Newcomer Churilla Teams with Steve Niles for "Scratch and Suck"

Back in the '80s, the Dark Horse anthology series "Dark Horse Presents" introduced readers to Frank Miller's "Sin City" and numerous other indie comics sensations. Now "Dark Horse Presents" is back as a strictly online venture on MySpace.com, called simply "MySpace Dark Horse Presents," showcasing work from the likes of Joss Whedon and Steve Niles as well as new talents. Dark Horse is spearheading a number of initiatives to find up-and-coming artists to pair with big-name creators, and it was one such initiative that turned them on to artist Brian Churilla, who teamed up with Steve Niles to produce "The Nocturnal Adventures of Scratch and Suck." CBR News sat down with Churilla to get the details on the free online horror yarn.

In Churilla's words, "The Nocturnal Adventures of Scratch and Suck" is a send-up of the "uber-cheesy" horror comics put out by Marvel and DC in the 1970s. "Scratch and Suck are superhero monsters; a werewolf and vampire, respectively," the artist told CBR News. "Scratch is overcome by the evil imbued in a mystical amulet and begins exacting his own bloody brand of wolfy street justice. Suck is there to stop him. It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek story."

When MySpace teamed with Dark Horse to put together the new "Dark Horse Presents," the former scoured the ranks of MySpace artists and sent a list of prospects to editor Scott Allie. "[Dark Horse] knew of my work from some rock posters I did," Churilla said. "When MySpace sent Scott Allie the list of guys they wanted him to consider for the newbies' slots, my name apparently was on there, so I'm guessing I somehow went right to the top of the list. Then they contacted me and told me they wanted to put me with Steve Niles to do a story for 'DHP.' Pretty remarkable."

Churilla had been acquainted with Niles before their collaboration on "DHP," and he relished the opportunity to work with him. "Steve's a really relaxed, easygoing feller," Churilla said. "He has a vision, and he's really good at giving criticism."

The burgeoning artist counts Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, Al Williamson, Jack Davis, Will Eisner, Mignola and Guy Davis among his influences. Churilla's other credits include Platinum's "Watchdogs," and a creator-owned book currently in development. "Right now I'm working on a four-issue pulpy sci-fi spectacle called 'The Engineer' for Archaia Studios Press," Churilla said. "I co-write it with the colorist, Jeremy Shepherd. The first issue comes out in November." Reader can look for updates on these projects and more on Churilla's website.

"The Nocturnal Adventures of Scratch and Suck" can be read at "MySpace Dark Horse Presents" right now.

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