Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci tackled werewolves in Curse and they're back with a Middle Eastern supernatural tale in Burning Fields. With the first of eight issues due out on Wednesday, we caught up with the two comic book writers to talk about their latest project:

After working together on Curse, did you guys already know that you'd be getting together for another project? How did that come about?

TIM DANIEL: Curse was a bit of lightning in the bottle. I think we all were very gratified by the experience of working together on that series. Personally speaking, I certainly was very excited by the result and welcomed the chance to be included with the same creative team again which extends to letterer Jim Campbell and our new colorist Joana LaFuente. Every single contributor to both Curse and Burning Fields are top-notch storytellers, so I definitely appreciate being in their company. Mike and I began forming up Burning Fields while we were still knee-deep in Curse and after pitching BOOM! we all agreed it would be wonderful to reassemble the team if possible. Schedules change and so do personal creative interests so we came as close as we could to Curse will Colin now handling full art duties and Riley Rossmo joining us for alternate covers.

MICHAEL MORECI: Well, Tim has these Polaroids, and...

Ahem. That's a different story. I think the desire was there, especially with Tim and I. We clicked together really well on Curse, so we said “what the hell” and are rolling the dice again. Tim and I share a pretty lockstep vision of telling stories with a hard backbone—stories that matter. For us, we really have to be invested in the story in a meaningful way to pursue it from inception to the final word in the final script. Burning Fields struck a chord with both of us, capturing our frustrations over the global political climate while also bringing to life some great characters—we've been lucky to have this experience twice now, and I know we both hope readers enjoy the same kind of investment that we have.

Burning Fields doesn't take place in your typical horror setting, taking readers to the Middle East. Can you talk about your inspiration for the location?

TD: Mike's original notion was to set the story in the Middle East and later suggested Kirkuk. In researching the city we discovered it is a long-contested region of northern Iraq. The city itself is fairly closely located to a rich oilfield. As you might imagine, the presence of oil has spurred many a conflict between multiple factions. Given that one of the stronger themes of Burning Fields is the insidious nature of corruption, the choice of setting felt almost serendipitous.

What can you tell our readers about Dana Atkinson, the series' lead character? After revealing that Dana is a "disgraced military investigator," do you have plans for diving into Dana's backstory or is all about moving forward with this character?

TD: We're moving forward with Dana but where she heads and how she gets there is thoroughly dictated by her personal history. We'd fail her if we did not delve into just why and how she left Iraq originally and what transpired in the intervening years prior to her return to the Middle East. With all that's happened to her though, Dana is fairly insular and particularly guarded about her past.

MM: I'm really happy with what we've been able to do with Dana—she's smart, complex, wounded, and tough as nails. We're experiencing a very interesting time in comics, in terms of gender roles, and I'm glad Dana isn't just another female in a comic to tout, “Look! Strong female in a comic, looklooklook!” She's a strong character, period. Digging into who she is and what makes her tick has been such a rewarding experience, and I think readers are going to get a lot of mileage out her situation and how she came to be “disgraced” and back in Iraq nonetheless—learning what motivates her to do so is going to be a pretty interesting experience.

The announcement for this book teased a "mythic evil." Does this take root in Middle Eastern mythology and can you tell us about the research you did into this?

TD: Indeed, there is a Middle-Eastern based, Mesopotamian myth in play. The term "mythic evil" was in the original idea Mike shared with me. We both scratched our heads about what it was exactly. After a (thankfully) short research jag we settled on something that is a perfect fit for our story. Mike was looking for something that would lend itself to strong iconography, utilizing a lot of visual symbols that we could layer into the book, like the graffiti found in Baghdad or Kirkuk.

This is a limited series, with eight issues planned. Do you see this as a completely self-contained story or would you like to return to the world you've created in another series?

TD: I'm a big fan of telling the story and moving on. So my vote is to be done in eight issues and look ahead to what's next. Mike said it best: "We make new," and it's become a mantra.

MM: Agreed. This is our story—it has a very clear, very definable point to make, and we're making it in eight issues. If we went beyond that, we would diminish the impact of why we're embarking on this journey in the first place and compromise our integrity as artists. We had a similar situation with Curse when it became successful. We could have done more, but we would have lost something in the process. That book exists nicely as it is, and we want the same thing for Burning Fields. We're going to tell our story and move on to the next one.

Can you give our readers a tease of what they can expect over the course of the eight issues?

TD: We've just completed the first four issues and it's some intense shit right from the first page that builds in a taut, incremental fashion all the way through issue eight. There's a simmering tension between our lead characters, competing factions and ideologies jockeying for control of the region, and one ruthless serial killer running loose in the oilfield. One that favors Channellocks—you know, those industrial pliers for removing select body parts. Are you not teased?

MM: All of that and then some. I think readers are going to have a lot of expectations met for a horror book of this type, and they'll be very satisfied. But they're also going to have a lot of expectations defied, and that's going to be even more satisfying. Once you dig into the story and start to see what it's all about and what we have to say about war, private militaries, and personal redemption, you'll be drawn in even deeper into what we're delivering. We all need those reading experiences, where you burrow deep and have a book stay with you for days. That's what I hope we're able to give readers with Burning Fields.

Do you guys have a third project lined up after Burning Fields? If not, what's next for each of you?

TD: Honest? We don't have a third, we have three more and who knows where they will lead us. I always look to each book and hope we receive a mandate from readers to tell more stories. If we succeed, our readers will let us know they want something else, something new, and hopefully we'll have a chance to deliver

MM: Well, Tim's the long-term planner. Right now, I'm just focused on telling the best stories I can with the work I'm allowed to do. Roche Limit, Burning Fields, and soon Hoax Hunters and Transference. I always feel two things with my books. One, each one might be might last. And, two, if that's the case—goddamn it, make it count.


Cover Artists: A: Colin Lorimer B: Trevor Hairsine C: Riley Rossmo