First Comics News: Where did the idea for “Dark Creations” come from?
Chris Pyles: Gabe Smith came up with the title for the book. We already had an idea of what the book looked like before we named it, but the name Dark Creations just fit. I think we were both just looking for an outlet to show people what we are truly capable of when we put our minds to something. Dark Creations seemed to hit a tone for what we expected from the book. We wanted a horror/sci-fi theme and we wanted to make a bold statement with the title.
1st: How many writers and artists contributed to this anthology?
Chris: First, I wouldn’t particularly call this book an anthology. That term refers more to literary works. This is more of an artist showcase in the best modern format, Digital. We are featuring 10 artists in each book along with a bio and a link to where our readers can get more of their artwork. I also wanted to learn to make a motion comic and I figured the best way to learn that was to just dive right in and start building something I think fans would like. Ultimately, it’s their expectations we have to exceed, right?
1st: Why do an anthology over a regular comic?
Chris: Times have changed and so has the modern day audience. Look at the world of online music distribution and how it’s changed everything. Here’s a link to a video I did a few years ago interviewing a local comic book shop owner just outside Baltimore, Maryland.
Digital Kills The Comic Book Store:
1st: What type of story do you write for “Dark Creations”?
Chris: I believe Dark Creations is meant to tell its own story. These artists are Creators. They make something from nothing and that’s a craft easily looked over in this fast-paced world. It seemed to me, the best way to promote these artists was to build something for them ourselves. Gabe Smith had always been a trusted friend and a truly creative force when it comes to original content. He also knows quite a few talented people and I know computers… so it balances things out.
1st: Can you tell us about the characters in it?
Chris: The contributors may publish anything within Dark Creations as long as it’s original material (meaning not an existing character) and it HAS to fit the book’s theme: Horror/Sci-Fi. This is what makes DARK CREATIONS. Anyone can submit work for consideration.
1st: Do you have any ideas for other comic books?
Chris: I do have a lot of other stories I’ve been working on for years, mainly my book Brain Cells. It’s a ten issue mini-series that I’ve just been waiting to find the right artists willing to dedicate their time to bringing this story to life. Brain Cells is a very personal project to me. Other than that, Gabe and I have a lot of other concepts created.
1st: Why do comic books inspire people?
Chris: I think comics inspire people because we typically see these superhuman beings beating the odds and defeating the villain without a doubt. In my own twisted logic, Dark Creations shows you (the hero) what you have to face to move on in this world. These monsters and their victors are the modern mythology. Comics, TV, and Movies are where these stories of OUR time are told. So many people have inspired me to create art and now I believe I have a responsibility to contribute back to the creative world.
1st: How has your time in the United States Air Force helped you to write better comics?
Chris: My time in the Air Force as a Reporter allowed me to focus on the work that goes into a whole production. TV production is much like creating a comic. You create sequential art. Anyone who worked with me in the past knows I’m a planner. I never walk into a situation without a plan and the drive to execute that plan. As a former Broadcast Producer, I had to “Feed the Beast” on a daily basis. That core value to drive for ‘excellence in all I do’ will never fade.
1st: How do you think digital comics compare to printed ones and will they ever fully replace printed ones?
Chris: I think people will always want to hold a physical book in their hand. I mean, how else are you going to collect your favorite artists autograph? You can’t have 15 people signing your iPad… what’s the point in that? I do love what artists have been doing lately and selling their own art on blank covers. You get to see some really cool commissions.
1st: You have inked and colored, would you like to do more of that and will you on “Dark Creations”?
Chris: Right now I’m acting as the Editor-In-Chief for the book and putting the whole thing together. I love coloring and inking but I’m not as good as some of my friends out there. That’s why Dark Creations is such a great thing. We plan to take all the profit we make from the book, to build more F.N.Cool products for the future. I’m basically channeling my inner Stan Lee.
1st: Are you looking to have a career in cinematography?
Chris: Honestly, I’m a disabled veteran. I have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) so, working in big crowds and driving long distances to go to an office isn’t the kind of thing I want to subject myself to on a daily basis. I work best in small dedicated groups focused on finishing the task at hand. Film sets and studios fit that mold so I tend to stick to the freelance model for what I do. Right now, I just want to make a living doing what I love, at that’s making art others can appreciate. Comics and music will always have a place in my workflow. Video is different, because it typically takes more people than just me to create a product.
1st: How do you spend your non working hours?
Chris: I retired from the Air Force two years ago and since then I have turned to freelance work. I don’t make enough to eat takeout everyday but I get by with a little help from my friends. Other than that, I record original music with my friends under the band title Brain Cells. Yes, it’s the same title as the comic I wrote (but it makes sense to me).
1st: What inspires you to create comics?
Chris: I wouldn’t have a love for comics if it wasn’t for my grandfather. He used to bring me Spider-Man comics and I fell in love with drawing him in weird poses. Back when Venom made his first appearance, I romanticized the idea of making comics while consuming every Bagley/McFarlane book I could get my little fingers on. I remember when Image was formed and how some of my favorite artists for Marvel and D.C. were moving in to do their own thing. In terms of building a brand people trust to continually provide results, I watched what worked for some brands and have seen what didn’t. I think I’ve learned enough to put myself and my work out their for the whole world to see.
1st: Any words for those who enjoy your comic “Dark Creations”?
Chris: Ask yourself, “what do I fear the most” and then capture it. F.N.Cool wants to see what you can create. Make something only you could imagine, something the world will fear. Paint it on a canvas or scratch it into the tooth of your paper. However you create it, make it dark. Then message it to our Facebook page ( @F.N.COOL ) for consideration in our next publication.