Creator, Publisher, and Editor Adam Watson is the charging force behind Darkslinger Comics. Adam recently sat down with Comicbookinterviews.com publisher John Michael Helmer to discuss the cutting-edge comic book company, its characters, and Darkslinger’s future plans…
JMH: Tell us a bit about Darkslinger Comics. What are its origins?
ADAM: Darkslinger has been in existence since 2005, but I would say it has been running since 2006 as that was the date we released our first printed comic, Ghost Assassin: Prelude. I set it up out of the desire to run my own comic company and to produce quality works that may not otherwise ever see print. Many Indy comic companies seem to be in existence just to publish the work of one person, I set Darkslinger up with a different set of goals in mind. Darkslinger will always be the place for the stories and characters that I create but it also publishes stories and characters created by other writers and artists as well.
JMH: What sets Darkslinger Comics apart from all other Publishers?
ADAM: I would like to think the quality of what we are publishing. We are also not publishing multi-part crossover “event” titles every other week. Just telling the best stories we can with the best artists we can find.
JMH: Tell us a bit about your flagship title and characters.
ADAM: Our flagship title is Ghost Assassin. Ghost Assassin follows hitman-for-hire David and his best friend, Todd. Todd just happens to be dead. Basically, David is a hitman that is capable of seeing ghosts and has long ago lost his trust in the living. The story will be told through a series of one-shots and miniseries, with the occasional original graphic novel thrown in for good measure. The stories will occasionally feature David’s past as opposed to his present, so that I can better tell the full story of his life. We currently have 4 issues of Ghost Assassin in print: Prelude, Origin, Ghost Assassin/Johnny Vega (a crossover with Black Box Comix) and Mercy. We are currently working on reprinting Prelude and Origin into one issue as “The Beginning of The End” and have our next issue, “In The Cards” fully penciled. I write the scripts for this series and currently features art by Joel Cotejar.
JMH: Can you give us a sneak peek into one of your other titles and characters?
ADAM: I can give you a peek into a few of our titles:
Chronicles Of Van Helsing: This book is a series of 5-6 issue volumes that will then be collected into Trade Paperback form. It features the story of the Van Helsing Clan as they wage their never-ending war against vampire kind. Issues #1-4 of Volume 1 are currently available. Volume 1 features the present Van Helsings: Jeanie-Marie, Robert and Ezequil. Ezequil and Robert are twins, Jeanie-Marie is their grandmother. This issue is written by me with art by Stefano Cardoselli and Tony Morgan.
The Principalities: This title is about a group of Angels, led by the archangel Gabriel, who are attempting to stop Lucifer and Emmanuel (The Antichrist) from kick-starting the end of the world. We currently have 1 issue completed, issue #2 is currently being colored. In addition, The Principalities also features 7 page “The Piper” back-up segments which tell the story of The Pied Piper’s flute in a distant future. Both of these stories are written by me. Randy Valiente is currently doing the art chores for Principalities while Guillermo Ullman does the art for The Piper.
El Bovine Muerte: This is our once a week updated webcomic that can be found at: www.darkslinger.com/elbovinemuerte EBM tells the story of Le Mime, an insane, megalomaniac mime that has created the world’s most perfect cheese. In order to achieve the perfect cheese, he had to create a new type of cow that the scientists at his facility have nicknamed “Muerte”. Muerte’s cheese is so delicious that it creates an unexpected side effect: it leaves your mind temporarily erased. The Swedish Government immediately kidnaps Muerte in an attempt to use her in a world conquering scheme. EBM is currently on issue #3. I do the writing for this series while Paul Johnson is on art chores.
100 Points Of Hate: This is a 3 issue mini-series by Stefano Cardoselli and Rita Gorgoni with letters by me. The story centers around a new designer drug hitting the marketplace that makes the user near indestructible while simultaneously making them insane.
Who Will Save The World?: This is a 52 Page color one-shot by Stefano Cardoselli and Rita Gorgoni with letters by myself. It takes place during World War 1 and deals with the Germans getting their hands on “The Green Plague” which is a bio weapon that turns their soldiers into undead killing machines. They are basically zombies, but zombies that still act like soldiers. In a matter of days the Germans wipe out Italy and France and are now headed towards England. England calls on the US for help, but will their help be enough to save the world?
