A Comics Heating Up: Fuel on the Fire Interview with: TIM DANIEL

We are always trying to mix it up here at CHU, wo when an opportunity comes along to hook up with someone like Kelly H., to do interviews with creators, we jump at it. Kelly will be providing Fuel on the Fire: A Comics Heating Up Interviews. His first one is with Tim Daniel, of the wildly successful, Enormous
Tim Daniel is a man known throughout the comic book industry as being a genuinely nice guy. He is also a man of many talents to say the least. With a rich history of projects he has worked on and currently worked on it is no secret that Tim is a force to be reckon with. Tim has worked on projects such as; Enormous, Curse, Skinned, Powers, The Walking Dead, Morning Glories, Rat Queens, Roche Limit, Hoax Hunters, Popgun, The Mice Templar, Existence 2.0, Fractured Fables and more.
Working on all of these projects in every aspect of the creation of the comic book it is almost as if Tim is from a different era. Tim has contributed to these projects as a cover artist, colorist, editor, designer and writer. Let’s take a Comics Heating Up look within Tim and learn more of his current projects, what’s to come, and what Fuels the Fire within Tim Daniel.
-You are currently writing the comic book Enormous with art by Mehdi Cheggour. There is quite a buzz about this book within the comic community. What do you see in the future for Enormous within the series and any elements that may grow outside of the book?
I can only hope that Enormous engages readers and that we get the chance to grow our readership. If I have a specific hope for our book is that we get to tell the entire tale because we really do have something very sprawling and epic that constantly evolves and at the same time is very intimate and personal. Our plan is to center the story around Ellen Grace and gradually watch her develop as determined by the conditions of the world she now inhabits. Enormous could easily be mistakenly lumped into the post-apocalyptic genre but we’re not concerned with the end of humanity, we’re very focused on the evolution of humanity. Where would humans fit in a world filled with bigger, faster more destructive beasts than ourselves – we’ll answer that question.
-Is it a possibility we may see more to come from the live action pilot?
Yes. The producers, Adrian Askarieh and Joshua Wexler of Prime Universe Films and Pure Imagination Studios are hard at work on that as we speak. I for one would love to see more of Ceren Lee as Ellen Grace. We barely scratched the surface on the character’s potential on screen. Ceren possesses a presence and natural beauty that commands the viewer’s attention and empathy– but she has a physicality so perfectly suited for action that we have yet to really witness. Naturally, I can’t wait.

