Creator Joe Harris has a lot of projects on the fire in comics. Not only has his newest creator-owned series “Great Pacific” been well-received, his “Ghost Projekt” series is currently under development for a television adaptation with NBC Universal. Harris is also currently serving as the scribe for IDW’s “X-Files: Season 10,” which continues the adventures of Mulder and Scully in comic book form.
Harris stopped by the CBR Tiki Room at New York Comic Con 2013 to discuss his current work, breaking in to both comics and Hollywood, the current status of “Ghost Projekt,” the mission statement behind “X-Files: Season 10” and more.
On breaking in to both comics and film: I was trying to do both. I had gone to film school here in New York City and I had gotten out of school with a thesis film I had made at the time. I was really young, I was in my 20s. I played a bunch of festivals, won a few awards, and I had a screening downtown and I had been friends with Adam Polina, who at the time was drawing X-Force. He had brought some Marvel editors down to see my film and we really hit it off. They said, “We really think you should be working for us.” I had aspired to make movies, I always wanted to make comics as well, but aside from having friends in the business, I wasn’t really sure how that was going to happen. As fate would have it, I did end up working in comics, but I still wanted to make movies. While I was at Marvel, I started thinking about what I wanted to do in film, and I had this idea for a short film called “The Tooth Fairy” which was this really dark take on the myth. … That ended up in the hands of some people that had a deal with a studio and they said, “We think it would be a great feature, we’re going to hire you to write it.” I had never even been to L.A. before, and suddenly I had been flown out — there was a soft green light on the project and I had an office at the studio. I got to write the first few drafts of the script and that went on to become the movie “Darkness Falls.”
On getting back into comics after his movie experiences: While I was away, comics had changed so much and there was so much great creator-owned stuff that had come out in the interim, and these audiences were popping up to support it. I thought, “I have all these ideas I want to realize and it get frustrating trying to do them as speculative properties straight to film. I think I’ve got something else to say in comics.” I was able to call in some of my old contacts, use some of the credentials — if that’s what they are — to make new ones and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years.
On the current status of “Ghost Projekt” at NBC: It was just acquired by NBC Universal. it had been at SyFy previously and that deal had run out. Oni Press, my publisher on “Ghost Projekt,” brought it to Universal, who were really hot for it. John Glen is writing and producing the show — he did “Hatfields & McCoys,” really hot guy at Universal — and Andre Overdahl is directing the pilot, who did the fantastically awesome Norwegian found-footage movie “Troll Hunter,” which I’m over the moon about because it’s perfect for the subject matter.
On his current assignment writing “X-Files: Season 10” for IDW: It’s totally in continuity with the blessing of series creator Chris Carter. He has overseen everything I brought — he’s even offered some tweaks to make it better and preserve some things he wanted to preserve; mysteries he might want to tackle later at some date. It’s totally in-continuity, they are the present-day adventures of Mulder and Scully. It draws on everything we know, it continues the mythology while — I’d like to think — adding something new, so it’s not completely retro.