PRIMAL WORDS

An interview with David Quinn

Conducted by Chris Owen and Ian Jane

 David was gracious enough to take some time out of his busy schedule at the 1999 Chicago Comic Con this year to have a coffee with Chris and give us some insight as to how the mind of the writer behind such books as Faust, Nightvision, 777: The Wrath and Luna, works when off the printed page. The rest of the interview was completed through email with David and myself.

 

C: Hi David, how’re you?

D: Doing well, thanks for being here.

C: The first book I remember reading from you was Omen #1 from Northstar. Did you work on anything before this? How was Northstar to work for?

D: My work before Omen was exclusively for prose and stage, meaning playwriting and music, and musical performance.  So, it wasn’t until after I met Tim Vigil at a comic store in Brooklyn and we had a good conversation that he asked me to help him with his “Omen,” which he’d already started, that I even thought seriously about writing for comics.

C: Now, did you do any comic writing before that or was this your first time?

D: First time.

C: ….and how was Northstar to work for?

D:  From the Northstar debacle, I learned something about the business. They were fine to work for and then they became very bad to work for.  (Chris laughs) I got a quick “off the cuff, on the fly, learn while you get burned” sort of graduate degree in micro-business.

C: Is this sort of typical for the industry though?

D: I hope not. (Chris laughs)

C: Omen #1 was also the first of your many collaborations with artist Tim Vigil. You guys have done a lot of work together on Faust and 777 as well as some other projects. Do you think being so closely associated with one specific artist makes other artists a little more intimidated to work with you?

D: Yes, Tim and I have been working together for eleven years without a break—but sometimes we take our time and every issue appears a reunion.  Do I think that partnership makes other artists a little more intimidated to work with me?  I’ve never really noticed it that way. It’s an interesting question, maybe. But nothing that I’ve seen has made me feel that they’ve been intimidated to work with me because of my work with Vigil. I’ll tell you one interesting story.  When I worked on one of the many Purgatori books for Chaos, the artist—whose work I dug, by the way—delivered a porno style gooey cum shot on Purgatori’s face where my script had indicated blood-smeared kiss marks.  After laughing out loud when an excited Brian Pulido showed it to me, I got it.  The artist must’ve been trying to impress me that he could play in the Quinn/Vigil/Faust dark, threatening violence disguised as sex zone.  Purgatori; The Dracula Gambit” was the title.  I got to introduce a new late 90s Godfather of Vamps.  If you check it out, you see that the semen got changed back to serum electronically.  Sorry, facial fans.

I: That’s what was changed in it? Most of the Chaos stuff isn’t too harsh, he had to know the limits that they’ve got there.

D:  When I came on to Chaos!, the word was “safe scary.”  That book was scripted to be For Mature Readers, but I think the label didn’t print.  The editorial strategy changed radically about every three months during the two years or so I wrote for Chaos!.  We went through “safe scary mature” to “all ages safe scary” to “horror heroes with altar egos ala The Darkness” and back to “safe scary mature.”  And now they’re on to “Comics are Wrestling.”  Spin the dial.

C: While we’re on the topic, have you had a lot of problems with books being changed and is this one of the reasons why you like to stick with independent publishers?

D: If you’re asking about books being changed for censorship, [C: Sorry, I meant more of an editorial sort of change] Ok, ummm… the only problem with that is sometimes, you know, I don’t mean to slight any one individual but sometimes the editors aren’t really trained.  They really don’t have much experience, they could’ve just been an intern who just showed up and graduated to an editor without ever really doing much work in story telling or, for that matter, art, or for that matter, communicating with human beings. You know, they just sort of get promoted to slogging their way through bigger things.  So the only problem is you can sometimes end up seeing your work changed by someone without the skill to do it.  Also, the first thing a good editor will do is enlist the writer to solve any legit problem.  But that takes more time, and more maturity and skill in communications, than the average undertrained, underpaid, on-a-deadline editor has.  Don’t forget, on one of my creations, I insist no one change my work—if something needs to be changed, I’ll change it.  But work for hire, I don’t even try to reserve that right.  Some of the work for hire situations that I’ve worked in, I’m doing some work quickly, for the money, because I need some books that retailers will order, and the company needs them quickly because they’re in trouble.  Someone might change something and I might grumble, “Well, it’s become rather generic and stupid and I’d rather not have to work that way again.”  But I took the job and I cashed the check, so I try to be responsible.  I also have some interesting stories about things that were not changed on me:  two of my most subversive superhero stories were drawn and lettered exactly as I typed them.  One was The New Exiles 6:  “The Birthday Party,” an allegory about the death of heroism at Marvel, published by Marvel, and “Carnage:  It’s a Wonderful Life,” probably the last Mature Marvel title you will see any time soon.

