Monday, February 1, 2010

Guest: David Doub

Please welcome writer, David Doub, creator of the DUSK graphic novel about a dark drama in a supernatural underworld.  Today he twists the interview table about and let's us see into the mind of Ash the vampire protagonist of DUSK.  David will give away a copy of DUSK to one lucky commenter, so show him some love (and Ash, too) in the comments! [Winner announced on Wednesday.]

David Doub: Vampires are known for being secretive and mysterious, so how do you feel about your story being told to the general public? And being a comic no less. Would you say it’s an accurate portrayal of the dark life of a bloodsucker?

Ash:  Foremost, I am flattered by your interest. Thank you for having me. Secondly, I can assure you that any ripple made by this interview will be slight and soon forgotten. There are measures in place, you see. As to the tale's accuracy, I would say that it's close enough to reality, but use it as a guide at your own peril. Caveat emptor. 

DD: What do you think of the art of the comic? Is it a good likeness of you?

Ash:  There are different styles, but each captures the necessities, particularly the aspect of my atrophied facial expressions. My face itself has atrophied none of course, but rather the natural urge that causes human beings to tense or relax various muscles for the purpose of conveying emotion has faded greatly. This portrayal, I find the most accurate regarding myself.

DD:  How do you feel about the current portrayal of vampires in popular culture. Does such things flatter or annoy you? Does it make it easier to hunt prey if people think you’re sexy and cool to hang with?

Ash:  The current portrayal of vampires in popular culture... That term is relative to the times, but if I must speak only of the past handful of years, I would say that some of these portrayals are less than flattering. This is ironic considering the utterly monstrous nature of vampires at our core (whether or not we resist). On the whole, it is my opinion that vampires generally belong in either the horror or drama genres if the aim is to imitate the grim truth, and in ways, the latest trend has been along those lines. The vogue of vampirism or that kind of dark danger has always attracted people, and so it does make for easier dining. However, irresistible will or otherworldly charm goes farther, if one must.

DD:  How do you view media and entertainment from your long term viewpoint? Some people say there is only truly a handful of stories and everything else is just variants from those roots? Do you find yourself watching a movie and thinking that it was funnier the first time when Shakespeare did it?

Ash:  From where I stand, metaphorically, media is an entirely different creature now. It has only been within the past few decades that truly massive media movements have been possible. Sometimes it seems as though a bare few individuals or organizations have things down to a science, until some other inexplicable trend surfaces. Mankind has faced similar basic problems since thousands of years before I walked this earth. However, it's arguable that every single variant of any of these basic problems is a new object. In this case, variety is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately for me, I had other concerns at the time than visiting certain productions at The Globe Theatre.

DD:  Do you think there is anything to learn for your story, your experiences? Or do you think you’re just being used as a cheap thrill? Mortals living vicariously through your dark life?

Ash:  I say with no arrogance that much can be learned of my experiences. It is for this reason that I attempt to lend my knowledge to select others, such as Eve. Make no mistake, there is in her the desire for such thrills as you speak, but I prefer to think that she generally takes her situation and the darkness that surrounds her so closely as much more serious than that. Perhaps if I had more time myself, I would instead live vicariously through them.

DD:  Is there anything you’ve learned from stories? Have stories influenced you in any way since your change?

Ash:  Stories. After mankind first began relating facts to one another, the second thing they related were stories. No woman or man has ever escaped the influence of stories. In traditional stories that have withstood the test of time, the lessons I have learned have been broad and philosophical. These types of lessons have served me better than those with minute detail. For instance. The Art of War is not about troop movements and proper siege technique so much as the philosophy and the spirit of conflict. Stories of vampires began simply as tales of the hungry dead, returning to feed upon the living. Whether the stories or the acts came first, I do not know, but this is indeed the case. Blood, or simply the lives of humans on the whole, is what draws us to them. I speculate that we are lacking in stories as well, and they are but one more thing we must take from them to go on.

DD:  How does the appreciation of stories and art change when you are a vampire? Are you too jaded by the passage of time to appreciate a simple love song or a picture of a kitten?

Ash:  I have a modest collection, and it is partly by these things, these expressions of life and passion of humanity that I maintain my tenuous connection to them. I have little time to enjoy them, but I take as consolation that I will likely have time in the future to do so. There are those of us that have no capacity for appreciation of art, or kittens, in any form, but we will not speak of them.

DD:  Do you have a vested interest in how the world turns? Do you have an opinion on current politics and news? Is Obama a socialist?

