"Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" is certainly an attention-getting title -- which may be part of the reason Daniel Way has stuck with it so long.
Way -- best known for his runs on "Deadpool," "Wolverine," "Ghost Rider" and other harder-edged characters at Marvel -- first talked about "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" more than 11 years ago, in an interview promoting a mature readers "Ant-Man" series that didn't end up happening. Originally intended as a film, it's the story of "malcontent and pervert" Pervis Gunt, who creates a drug that instills women with an uncontrollable lust for sex -- and, inadvertently, killing. (So the title is rather literal in addition to attention-getting.)
There hasn't been much in the way of updates for "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" in the past decade, but that changed early last week with the news that Way has teamed with horror directors and kindred spirits Jen and Sylvia Soska -- the "Twisted Twins" whose work includes "Dead Hooker in a Trunk," "American Mary" and last year's WWE Studios release "See No Evil 2" -- for a Kickstarter to fund their collaboration on a "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" graphic novel (as it's billed, a "very graphic novel), planned to be illustrated by Rob Dumo with a cover by Dave Johnson.
In a week, the "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" Kickstarter has already made more than two-thirds of its $30,000 goal. CBR News spoke with Way and Jen & Sylvia Soska about the origins of their partnership, why readers haven't seen as much of Way on comic racks in recent months, the Soskas' long-held comic book fascination and the different ways Kickstarter backers can get "sexy murdered" by the duo.
CBR News: Daniel, before this announcement, it's been a quieter period for you on the comic book front -- hasn't been much with your name on it since "EVE: True Stories" wrapped about a year ago. What has the bulk of your focus at this point in your career?Â Daniel Way: Yeah, other than that and an arc on "Crossed" for Avatar I've been focusing solely upon my creator-owned projects, such as this project and "Gun Theory" (at Dark Horse, with artist Jon Proctor). Over the past... I dunno, 20 months I've been hammering out script after script and now I have six creator-owned properties in the can and ready to move on to the next steps in production. As the main -- and usually, sole -- writer on these projects it falls on me to handle the majority of the logistics required to get a creator-owned book out the door so I figured taking the time to get all the scripting done would put me in the best position to do that.
Way: Pretty much, yeah! I knew that they'd been having meetings with my agent, Ken Levin, about other projects because he mentioned it to me and I told him that I really dug their film, "Dead Hooker In A Trunk." The idea of collaborating with them never occurred to me until after we started e-mailing back and forth -- and when it did, I was actually really nervous that they'd say no! But I just couldn't pass up the opportunity so I gave it a shot.
Sylvia Soska: Jen and I are kind of frothing at the mouth fangirls. WeÂ don't like things, we love them. I'm going to be cool about describing how much we love Daniel's writing on those series, but since "Tangled Web" I remembered the name, and his work only continued to blow us away. Our good friend, Ken Levin, told us that he was Dan's agent and we flipped. We tried to make it out to a Seattle comic con to meet him, but it didn't work out. We thought we missed our chance, then Twitter brought us together. Honestly, we didn't think it was the real Daniel Way -- I'm always shocked when people we greatly admire have any idea who the fuck we are.
Jen Soska: We've been massive fans of Dan and his work for ages. Not only is his writing for Deadpool by far the best there is out there, he created my favorite character of all time, Daken, Wolverine's bad ass, pansexual son. I love Daken more than I love most people. I kid you not. I'm writing this with a Daken action figure sitting on top of my sais. Surrounded by Deadpools. We started chatting on Twitter and I was all like, "No way it's the real Daniel Way." It was. And now my life is complete. "KCNA!" is only the beginning of our beautiful collaborations.Â Jen and Sylvia, you're vocal about your enthusiasm for comics and working on a "Painkiller Jane" adaptation, so is working on an actual comic something of a long-held goal?
Sylvia Soska: Jen and I started reading comic books at nine because of my grandmother. She called them funny books and thought it would be a good way to encourage our reading. We became hooked -- we didn't know these worlds existed, but weÂ wanted to be a part of it. When we finished our comics, we would be so anxious to find out what happened next that we would tell each other stories about what the characters might be doing now. When we got into filmmaking, making a big screen adaptation of graphic novel story became a huge passion. We wanted to make something honest to the pages for comic fans like us. Making our own comic has been a dream for years, but it didn't get to that perfect placeÂ until we met Daniel.
Jen Soska: Comics have been a huge inspiration for us. I firmly feel some of the greatest stories ever told have been through graphic novels. Growing up, the X-Men, Spidey, Matt Murdock were all my friends. We'd always think up stories for them between issues and it became a big part of making us into the storytellers we are now. You see comic book influences in all our films, it's been a long time dream of ours to delve into the world of comics. Doing this with someone we admire as much as Dan doesn't even feel like real life. It's a total fangirl dream come true.
What can you share about how this story came together? Was it an idea that one of you had and the other helped shape, or did it arise out of working together on concepts? How have your different backgrounds -- comics-centric and film-focused -- helped to shape the development of "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!"?Â Way: It's an idea that I've been working on for a long time... I actually mentioned it in an interview I did for an unpublished "Ant-Man" series for MAX, several years ago. I knew the story I wanted to tell, I knew how I wanted to tell it and I knew the point I wanted to make but I was missing that certain "something" that pulled it all together. It wasn't until I started going through it with the twins that it finally snapped into place. They nailed it.
