For Danny Donovan breaking into comics has been his obsession since 1998, and he even made it his profession when he started a column at Digital Webbing called, “Breaking In”. Danny took some time to chat with First Comics News about his history in comics and his upcoming plans.
Rik Offenberger: Your first work was Hardcore at HT Comics, how did you break in?
Danny Donovan: Well. It’s one of those things where there’s not much of a story behind it. The artist, Daniel White posted a help wanted ad over at Digital Webbing and I responded and we just got along right away.
I was 18 when I started that; it was my very first project and was a great learning experience. We’ve talked about resurrecting the project as a “Sunday Funnies” style comic for a syndicate, we’re seeing if I might have time to work on it, or not. But even if I don’t get a chance to work on the new thing I’m really happy that people enjoyed if for as long as we had it running and hope to see it come back again in some form or another!
RO: How did you get involved with Committed Comics’ Thread?
DD: Around 2000, I was developing a project for a small press company called Frog Stomp Studios. Two of my stories are collected in the THREADS TPB $6.95 at any convention or http://www.committedcomics.com.
DD: On Sept 11th, my Committed comrades, Neil Klied, A. Dave Lewis, and I came up with the idea to produce a charity book, Dave and I took to task coming up with collaborators like Mike Oeming, Tom Derenick, Eric Wolfe Hanson, and so on. Neil being more in tune with the indy field than I was, he had spoken to his friends over at Alternative Comics and they started coming aboard. I was thankful to the publisher, Jeff Mason for taking over. Putting together a book of that caliber is more work than I could ever handle I swear I’ll never know how he does it day in and day out. He took what we started and made an amazing piece of work out of it.
RO: You started pitching Marvel with a mini-series called The Guild, what happened there?
DD: I didn’t start pitching at Marvel with The Guild; it’s just the second to most famous pitch that never saw the light of day. Basically the legend goes, when Marvel, axed all the third tier X-books like Gambit, Gen X, X-Man,. I wrote to Joey Q and pointed out Gambit could reach the female market if they just changed things a bit and made it into an action-adventure/romance thing like CrossGen did so successfully. Little did I know that Joe passed on my comments to then senior editor Mark Powers, who liked what I was doing, and offered me a 12-page inventory story.
RO: At Marvel you had two projects reported heavily in the fan press; New Warriors with art by Jeremy Rock, and Cloak & Dagger with art by Tom Derenick. What happened with New Warriors?
DD: Things just kind of fell through, as they are wont to do in this business. Jeremy got a great offer at Avatar and couldn’t wait anymore. So he went on to do some amazing things you’ll see very soon! (Check out jeremyrock.com now!)
RO: What happened with Cloak & Dagger?
DD: Another one of those things about missing the right time right place. Tom is doing incredible things over at DC, Smallville is just a great book. And fans of the show, and of Superman should pick it up if they aren’t already
RO: With the Mad Science Studios, you are trying to put together Marvel Knights/Heroes Reborn type of contracts?
DD: Yeah, we’re trying to do a lot of package deals for people. A lot like guys like Gaijin, and UDON, where we have a crack team of some of the best of the best in comics and animation to make some great comics. Currently out first client, Femforce publishers AC Comics, where we are producing a 2 issue miniseries relaunching the 1940s hero GREEN LAMA back into the world.
Fans of Vertigo comics’, Alan Moore, & Frank Miller’s takes on conventional heroes and deep myths are going to flip for it. writer/artist James Ritchey, III is doing a masterful job, and Dreadneck/Mad Science Studios inker Loki Dolza is the icing on the cake. Full color by our man Bishop Bowie!
RO: You are also selling scripts in Hollywood, how is that going?
DD: It’s going! I’m lucky to have some really amazing people out in la-la-land that are helping me through the change. I’m trying to figure out all the ins and outs before I get too far into it.
But I’m fortunate enough to know some people that create and produce stuff I’ve actually seen in the theater to guide me in the right direction!
RO: What can you tell us about Nietchsze Falling?
DD: It’s one of our MSS creator owned line, currently seeking a publisher. Its age-old story of a person fleeing from a distant world and coming to earth and being imbued with powers beyond those of mortal men. But with a twist.
As with most of the “Conspiracy-verse” books they have a foot in conventional comic book universes, but with a twist. In this book, our hero, Captain Zenith, the human looking symbol of perfection is joined by a fellow refugee of the same world but a different race. The people of 1930s earth automatically laud the guy that looks like them and the “alien” becomes the sidekick.
It follows their 60-year career and the utopia they created. But also shows what happens when people rely solely on godlike heroes. They become dependent and can’t survive by themselves, and now the death of this great hero is going to leave them easy pickings for anyone that tries to claim that utopia. So Zenith has to destroy his gift to the people who gave him sanctuary so that they can learn to survive after he’s gone.
Written by me, art by James Ritchey, III and inks by Loki Dolza.
DD: Well Team Defiant is a team book, essentially around the same time frame as NF. We both have routes in the WWII/Cold War era. One of the cool things about working with likeminded individuals is sometimes you catch similar lightning in a bottle. By the time MSS was founded TD! was already partially completed, but when I finished my first script for NF we pinpointed an exact place we could have a future crossover.
The book is written by Chad Porter, and drawn by James Ritchey III with inks by Dave Newton, and colors by Bishop Bowie.
For all that stuff and more you can check on our semi-updated website http://www.graphicbalance.com/mss
RO: When is the Shooting Star Press Anthology story coming out?
DD: My first story will be coming out Oct. 2004, in issue #6. The story is titled “Death Becomes Me” Followed at some point by a studio jam with a cool supernatural story called “The Transient.”
RO: Good luck with all your projects in 2004.