Today I am featuring another asset to the comic book industry, although this particular man has been in the industry longer and has certainly paid his fair share of dues. And it’s one thing to want to be successful in any given industry or market, but quite another thing to work every day for years and make substantial effort to change what you believe is a fundamental flaw in the particular field that life and destiny has chosen for you.
So today I am talking with Karl Dabney, comic book writer & creator and the main guy behind WorkHorse Comics.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you ended up working in the comic book industry?
I have been a comic book fan since I discovered them at the age of 8. Been a creative writer since high school, and started sending story ideas to Marvel and DC. I stopped when one of them used an idea, and didn’t even give me a concept credit. It was not until I was working with another independent creator, that I decided to venture out on my own.
And what can you tell me about your company WorkHorse Comics?
There are plenty of small press comic company, but they often make very little consideration to the business-side of publishing comics. When I started trying to put this together, they was already Ghettostone and Gettosake. The only niche I saw that make this worth doing is to put faces into comics that are rarely or never seen.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have finished the first 3 issues of Blackwing, which borrows from the one book I have had completed since 2004, and is available as an ashcan comic. To make sure that the series bean in a unique direction, I am writing most of the #1 issues. The current project is Team Max, then on to Momentum.
What do you think you personally bring to industry as a person?
I told a fan about my vision for Work Horse Comics and he told me that I was a Black Stan Lee, so I have picked that up and ran with. Stan Lee is a philosopher and I am too. I try to bring an outside the box mentality to the business, which is a ‘what is every one else not doing’ approach to what I am trying to do.
If you had to describe to someone the current state of the overall comic book industry what would you say?
There is no fun in it. Yes, comic books are still entertaining, but there are just too many gimmicks from the big publishers, and the small press publisher is too often in it for some quick cash. When the publishers were companies, the most important thing was the fans, as corporations, the most important thing is the investors.
If the sky was the limit what would you like to accomplish?
I like to publish all year series on a monthly basis, and then expand into video games, cartoons, and live-action movies.
What comic book professional would like an opportunity to work with.
Arnold Drake and Dwayne McDuffie said they would if I could get financed, so I am regretting those missed opportunities. Arvell Jones, Bob Layton, Tony Isabella, Art Adams Ron Wilson are a few off the top of my head. I am willing work with any one that is fun to work with, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Much thanks Karl, and I wish you luck on all your endeavors.