A Writer's Dream Welcomes the Artists behind Dusk Vol. 2: A Vampire Graphic Novel

This is a special month and even though AWD has taken some time off from guest interviews, I couldn't pass up this chance to introduce a project with some  very cool people attached to it. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of vampires and graphic novels, so once a friend of mine told me about the Dusk series I had to have the creative team stop by the blog to share their work and the project.

So as a first, and hopefully not a last interview with some very talented graphic artists, AWD would like to give a warm welcome to artists Jerry Gonzalez and Joamette Gil and writer David Doub!

Welcome to A Writer’s Dream guys! You’re our first graphic novel team so this is a special spotlight!
Now onto the grilling...er, I mean questions. :-)

Q: First, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your new release Dusk along with your respective roles in creating the comic?

David Doub: Well I'm the creator of Dusk.  Volume 2 is a continuation of the unique format that I started with Volume 1 where it's several short stories that give a brief look into the life of the characters.  I know it's a non-linear style of storytelling, but since the story is mine to do as I see fit, why not have fun with it.

I think the non-linear style helps keep the mystery of the vampire world of Dusk.  Instead of a big reveal or a long explanation, there's just enough information given for the reader to draw their own conclusions.  So in a way the reader is part of the creation process.

Joamette Gil: Dusk is a super cool action/drama about a woman named Eve who is trying to gain her independence, but has to struggle with addiction to vampire’s blood and her own insecurities along the way (not to mention vampires, demons, werewolves, etc). I’m one of the artists drawing the upcoming 3rd volume!

Jerry Gonzalez: Dusk is about a young woman name Eve, who was in a abusive marriage and wound up in the world of vampires and dark magic. Ash tries to guide her back to the world that she used to know but refuses. Volume two is a continuation of that story. My role in the book is penciler and inker for some of the chapters of Dusk.

Q: What was your inspiration in creating the world within Dusk?

David Doub: Heh, I wanted to do a vampire story. Thing is, I think the long history of vampires work fine.  I saw no need to reinvent their origin or put them in a different setting.  I find it more of a challenge to try to make a good and unique story with a subject that has had probably hundreds of stories already done yet.

I think the vampire genre is very deep and there is still plenty of great stories to get out of it.

Joamette Gil: My particular role as a Dusk artist is to portray the final half of Eve’s fight to keep a little girl safe from megalomaniacal, werewolf-like demons from Argentina. I knew I would enjoy working on this portion of the story because I could relate very strongly with the girl Eve has rescued and taken to the United States. Bianca has been through some very tough times, and struggling to fit into a new cultural landscape just adds insult to injury. The courage and perseverance of both Eve and Bianca is what drives my artistic portrayal of them.

Jerry Gonzalez: David's writing was an inspiration in creating Dusk. I love the story and it got me motivated to do the comic in the first place.

Q: How did you each get into the comic book and graphic novel field?

David Doub: Comics are my first love.  I love all forms of creative expression, but I have a deep seated affection for Comics.  So when I wanted to do Dusk, I knew I had to do it as a comic.

Joamette Gil: I started self-publishing mini-comics when I was 18, and I had been a fan of animation and comics for as long as I could remember. When I was 11, I decided that cartoons simply had to be a major part of my life, so I set out to learn how to draw. I’m still learning, but I’d say I’ve come a long way! Dusk is my first time working on an established series by another creator, and so far it’s been really fun as well as challenging.

Jerry's Artwork for Dusk
Jerry Gonzalez: Growing up I was a big fan of comic books, and I loved drawing characters that I would read about month to month. I really didn't start pursuing being a comic book artist until high school. A group of friends of mine wanted me to do a short comic, the result of that book was a strong desire to illustrate more sequential art than just basic pin-ups.

Q: Vampires are all the rage right now and it seems like vampire trend itself goes in spurts (although it’s an evergreen theme for us fans ;-)). Why do you think certain readers and, to some extent the media at the moment, are riding the vampire train at the moment?

David Doub: I think because of the new twist on vampires (teenage romance) is what's driving the current interest.  It seems that the mainstream always wants something new, or at the very least the illusion of something new.  And maybe also keeping it at a teenage level makes the typical dark material of vampires a little bit lighter for a wider audience.

Joamette Gil: Hmm. I can’t say I know what all the hype is about at this point (especially considering the fact that Twilight is…. Well, it’s Twilight), but I will go ahead and blame this whole mess on Joss Whedon. I think it’s all his fault. Yes, I am a huge Buffy fan.

Jerry Gonzalez: Its mainly a fascination with the myth of vampires. The idea that someone can live forever but in turn suffers the burden of avoiding the sun, constantly craving for blood, and knowing that you're hated and feared by society, its tragic but interesting.

Q: Did any particular vampire writer, work or myth inspire your work in creating Dusk?

David Doub:I honestly can't think of a particular influence for Dusk.  I just know I've always been a fan of vampires stories and have enjoyed everything from Anne Rice, to the Lost Boys, and the old Hammer Films to just name a few.  So for me it's a big blender full of inspiration.

Joamette Gil: Not really – my bit’s more about werewolves. I was inspired by some local Slavic artwork in my design for the Teju Jagua (the wolf-like demons from Guarani myth).

Jerry Gonzalez: A comic I read, when I was young, was Crimson by Humberto Ramos and Brian Augustyn. When I got the job to do Dusk I immediately pick up that book and re-read the whole series and was inspired to do the comic...

Q: What’s next for you guys? Any dream projects you’d like to shoot for in the near future?

David Doub:Dusk is my dream project.  I've been working on getting it out for years now, so I have no inclination to stop doing it any time soon.  I love doing Dusk.

Joamette Gil: Haha, well, I’d love to keep working on Dusk in the future! Other than that, I’m planning a webcomic to be released in late November. More info about that can be found at http://www.blackinkbird.com/

Jerry Gonzalez: I'm working on two comic scrips, one is more of a sci-fi, fantasy comic, and the other is based loosely on my experiences working at a comic shop.

Q: You probably get asked this all the time but for the readers here at AWD, what advice would you give for folks who are interested in working in the comic book field?

David Doub:Just start making something.  Seriously I've seen so many would-be creators over think things to the point it actually prevents them from getting started.  Sure there may be mistakes made and it may not be perfect, but that can always be corrected.  It's a learning experience to say the least, and you can't start learning if you don't well start.

Joamette Gil: Love it. That’s my advice. Obviously, you need to draw every day, network, accept criticism, etc, but first and foremost you need to love what you do and believe in it. You won’t move a single step in any direction if you don’t.

Jerry Gonzalez: Keep practicing, whether its writing or drawing. Don't let your ego get in the way of making a good comic.

PROMO ART from Dusk 3 http://joamette.deviantart.com/art/Dusk-Vol-3-Preview-183334559?q=&qo=

Visit the official Dusk Comics site: http://www.duskcomics.com/
And don't forget to check out Dusk Vol. 1 online!

Learn more about the team at their websites:

David's Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/DuskComics

Joamette's website: http://www.blackinkbird.com

Jerry's Website: http://monkeygeek.deviantart.com


Savannah Chase said...

I have to check this novel out. I love my vampires and this sounds soooo good.. Wow

Great interview, thank you so much.

Rae Lori said...

Thanks for dropping by Sav! I agree. I'm a vampire nut as well (as you probably know!) and I'm looking forward to adding Dusk to my collection. :-)