- Written by Frankenstein, Former Agent of S.H.A.D.E. on Thursday, September 05 2013 and posted in Features
BEST PART OF FRANK JOB AS BLOGGER IS GETTING TO TALK TO CREATORS OF GOOD COMICS. RECENTLY FRANK SIT DOWN WITH WRITER OF FINE COMICS, FRIEND OF FRANK, AND FRIEND OF OUTHOUSE, DIRK MANNING.
HI DIRK. THANKS FOR JOINING FRANK.
THANK YOU FOR… *cough-cough-cough*
Gosh… I have no idea how you manage to talk like that. Regardless, thank you for having me!
The obvious answer would involve some sort of Cthulhu reference, but, alas, I’m just a writer with such a horrible visage that I must at least partially cover my face in order to make sure that people’s cameras don’t break when they try to take pictures of or with me at shows and signings.
Plus, you know, there’s the matter of the face tentacles. Heh.
DIRK BOOK LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) IN STORES NOW. FRANK READ BOOK, BUT FRANK CONFUSED. FRANK GET TO MIDDLE AND PICTURES UPSIDE DOWN. FRANK HAVE SAME PROBLEM RECENTLY WITH BOOK BY FRANK OTHER FRIEND, JEFF LEMIRE. IS PROBLEM AT PRINTERS? WHY THEY HAVE SO MUCH TROUBLE WITH THIS?
If it makes you feel better, Frank, you’re doing better than some. I told Dracula that it was a flip-book containing two full-length 22-page stories and he thought he had to read it doing backflips…
Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but the first story, titled “Bloodlust: Deceiver of the Gods” (illustrated by Rich Bonk) is about a group of Christian-sympathetic Vikings who are pitted in battle against a horde of vampires (but not Dracula – I promise!) by a group of Monks trapped in a remote monastery. As for how there’s a “love story” in this set-up, well… that would be telling! It’s there, though, and quite predominantly, too!
OTHER STORY NO MAKE FRANK SO HAPPY. DIRK NO GET INTO MOTIVATION OF MONSTERS ON SPACESHIP, AND FOCUS TOO MUCH ON HUMAN CAST. FRANK WONDER WHAT HUMANS DO TO MAKE MONSTERS SO ANGRY. DIRK TELL FRANK?
I gave artist Owen Gieni complete creative control over what the aliens in “Symptom of the Universe” would look like and he not only designed them, but gave them their own back-story! I never thought I would ever share this with anyone, but since you asked so nicely, I don’t think he’d mind if I shared it with you. Here’s a direct copy/paste from the e-mail he sent me with the page that reveals the aliens… which is the first time I saw them, too!
So… there you have it! Just don’t show-off the page to anyone else and spoil it, OK?
DIRK WORK WITH TWO ARTISTS ON LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR). SIMILARLY, DIRK NIGHTMARE WORLD BOOKS USE DIFFERENT ARTISTS FOR EACH STORY. HOW DIRK CHOOSE BEST ARTIST FOR STORY? DIRK WRITE STORY THEN FIND ARTIST, OR DIRK WRITE STORY SPECIFICALLY FOR ARTIST TO DRAW?
I usually have an idea for a story, find an artist who I think would like to draw it, and then sit down to write the script and specifically cater it to his/her style and input.
I start with a seed, but it’s the artists who help provide the sunshine and water that help that seed grow into a tree.
A terrifying, flesh-eating tree that gives people nightmares.
True. I recently wrote a short story for Big Dog Ink’s CRITTER ANNUAL #1 about the character Charity, a superheroine who can’t do too much good, lest… bad things happen.
You see? Even my superhero stories end-up having dark twists! What’s up with that? What’s wrong with me, Frank! WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!? [weeps]
DIRK SEEM REALLY LIKE WRITING STORIES WITH ENDINGS, BUT MOST COMICS FRANK READ NEVER HAVE ENDINGS, JUST GO FROM ONE CROSSOVER EVENT TO NEXT. DIRK EVER THINK HE GET INTO WRONG BUSINESS?
I’d like to think that my comics help people realize what a fulfilling – and complete – experience well-written and illustrated short stories, one-shots, and stories with definitive endings can be. Thank you for noticing, Frank, and making me feel better already.
Oh… and I’m sorry about getting snot and tears on your shoulder a moment ago.
Actually… uh… that was your shoulder, right?
LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) IS TWICE SIZE OF NORMAL COMIC, BUT ONLY COST $4.99. WHY DIRK CHOOSE TO USE QUALITY AND VALUE TO SELL BOOK INSTEAD OF 3D COVERS AND HYPERBOLE?
Two complete, stand-alone, 22-page stories by two amazing artists… all for $4.99. Like I said, it’s time to remember that any comic you buy at the shop – be it part of a “big event” or not, be worth the money you’ve spent on it, and I think we’ve set the bar pretty high with LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) in that regard.
FRANK BIG FAN OF GOTHIC HORROR NOVELS, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. FRANK SEE GOTHIC ELEMENTS IN LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR), PARTICULARLY IN VIKING STORY. WHERE ELSE DIRK LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN DIRK WRITING HORROR?
Or, if I want to write about something really scary, the mirror.
