Joe Hill talks film adaptations, women in horror & comic books

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01: NOS4A2 author Joe Hill poses for photos at Bookcon on June 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for AMC)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01: NOS4A2 author Joe Hill poses for photos at Bookcon on June 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for AMC) /
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Joe Hill
Joe Hill (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for AMC) /

1428 Elm: And I know that your father was probably disappointed in a lot of the adaptations of his books. I’ve read about that, I’m a big fan of his as well, so I imagine you learned a little bit from his experiences also.

Joe Hill : Yeah, somewhat. I think the main thing I learned from my Dad, is…you know my Dad always said people will see a movie that wasn’t very good, and they’ll say, “Oh, man, they ruined your book!” And my Dad’s answer is, “No they didn’t, it’s still right there.”

1428 Elm: Exactly!

Joe Hill : Not one single word in that book is changed. And that’s kind of my view about all this stuff. With NOS4A2, I told a version of the story that made me happy. I took my best swing at it, and worked on it for about three years, and that’s the version at book stores.

And Jami loved the book, and saw things in it that brought her back to her own childhood in Massachusetts. And she wanted to do her spin on the story, and from the moment I read her first script, I thought, “I wanna see this show, this is great, this is really fun and really heartfelt, and nuanced, and thoughtful, and exciting and scary.” And I largely viewed my role throughout season one and season two as supporting her.

1428 Elm: I really liked, in the last episode particularly, that we really got to see a different side of Bing and of Millie that we hadn’t seen before. For the first time, I actually felt a bit of sympathy for them.

Joe Hill : Don’t feel sympathy for Bing, I mean, Bing might have been saved, but…

Joe Hill
Olafur Darri Olafsson as Bing Partridge – NOS4A2 _ Season 2 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

1428 Elm: He tried to do the right thing for the first time, though.

Joe Hill: Yeah, but it was a little bit late for that.

1428 Elm: He’s a little bit off the rails, so...

Joe Hill : In some ways, Bing is Charlie’s most tragic victim, because he is himself a kind of child. That said, he was turned on by the power that he got from his association with Charlie Manx. And he willingly went with him to an amoral, terrifying place. So, he’s a tragic figure in the same way that Renfield in Dracula is a tragic figure. That said, you wouldn’t want to give Renfield a comforting hug in a dark alley.

1428: Tell me what we have to look forward to from you in the near future, what have you been working on in quarantine?

Joe Hill : Well, I spent a lot of the last year and a half working on a set of comic books under the Hill House imprint for DC. I wrote a couple of them, there’s one called Basketful of Heads and another called Plunge, I worked with some great writers and artists to do some other stories, Daphne Byrne, The Low, Low Woods , and The Dollhouse Family, and those are all coming out in some really beautiful hard covers over the course of this fall.