I: What about on the retail level? I know when Faust first appeared, first of all I wasn’t 18 and shouldn’t have been buying it, however, being mature for my age (haha!) I picked it up and ‘got it.’ However, the other comic store in town at the time, wouldn’t sell it or stock it or even special order it for any of his customers, claiming it was “pornography of the worst kind.” Have you had this happen before that you know of?

D:  Well, Ian, you know why this happens.  Our work in comics is the cause of all that is wrong out there in the world.  You thought is was rap music and video games that made all those schoolchildren kill each other?  Hey, I am being sarcastic here, you assholes who don’t want anyone to enjoy what they themselves can’t enjoy.  Fortunately, all the wrong people are seeing the wicked satire in the South Park movie, where children are ignored and even endangered by “crusading” adults.  Fuck me, this is a boring conversation, because the liberty-challenged (to coin a PC phrase) just don’t fucking learn to leave what they don’t understand alone.

So, just back-tracking a bit here, most of your work has been published through the independent publishers, but you've done a fair amount of work for the majors, specifically Marvel, your first work there being a two-year run on Dr. Strange. You've also gone on to describe Marvel as an old lover you keep going back to. Why is this? How did you find your time there, and will you go back?

D: Actually I think I said “An abusive lover you just can’t leave…” (Chris laughs some more) “because you remember how wonderful they were when they loved you.”  Truth is, “true believers,” I can’t leave. I do go back and I offer them proposals.  Not as many, obviously, as when I was doing Strange and when I was doing one or two books a month for them, but still I get an idea for one of those characters from my childhood and I want to do it.  Or I have a relationship with an editor there still and we talk about doing something so I get in it. The last thing I wrote for Marvel was some short stories for a book called “Amazing Adult Fantasy” which was on the schedule at the same time where some, umm… I don’t know how to tell the story specifically, maybe the people reading this interview know the example better than I do. Anyway, I forget, Warren Ellis could tell you. There was sort of a non-line of mature comics coming out from Marvel and then someone made a very loud but minority fuss over finding some inappropriate material, material inappropriate for children, sold in a Marvel pack in some Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Shit-Mart store and umm… the result was “No adult books” so “Amazing Adult Fantasy” never happened but you know, they ask me for a proposal or I get an idea, I give them one. I work in the mainstream with Top Cow, certainly, my Chaos! work I consider mainstream…

C: Well, these companies certainly are mainstream these days… Why did you and Vigil bring your creations to Avatar Press rather than continue in the self publishing market with Rebel Studios?

D: I guess because William Christensen invited us.  He set off to build the home for adult comics that didn’t insult your intelligence--how could he do it without those old bad boys who had set off a whole sub-genre, you know, like the Mick and Keith of comics?  I am being glib here, a bit, but the timing was right.  Tim and I wanted to play with color and monthly publication, no restrictions except the ones we set ourselves.  William needed content.  The works that we brought to Avatar were works that we wanted to create on a monthly basis. Monthly, mini-series, the focus was to experiment with simpler story-telling styles… to keep our work out there, to keep it alive, to keep it present.  In case you haven’t noticed, it’s more of a challenge to make a living now as a fulltime comics pro than it was when we could sell 50, 000 copies of Faust and not have to hurry every issue out.

C: So, what do you think about the state of the industry these days?

