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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Interview with Chuck Dixon

I don't know how I somehow managed to miss this interview with The Legend Chuck Dixon - that is how he is addressed in the Arkhaven offices, you understand - by Bounding Into Comics:
BIC: Along with Levon’s War, you are also working on a number of projects with Vox Day’s Castalia House publishing. You’ve got Avalon which is expected to come out this March. The book will feature the crime fighting duo of King Ace and Fazer, what can you tell us about these two?

Chuck: King and Fazer are just a part of a larger ensemble cast of super-powered heroes and outlaws. To say King and Fazer’s relationship is complicated is an understatement. King Ace is a kind of Superman type, a big beefcake who’s bullet-resistant, super-strong and can leap long distances. Fazer has the ability to pass through solid objects. They’re powers complement one another even though their personalities are very much at odds.

We also have Cash, a mercenary crimefighter who battles evil for tips and Vendetta, a female vigilante, whose motives and mission provide much of the core story for the first six issues of the book.

But the true star of the book is the city of Avalon itself. It’s an east coast town that’s seen better days and getting rather tired of being ground zero for super-fights between good guys and bad guys.

BIC: You will also be working with Will Caligan. Have you figured out which novels you will adapt into graphic novels?

Chuck: We’re adapting Swan Knight’s Son by John C. Wright. The novel really lends itself to comics. Loads of great eye candy and a story that gets off the blocks on page one and never slows down.

BIC: Will also lost his job because of his very personal Christian and conservative beliefs. There have been a number of people who hold similar conservative and Christian beliefs who have also had their careers threatened or lost. Do you see this as a serious problem in the comic book industry?

Chuck: Damn right. A lot of great talent is either unemployed or underemployed because of either their personal religious or political beliefs. Their personal beliefs. The blacklists are very real and a lot of careers have been damaged. And as bad as this kind of discrimination is, the effect of silencing other creators who fear for their livelihoods is even more far-reaching. It’s intimidation, pure and simple; a radical core of far-left editors and publishers forcing their ideologies on the creator community as well as the readership.

Most damaging, in the long term, is the hiring of staff and assigning of freelancers based on their political beliefs rather than any kind of merit. The result is the current crop of, frankly, mediocre efforts from companies that used to be the industry leaders. It’s hard to find even a competently written and drawn comic let alone anything that could be called exemplary examples of the medium.

We’re all paying for this with depressed sales overall and the loss of readers who may never come back.

BIC: Blacklists seem to be a pretty hot topic right now. One Twitter user even created a pretty lengthy list for customers to boycott certain professionals. He labeled these professionals as the “main contributors… to the declining quality” of comic books. What are your thoughts on this list?

Chuck: I don’t like lists of any kind. Blacklists, redlists, enemies lists or ****lists. While it’s true that a number of people on the list I saw are guilty of writing agenda-driven comics, a few on that list are vocal personally on political matters, but not in their work. The declining quality of comics is due to creators who prioritize their ideology above their professional standards. So much of the stuff I’ve seen is simply poorly crafted comics. They call attention to themselves by doing crap work. No lists needed.

BIC: I also read Marvel has had you on a blacklist for over 15 years. Is that true? How do you go from writing one of their best-selling comics with Punisher: War Zone to completely blacklisted?

Chuck: When you don’t fall in lockstep with everything Axel Alonso believes. Of course, which of us is still working in comics today?

BIC: Where do you see the comic book industry in the future. Do you see it sticking with the tried and true DC and Marvel or will we start to see it fracture along political lines?

Chuck: I think it will become like the music industry. Garage band kinds of comics that will find their own audience. The big comic book publishers have never really known, or tried to really market their product. Now that, for all intents, the major publishers have skipped a generation of readers, they’re going to have to work to get them back. And I don’t think they have the first clue as to how to do that.

We’ll be looking at more and more creator-owned, creator-marketed comics that don’t do huge numbers but are financially rewarding enough for the creators to keep doing what they love.
Nice little shiv there, with a twist. This is just an excerpt, read the whole thing there. Believe it or not, the machine that is known as The Legend Chuck Dixon has already scripted the first EIGHT issues of Chuck Dixon's Avalon. #2 is being colored now, and we're bringing on a second illustrator in order to get the entire 12-issue series out in a reasonably timely manner.

And yes, Vendetta is back and doing her thing.

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22 Comments:

Blogger Avalanche July 29, 2018 8:40 AM  

"The blacklists are very real and a lot of careers have been damaged."

I suppose it's way too much dialectic to try to point out to the leftie-progs the clear 'equivalence' between this blacklisting and the Hollywood commie blacklisting? All their heros who were blacklisted for being or supporting the Soviets? (And, of course, they are SO uneducated about history they probably don't even know it happened?

Blogger Gettimothy July 29, 2018 8:46 AM  

I would pay for a comic book where John C. Wright was a super wordsmith.

Has there ever been a comic series where the fate of galaxies hung upon the precision of language?

Enter, stage right....

Blogger wreckage July 29, 2018 8:47 AM  

They throw away their customers AND their absolute machines of customer satisfaction... what's a red blooded capitalist ex-Libertarian like Vox SUPPOSED to do? Say no?

Blogger wreckage July 29, 2018 8:49 AM  

Oh, oh, I am buying the John C Wright comics, if I buy nothing else. I cannot wait to see his intensely visual prose creations in a visual medium, it's gonna be face-smashingly awesome.

