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Designing Dusk by David Doub

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Flames

Dusk is a supernatural action/drama story done in a dynamic blending of the sequential art styles of American Comics and Japanese Manga. David Doub tells us about the series in this new design essay.

The Beginning

    When I first had the idea for Dusk, I was doing comics just a form of creative expression. I wasn’t worried about making money or rewards, I just wanted people to enjoy my comics. Since I was keeping it fairly low key, I figured the internet would be the best place to cheaply get the comics out to potential readers. I was so new at everything, I even tried drawing one of my own stories. Since I lacked skills in sequential art I did that particular story in a story book style. One page was art and the other side was prose.

    So I planned on doing Dusk as a webcomic. Looking at the old scripts, I’m a bit ashamed of them. They were just a rambling mess of saying what happens with no clear director or vision. But that was all moot because the artist wanted to focus on the first book we started (a mech story called Engines of Destruction), so we never got started on Dusk.

    And overall I got discouraged about webcomics. Even in the early 2000s, webcomics were firmly set in the genre of humor comic strips. Yes there were a few webcomics that were done in the traditional print comic format and didn’t involve humor, but those were the exception that helped prove the rule. I found it a tad ironic that the webcomic community declared they were a new frontier because they weren’t all about superheroes, but they were stuck in their own rut with college/anime/computer humor comics.

    Of course now professional comic book creators are now making great progress in the realm of webcomics, so I’m sure my material at the time just wasn’t strong enough to fight against the common trends in webcomics.

    Dusk in Print?

      I took a break from doing my own comics for awhile. I did work on scripting some artists comic ideas, but I still wasn’t concerned where writing would take me. I did start on writing short stories on Dusk. Just killing time and enjoying myself.

      Warpton Comics out of the UK were looking for short one shot stories. They had a plan where they would release various one shot issues and see how people took the concepts. I sent them several ideas as well a the Dusk short stories and we settled on that. Warpton offered to find me an art team, but I decided to do it myself. I managed to find Maki Naro to do the art and he was great. He followed my script exactly as I saw it. Add the inks of Chris Scott and the letters of Jaymes Reed, it all came together rather nicely.

      Sadly Warpton had issues that prevented them from really doing much with the book. The publisher was also opening a store and having a child (well his wife was doing all the work on that), so he had to step back from publishing for a bit. Of course I was over enthusiastic during this time and had already worked with Maki to make a sequel that was also a stand alone story.

      Dusk back on the Web?

        Now I have about 60 pages of comics with no real place to show it, so I started looking for publishers. I finally came on Ambrosia Publishing. They had a different take on publishing as compared to Warpton’s. Ambrosia’s idea was to serialize full 120 page graphic novels online and then sell the completed book in print.

        Since I had 60 pages I was good to start and just had to find a new artist, because Maki had moved onto other things by this point. I did find another artist and everything seemed to be going well with that until all the artist lost all the pages in a move and backed out because an ulcer developed during the work.

        Ambrosia was very understanding and let the deadline be pushed back while I looked for a new artist. During this I started thinking about having multiple artists as a sort of redundancy to help avoid the problems of your sole artist having to leave or quit.

        And luckily I found two artists, Jolene Houser and Jerry Gonzales. Jerry I met at a local Free Comic Book Day and we started out with him doing some art on a Dusk short story. With Jolene she was asking online for someone to work with and I took her up on that.

        During getting the artists together and getting the art underway, Ambrosia publisher was going through personal matters that was taking him away from publishing, so he released all the creators from their contracts to find new publishers that give our books the time and attention that they deserve.

        Dusk Homeless?

          Now I’m back a few steps looking for a publisher to print the now over 100 pages worth of Dusk material. I talked to all sort of publishers but it was rough going. Either the art wasn’t enough, or their publishing schedule was booked for several years, or the contracts were just terrible, so I was hitting a wall.

          That’s when I remembered something, actually a lot of something. With all the dealings I’ve done with various publishers I recall a lot of the various tricks and plans that they used to publish. I figured if I just rolled up my sleeves and put in some hard work, combined with that knowledge I’d be able to publish books no problem.

          I was wrong. Between releasing the first volume of Dusk and the second volume, a year had elapsed. The superhero book I was going to release had to get shelved because of trademark issues.

          But has the ancient Chinese saying goes “With trouble begets experience. Then experience begets wisdom.” Vol 2 of Dusk is now out and it’s 50 pages larger than the last volume at the same price. Volume 3 is currently on track. Also Dusk Comics is releasing Cesage, a manga from Malaysia. Dusk comics is currently working on a charity book for Jolene who just recently survived a bad car accident. We’re also working on a anthology with several creators so we can display our work together at Wizard World Austin.

          Despite many ups and downs Dusk Comics is now finding it’s way. The road it has to travel is still pretty long, but we’ve gotten our stride down and the going is a bit easier now.

          About David Doub
          David Doub was a IT professional in the Dallas-Forth Worth area for the past decade, but after several turns in his life he’s going back to his first love, comics. The only companion with him on this journey is his cat Jordon, who happens to like the taste of paper.

          After working with several publishers, David went on to form Dusk Comics to focus more on his stories. Currently Dusk Comics has a small but impressive line of Graphic Novels from Horror to Superheroes. Recently Dusk Comics has moved away from publishing just David’s books to releasing other creators as well. Dusk Comics will be releasing a foreign Manga and an Artbook to mention just a few of the project planned.

          You can learn more at www.duskcomics.com

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