It is always nice to find a comic creator from my birthplace of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dino Caruso is the co-creator and writer of Blue Hour published at Action Lab with five issues wrapped up and the first collected edition on its way. So, we took to the keyboards and had a little chat.
Martin Boruta: Dino, thank you so much for taking a few moments with me today. Tell me a bit about how you and Chad Cicconi got together to work on Blue Hour?
Dino Caruso: I noticed Chad’s work and messages on a forum, and we got to chatting. I showed him my script and concept for this project that I was referring to as a “sci-fi western”, and he seemed into it. The project evolved and changed as our discussions continued, and Chad suggested the title, along with the legend that goes along with it. It was a true collaboration, and I feel very grateful to him for the opportunity to work together.
Martin: “Sci Fi Western”? I love Firefly and Outland you definitely have my interest. Tell me about your take on this genre and what exactly is Blue Hour?
Dino: Blue Hour is our version of a western set in outer space. I’ve a big fan of shows like Star Trek and Farscape, and I admire the kind of storytelling that those shows achieve. The characters really began to develop personalities with the introduction of the back-stories that are intertwined in the main narrative. I liked the notion of gradually rolling out the backstories for each character, rather than doing them all at once. The only character without a flashback is Charlotte, and that was intentional. To me… she’s all about the hope and promise of the future. All the other characters’ motivations are rooted in events from their past.
Martin: Farscape! One of my favourite TV shows ever and you are right. It does have a western vibe to the storytelling. You mention Charlotte, is she your favourite character in the cast?
Dino: My favourite character? Hmmm…tough one. I think I’m going to go with Wardell. He’s a pretty complex guy, and he doesn’t always make the best choices. The question is whether or not he can redeem himself. But redemption doesn’t always come in a neat and tidy way.
Martin: Why did you choose Action Lab as a publishing partner? How has the experience been at Action Lab?
Dino: I’m really impressed with what Action Lab is doing. They’re putting out really strong and diverse material. I’ve had amazingly positive interactions with the Action Lab team. I’ve become a real fan of their books, and I’m honoured to be involved.
Martin: You have five issues done and the first collected edition is almost ready. When did Blue Hour #1 come out?
Dino: Blue Hour #1 came out last summer, and it’s been a bi-monthly book since then. The trade paperback will be available in May.
Martin: Was it always planned to be 5 issues or are you looking at ongoing adventures?
Dino: Yes, we always knew it would be a limited series that provided readers with a complete tale.
Martin: Why publish a comic book at all? What motivated you to tackle this project?
Dino: Comics are my favourite story-telling medium. I love the interaction between the storytellers (writer, artist, colourist, letterer and editor). Receiving new pages in my inbox is one of my favourite things! The combination of words and pictures, even though it seems so simple, is pure magic.
Chad’s interest in the story and the collaborative process we developed is what motivated me to move forward with this project. He’s great to work with, and I hope we have an opportunity to do it again.
Martin: With Blue Hour finished what is next for you?
Dino: Blue Hour is a complete tale. The story has a pretty clear beginning, middle and end. However, there are some great stories to tell about the lives of the characters, both before and after the events of this story. Not sure if we’ll ever get to them, but there’s some rich material there. I’ve got several short anthology stories on the calendar for 2017, and I’m pitching a few longer projects as well. I think it’ll be a great year for making comics. You can keep up with the latest news at carusocomics.com.
Martin: Well Sir, many thanks for this and after reading issue number 1 I can’t wait to get my hands on the collected edition to catch up.
Dino: Thanks very much for this opportunity to chat about Blue Hour with your readers.
Series: Blue Hour | Publisher: Action Lab
Writers: Dino Caruso | Artist: Chad Cicconi & Francesca Zambon
Letterer: Adam Wollet | Editor: Colleen Boyd