As the creator of the original RED comic, what did you make of the tonal differences in the film adaptation?
"You've got to remember the original book is only 66 pages long. If you film that, you'll get a half hour if you're lucky - and that's if you throw in a musical number. So I always knew they were going to have to make a number of changes in the adaptation just to get it to film length. They buy the right to adapt it, not to translate it. It was theirs to play with and they made the changes they thought would make a more successful film. Films and graphic novels are very different, so I was fine with the way they did it because they protected the spine of the story and they protected the themes of the story. The central themes about being discarded survived very well."
Did you have any input in the film's development?
"I deliberately kept myself out of the way while the film was in production. I didn't want to be the guy just sat on their shoulders yelling, 'Well this isn't like the book is it?' Like I said, they buy the right to adapt it, and that also means they buy the right for me to shut up and let them get on with it."
Summit Entertainment recently announced a sequel. Do you have any thoughts on that?
"I've heard they've just commissioned the screenwriters to write a sequel, but there's another set of hurdles to work our way around before we get anywhere near making it. I'm going to be interested to see how they pull a sequel out of that."
There have already been comic book prequels to your original book. Would you consider revisiting the RED universe yourself?
"RED - the book itself - stands alone for me. The prequels, particularly the one that Cully [Hamner] did, were really more about the film than the book in any case. I wouldn't even consider writing a sequel because some things are done and are just better left alone. For me, that's one of them."
We heard that another of your comics, Gravel, has been optioned for cinema. Has there been any movement on that?
"I don't have an update on that at the moment. It's been a slow year on that. Legendary Pictures have been very busy with various other things like Inception. We're on the slow boat on that. There may be some motion in the next couple of months but there's nothing I can say right now."
How about that Castlevania animated film you were commissioned to write?
"I was hired to write a trilogy. I turned in the script, everyone was very happy, but then the whole thing went away. I think someone lost their deal or their funding or something and it just disappeared into limbo. I'm as much in the dark as you are on that one. I turned in the script then nothing."
Are you working on any comic projects we should know about?
"I'm in flux on a bunch of things. The main thing I'm working on at the moment is something called SVK, which is a comic I'm doing with a London design firm called Berg. I can't talk a lot about that. It's got a weird visual gimmick that I'm not allowed to talk about. It's a thriller set in London. I first described it to them as Frank Kafka's The Bourne Identity. On top of that, I'm still doing bits and pieces for Marvel. I've just completed a run on X-Men for them."
You're well known for your work in Webcomics and digital. What are your thoughts on the way the digital sector has developed in recent years?
"There's a lot of movement in the digital sector right now, but it's the kind of movement that chickens do when their heads have been cut off. People are mostly panicking about the digital market right now. When I came up with Freak Angels a couple of years ago, I just wanted to do a fairly sedate way of working in digital, which was to offer the work for free online and then charge you for paper collection. You don't need a special device to view it. Any computer or anything that connects to the internet will do. People look for the next shiny thing - motion comics, digital comics - I think that people are going to find that webcomics do the job just fine. It's all very well targeting everything you've got towards the iPad, but guess what? Not everyone's got an iPad."
RED is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on February 14 by Entertainment One.