This train is moving (it’s not really a train it’s a comic)

Summer has pretty much come and gone and like most summers, for me at least, it has gone by way too quickly. Somehow though there’s a small, a very very very small part of me that’s relieved it is over. Any one else feel the same way? Delia is knee deep into making issue 2 awesome. It’s kind of surreal to think that the script for it is two years old; Delia’s thumbnails for it are almost as old. Issue 1 has been done for a while now and as much as we love the work we’ve done on it, it feels like we’ve been picking and chipping at it forever. Now that we’re really getting into issue 2 it feels like this train is moving! (Sorry to disappoint, there are no trains here, only comics.)

Speaking of issue 1 it hits the stands on September 24th, so if you asked your local comic store for it, that is the day to go pick it up (and while you’re at it browse around and pick up some other great books too.) However if you are the type who doesn’t like leaving the house because it means putting on pants, and if you are you are my people, we have some good news to report: Dash will be on Comixology! It looks like it it will be available day and date of the print release, so if your preferred reading method is digital you can get us there as well.

As a digital freebie if you want an 8 page preview of Issue 1, our awesome publisher Norwest Press has it up on their website, check that out here!
In the “it’s nice when people say nice things department” we’ve gotten another very nice advance review of issue 1 from Andrea Speed that was featured on the cxPulp website. You can read the review here and check out more from Andrea at her website here.

Other than working on issue 2, I’m currently adapting issue 1 into a live radio play that will be performed at our Dash Comic Launch Party in Philadelphia on October 4th in the Red Room at The Society Hill Playhouse. If you are in the Philadelphia area the first weekend of October please stop on by. A huge blog post about the party, the radio play, and how to get a signed copy of Dash 1 for free coming next!

And with all this talk of Issue 1 and Issue 2, the cover for Issue 3 is out and about now, and I love what Delia has captured with it. Below is the penciled version, to check out the full color version of it on Previews World here

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Lastly we’d love to hear your thoughts on Dash, feel free to email us at teamdashcomic@gmail.com

Lots more coming up, stay tuned!

-Dave

 

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It’s Official: Dash Issue #1 Coming In September

It’s official! Dash Issue #1 will be hitting stands September 24!

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We are excited to finally be able to announce that Dash will be released this September as an ongoing series from Northwest Press! After two years of working to make the best comic we can, it’s a thrill to finally be able to get this into shops.

First, we’d love to get Dash into as many shops as possible. It can always be risky for comic shop owners to take a chance on a brand new series but if you tell your local shop you want it, they’ll order it for you.

Dash Issue #1 is in the Diamond Previews July Magazine. You can tell them the Diamond Preview Item Code is JUL141331 or you can just direct them to the link on their website HERE

Remember, we’re a monthly, so if you pick it up tell them to put it on your pull list. And hey, if you don’t have a pull list at your LCS, maybe you should consider getting one. I’m sure your local shop would be happy to set one up for you.

Second, we can’t thank Bleeding Cool enough for their feature on Dash. It was very unexpected and we are very grateful they decided to feature our book. They have some early pictures of stuff we don’t even have on this blog, so check it out HERE

Finally, we’re so pleased that we are being published by Northwest Press. It’s very hard for a company to put an ongoing monthly title featuring a gay male protagonist, particularly in the noir genre, out there. The confidence they have in Dash as an ongoing series is inspiring! Check out the website for Northwest Press HERE

We have much more stuff ahead this summer as we lead up to issue #1’s release. Until then…

 

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A Halloweeny Kind of Update

Let me start off by saying this blog hasn’t been updated in about a month all because of me. I’ve been lagging behind on my blogging duties, and I’m sorry. I promise I will try to be much more diligent in them. That said a quick update; the comic is coming along great! I love the work Delia is cranking out on this story and I can’t wait to share it.

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We were at New York Comic Con earlier this month, saw some friends, met some great people, and attended one of the most informative panels I’ve seen: Protect It and Publish It: Creating and Protecting Your Comic Book Property. There is a new book coming out next year called The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators that from what I can tell will be a must have for comic creators, and actually artists and writers in any medium.

