While visiting the 1First Comics Booth (no relation to First Comics News) at the San Diego Comic-Con, I met Orlando Harding. Orlando had self-published both Pariah and Night Stalker, both featured break out character Dyana. At the booth, Orlando was informing his readers he has just moved from his self published Revolution Comics to First Comics.
First Comics News: How did you come up with the concept for Night Stalker?
Orlando Harding: The concept of Night Stalker was just an effort to come up with something different and unique into itself. I wanted to create something that had never been done before and something that I hoped people would say that they just had to check out. When the concept was finalized I bounced it off some people and they said that they had never heard of anything even close to it and because of that, they would like to hear more.
1st: What is Dyana all about?
Orlando: I’m not really sure yet. Of course, she is ruthless, cunning and a predator unlike no other… but she’s also an around the way kind of girl. The kind of lady you could sit down at a bar with and chug a few beers and Apple Martinis. She’s the kind of lady that will crack jokes and would have you laughing all night. She does not take herself too seriously and can let loose when the time is right. She likes to have fun and mess around, but when the moods shift and playtime has ended…watch out! She will take your head off. In reality, she is all about the hunt. She is driven to complete her assignments and will let nothing stand in the way of that.
1st: By contrast what is Michelle’s motivation?
Orlando: Michelle’s motivation is opposite from Dyana’s. They are actually playing for different teams/opposing sides, but don’t take anything personally. She is a Hellraiser and patrols her section of Earth in search of renegade demons and the like. Her main assignment is to eradicate “Death” itself.
1st: What is their relationship?
Orlando: Throughout the eons, they have developed a mutual respect for one another and this respect blossomed into a true friendship. Believe it or not, they are actually best friends and because they are best friends they don’t hold anything back. This friendship is based on mutual respect and honesty. However, the two sides that they represent do not like this “friendship” and it will be addressed in due time.
1st: How does Azrael fit in?
Orlando: Even a lethal creature like Dyana needs back up and Azrael is just that. He’s a kind of enforcer. He does much of the “dirty” work and he loves it. Sometimes they actually take turns when it comes to dispatching the creatures of the underworld.
1st: Azrael is already a demon, what other creatures we will see in this book?
Orlando: One thing…Azrael is a Hellion, not a demon. But we will see some demons and they will be wicked. Her task of stalking and capturing them will be hard-won. We will see all sorts of creatures in upcoming issues and some are going to be shockers, but they are going to be really cool in the same breath. I believe that the creatures that appear throughout her saga will really captivate and leave anyone who reads Night Stalker wanting more. We will explore the difference between humans and the vilest creatures of the underworld and in some cases…there won’t be any. That’s a scary thought.
1st: What type of forms do they take?
Orlando: They will take many forms and you won’t know who is real and who is not until she exposes them.
1st: As you play with the time travel elements, what complications dose that have for Dyana?
Orlando: Ok, here we go! I’m not going to waste time with this; not too soon from now, Dyana will make decisions that will ultimately lead to man kinds near eradication on Earth. All hell will literally break out on Earth and it will be all her fault.
1st: How much research do you do with the periods involved in the time travel?
Orlando: I actually do some decent research and check out what was going on in certain time periods so it can be factual. Like in Night Stalker #1, and Studio 54; I couldn’t have done that scene in 1977 because the club had already closed, so I try to correlate the facts of the time period.
1st: What are you planning when Dyana going forward in time when she doesn’t understand future tech?
Orlando: As I said before, She won’t understand anything, but will be blamed for everything. She will then have the task to fix the chaos that was responsible for creating. One thing that she will need to master is each time periods dialect. She will have to communicate with people and learn the jargon e.g. like when she had to speak “Jive” when she traveled back to the early 1970s in Night Stalker# 1.
1st: This past May, Night Stalker won the ECBACC 2013 Glyph Award for Best Female Character, is that how you got the attention of 1First Comics?
Orlando: No, it wasn’t. 1First Comics had some interest when I came out with my first comic book series, Pariah. It was because of that initial interest that 1First found out about Night Stalker and this was before we received the distinguished Glyph award.
1st: Dyana first appeared in Pariah # 1, then Night Stalker #1 from Revolution Comics, will readers have to know any of this history for the 1First Comics issue?
Orlando: Pariah # 1 was set in the future. It is actually part of her demise. She’s compelled to tell her story to someone and chooses and emergency room physician that is caring for her before she passes.
1st: 1First Comics isn’t distributed through Diamond at this time, how do fans get a copy?
Orlando: All 1First Comic’s books will be in shops eventually. This is still being set up by the management of 1First.
1st: How do retailers get copies, if they want to carry it in their stores?
1st: For anyone still on the fence, what makes Night Stalker so cool no fan would want to miss an issue?
Orlando: The twists. One thing I can guarantee. This series will not be predictable. There are things that are going to happen that no one will see coming and it will leave you wanting more! We will straddle the edge and we won’t leave anything to chance. We will purposely exploit the gray areas of taste and life and believe that people will thank us for doing so. We are going to go places that most comics won’t.