Ash: I am interested in the state of humanity, and as such I am deeply interested in the turning of the world. My shadowy reflection of what you know as the world alters what thoughts I would have if things were simply as they appeared, but they are not. I much prefer that each man or woman command his or her life and destiny. I consider it an evil to twist minds for selfish ends, and I consider it very distasteful to do it for any reason. You'll have to pardon me if I do not divulge specific interests, as this could cause an undue strain on human resources. Barack Hussein Obama may be a socialist, but if one strips away much of the vestigial details, at core he is simply a misguided idealist like so many others.

DD:  How do you feel about evil vampires like Van Kraken in Dusk? Are they a necessary evil if you would or would you say you’re not exactly good either?

Ash:  I cannot in good conscience say that I am any sort of hero or proper savior. Depending on your information sources, I am not even a protagonist. I have a long road ahead of me toward redemption, a road that may stretch beyond my time here. Despite all of that, there is nothing in this world that requires a Van Kraken. I will oppose him with my last drop of ill-gotten blood and beyond.

DD:  Considering this will be posted on a website for “fans” of vampires, what one thing that you would want to say to them. Advice, warning, suggestion?

Ash:  May it remain ever a fantasy for you. This dark life is not one of good and evil so much as evil and lesser evil. It is not a democracy, and the only rights available are those carved out of flesh and blood. Promotions or advancement are the same, and the only retirement is destruction. If that sounds exciting to you, then consider that every feeding, every night, threatens what makes you a person, your very soul. If at last you are not deterred, then you will be welcome amongst us, for as long as you last.

Thanks Ash!  And David!  
Find David here:
Dusk - One Shot
Dusk Graphic Novel

Here's the blurb for DUSK:
 As a battered wife, Eve's only concern was to keep her marriage together. But when she is kidnapped into the sordid supernatural world of vampires and foul magic, Eve finds she doesn't want to leave. Her mysterious benefactor, the Vampire Lord Ash, wishes her to have a normal life but Eve chooses to stay in the service of Ash. 
Dusk is the story about Eve and her challenges living in the darkness. Dusk is a supernatural action/drama story done in a dynamic blending of the sequential art styles of American Comics and Japanese Manga. Several artists help tell these stark noir tales of Vampires and Unrequited Love. 
100 Pages 10$ Retail B&W Interior Art 


SandyG265 said...

Ash sounds like a really interesting character.

Jen D. said...

Thanks so much for stopping by.

I added this graphic novel on my Wish List after reading a few sample pages a while back.

Please count me in!


Anonymous said...

Well thanks for the first two comments at least :)

Dusk is mainly about the female lead, Eve, but considering her "world" revolves around Ash, he' just as important to the story.

Michele Hauf said...

Sorry about that one post. I usually catch those blog spammers and delete them pretty quickly.

So romance fans would probably like this story, do you think, David? Since the lead character is Eve?

Anonymous said...

Good question. A major part of the story is the relationship between Ash and Eve. You could almost say it's a love story, but as seen through a dark lens. I like to think the relationship is more complex because they're adults. Not to knock other books, but I'm an adult and can relate to such relationships better. Teenage relationships may seem world shattering when your that age, but you get my age, you want a little more to the story than starry eyed infatuation. And I hope that comes out in Dusk.

Michele Hauf said...

David, I hate to tell you this, but you are treading paranormal romance territory. :-) It's all about the dark, adult relationships and the emotion involved in blending two world (vamps and mortals, or whatever pairing you like). Protagonists face real-world issues (or paranormal world problems) together and grow and are changed by the end of the story. Often a splash of horror is mixed in with the romance as well.

But don't worry, we won't tell anyone. ;-)

Anonymous said...

And here I thought I was being clever :)

Alexis Morgan said...

Great interview--I'm always interested in what a character's thoughts are on being the focus of a story. It must be disconcerting for a vampire who lives in the shadows to suddenly find himself shining in the spotlight.

Sounds like a great story--


Bethie said...

Fun interview. Sounds like a great story. I like that this is about adults. The paranormal genre has has some great YA novels as of late. But I would love to read about people more my age. I an intrigued by the story line of the Eve leaving a bad relationship and going to Ash. Congrats on the book. It is now on my wishlist.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I wanted to avoid the stereotypical badass character and have a flawed one. I've learned that for some people there are patterns or cycles of abuse and I wanted to explore that with Eve.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it