Metal Life Interview With Comic Book Writer Daniel Corey
Metal Life Magazine interviewed Daniel Corey, comic book writer for the new series Red City for Image Comics. Red City Vol 1 will be released Dec 3, 2014.
To help introduce you, please give our readers a brief background on you and your writing.
I started writing in live theater, actually. I was a member of a theater group called The New York Acting Ensemble, led by Eugene O’Neill award-winning playwright Ken Eulo. Acting in the theater and being focused on character through-line while performing is what really got me interested in writing. So I started writing and directing my own plays.
From there, I branched out into other media, writing film scripts, even a novella. It was after my wife and I made the move to Los Angeles that I began writing comics. I started my own company, DangerKatt, which would serve as a central hub for all my creative concerns. The description that I gave DangerKatt is: “We create comics and film properties.”
My first book, published under the DangerKatt banner, was called DANGERKATT’S PROPHET. That was a collaboration with artist Anthony Diecidue, who would go on to draw MORIARTY and RED CITY with me at Image Comics. PROPHET would eventually be optioned by James Cotten and Eric Thompson at Outlier, a production company based in Hollywood, who are responsible for franchises such as PERCY JACKSON and TWILIGHT. The PROPHET movie is currently in development.
Right now, I’m happy to be celebrating the release of Image Comics’ RED CITY Vol. I on December 3rd. This edition will collect issues #1-4 of RED CITY, our first storyline. RED CITY is best described as “L.A. Confidential” on Mars: a gumshoe hero, alien gangsters, crooked politicians, femme fatales – all in outer space, in the distant future.
Red City is a new comic from Image Comics that promises to be quite intriguing. What was it like getting to write Red City?
Anything that you get to do for Image Comics feels like a treat, like you got that magic ticket in the chocolate bar. It’s a real blessing.
After working on DANGERKATT’S PROPHET with Anthony, he and I got to work on MORIARTY, which ended up being the first book we would publish with Image Comics. I spent about two years trying to get someone interested in publishing MORIARTY, and finally, the last company I tried, Image Comics (they were going to say no, I just knew it), said they were interested. So we had a wonderful and successful run with MORIARTY at Image, which culminated in the release of the MORIARTY Deluxe Edition Hardcover in the summer of 2013.
While visiting the Image offices in 2011, I was talking to Eric Stephenson, and I said to him, “I’m working on this new project. It’s like Phillip Marlowe on Mars.” To which Eric replied: “That’s cool.” So at that point, the project was approved.
I just had to assemble the team and get things moving. That would take another few years. In fact, the release of RED CITY Vol. I on December 3rd will happen just a little over three years from the time Eric gave me the go-ahead.
I won’t lie: being able to put out a book with Image is a privilege and an honor. I am a very lucky kid.
Who did you work with on Red City?
The best art team you can ask for: Anthony Diecidue on pencil and inks, Chris Fenoglio on color, Dave Lanphear on letters, logo and assembly. Jana Cook is a wonderful designer who helped me greatly by designing and executing all of the new divider and gallery pages for the collected trade. Monica Garcia and Meredith Wallace work for Image, and really put in the effort on design and production. It takes a village!
If you could write for any comic book, past or present, what would it be?
Very interesting question! Nobody has ever asked me that. Like everyone, I love superhero comics, but whereas most comic writers would probably tell you such-and-such run of Avengers or whatnot, I’ll go off the beaten path and give you two DC Vertigo titles: “Human Target” and “Sandman Mystery Theatre.”
I go back and read the Peter Milligan run on “Human Target” often; it’s like a classic DePalma movie in comic form, with psychological twists and turns, doppelgangers, fugue states. It’s dark magic, that book.
The “Sandman” stories just take in everything that I love about classic American crime fiction, and gives you this bookish hero whose super power is to dress up in a trench coat, hat and gas mask and blast people with sleeping gas. It’s so strange, and so captivating. I love it.
What are your thoughts on digital vs print comics?
It’s interesting how everything is shaping up in that arena: several years ago, people were predicting the end of print comics, the end of comic stores. But it turns out that print and digital both have a place in the market. I’m very happy to have both streams of revenue.
Borders Books went under right when MORIARTY was releasing, so I was pretty worried about that. As far as national book chains are concerned, Barnes and Noble is all that is left. I can’t say for a fact that digital sales have made up that gap in the big chain brick-and-mortar marketplace, but it has certainly helped.
The one huge advantage that digital comics have over print is the lack of production overhead. You still have to pay the artist to draw it, but you can skip the printer and go straight to a platform like ComiXology and make your book available. For smaller operations like mine, having that outlet for your product is invaluable.
What do you do with your free time, when you do get those elusive 5 minutes haha?
Five minutes of free time! Wow! When I can, I play guitar and sing. My wife and I will hop the train and explore Downtown Los Angeles. There’s a Laemmle Theatre in our neighborhood, so we’ll walk over and catch an offbeat movie (“Snowpiercer” was a recent pleasant surprise – adapted from a French graphic novel!). I read as often as I can.
Our website focuses on pop culture and heavy metal music. What kind of music are you into and what are your favorite bands/artists?
When it comes to metal, I’d have to say that Rush (I’m counting them as metal) is the band that I identify with. You have to really listen to a Rush song and pick apart the rhythm and structure. Listening to them is like writing a story.
When I’m writing, I listen to more melancholy fare. The music of Daniel Lanois really gets me there. Whether it’s one of his solo albums, or something that he produced for U2 or Peter Gabriel, his work really puts me into a place of spiritual introspection.
Also, film scores, especially the work of Hans Zimmer. The “Dark Knight” scores, “Inception” and “Sherlock Holmes” are a few favorites.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
You can find DANGERKATT’S PROPHET on ComiXology for just $5.99: http://bit.ly/cxprophet.
RED CITY is on ComiXology at http://bit.ly/cxrcity. You can also find RED CITY in your local comic shop, and many fine bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, starting December 16th. You can also get RED CITY in the iBookstore.
You can find the MORIARTY Deluxe Edition at ComiXology at http://bit.ly/cxmorde, and the print edition is available at your local comic shop, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.
Also, I wanted to mention that there is a new MORIARTY short story that will be featured in RED CITY Vol. I, titled MORIARTY: ENDGAME. This story represents some of the best work that I’ve done with Anthony and Dave, and I’m very happy to unleash it on the world.
Give DangerKatt a chance. We won’t bite.
Here is a preview of Red City from Image Comics: