David Doub is the publisher, creator, and writer of the graphic novel Dusk. Thanks to the awesomeness that is Twitter I got to interview David on his vampire favorites and his journey creating this beautiful, yet dark, vampire tale.
Can you tell us about your comic Dusk?
At it’s core its about the journey of a troubled woman. Eve was once an abused woman who was plucked out of her life by a vampire. This was done because of her natural aptitude for the occult, so Eve was abused in all new horrible ways in order to break and control her. Finally the vampire Ash saves Eve from the clutches of the evil vampire and offers her to go back to her old life. But Eve has nothing to go back to and sadly she’s not used to not having a dominating man controlling her life, so she stays with him. Ash reluctantly makes use of Eve’s skills in magik, but it does bother him some on how she is attached to him.
I love a story with a flawed character in it. Sure, I can read a story with a strong character that is brave or wise, but I think all the good juicy drama is in a character that is broken down some. Also it’s more relatable because life is complex and I think stories should reflect that some. For me the story of Dusk is about the character Eve and Eve is very messed up in the head indeed.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got interested in reading and then creating your own comics?
Well I can remember when I was around 12, I had a few comics that I had read from cover to cover so much they were falling apart. But then at the local 7-11 there were all these comics on spinner racks and I was just amazed by it all. At the time Marvel was releasing Handbooks that were filled with the vast histories of superheroes that it left my imagination spinning. After that I learned bookstores had spinner racks too, and every week I had to go to the nearest book store to check out the latest comics.
Then one day, I actually missed an issue of a series I was reading and my Father revealed a little secret to me. “Well why don’t you check to see if it’s at the comic book shop?” There were stores devoted to nothing but comics? Surely I misheard what my Father had said, but low and behold there was the comic book store. It had these magical boxes filled with what was called “back issues” of older comics and it had the comic I was looking for.
As I got older my focus changed to other things, like I got married to a wonderful girl, but comics still stayed with me. I managed to get my wife into comics even, but she slowly stayed in the Manga side of the comics pool. Which was fine by me, but I read all comics, from Europe to Japan. As time went on I grew tired of the 9 to 5 grind of corporate America and I so wanted to get away from it all. But I had responsibilities like a mortgage and a wife to take care of, so at first I just slowly started getting into writing comics with the idea that sometime down the road I’d move into that full time.
Then literally tragedy struck. Due to a complication with medication my wife had a blood clot move into her lungs and well it she didn’t survive. So at 29 years old I was forced to have to start my life over again and I honestly didn’t know what to do. To just go back to work and into the daily grind that I had already grew tired of didn’t make any sense. I needed to do something that I lived to do, not something that I did just to live. So I decided that life was too short as the saying goes and I dove into writing and making comics full time.
Where did you get the idea for Dusk?
Besides being a comic nerd, I’m also a big gaming nerd and I ran a lot of Vampire Live Action Roleplaying games. For those not familiar with VLARPs, it’s basically an impromptu theater performance with a rule system. One game in particular, I had my bad guy running a locked room deathtrap scenario with the players. And of course most of the players figure a way out and flee the danger, but one of my friends did something totally unexpected. He grabbed one of the minions because he figured any one that could have captured a room full of vampires had some useful skills to learn. So now I had to fully flesh out this minion into a NPC and it all just grew out of that. For VLARPs I was always writing up characters or making stories, so I figured why not do it in another format, comics.
What are some of the vampire books and comics that you love? Did any of these influence Dusk?
For books, two of my current favorite vampire books are Sunshine by Robin Mckinley and the Vampire Hunter D series by Hideyuki Kikuchi. I like both those books because they’re so opposite of each other. Sunshine is a very down to earth personal story about vampires and Vampire Hunter D is a dystopian future full of dangerous horrors. I love the contrast of the two books and I love how it shows the range that vampire stories can have.
I don’t read a lot of current vampire comics, but I used to love this company called Millennium Comics. They did a lot of black and white horror comics. I really liked how stark the art was using black and white. They had one series called Night’s Children that mainly just focused on various stories throughout the years of a certain group of vampires. I really liked the person focus of drama done that way.
What was the creation process like with you and the artists?
I like to think I write fairly detailed scripts for the artists. I know that the artist can’t actually see the same mental picture that I see, so I try to give them as much detail as I can so they can properly build the same image in their mind. Of course there is a matter of perspective so the artist will always see it a tad different from me, but that’s one of the parts of collaboration that I love. The artist brings a different viewpoint to the art and story and further fleshes out the idea. I like to the thing the whole, the comic, is greater than the sum of it’s parts, the creators.
Ok, here’s a question I ask all folks I interview: I’ve noticed that most of the authors I follow on Twitter talk about the music they’re currently writing to. What kind of setting/atmosphere do you find most conducive to your writing?
I just like listening to music I like when I writing, but I do find if I’m not too careful the music will sway how I’m writing. Like if I’m listening to power metal, I might find myself kicking up the action a notch. So typically I try to listen to Trance or something similar so it doesn’t affect my mood too much.
Who is your favorite fictitious vampire (other than your own)?
Oh I so want to say the Lord of Darkness from the movie Legend, but I know he’s not a vampire. I just love Tim Curry’s performance and I still all sorts of things from that role to put into my vampires. Over all I’d have to say D from the series Vampire Hunter D book series. Recently I really did like the vampire Eli, from the move Let the Right One In. Very different portrayal of a vampires but still very much true to the mythos.
Given the current vampire craze, people feel specially attracted to vampires, why do you think that is?
I think ultimately because vampires have such a broad and rich history that they can be quite flexible in the roles they play. They can be anything from heroes to love interests. I think that’s reached a straining point, to where some vampires are indistinguishable from say superheroes.
If you then add that flexibility with the dangerous allure that vampires have, that’s a powerful combo. Sure it’s clichéd to say people like the bad boy (or bad girl) but a lot of people do still like that hint of excitement and danger. I just think now vampires have had so much of their “bite” removed to widen their range of appeal (to markets like young adults), that a lot of that danger has been lost.
Vampires can be a mirror to human nature and desire and a lot of people love to experience that vicariously (hence making it escapist entertainment). But I think if you celebrate too much of the pros of a vampire and none of the cons, you’re missing the point. You have to have the bad to truly appreciate the good things, otherwise it’s all hollow.
What is your favorite vampire movie?
My favorite vampire move would have to be The Lost Boys. It has a great blend of humor, action, and drama that makes it actually complicated enough in a easy to digest format. I also love the anime short and live action movie Blood. It’s very simple in the way it tell a great dark story about vampires. It doesn’t try to reinvent vampires or make some sort of world shattering epic. It’s just a good solid story.
Tell our readers why they should check out Dusk – in 3 words: (bwahaha)
Vampires Are Evil
And finally, what other projects are you currently working on? Any goodies we should watch out for?
I am working on Dusk Vol 3. In that volume I hope explain more about Ash’s past and also do my own spin on Werewolves. I’m also doing my version of an old public domain superhero. It’s called Mystery Masque Comics, but it’s totally a take on modern day vigilantism. Short story is, that Diana Adams is addicted to adrenaline and keeps doing riskier and riskier things to get her fix. Finally she uses the guise of being a “hero” to morally justify her actions.
Buy Dusk Vol. 1 HERE.