Sylvia Soska: We started pitching different ideas to one another, then Daniel came in with "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!" and that was it. The title just jumps out at you. The story is so no holds barred hilarious and insane, but in that world there is so much opportunity for pitch black satire. I think most of the conversations we've had talking about the content would horrify and shock people -- but y'know, it's all about art.
Jen Soska: I love doing art that's one thing on the surface, but much deeper beneath that. All our films are all like that. When Dan told us about "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!", I was right away into it. It was just a Twitter DM that read like, "I'll have to tell you about Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack! some day" and that was it. As you can probably guess from our "Dead Hooker In A Trunk," an iconic title is so important. We worked back and forth with the story and characters and we've come up with something that's absolutely no-holds barred lunacy with a deeply rooted social commentary.
Daniel, the video attached to the Kicksarter makes the point that this is you operating without the restrictions of say, work-for-hire at Marvel -- how much are you enjoying that opportunity?
Way: I fucking love it! And really, most of the restrictions that I'd often run into came not so much from Marvel as they did from the mainstream superhero market, in general. Throughout my career in comics I've always created stories and characters that are firmly outside the box. My Deadpool stuff, the character of Daken, my "Bullseye" miniseries, "Hit-Monkey," "Starr the Slayer" -- that's me; that's what I do. I was never the guy to ask to re-hash yet another Silver Age storyline and I never will be.
How did Rob Dumo become involved in the project? What makes him the right artist to bring the story to visual life?Â Way: I met Rob at a convention in West Virginia and I was just blown away by his work. Rob's done a lot of work in the horror genre, so I knew he'd be a great fit on that front but it was his drive and his commitment that really sealed the deal. I've learned over the years that "motivating" an artist to produce is impossible -- it has to come from them.
Jen Soska: Pretty much.Â What made Kickstarter the right fit to fund this book? Was there initial consideration of shopping it to publishers? And Daniel, given that your "Gun Theory" Kickstarter a couple years back didn't reach its goal, did you have any hesitation in returning to the platform?
Way: I can't really look at the "Gun Theory" campaign as a failure because it led directly to Dark Horse picking up the book. That being said, it was definitely a learning experience and I'm confident that I won't repeat mistakes of the past. As for this project, Kickstarter is the perfect platform because "KCNA!" is about as "genre" as it gets and that puts it into a category of books that don't have much of a presence at your local comic book store because those stores, with few exceptions, are supported by sales of mainstream superhero books. "KCNA!", in my opinion, would've gotten caught in the bottleneck at the retailer ordering level.
Sylvia Soska: Jen and I have worked in the indie world and the studio world. There is a place where your creativity and ideas are good to go and there are places where there must be a consensus between the creative parties. That wouldn't have worked for "Kill-Crazy Nymphos Attack!"Â because it exists in an unbridled world. It needs to be authentic to its own voice.
This is our firstÂ Kickstarter. Since Jen and I had our own money in our films, we didn't really gravitate toÂ Kickstarter for years until we saw the great products it was producing, like Astron 6's "The Editor." I like that connection with the people who want the product we are putting out andÂ kick-starter puts the power in the audience's hands.
Jen Soska: It's also something our fans have been asking for for a while. We've never had a project that was right for Kickstarter until now. Now it's pretty much like pre-ordering the book by donating. And we've thought up some truly cool incentives. People are always asking us to kill them -- I assume in a film -- so now they can be murdered by us in "KCNA!" We'll be appearing in the book as the "Sister Sisters" continuing our proud tradition of having cameos in our work. I'm really excited to have this chance to really give back something wicked and directly from us to the people who've been so wonderful supporting us.
Coming up with Kickstarter incentives seems like both a fun and potentially vexing experience -- what was the process like in devising the incentives for this campaign? (Looks like there are a lot of opportunities to get murdered.)
Way: Jen & Sylvia...? This is all you.
Sylvia Soska: It might surprise you how many people have told me that they would like to be murdered by Jen and me. We are dreamers and we like to bring other people's dreams into reality, but physically we can't grab everyone across the globe and put them in a film and murder them -- at least right now. So how do we give people something that they want? The utterly limitless world of graphic novels. Jen and I will be appearing as the Sister Sisters in the novel and let's just saw it's mix of heaven and hell for those two to punch your card.
Jen Soska: Not just murdered. Sexy murdered. The most coveted kind of violence.
Our fans mean everything to us. They're the reasons we get up in the morning and make the crazy shit we make and always push to create cosplayable characters and iconic films. This is just a small way of giving back to them. In fact, most of the incentives are things that they've asked for. There's some very cool stuff in there. In addition to being killed by us. Which is limited so I hope people really get on that. We also have a "Skype Date" incentive where we can hang out, have a chat, and all that jazz.
The "Kill-Crazy Nymphos ATTACK!" Kickstarter will be live until May 8, 2015.