D: <pregnant pause> My focus has been to get the most artistic satisfaction and make a modest living by doing stuff that’s owned and controlled by me and my illustrators…. Some of my illustrators, excluding Vigil, haven’t met commitments so I don’t have as much presence as I could.  But I’m doing something about that.

C: You're also fairly well known for your creator owned character Blythe, from the Nightvision series. In a genre that already has a lot of vampire characters, you managed to bring a refreshingly different spin on the genre to your character. Where did the idea for this come from, where did you draw you inspiration from?

D: I got a lot of inspiration from fashion and music scene and theater scene people in New York and other cities that I’ve lived or traveled in or through. I got some inspiration through people I met in comic conventions. A whole lot of the inspiration comes from the whole drawings of Hannibal King. He showed me the character when we first met and developed, with me, her world.  But Blythe was always meant to appeal to people who were sick of vampires.  I flopped the subtext for the text.  You know, usually vampirism is treated as a metaphor for taboo sexuality.  In Blythe’s world, the taboo sexuality is the metaphor for everything else, leaving me free to tell stories where the sex is in your face, but the story can be about responsibility, communication, dedication, discovery, denial—you know, real life.  I would love it if Blythe had a more mainstream audience, so I am hoping the film option yields an actual movie.

C: When you say your inspiration comes from people at comic conventions were you referring to some of the scantily clad women walking around in costumes or is that something totally different?

D: (Laughs) Oh I forgot all about them… for a second.

C: Faust is currently in pre-production for a feature film by Brian Yuzna. How big a role did you and Tim play in the production of the movie, and how close is it going to be to the comic?

D: We are the original architects of everything.  On the other hand, it’s Brian Yuzna’s movie.  He’s making it, period.  To make a short story long:  I wrote the script and it’s based on a simplified version of Faust: Love of the Damned or Faust: Acts 1-13. Tim Vigil got a chance to read the script and work with me on it. Tim Vigil also got a chance to talk to Brian about the design and was able to direct Brian towards certain looks and styles from the book.  I know that Brian is a fan of the book. He had initially read the script and had never seen the comic.   Brian “gets” classic Faust in a modern, psycho-sexual setting.  He knew he wanted to do it.  Then he read the comics. 

C: Do you think there would be a problem with having a director who’s not directly associated with the comic book industry and is not necessarily as familiar with the comic book industry as other directors?

D: I don’t know, I … comic book movies, to generalize, have sucked so uh, it’s hard to know where to begin to put the responsibility for that… maybe, maybe they should just not think of it as a comic book movie but as a movie. Another good thing about Brian…. I’m telling you all the good things because I’m really hoping he can pull this off.  He knows he doesn’t have the budget to do anything as visually explosive as “Armageddon” or “Star Wars” so why not concentrate on the story?  I’m really hoping that he gets good actors.  They won’t be the most famous names but they’ll be real actors, really willing to give and risk themselves inside these characters.  Whoever plays Jade will become famous from this movie if she’s brave enough.  I can’t think of another woman’s role like this.  She conforms to, then shatters, every role women are expected to play in our social myth.

C: Well, I think first and foremost, movies need stories behind them rather than any kind of visual aspect.

D: Otherwise, you end up with movies that lie to you like “Batman” or “8MM” (laughs).  Want to see a brave movie?  Rent “The Savior,” with Dennis Quaid.  My friend Lee Nordling at Platinum Studios recommended it to me and I am passing it on.

C: The comic is pretty intense, with a lot of sexually graphic and violent scenes. How much do you think the movie is going to be toned done for the big screen?

D: The movie was always written to get an R rating. You know that most people who write for an R rating, you know they’re pushing it, they know some edits will have to be made, I don’t know, I don’t know what else I can tell you…

C: Besides Goethe, where did the inspiration for Faust come from?

D: New York City…

C: That’s very fitting, for some reason (laughs)

I: Why New York? There has to be a reason that that is the first thing you say, without hesitation, when asked that question…..