Hopefully within the next month the anthology You Are Not Alone from Grayhaven Comics will be out. Delia and I have a story in it called “Here’s Looking At You” that I’m really proud of. This week I’ve been outlining a stand alone Dash story that will be featured on this very blog, it’s my best H.G.Wells meets Ralph Ellison, and that’s all I can or probably should say about that at the moment!

I was originally going to do a blog about reference photos in scripts that I write, and I will. But since Halloween is right around the corner, and Halloween may be my most favorite time of year, I’ve decided to write about something that’s near to my heart: monsters.

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I’m not sure what came first, it might’ve been when I first saw Monster Squad with my cousins (the one from 1987 not this 70’s TV program .)  It might’ve been when on vacation I stumbled upon the Bela Lugosi Dracula in a video rental store and spent that sunny summer afternoon watching it while the rest of my family was at the beach. Either way  I’ve been hooked on classic monster (preferably from Universal Studios) since I was a child. Give me your Draculas, Wolfmans, and all the Frankensteins you got! But one guy I always feel gets shoved to the background is The Mummy.

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Unlike a lot of other famous monsters The Mummy monster wasn’t really based on a classic novel but more of a news phenomenon. In 1922 when the tomb of King Tut was discovered rumors quickly circulated that there was an ancient curse that would bring the demise of those that dared enter the tomb. The lead architect Howard Carter supposedly found a tablet with the inscription: “death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the king” and hid it from the dig crew. Carter always denied ever doing so.

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A few months later Lord Carnarvon, the money behind the dig, dropped dead of a mysterious illness, most probably due to an insect bite that led to an infection. Even still legend has it that when he died the lights went out in Cairo and back at his home in England his dog emitted a long howl and then promptly dropped dead. By the end of the decade almost a dozen people linked to the expedition had died of mysterious causes. The most shocking death was that of Lord Westbury, who leapt from his apartment window leaving a note stating he couldn’t stand any more of the horrors.

While modern scientists have their own theories on what the curse actually was (some believe it was a fungi that laid dormant for many years in it’s victims) the press had a field day with the mysterious deaths. Many headlines of the time talked of “The Curse of The Mummy!” America became obsessed with the story and Egyptian culture influenced much of the style of the 1920’s from fashion to architecture, take the Los Angeles Public Library built in 1926 for example.

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It wasn’t long before the burgeoning Universal Studios, which was becoming Hollywood’s place for horror, capitalized on the Egyptian “craze” and released a feature film titled The Mummy.

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Starring Boris Karloff (billed as Karloff The Uncanny due to his newfound popularity as The Frankenstein monster) and the alluring Zita Johann, The Mummy tells the tale of archeologists who uncover a long lost mummy and a curse on whoever opens it’s tomb. Directed by German cinematographer Carl Freund (famous for his camera work on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dracula) the film has striking visuals even if it falls a bit flat in it’s narrative.

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Universal resurrected its ancient monster in 1940 in The Mummy’s Hand starring the strapping Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford and Tom Tyler as The Mummy now called Kharis. This movie has nothing what so ever to do with its predecessor and introduces its own mythology (while shamelessly reusing film clips from the original.) While the basic plot structure is the same, archeologists discover an ancient mummy tomb, in this movie we learn of a cult that has been keeping The Mummy alive using a tea made of out of ancient leaves (the spookiest tea imaginable!) This movie is a lot of fun, spooky in all the right places; even managing to balance some genuine laughs and cheesy romance. While it’s not the most artfully made picture it’s definitely worth a view.

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Two years later Kharis The Mummy came back to exact revenge on those who made it through the last movie in The Mummy’s Tomb in 1942. This time the title character was played by Lon Chaney Jr. (and would be for the next three movies.) The Mummy was the horror actors least favorite role as it required intense makeup application with very little to play other than lumber around the set. This movie begs the question if the monster that’s chasing you can barely walk without limping and he kills you anyway then isn’t it really your fault? It’s a worthwhile view, with some fun creepy imagery but not as enjoyable as its predecessor.