Blogger M. Bibliophile July 29, 2018 8:51 AM  

I've been out of comics since my father banned then in the house in about '94 and there hasn't been any reason to go back.

Until now.

To say that I've been impressed by the quality of Alt-Hero and Avalon is the understatement of the year. I devour Quantum Mortis with the same fervor with which I did the book, and I can't wait for Swan Knight's Son. This particular turn was completely unexpected and twice as delightful for being so. Keep up the awesome work and I'll keep raiding my wallet every time I get a new release notice from Castalia, Arkhaven, or Dark Legion.

Blogger English Tom July 29, 2018 9:14 AM  

@Avalanche

I believe the left's view of history is contained in the saying: history is bunk (the exception being when it can be weaponised a la the Confederate statues controversy).

Blogger Dave July 29, 2018 9:19 AM  

Good find. I'd been spending more time recently at Bounding into Comics since they started reviewing Arkhaven/Dark Legion work, however I too, had missed the interview.

Chuck is a machine. I've been going back through the posts on his blog and am amazed at the depth and variety of the stuff he's worked on. It looks like he will take on anything; in June he posted the entire first script he wrote for RAVEN HOUSE. It was to be a monthly gothic romance but never went any further. https://www.chuckdixon.net/2018/06/raven-house-script.html

You get a great sense of Chuck's passion and dedication to the industry in this post: https://www.chuckdixon.net/2017/07/a-biography-of-great-john-stanley.html

Chuck's love for comics has no boundaries as here he writes about THIRTEEN which he describes as "My favorite of his later creations is a comic called Thirteen, with the subtitle Going on Eighteen. These stories feature a pair of girls named Val and Judy and their adventures are amped up slapstick and farce as the friends experience crushes, rivalries, heartache and embarrassment in their adolescent years. It’s Archie comics with hormones. Val is an irresistible force at once adorable and maddening and Stanley uses her as his muse for a portrayal of blissful youth as accurate as any I’ve seen."

I'd love to see Chuck do something along these lines for Arkhaven: https://www.chuckdixon.net/2017/06/unpublished-war-story-from-savage-tales.html

Blogger Mr.MantraMan July 29, 2018 9:33 AM  

Voice from the peanut gallery here, Wright and Dixon IMO could compliment one another perfectly. Dixon could pare down Wright's tendency to over complicate via character inclusion and Wright can actually write a non-white character without resorting to white savior syndrome.

Blogger VD July 29, 2018 9:39 AM  

To say that I've been impressed by the quality of Alt-Hero and Avalon is the understatement of the year.

Very pleased to hear that. But we are constantly working to improve our quality. I think this will show in the next few issues.

Blogger Johnny July 29, 2018 9:44 AM  

When you push a side agenda, part of it is that you do a less than the best job sorting through the available talent. I think the bigger part is that it tends to demotivate the talent you get, both on a management and worker level. You don't get the best work from the people you do get. Lack of focus is the problem.

Blogger tuberman July 29, 2018 12:05 PM  

Looking forward to more Avalon stories, and the Moth and Cobweb stories, which I've already read in the novels.

Blogger stevev July 29, 2018 12:24 PM  

You have offices?

Blogger Dexter July 29, 2018 12:37 PM  

Comics, meh. MOAR LEVON CADE!!!

Blogger Edgar Abbey July 29, 2018 12:46 PM  

The small amount of money I put into the Alt Hero campaign has already paid for itself in the quality of the 3 comics that have been released. To be honest, I'm not really sure how many issues I paid for. I just liked the idea of making comics great again and wanted to chip in. I'm getting hooked on these stories though.

Blogger VD July 29, 2018 1:17 PM  

The small amount of money I put into the Alt Hero campaign has already paid for itself in the quality of the 3 comics that have been released. To be honest, I'm not really sure how many issues I paid for.

You'll get 24. 12 Alt-Hero and 12 Chuck Dixon's Avalon.

Blogger Cetera July 29, 2018 2:08 PM  

What the heck is wrong with BoundingIntoComics' site? I had to go pull up the interview on archive.is to even find it. It looks like the site has been completely taken over by malware adds and formatting seems completely broken.

Blogger Tallen July 29, 2018 3:00 PM  

Any chance of adapting Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles into graphic novels?

Blogger Durandel July 29, 2018 3:37 PM  

@Avalanche - actually the real blacklists in Hollywood were against non-Communists and Communist traitors. The Commie targeted blacklists were small and insignificant, but the one for Conservatives was ended plenty of careers.

Blogger S1AL July 29, 2018 3:51 PM  

"Any chance of adapting Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles into graphic novels?"

That would be fantastic. The Grimnoir world lends itself perfectly to the format.

Blogger VD July 29, 2018 3:58 PM  

Any chance of adapting Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles into graphic novels?

Larry has not been hitherto interested. So, no.

Blogger lynnjynh9315 July 29, 2018 6:02 PM  

Lists aren't the problem, persecution is.

There is some Left-wing creators I read/watch/listen... but I don't consume crap.

Blogger Donald Jackson July 29, 2018 10:23 PM  

I'm in Chuck's comics circle online. I really feel like ALL OF US trying to do our Right Wing comics need to band together to form our own "Marvel" because it's EXTREMELY hard to make comics without having any name. Here's my AltRight web comic:


http://www.americanzarathustra.com/webcomics.html

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