D:  I had been writing seriously a couple of years in college, but I learned to write in NYC.  I think I also learned to see there.  And to love.  And to hate.  I don’t know. If I could define it, I wouldn’t have needed to create a life where I would end up meeting Vigil and co-create Faust!  NYC means rhythm, madness, creativity, selling your soul—that was where I lived, the highest highs and the lowest lows, 24/7.  Now I go and get confused for a tourist, but I walk fast, submerge into the city, and love it. 

C: Anyone who has carefully read an issue of Faust will know that the story is there on many levels and that you have to involve yourself in it to fully grasp everything that is going on in it. Yet a lot of ill informed people will dismiss it as gratuitous sex and violence simply for shock value. How do you respond to accusations like this?

D: I take this seriously. I’m a responsible person as an artist. I don’t think I write “cookbooks for cannibals” or  “how-to guides for rapists” or even “pamphlets for correcting sex offenders by surgery.”  Yet I know there are people out there who want to promote their agenda that dramatizing these crimes on paper is a crime. You can’t win when you respond, because the politicians who assert control in the name of morality aren’t interested in true dialogue.  An outspoken comics retailer brought up Faust as the number one bad example of irresponsible free speech.  I’d just like to say to him, and others like him, “I’m sorry you feel that way, and I understand you don’t want to sell my book.  I’m sorry if my fiction reminds you of your own pain.  But guess what—the world is not out to get you.  So let’s just leave each other be.”

C: You wrote three issues of Razor for London Night and since Avatar has taken control of the character and you are slated to write it, what direction do you plan on taking the character in?

D: We’ll have to talk about that later…

C: Oh, alright then, secrets I take it then, eh?

D:  I can tell you that I want to take what’s quintessentially true about Razor and make some departures that are fun.  Razor’s interesting because she’s my bastard child, sort of.  Everette Hartsoe would tell you himself;  Razor is Faust/Crow and … whatshername? Aeon Flux mashed all together.

C: Sounds fun, I can’t wait! Do you read a lot of new comics? A lot of creators don't bother to read the new releases, which creators and titles do you follow?

D: Lately I’m reading novels, research materials, and screenplays—going to school, right?  I guess I follow the creators.  I know I probably wouldn’t have tried Transmetropolitan or Preacher if not for having read other things from those writers (Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis) that were very interesting. I mean, a lot of what’s in Vertigo these days seems stale to me.  The fact that they’re still working with Warren and he’s still got a spark in what he’s doing there, that’s exciting. I look at almost anything. It’s like, every two weeks I go through the comic shop and glance through all sorts of things. I was asked to submit a proposal for Thor the last reboot.  Likewise, for the Hulk, so I had to say, “Whoa, what’s the Hulk been doing since I read it, it’s been a while.” So, I’m looking at it all the time.

C: So, do you sometimes feel flattered that people ask you to write proposals for these mainstream characters when you’re in sort of a non-mainstream company like Avatar that is somewhat less-known?

D: Well, actually, they should ask more often! <laughs> That sounds really pompous, David, you’re going to come off, in black and white, on the web screen as being a big asshole! You know, maybe it’d be good for them, to say, “Hey, no one’s doing anything with the Doom Patrol, let’s give it to Quinn!” <laughs>

I:  Seriously, you mention Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis, both closely associated with Vertigo. I was on the DC Comics forum a few weeks ago and your name was mentioned a couple of times as someone that the fans would like to see write a short story for the Vertigo anthology, Flinch.  Any plans to put out any material for Vertigo? It almost would seem like a natural imprint for your style.

D:  Editor(s) Karen Berger, who recommended me for my first DC book, at Piranha in 1989, and later, Axel Alonso and Alisa Kwitney all worked with me on proposals that went nowhere…  or were moving so slowly that I forgot about them.  Vertigo readers, bless them, seem more interested in seeing me work there than the people in the Time Warner Tower.  So someone send ‘em a wake-up call and I’ll work my ass off on a little tale that redeems me from that snotty interview in Ian’s rag where I called their shit stale.

