“Graphic Tales” Reviews Ghost Zero
Interview with Dave Flora
by Lillian Hawkins [LilyHawk]
After reading about you, and poking around online, I am terribly curious to confirm what is your mystery “day job”? (I’m guessing you are a professor 😉
[Dave Flora] (I’ll skip the “well, I’d be forced to kill you” line.) Actually, though I have taught a few classes, I’m not a professor. My job title is “Training Coordinator for the Distance Learning Office” at my university. What that boils down to is: I train faculty on the use of various technologies so that they can be effective at delivering online courses. I really enjoy helping people, and I have no problem with public speaking, so this is right up my alley.
author Dave Flora
(Author Dave Flora)
With all of the media attention on Freemasons as of late, do you get any unusual or negative attention because you are an active Freemason? What kind of inspiration and ideas do you draw from your experience as a Freemason?
I live in a rural, small-town area of Kentucky, so while the people here are great, they are pretty distrusting. I’ve had comments about Freemasonry being a “cult”, and some strange glances, but really the positive connections have outweighed by far any bad experiences. In fact, the media attention that Masonry has gotten has actually made people more curious as to what it’s all about. I’m very proud to tell them whatever I can..which is quite a bit. There are only some parts that I can’t disclose…more because I promised not to, than they were ‘secrets that must be kept’. As far as the impact Freemasonry has on my work, it really drives home the point that things are not usually what they seem. I mean, this old country guy in worn clothes pumping gas into his car may be on his way to his Lodge where he may don the robes of a long-dead king and recite a biblical verse during an initiation. I love the contradictions that seem inherent in people’s lives. There’s nobility or horror in places you wouldn’t expect.
You have been a freelance illustrator and done quite a few magazines and RPG games some years ago. Can you tell me more about some of the things you created? What magazines and games did your work appear in?
Well, I was first published in a short-lived pen-and-paper RPG magazine called “The Familiar”. They had seen my portfolio at a convention. Curiously, I got my first job because the artist that was illustrating an article killed himself before finishing and I was called in. Quite a tragic way to get your first work published! I did some pin-up illustrations in some Indy comics, did interior art for the “Middle Earth” RPG by Iron Crown Enterprises, and a bunch of others that were around in the early 1990’s that aren’t anymore. It was a great experience as an artist…my first work with deadlines….but not much money, so I put it all on the back burner and focused on my education and getting full-time work.
I noticed that at one time you were trying out a piece of software called “Comic Life”, are you still using it? As I have worked closely with a lot of digital artists, I’m curious if you have a preference of mediums between pen and ink versus digital? Do you see a trend towards digital happening with comic book illustrators?
I do use Comic Life, and though it’s not perfect, it’s a great piece of software. I’m a big proponent of using whatever tool you need to get the art where it needs to be. I’ll always start on paper with ink and markers, but then I’ll scan it into Photoshop and use it as almost a raw material….cutting, moving, adjusting, layering, etc. The digital toolbox has really changed the shape of creating and publishing art…not just making it faster, but making tools accessible to artists that never were before. The versatility that is available to creators now as opposed to 10 years ago is boggling!
The REVENANT, Ghosts with Guns, Garage Kit The REVENANT, Ghosts with Guns, Official Release The REVENANT, Ghosts with Guns in…CHILLING COLOR
I discovered your Revenant character in the GZ archives and enjoyed watching the progression and evolution of the story. Then I stumbled up the really cool sculpture of Revenant done by Eric Nocella Diaz. The progression of the character and the sculpture was fun to put together. Are the sculptures still available? Where can the entire collection of all your Revenant comics be located?
Eric Nocella Diaz is almost a mentor to me in comics. Not only is he an incredibly talented artist and sculptor, but he’s been involved in independent comics for years. I had no idea that sending him an email out of the blue to ask about a sculpture would have formed the relationship we have now…it’s one of the magical things about making indy comics. Yes, we do sell the bust as a resin kit for $65 or fully painted and assembled for $150. Anyone who is interested, can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I started putting my webcomic, called “Tales of the Revenant” then, on Drunkduck.com in January of 2007, and you can still see it there from the start at http://www.drunkduck.com/Tales_of_the_Revenant/
I have to admit I was oddly disappointed to see the change of names from Revenant to Ghost Zero. After reading through all the archives and seeing the sculpture I was quickly developing an affinity for the name. I also saw the following you had developed. Why did you decide to change the name? Tell me about “Ghost Zero”. What’s the inspiration behind the new name?
Ah yes. That was a big decision indeed. The impetus for changing the name was that Image was launching a book called “Revenant”, and I didn’t want any reader to be confused. So, I decided to come up with a more unique name for the character. The name had to fit several categories:
(1) It had to be something that a 14-year old boy would come up with in 1947.
(2) It had to have a classic “pulp” feel to it to fit the character.
(3) It had to hold up over several years….the story with Eddie goes from 1947 to 1968.
So, I chose Ghost Zero. Actually, the name will have a very interesting meaning as the story arc develops.
You seem to have developed quite a pulp following judging from all the Revenant fan art. Can we look forward to seeing Revenant in “Ghosts with Guns” coming out later this month? What can we expect to see in your new book?
Yes indeed. The “Ghosts with Guns” book is nearly complete…we’re just waiting for a couple more pin-ups from a couple of really talented guys. It’s really exciting. GwG will be a re-work of the webcomic stories with professional lettering put into place by Anthony Schiavino, sketch pages, pin-ups, and brand new-never seen before GZ art! The design and style of the book is really breath-taking and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s a visual cross between a 1930’s pulp magazine and a classic, 1950’s horror film.
Ghost Zero, Curse of the Murder Machine
Curse of the Murder Machine
Also, I’ve begun work on the first 3-comic story arc for GZ called “Escape from the Vigilante Crypt”, which is the origin story of the character. The arc should be complete in mid 2009 (as I can only work on it part-time), but I’m considering releasing each page as a webcomic as I create them. I’m also writing the first GZ novel called “Curse of the Murder Machine”, which I hope to have complete and ready for publishing by the end of the year. It looks like 2008 is going to be great.)
Ghost Zero, Sea of the Dead, Panel 3 Ghost Zero Cover Ghost Zero, Fleshless Legion, Pg. 8
When is it coming out and where can we get it?
Well, the book is nearly complete now, and should be finished in another week or so and ready to go to the publisher. I’m using Ka-Blam, a Print-on-Demand publisher, so the comic will be available directly through me, as well as their Indyplanet site. I would also like to have an electronic version up on Wowio as well. I’ll have official press announcements on the Ghost Zero Blog at http://ghost0zero.com .