Tom Sniegoski “Hellboy: The God Machine” will be out July, 2006 from Pocket Books.
We’ve talked about the real “God Machine” before – you said it was based on a real incident from your home town of Lynn, Massachusetts. What did you learn about this “real” incident – either historically or psychologically?
The stuff I learned was really crazy. I guess in 1853 on a hilltop in Lynn Massachusetts a group of spiritualists assembled to create the New Messiah. They hadn’t come to pray or to praise God, but they were actually going to build him out of wood and metal under the supervision of spirits of the dead. When the god’s body was built, they planned to infuse it with life forces and this new god would usher mankind on to its next evolutionary/spiritual level.
That is amazing. Where does a group like that come from? How does it get started? You may not know the real reason, so how did you approach its origin in the book (without giving too much away, of course)?
The group (which called themselves the Band of Electricizers) just sort of bonded together over their similar spiritual beliefs. In the book, they come together under a medium named Absolom Spearz, who has been receiving messages from the new god since he was a small child.
It sounds like that sort of thing could have quite an abnormal effect on one’s psychology growing up. Did this legend have anything to do with your fear that snow monkeys are taking over the world?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t hear about the Electricizers until only a few years ago when a good friend of mine brought it to my attention. He said it sounded like something I could do a book on. Boy, was he right. And as far as my fear of monkeys goes, that’s got more to do with my two years working in a animal research facility at Northeastern University . . . and it’s really not fear, but fascination.
You worked in an animal research facility? In what capacity?
I was just a grunt. Taking care of the animals–y’know, feeding and cleaning their cages and such.
Due to your work in comics, you’ve been all over the pop culture map – from Hellboy, to Buffy, to Batman, and even Waterworld. What is catching your attention in the comics/movie/tv world right now – what do you think is the best thing going?
As far as comics, there’s lots of really fun things going on. I love what DC is doing with the new Crisis, and the One Year Later books. Marvel has been doing some amazing stuff as well. Planet Hulk is a blast, the new X-Factor is amazing, as is the new take on Moon Knight. Love the Ultimate stuff as well.
I think The Goon is one of the best books being done right now. If there isn’t any Hellboy for that month, then The Goon hits the spot. Eric Powell is amazing.
I’m watching much more TV these days than ever before. Not sure what that means. I’m hoping that the quality is better, and not that I’ve just developed poor taste. Love Lost, The Shield, Battlestar Galactica. Even newer shows like Supernatural and Bones are lots of fun. Some neat stories and characters there. And I think the new Dr. Who is just amazing. A plug for myself here, the pilot movie based on my novel The Fallen, will be airing on ABC Family Channel on August 13th I’ve been told. That’s all very exciting.
There’s also been quite a few cool movies of late. Loved the new
King Kong (big monkey, remember). Thought that was one of the best things I’ve seen in ages. Slither was fun, as was Silent Hill and The Hills Have Eyes remake. I’m really looking forward to Pan’s Labyrinth, and Superman Returns.
If you had a chance to write the script for a Hellboy movie – what storyline (original or existing) would be your choice?
Man, that’s a tough one. I really think Chris Golden’s Hellboy novel – The Bones of Giants, would make an amazing movie. If I was going to do something original, I’d do pretty much what Mike and Guillermo are doing right now, writing a Hellboy story that focuses on the cool stuff connected to European folklore. Hellboy really works best in that awesome setting.
Hellboy fighting monkeys would be awesome too.