! What drew the two of you to this project?

DENNIS CALERO: Two words: Ash kicks ass.  Ash is the ultimate iconic horror figure.
I’ve often felt what elevates a horror movie is the presence of a power force for good.  Think of the Exorcist and Father Karras.  And a common theme of horror stories of this type is that the hero, the force for good, is an unlikely one.  And what hero is more unlikely than the cowardly, sniveling Ashley Williams?  Plus I like it when he curses.

STEVE NILES: Thanks! Very happy to hear about the sell-out. Really what drew me to the project was simply being a longtime fan. Raimi and his films are huge inspiration for me. His early films are a big reason why I got into horror and almost working as an indie creator. The first three films were done pretty inexpensively and done well. Like Romero heading into a Pennsylvania field and making Night of the Living Dead, Raimi inspired me the same way making films with his friends that we still follow today.

Writer Steve Niles

2) The series has a pretty serious cult following, and made Bruce
Campbell into a huge star, how do you balance between what has come before, and your personal stamp on the series?

DC: That’s Steve’s problem!  Ha!  As the artist, I try to balance out moments of bravado with moments of comedy with moments of abject terror. How to interpret the very specific look and feel of all the films is a challenge Steve and I are slowly tackling. We kind of had to hit the ground running, but I hope that means that every issue will be better than the last!

SN: That’s always the toughest job. With Army of Darkness we had a unique opportunity to reboot the series. Most of the comics following the film have taken place in the modern world because that’s where the film left off. We came up with a little twist that lands Ash right smack dab in the middle of the Dark Ages again. To me that setting set AoD apart from the other films.

Hero Ashley Williams

3) Speaking of balance, did anyone from the original franchise get involved? Does Sam Raimi (or his duly appointed representative) have any input?

 

SN: I know we get studio approval on everything but I don’t know if that extends to Raimi or not. I’ve worked with Sam before. He made 30 Days of Night and I was very lucky to get to work with him. I can only hope he’d be happy with what we’re doing. I have the highest respect for Raimi and his work.

Deadite

4) What can we expect from this series? Are we going to be sticking around in the medieval era? Or will we return to the present and have Ash face the Deadites in the modern day?
DC: Steve?

SN: For right now Ash has plenty to deal with in the Dark Ages. The Evil Dead curse has spread and Ash has to stop that before he ever thinks about going home. He seems to realize know that if he doesn’t, he won’t have a present to return to.

5) Can we look forward to more collaborations between the two of you, are there any other characters in Dynamite’s stable you’d like to tackle?

DC: I have an idea for a Zorro story involving Zombies that I’m staking a claim on, so to speak.  We’ll see.  I’ve worked with Steve sporadically throughout my career so we’ll do this for as long as it keeps running, and leave the next thing to the future.

 

SN: This is our second time working together. We did a 28 Weeks Later story years ago. Right now nothing is planned but I am having a great time working with Dynamite so anything is possible.

Ash and The Army Of Darkness #2 is available now!

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