The Pauper: The Pauper was the first comic ever completed by Darkslinger Comics, but I wasn’t happy with the final result. It had more to do with my early writing than anything else. The story is a sort of Machiavellian style superhero tale that centers around an aged ex-military alcoholic that just wants to do some good in the world. I am currently re-writing the whole thing and we are on the lookout for a new penciler for the series.
JMH: How are your books going to be released? Print, digital, or both? Why?
ADAM: We have been releasing our books both digitally and in print. We do both to capture the largest audience possible. If digital can allow us to reach even 5 new fans that print could not then it is worth the time and effort. We are currently set up with Comics Drivethru, My Digital Comics and Graphicly.
JMH: Who are some of the talent Darkslinger Comics is bringing to readers in the future?
We will continue to work with Joel Cotejar (Ghost Assassin), Tony Morgan (Chronicles of Van Helsing), Stefano Cardoselli (Chronicles of Van Helsing, Who Will Save The World?, 100 Points of Hate), Marco Roblin (Diary of A Dead Man), Paul Johnson (El Bovine Muerte) and Guillermo Ullman (The Piper) for as long as they will work with us. There are several other new talents that we have found this year that we are dying to work with, but can’t discuss any of that just yet.
JMH: What are your job duties at Darkslinger?
ADAM: I write the strong majority of everything we publish. In addition I letter most of the comics as well. I am the head boss, so if anyone needs a final answer on anything I am who they come to. I do a lot of the marketing and sales and occasionally get stuck with the print running if I can’t talk someone else into doing it.
JMH: How long have you been editing comics?
ADAM: I used to edit all of the Darkslinger titles, but haven’t edited hardly any of them since 2010 when Katheryn Meyers came on board. She is now the full time editor at Darkslinger Comics and knows her job well enough that I no longer need to be involved in the process. I still pitch in occasionally and have done freelance editing for my friends at WarriorInnKeeper Comics and Black Box Comix. I don’t really have a desire to make a habit out of that though, those were more of a helping a friend out sort of thing.
JMH: Talk about your experience in the industry…
ADAM: I have been in the industry in some fashion since I was 17 years old when I opened up my first business, an online comics retail specialty shop. I have been a publisher since 2006 with the publication of Ghost Assassin and have continued to do comics retail as well. To date I have worked with about 30-40 different creators and have been an exhibitor/vendor at well over 200 comic conventions. I have published or been involved in the publishing of around 20 comics.
JMH: Print vs. Digital. What are your thoughts?
ADAM: My thoughts are that it is not a versus sort of a thing. There are always going to be people who love the feeling of holding a printed comic. I am one of those. I think the biggest advantage that Digital can give you is that it can introduce your product to a much larger base of people for a fraction of the cost. I don’t think that digital will ever replace print, but I don’t think it should be viewed that way either. Like Graphic Novels, it is just another format for getting your comics out there.
JMH: How do fans and publishers get a hold you or any other creators at Darkslinger?
ADAM: There are several ways to reach us, they can do it through e-mail (fan letters/questions go to email@example.com while orders for our comics should go to firstname.lastname@example.org), our Facebook page, we have a Twitter account (@darkslinger), we have fan pages on facebook set up for Ghost Assassin, Chronicles of Van Helsing, El Bovine Muerte and Darkslinger/Azurek. I have a google+ page, currently trying to figure out how to set up a fan page on there for Darkslinger and we still have an active Myspace account if people still actually use that site. In addition, if you go to conventions in the United States it is a good bet that you might see us roll through your area in the next year or so. We do a lot of conventions.
JMH: Anything else you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered yet?
ADAM: We are currently doing a Kickstarter project for Who Will Save The World? If you would like to visit the page, please go to:
JMH: Pitch Darkslinger Comics to the readers! In 10 words, tell us why Darkslinger Comics books are a must buy…
ADAM: Just look at the quality of what we are producing!
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