FRANK USUALLY ONLY TRAVEL WHEN FRANK FORCED TO FLEE BY ANGRY VILLAGERS CHASING FRANK WITH TORCHES DUE TO MISUNDERSTANDING, BUT FRANK TEMPTED TO GO TO CONVENTION TO MEET DIRK ON TOUR TO SUPPORT NEW BOOK. WHERE CAN FANS IN MIDWEST FIND OUT WHERE DIRK WILL BE IF THEY WANT MEET DIRK TOO?
Oh man… starting the first weekend in September I’m doing ten consecutive appearances in ten consecutive weekends… and there’s even a rumor going around that this signing tour may be “upped’ to thirteen shows in thirteen weekends!
A full list of all the comic conventions, horror shows, and comic book store appearances I’ll be appearing at between now and November are listed at my website www.DirkManning.com under the “Appearances” tab.
Some of the bigger appearances I’ll be doing on this tour include Cincy Comic Con, Mid-Ohio Con, and Detroit Fanfare if that helps… but, again, the full list is up at my new website.
DIRK RECENTLY MOVE COLUMN, WRITE OR WRONG, FROM NEWSARAMA TO BLEEDING COOL. FRANK BIG FAN OF COLUMN. FRANK LIKE TO READ IT, EVEN THOUGH FRANK NO UNDERSTAND TOO GOOD. TOO MANY WORDS, NOT ENOUGH PICTURES. ANYWAY, HOW MUCH RICH JOHNSTON PAY DIRK? FRANK SUSPECT FRANK GET RAW DEAL FROM OUTHOUSE. THEY NO PAY FRANK AT ALL. DIRK GET FRANK JOB?
There was no ill-will between Newsarama and I. Rather, as the “Write or Wrong” column continued to grow and evolve and as Newsarama began to change its focus a bit, we became less and less of a good fit for each other, you know?
Rich over at Bleeding Cool has been asking me to bring the column there for years, and after I took a year off from the column to put together the “Write or Wrong” book I decided to take Rich up on his offer and start fresh over there… all the while keeping the old numbering, though, of course.
No re-launches from Dirk Manning! That’s what I say!
WRITE OR WRONG: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CREATING COMICS is the “definitive” version of a lot of the early “Write or Wrong” columns that, sadly, were lost to the Internet years ago during one of Newsarama’s big server migrations. The book, as the title suggests, is really about the “nuts and bolts” of not just writing comics… but creating comics, including how to approach artists, keep your team going, etc.
The book is exclusively available from Amazon.com (right HERE: http://amzn.com/e/B002LL5Z1K), while new installments of the column still appear online at Bleeding Cool about once a month. In fact, I just sent #78 to my editor a few days ago! There’s a scoop for ya’! Who loves ya’, Frankie? WHO LOVES YA’?!?
Geez… that voice. I just can’t get it right without shredding my throat!
I actually do have a Frankenstein story I would like to write one day, Frank… but there’s other things I want to get to first.
As for the immediate future, I’m writing a four-issue arc of The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West starting with Issue #12, which should be hitting shelves in a few weeks. My story-arc is about the origin of The Flying Monkeys and the return of Dorothy as the new Witch of the West! Yes, really! I wrote The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #12 to be the perfect jumping-on point for new readers, too, as I think this series is one of the best “undiscovered” books on the market right now.
Aside from that, by the time this interview runs I think the word will be out that I’ve joined forces with Devil’s Due to bring Tales of Mr. Rhee to print. I’m really, really excited about this deal, as it’s going to allow me to offer a really cool “prestige” format of the book to die-hard fans as well as a “standard’ edition for the mass-market.
There are some other things on the horizon after that, of course… but those two books are on the most immediate horizon.
HORROR MOVIES SEEM TO BE HAVING RESURGENCE LATELY. WHEN DIRK GET ONE OF HIS STORIES ADAPTED TO MOVIE? DIRK CAN ASK FRANK FOR ADVICE IF DIRK WANT. FRANK HAVE LIKE FIFTY MOVIES MADE ABOUT HIM.
A “Hollywood” contract has been signed, but I can’t talk about it. Yet.
FRANK RECENTLY LEARN THERE MAGIC TOOL CALLED GOOGLE WHERE FRANK TYPE QUESTIONS, GOOGLE GIVE ANSWERS. FOR READERS TOO LAZY TO DO THIS, WHERE THEY GO TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DIRK AND DIRK BOOKS?
Well, like I said earlier, I finally launched my own personal website at www.DirkManning.com which contains all my upcoming signing appearances, my complete bibliography and more. That’s more of a “resource hub,” though.
For daily doses of Dirk people should follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter under the handle “DirkManning.” I’m the one with the top hat and scarf… and I promise that whole “daily doses of Dirk” thing wasn’t meant to sound nearly as dirty as it did.
Sorry ‘about that, Frank. I hope I didn’t offend you virgin ears.
FRANK REALLY APPRECIATE DIRK TAKING TIME TO TALK TO FRANK. IF DIRK HERE IN PERSON, FRANK GIVE DIRK BIG HUG. FRANK TRY HARD NOT TO ACCIDENTALLY SQUEEZE LIFE OUT OF DIRK IN PROCESS. FRANK NO KNOW FRANK OWN STRENGTH.
Ummm… thank you?
Be good, Frank. Should we ever meet at a convention, the first round of Shirley Temples are on me, ya’ hear?
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