ComicsVerse’s Chris Massari had the pleasure of speaking to Eliot Rahal at the New York comic Con 2017!

The following transcript has been edited for clarity.

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Chris: Hi, I’m Chris and we’re here at New York Comic Con 2017 with Eliot Rahal and his book for Vault Comics, Cult Classics. Now, Eliot, I’m hearing this is some spooky tales in here.

Eliot Rahal: Yes, you are.

Chris: What are they, what’s the Cult Classic world about, and what can you tell us?

Eliot Rahal: Do you mind if I take this? It’s alright.

Hi, folks. This is Cult Classic looking at beautiful design work by Tim Daniel, a master in the industry, a great work, and this is an ashcan that collects stories from myself and other creators like Paulina Ganucheau, Vita Ailea, Daniel Kibblesmith, Jen Bartel, letters by Rachel Dearing. I did a story with Emily Pearson, who’s incredibly talented, and colors by Marissa Louise. I apologize, my friends, if I butchered your names.

Anyway, but Cult Classic is a horror line that I’m curating at Vault Comics. I’m overseeing as a creative officer with Adrian Wassel and Damian Wassel, and then I’m also writing the first five-issue series that’ll be out in February called Cult Classic: Return of the Graveyard Gang. What Cult Classic is, is that it’s set in the world of Whisper, the most haunted hamlet in the upper northern Midwest, and it’s a place…

Welcome to Night Vale, Springfield from the Simpsons, think of a real place, and what I’ve done and what we’re doing with Vault is reaching out to other creators and saying, “Hey, we made this place. Please come put it to life. Put people living in there. Put stories in there. They don’t need to be related.” So all these ashcans, all these stories, happen within the universe. They stand alone, but we also will build it out to this other short series, and hopefully more after that. It’s an incredible thing to work on. I’m very, very excited about it.

Chris: So you were telling me a little bit about it before we started filming that one of these stories is actually based on some true events as far as the spooky scares go. Would you mind telling us a little bit about that?

Eliot Rahall: No, I don’t mind. So, you know, this is a personal series, and creating something in comics is always difficult. The idea of sharing this with other creators is something I feel really strongly about. So I decided to share a little bit of myself, and I tell the story about how my stepfather and I were abducted by aliens. I was abducted by aliens when I was eight, theoretically. Allegedly.

But that’s the story we tell in my family, and the first story is about that, and it’s kind of where my love of underground culture came from, alternative culture or whatever you want to call comics. Everybody’s calling comics something else these days, but scary movies, cult classics, comic books, rock and roll, metal, everybody’s got a reason why they love it, and my love for the weird came from that one small event. It’s a catalyst that … The big moment that guides you into being from, you know, a guy who sits with a tie and goes to work, or doing this at this con and being here with these people.

Chris: You were also saying you got started at Marvel as an internship. What did you do there? What got you started into wanting to write comics? You’d obviously been a fan, so what got you started? What pushed you to become a writer, and how did you get to this point where you’re selling books here at New York Comic Con?

Eliot Rahal: Yeah, I was an editorial intern for The Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil and Thunderstrike when they brought Thunderstrike back. Just … This is 2010, late, mid-2010. I had started writing for myself by doing and performing standup comedy in Chicago, and that’s actually how I met Daniel Kibblesmith, who wrote one of the stories here.

He and I co-wrote a book called The Doorman together. We met at a place called The Lincoln Lodge in Chicago, which is the longest-running independent stand-up showcase in the United States, and Daniel and I found each other, and that’s how we got together.

Then I was always a fan of comics. I started reading comics in high school, sophomore year of high school. I came a little late to the game, but I have been an avid reader. But, I was an avid reader in high school and then in college and now, even though I don’t have any money ever. But I love stories. I love stories. I love a good story, and I love it when stories have a mythology to them.

Chris: We’re gonna ask one more question. If you had any property from any publisher right now that you could write, who and what would it be?

Eliot Rahal: I would write a Star Wars story about young Qui-Gon Jinn and young Mace Windu teaming up in a Lethal Weapon Star Wars adventure. Fuck yeah!

Chris: Team-ups are all the rage right now.

Eliot Rahal: Team-ups … Those two guys, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Lethal Weapon … I’m telling you.

Chris: Can we get this animated?

Eliot Rahal: Let’s get it made. Let’s get me writing it first. But yeah, we can do that, sure.

Chris: I’m getting ahead of myself.

Eliot Rahal: Sure, you can do that. I’ll write it.

Chris: Thank you again for your time, Elliot. You can check out his work from Valiant, from Vault. Who else?

Eliot Rahal: Valiant, Vault, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, but yeah, mostly Stay Valiant, and get with Vault. Get with it.

Chris: Where else can we find you online?

Eliot Rahal:  Twitter, @elliotrahal. Twitter, E-L-L-I-O-T R-A-H-A-L. Twitter.

Chris: So look for him. ComicsVerse, you can find us all over the web, all the social media handles. Just look up ComicsVerse and We’re signing out.

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