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The Mummy’s Ghost from 1944 is probably the cheapest looking movie in Universals entire Mummy franchise. Featuring Chaney as the monster, along with John Carradine and Ramsay Ames, it’s worth a look for its pretty uncharacteristic for the time period horrific ending.

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Universal was in Mummy mania in 1944 because later that year came The Mummy’s Curse. This movie has the most racial stereotyping, inconsistent plot continuity (the last movie they were in New England and this movie they’re in New Orleans???) odd moments where people break into song, and the most wooden acting of the films, but it just be my favorite for the sequence of Virginia Christine rising as the resurrected Princess Ananka from the mud.

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It’s creepy, chilling, and excellently done. So forgiving a few things (and it’s easy to as the movie is only an hour long) it’s worth a watch even as it makes you grimace.

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Much later in 1955 Abbott and Costello met The Mummy and while it gets a few laughs personally I always want it to be as good as when they met Frankenstein (and DraculAR and The Wolfman) but it isn’t. Eddie Parker, who doubled for Lon Chaney in the 40’s, played the part of “Klaris” The Mummy.

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I’m not really a Hammer film guy. I like them but my heart is really at Universal when it comes to classic monster movies. That said Hammers The Mummy released in 1959 is one of my favorites from the studio. Christopher Lee plays Kharis, it also stars Peter Cushing as the archeologist (in a Mummy movie twist it’s the hero that has the limp!) and French film actress Yvonne Furneaux. The film is basically a retread of The Mummy’s Tomb but is far and away my favorite Hammer Horror film. Incidentally it’s one of the few movies I still own on VHS.

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A lot of people are probably more familiar with the more recent Mummy movies (and the spin off series The Scorpion King) spearheaded by director Stephen Sommers. I’ll be honest and say I’m not enamored with them but I do think they are fun, especially the first one.  Apparently Universal has plans to reboot the entire franchise once again and I’m looking forward to what they are going to do with it, although I’m personally a bit skeptical that they are rebooting the Van Helsing movie and that they will have a “shared” universe in common. We shall see I guess.

So I thought this was a blog about the process of making a comic? A noir comic at that! Why are we talking about movies? Why are we talking about Mummies? Well….keep reading and Happy Halloween! – Dave

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We Have A Cover!

So the first issue is fully pencilled and 75% inked, and we’re working on confirming our colorist. Meanwhile I’ve been polishing up our first cover/promo image…though we may have an amazing guest artist for the official cover of Issue #1 instead.

Dash working cover, Issue1

So when I draw, I listen to either music or podcasts, depending both on my mood and what I’m working on that day. For instance, music is usually better when I want to just power through and not overthink anything, and podcasts are better when I need to remain methodical and detail-oriented. The podcasts I listen to most often are the “Audioshocker” collection, “Risk!” and “3 Chicks Review Comics.” I really like storytelling podcasts (“True Stories” is a fun one), but I tend to avoid “The Moth” and “This American Life” because, as great as they are, they make me feel sad too often.

Most recently I’ve been immersing myself in old radioplays and big band music for that 1940s ambiance. My favorites are “Old Time Radio Mysteries” and “Old Time Radio Mystery Theater.” While rather moralistic, they’re so much better than I anticipated, and I often find myself on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Sadly, there’s a finite amount of them, and I wish I could find some well-done modern radioplays.

I also found some new music to listen to while I work, which is pretty exciting for me. Girl In A Coma has several albums and Savages has one so far. My musical taste is extremely ’90s-influenced. Often the new music I buy is the latest output of my longtime favorite musicians (e.g. Mesh, or Gary Numan), who have progressed musically yet can always be relied on for interesting, meaningful songs and accomplished, thematic albums. I have tried to find new bands to listen to, but so much current music is terrible! I can’t stand empty Autotuned pap, and keep those “summer hits” away from me…they’re so boring and calculated, and sound way more irritating than “catchy.” So it’s an unexpected gift whenever I find something created by newer artists that I feel moved by and can’t stop repeatedly playing.

OK, back to work! Here’s a panel where Dash wakes up and realizes he needs to get back to work too:

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