C: How do you feel about the fact that despite creating some of the best and well known independent comics of the last 15 years, a lot of your work is largely ignored by the mainstream press?

D: Fuck you. <Chris laughs, David doesn’t>

I: Well, you know how I feel about the mainstream comics press, but can you elaborate on this a bit? I mean, a few years ago, you were writing a column for Wizard and know most of your books aren’t even in their shitty price guide.

D:  Wizard had me at its convention, treated me great, and wrote me a letter afterwards thanking me for my time.  But there are times I regret that Wizard, which does a fair job writing down to undeveloped adolescent boys of all ages, was not the arbiter of taste for medium.  So I love good Wizard and hate evil (or just plain dumb) Wizard and go out and try to find some real readers.  Maybe I was just being cute when I said fuck you, but it was what came to mind, first, in a Rorschach style.  Seriously, though, I am not trying to limit myself,  I am actively trying to be a sharper and more effective storyteller all the time.  I may not ever manage to be mainstream, and deep down, I may not really respect a lot of the mainstream, but I do try to widen my niche.

C:  You've also done a lot of work for Chaos, scripting both Lady Death and Purgatori. How did you enjoy working within the Chaos universe?

D: I’m still alive to laugh about it.

C: No swearing at Chaos then? <laughs>

D: Nah, they’re friends…

I: I’ve met Pulido before, he’s a pretty nice guy. Will you be returning to the Chaos universe anytime in the near future, or have you said all you need to say with their characters.

D:  Brian and I threatened to work together again.  It would take the right project at the right time.  He brought me in because he respected what I had done, we got along personally, and we had fun.  He was always generous in his praise for my contribution to his company.  And, all that aside, a lot of his readers were never going to enjoy me on those characters as much as they enjoy him.  Knowing that I was not the perfect fit, you know, I sort of stuck out like a punk rocker at a heavy metal concert, I offered him some creator-owned projects where I could do my own thing and build Chaos! that way.  But Brian didn’t want to lose the focus on what had worked so well for him

C:  A lot of your work contains religious themes and overtones. What are your own religious beliefs and how does religion affect your work?

D: Oh, that’s a great question. I wrote an essay recently, which will probably show up on the online forum which has a link to this page.  I wrote that stories should appeal to mind, body, and spirit, or if the word spirit makes you feel like you just got your flesh caught in a zipper, then the primal.  Spirituality is core in creativity, in my relationship with my wife, who’s also a spiritual person and an artist.  I feel… alienated by dogma and those who use the church for their own human weaknesses—mostly trying to control people and blind themselves.  Yet I see myself as a Christian and also embrace what I think is healthy and loving and strong and creative about all faith that I’ve encountered. I haven’t really met one that I haven’t liked, as far as their philosophy and explorations--it’s just church people that can bug the shit out of me.

C: Do you think that a lot of the philosophies, at the core, are essentially the same?

D:  What they’re all trying to describe us the invisible and the unknowable and the untouchable and unseen in terms of things that can be handled and felt and touched and organized and classified and politicized.  An impossibility.  That and storytelling make up our design for living.  Actually, since my recent trip to Tuscany, I have been trying to adopt the point of view of a 21st century Leonardo Da Vinci, to celebrate life with kindness, contribution, art, the senses, and curiosity driven discovery.  That’s my current model of Christianity, and I guess it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Churches or Christ, except that Da Vinci did a lot to inspire us.  As you can see, I am thinking a lot about this, and not coming to any sound-bytes for conclusions.  It’s an inquiry.

C: Do you consider a any of your work, Faust in particular, blasphemous or offensive to the general fandom populace?

D: Maybe to fandom, but not to God, I think God has a sense of humor.

C: I think he must or we wouldn’t have comic conventions.

D: Good point.

I: I’m curious if you had any kind of religious upbringing at all. Did you go to Sunday school as a kid or go to church regularly with your family? I don’t even know why I’m asking this, but I feel that religion makes a big difference in  and helps form people’s lives, especially at an early age.

D:  I visited many churches.  I studied the Bible as an adult.  I am searching. 

