In 1994, Nate saw Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and it changed his life forever, at least as a movie fanatic and especially as a creative force. The film opened him up to a whole new world of violent crime films that quickly became his obession. Films like Taxi Driver, Leon The Professional, The Killer, Mean Streets and Pulp Fiction were making him want to explore the genre himself but he didn't know if there was much of a demand for an independent, black and white comic book about crime and pulp fiction. But in 1996 he found his green light in the form of the first graphic novel in Frank Miller's "Sin City" series. Sin City blew him away and he immediately started taking his love for film and coupled it with his anger towards the world and the genesis for The Malevolent was kickstarted.
Nate made a list of all the things he wanted to incorporate into his new book; stuff like gangsters, hitmen, samurai swords, ninja, John Woo action sequences, serial killers and horror tales. Other films that inspired him in writing those first Malevolent stories were "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Seven", "Escape from New York", "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Crow." The influences were endless, all the way down to his childhood love for Star Wars--the space opera played a part in it's development. Perhaps the biggest influence was the rock band Garbage. The goth pop band had instantly become Milliner's favorite band in the Summer of 1996 and he found his muse in lead singer Shirley Manson who became the template for his character, Lily. Nate saw Manson as this small, sexy angel with the eyes of a killer and for him, that was perfect for a comic book character. The style he would use to draw the comic was influenced by film noir. He wanted the images to look like real screenshots from a movie so a photo realistic style was adopted over the traditional comic bookish cartoon approach. Like the filmmaker who changed Nate's creative directions, Quentin Tarantino, Nate poured his love of all things pop culture into the book. The dynamic of awesome entertainment elements coupled with a very personal and dramatic sense of social commentary made for an enthralling form of storytelling that has surprised every one who has ever read the books.