-How do you feel when one of your books, such as Enormous has the statement “The next possible Walking Dead” attached to it?
That’s f–king frightening. Enormous does not compare. The Walking Dead has not only transcended a genre but a medium and then elevated itself into pop culture icon status. On the other hand, I’ve long expressed my enthusiasm for the TWD comic book and to know that Enormous and The Walking Dead both started their print lives with smaller runs that flew under most reader’s radar is reassuring or should I say encouraging.
-Do you have plans to get the book on more shelves, possibly a second print?
What do you know – we sold out! What a wonderful start to the series and for that I’d like to thank readers, speculators, retailers and critics alike that rallied around the book and have pushed us to the point where we can say we’ve got a second printing in-progress which will feature 3 new covers; 2 of which are exclusive Phantom Variants.
-What fuels you to be so heavily involved in so many projects, even a studio?
A pure and simple love of comics I’ve held since I was 12 years old. All I ever wanted to do was make comics, with maybe a short period of time where I very mistakenly thought that I could one day make movies.
-How do you find balance between comics and your personal life?
A lot of coffee and late nights. I typically work on comics after 10:30pm every evening and go until about 2:00am. Then it’s back to the office for the day job. I don’t like to take time away from my family for any reason and comics is second to the time I get to spend with my wife and daughters. So when the house gets quiet and still is when I slap on the headphones, fire up a soundtrack and get to work.
-What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a beginner in the field?
If you want in to any industry then pursue any route in possible. But, make sure that when you get the chance that you really have something to offer. Bring something to the table, a talent or skill that can be of use to others and eventually leveraged in your own favor as well. I used my design services, for both print and web, as my means of entry, offering that service to independent creators when I saw the need and in turn they gave me opportunities to get my name in the credits of a book or on the website. The same skills I honed in service of others, I now use for the development of my own projects. It all pays back into itself.
-What individuals or books played a major role in you committing yourself to comics?
The Claremont-Byrne-Austin X-men run started my comic book jones. Powers, Marvel Knights, Kabuki and The Walking Dead brought me back after a reading hiatus and made me stick around. Then I read Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and that did it. That led me in every direction including the works of Brian K. Vaughn. I greatly admire Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack and Michael Avon Oeming for the manner in which they conduct their business – and Robert Kirkman for his tenacity which has paid off so richly. When he issued the call to independent creators, he was betting on himself as much as anything and that was truly inspiring.
Along the way peers such as Riley Rossmo and Michael Moreci have become trusted friends and collaborators. There’s not a week that goes by that I’m not firing stuff back and forth with both of them and as proven talents with considerable creativity and drive, I listen to their feedback very, very closely.
-Anything you are reading now that others may need to get on board with but have not heard of?
The Rattler by Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle, And Then Emily Was Gone by John Lees and Iain Laurie. Now go do your googles. Five Ghosts from Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, D4VE from Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon and you all better be on the lookout for some career-making turns from Michael Moreci, Sina Grace, Fabian Rangel, Nate Stockman and damn if I could only show you my inbox…
-What is your favorite perk of the comic industry?
Without a doubt, seeing fresh art almost daily. It’s the closest thing to being 12 and going to the Rexall on my bike and picking up a new issue of the X-Men or Daredevil. Almost every single time the ipad dings I’m excited to open the attachment. The collaborators I’ve been fortunate to work with are all so uniquely talented with distinct artistic voices.
What is one book you would like to have been a part of?
Y The Last Man. The greatest comic book series of all time.
-What’s your go to strategy for writers block?
I don’t get blocked. I’m either too stupid or too tired to have experienced that. I write when I’m inspired to write and stop when I run out of juice. I don’t count words or pages or set goals. I let it happen as naturally as possible and don’t ever try to force it. I’m not interested in volume either, I’m interested in developing and creating something that has some resonance.
-Has fatherhood altered your creativity or drive in any way?
It ignited my drive. Fatherhood scared and thrilled me. When our oldest daughter Elle was born and later developed into a voracious reader I wanted to create stories for her to enjoy. At the time, 16 years ago, there was a real lack of female lead characters not just in comics but in nearly every medium. Her choices where fairly limited and since that time we’ve seen novels like Twilight, The Hunger Games and so forth come along and blow the roof off of that ceiling. Comics in particular have since offered and astounding array of female leads.
-What projects are or were the most enjoyable to work on?
I loved designing merchandise for the Walking Dead during its run-up. The new Enormous series is truly my favorite thing to write, because it is essentially my first born, but in terms of the richest writing experience to date, that would have to be Curse. Being part of that foursome; Moreci, Rossmo and Colin Lorimer was story-telling paradise. I learned so much from each of them over the course of the several months and the editorial strength BOOM! offers in Bryce Carlson, Eric Harburn and Chris Rosa was something I’m definitely eager to experience again.
-What’s the future look like for Tim Daniel?
Balder, greyer, softer in the middle and filled with comics.
Thank you so much Tim for your time, I know you are a busy man. Just know that the interview and your work is greatly appreciated by many.
Thank you Kelly and to everyone at Comics Heating Up for the Enormous support.
Keep on burning it up.

3 thoughts on “A Comics Heating Up: Fuel on the Fire Interview with: TIM DANIEL”

  1. Thank you Anthony for this opportunity, as well as Tim for taking the time. As you can tell, I’m a fan. I suspect many CHU readers may already own this book. I urge everyone to ask your LCS to order this book. It’s too good a read to be kept out of the hands of as many readers as possible!

  2. Well Tim Daniel…Ill buy your comic. Humble and funny? Sell me some stuff. His reaction to being compared to The Walking Dead. I dig it. Great interview Kelly. Hope to see more.

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