C: You've been listed as the writer for the upcoming Misfit's comic book, based on the punk band of the same name. Usually music/comic book crossovers are pretty bad. How do you intend to make this one different? Where do you intend to go with the characters?

D: I have an advantage here because I am a punk at heart, even with the gray in my temples.  One of the things I loved about being in Germany last summer, for the Faust tour is that punk was hot there and I felt like, “Yeah, I’m 17 years old again!!” … jumping up and down to the Ramones only it’s these German guys playing lick for lick, note for note Ramones tunes. I had a great time. The punk energy and the do-it-yourself energy of the late 70’s early 80’s was why I got into music professionally and a big part of my creativity. That energy still sort of throbs… hence, the Misfits.  Misfits are in my generation, they came up though punk, dark toned punk and monster movies and they’re still living it. I love their fans also because they’re the best of comic fans. They contribute creatively and they’re dedicated supporters … so I wanted to make a book for the fans.  I had the advantage of having already gotten the “rock and roll shit” out of my system as a professional; I lived the low end of that life, opening for acts like Lene Lovitch, Billy Idol, Thompson Twins, having a record produced by Chris Spedding, but I definitely lived the life. So now I can just do a fun book, I have no need to play rock star. It’s not a bunch of guys holding guitars, they’re not writing songs.  It’s a horror story.  It’s like, what if the Misfits were the “horror gods” of our universe.  Stories.  I know their artist is working on some stuff and he’s really got it. He’s got their characters, the way I’ve sort of pumped them up for the comic book appearance. If the comic turns out worthy of the music and worthy of the personality of the band, I will just raise that punk fist in the air one more time.  Killer fun.

I: I’m really glad they’ve got you on board for the writer on this one, you seem to know the spirit behind it personally, and I can relate to it too, so I’m really looking forward to this book. I’m a huge Misfits fan from way back. Do you listen to a lot of music when you’re writing? Some people find it inspiring, others distracting. When I write, I’m usually listening to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, or something like that, upbeat, energetic. Do you find that type of thing helps you?

D:  No.  I used to, but the rhythms of my writing and the music were throwing each other.  I can’t watch movies or talk on the phone when I write, either, and I admit some petty jealousy when illustrators can.  <laugh>  But I do go deeply into all kinds of music when I am not writing.  I just played Tom Waits’ latest today, and some Buddy Powell and Garbage. 

C: Besides the Faust movie, do you have any other work outside the comic book field appearing or slated for the future? You could probably write a kick ass novel...

D: Oh, great, thanks! I’m glad people think so.  I hope you’re there to read them when I finish them.

C: Excellent!

D: There’s other films inside and outside of the genre that I’ve started, and that’s kind of a long process for me because I have to know the whole story before I can write the film.  I’ve never finished a novel that I’ve started, so, again I have to save some money and stay disciplined and follow through to get this done, so that’s another reason why I’ve been trying to as much comic work as I can so that it’ll put me and my wife in a comfortable position to be able to take a risk to do this stuff because it’s not like Random  House is knocking on my door saying ‘We’ll give you enough money to drop the weekly deadlines and engage the voicemail for a six months and finish that novel.’ I just have to find a year’s time somewhere without selling my soul.

C: (laughs) Some people might say you’ve already sold your soul with Faust. You've currently got Faust: Love of the Damned in progress, Faust: Singha's Talons coming out soon and Faust: Book of M out in the next month. Are there other plans for the characters in the Faust mythos?

D: There’s one you didn’t talk abut that’s only had one story, it’s called Faust 2020 that’s about a little kid who’s Faust twenty years from now. This has been published in Raw Media Mags and there’s no plans to do more with it, though we could. There’s a lot of talk on the web about ‘is there a Faust Legends book coming out?’ I don’t think there’s  going to be a monthly, we have no plans for that, but you can rest assured doing mini series, Tim and I, and maybe involving other creators.

C: Just getting back to other creators briefly, are there other creators, that if you had your pick, you’d want to work with because of the fact that you admire their work, be it an artist or a writer?

