Dwight was kind enough to subject himself to my interview which consisted of seven questions that he was nice enough to reply to. I bring this up because this is the first interview we have conducted for the blog and as we continue to try and do more in the future, Lee, Gwen and I will be all learning the best way to do this to make them as fun and as insightful as possible.
Jim: Okay so you were a medical specialist in the army and now are back finishing school (from reading your profile) and fast becoming a "rising star" writer in comics. Not exactly a normal writer's path. How did you get into writing and comics writing specifically?
Dwight: Well, I've been a writer as long as I can remember. My travel journal was published in the Ottawa Citizen when I was 10 and I've been writing ever since. I basically grew up with a pencil and a pad of paper, writing every chance I got. And if I wasn't writing, I was reading. I decided to write a comic book while stationed at Camp Casey, Korea. I had been toying with the idea of writing a historical fiction novel about pirates for some time, but after reading a friend's comics his wife sent to him from the states--you couldn't get American comics in Korea--I decided to write it up as a comic book. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Jim: When writing are you doing full scripts or "marvel" style or an amalgamation depending on the project/artist, etc.?
Dwight: I've been told by a couple producers that my scripts read like "shooting scripts." That is, the scripts directors work from when shooting a film. I am a visual thinker, so I write shot selections into each panel description. I've seen the Marvel style, but I have a definite vision when I'm writing my scripts. I don't feel that I could effectively relay my vision by taking the minimalist approach. The way I write is much more work, but in the end, I get to see what I envisioned on the page. That's extremely important to me. That's not to say that I couldn't write in that format. If I were to actually get some work at Marvel, I'd happily conform to their standard. [laughs] Another thing I include in each panel description is visual references. After each panel description, I paste several links to images that will help the artist see what envision in my mind's eye. Feedback from artists on this practice has been overwhelmingly positive. They appreciate me going the extra mile to help them out--and I am happy because it helps them visualize what I'm after.
Jim: Archibald is based on characters by Grant Bond. How do you end being the writer on Archibald?
Dwight: Grant and I have known each other for a couple years. When we first "met," he was illustrating "Revere" for Alias and I was writing "Dead Men Tell No Tales" at Arcana Studio. I asked him for a cover and he wasn't able to do it. After that first e-mail we stayed in touch and bounced ideas off one another. When he asked me to write "Archibald Saves Christmas," I jumped at the opportunity.
Jim: Do you plan this to be series of one shots for Archibald and all "holiday" books or are you just going to go with what feels right?
Dwight: It will indeed be a series of holiday one-shots. Grant and I are pretty busy with other projects, but we thought it would be fun to get a few Archibald tales out there. The holidays simply give us an excuse to put a book together... together. [laughs]
Jim: So what new projects are on the horizon?
Dwight: I'm getting ready to launch "Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits" on Halloween. This Halloween marks the 81st anniversary of Houdini's death, so this is a very special event to me. Readers can check it out on October 31st, only at The Chemistry Set: www.chemsetcomics.com. Beyond that, I have a story in the upcoming "Gene Simmons House of Horrors" Issue 3, and several other projects in various stages of development. Lots and lots of stuff.
Jim: Would you ever want to work on company owned characters? If yes who and why?
Dwight: Absolutely. The obvious reason is a steady income. [laughs]Seriously, though... I would love to work for either DC or Marvel. They each have so many wonderful characters with rich histories that it would be a blast to tackle any of their iconic super guys and gals that I grew up reading about. I mean... what could possibly be cooler than writing the DC and Marvel heroes? I can't think of anything I'd rather do. As far as who, it really doesn't matter to me. I'll write the hell out of whoever they give me. I'll admit that I'm partial to Hulk, Swamp Thing, Batman and Captain America... but I would gladly write anyone for the Big Two.
Jim: Do you have a "dream project"?
Dwight: To be quite honest, I just want to get a chance to write for one--or both--of the Big Two. If I can get a break--whichever book it may be-- that will be my dream project. I just want a shot to show the Big Boys what I can do. If I had to choose one... I'd love to do a Swamp Thing relaunch with Steve Bissette and John Totleben. Steve's not working in the states anymore, but I'd love a shot at the book that really caused me to fall in love with comics with the artists who I think "got" Swamp Thing the best. I mean... I love Wrightson's work on Swampie, but Bissette's and Totleben's art on the title is paramount, in my humble opinion.
The style of the interview was seven questions given to Dwight and his replies. This does not allow for a lot of back and forth, but hopefully keeps the interview focused.
Dwight thanks again for your time. I have given away copies of Edgar Allan Poo and loaned my copy out and everyone that has read the book has come away loving the book and also wanting to revisit or look into Edgar Allan Poo's work.
I personally will continue to seek out Dwight's work and would love to see him doing a Swamp Thing or a Hulk series.