D: Oh man, the list is so long that I’d insult somebody by not mentioning them. I mean just at this convention alone I’ve seen some of my favorite people to work with. I’d work with Kyle Hotz again, we had a great time and I would do it again. Ken Lashley, I’ve done some Ascension with him at Top Cow and would love to do some more stuff with him. I’m talking with a guy named Justiniano who I worked with at Chaos! Comics, we’re going to do some more together. I’ll continue to work with Vigil, Hannibal King, I mean I’ve got such a long list of people and that’s not saying people that I haven’t even met yet, like Milo Manara, if he wanted to work with me.

C: I’d love to see that. How do you set yourself aside on a professional level to be able to work with people you admire so much?

D: I’m in awe of what they do, but once I’m in the process, I’m in the process. I couldn’t let myself be in awe of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, looking at all the animation on the wall. I had to work the Faust script—yeah, that’s where some of the first story conferences happened with the first director, Stuart Gordon, in his offices down the hall from where they were making Hercules.  Once you get into the work you sort of forget all that.  Little moments sort of hiccup back on you like, “Wow, this is a fan moment--Stan Lee’s welcomed me into his LA office to talk about movies.  He digs my Dr. Strange stuff!”

I: I couldn’t picture you and Vigil hanging out in a Disney Studio. That’s just too funny. Was that an odd environment to be pitching a film like Faust in?

D:  Well, we didn’t pitch it there, we just used the office to talk, Stuart and I.  I know, I know, you had that old stereotypical image of the two of us taking advantage of Snow White, with dwarves chasing us.  Be ashamed of yourself.

C:  What is your dream project? Every creator has to have one. Some say Batman, Superman, the X-Men, etc. Who would you choose and why?

D: Well it sounds like you’re saying what’s my dream project of other people’s characters, right? Like if I could write Batman or Superman or Aliens or Veronica--you’re not talking about dream projects like forty years of Faust…

C: Well, is that your dream project to do more on Faust, maybe something more grandiose on Faust?

D: I think my dream project is to do my own characters and continue to have an audience for them.  However, since a big part of my making a living as a comics writer for the last 10-11 years was scripting “for hire,” I acknowledge favorites, there.  Doom Patrol, I mentioned.  Hulk, Thor--I could do something fresh and interesting and primal with them. The Fantastic Four was a childhood favorite.  Can’t read it now.  Wouldn’t I love a shot at making it fun again?

C: So, besides the already discussed Misfits book, what else have you got coming out soon?

D: Let’s see, there’s Ascension, we know about that.  There’s Tales of the Witchblade and Tales of the Darkness. There may be other stuff eventually with Top Cow and/or Image but it’s not scheduled yet. There’s the Faust spin offs, Faust itself, Nightvision, Luna, there’s a book called Diva’s that we’ll talk about more once we get ready to solicit.  I’m working on many things, but a lot of them are creator owned and I’m taking the time to get the timing, the packaging, the publisher, the artist…everything really ready to set it’s best foot forward. We had a bit of an unfortunate restart around Nightvision because the trade paperback came out and some new stories were supposed to ship.  When the stories in Threshold came out late, the relaunch lost juice.  Likewise, for Luna, in Threshold from Avatar, my forty page mini series is going to be stretched out by like a year and a half by the time it all gets drawn.  I’m trying to learn from this.  I need artists that can perform like Vigil and give me what they say they’ll give it to me, when they say they’ll give it to me—within at least a week.  Shouldn’t be too much to ask for, but in reality it is.  Look at Top Cow and Cliffhanger.  I pity the retailers.

C:  Well thank you very much for all your time David and I wish the best of luck to you.

D:  Thank you, Chris.  And Ian, I hope we knock back a Canadian or a Guinness the next time I am up your way.  If anyone wants to respond to anything I’ve said here, or if they want to ask any question, they can check into the Quinn Forum, a message board on the Avatar Press site.  I log on 5 or 6 times a week and try to meet readers there in a non-stop virtual convention.