Upon first look, Black Dawn appears as the usual bleak world of survivors
running from a zombie outbreak. But wait, there are no zombies... From the
opening page, Black Dawn sets the tone of complete eerieness.
We spoke with writer, John O'Connor, about BLACK DAWN.
The Big Bad Wolf: Without spoiling the story, can you provide a synopsis of Black Dawn?
John O'Connor: People everywhere are infected with a disease that makes them fatally hypersensitive to sunlight. The bodies are everywhere. Only a few people are still alive. And they have begun to prey on one another. The basic pitch - as I learned to give it at our booth at the New York Comic Con - was this: Teenagers fight bad guys in a desert where sunlight kills. You might think of it as having echoes of 28 Days Later, the Road Warrior, and Escape to Witch Mountain.
The Big Bad Wolf: How did you come up with the concept for this book?
In the early nineties I wrote a short story called "Antibodies" - people trapped in a house where strange birds would kill anyone who went outside. A friend who was trying to get started in movies suggested that I turn it into a screenplay. I reimagined the story, and along the way to becoming a screenplay it morphed into a much darker and more disturbing form. The screenplay never really got noticed, and that was it. That was in the mid-90s. Then a few years ago my friend Bruce Levine read it, and he said we have got to turn this into a graphic novel. Bruce had some experience with Silent Devil, and he knew something about this business. I wanted Black Dawn to find an audience. So we said: yes, let's do this.
The Big Bad Wolf: Who are the main characters?
John O'Connor: Jedediah is a cop who managed to get his son and daughter safely away from the city. He is a good guy who will do anything to protect his family. His wife is dead, and the kids are all he has. Too bad that they don't get along. Daughter Sherry can't stand brother Jay, and it's pretty much vice versa. They are all trying to cross the desert to what they believe is sanctuary. What they don't realize is that they may carry the key to surviving the plague, and that as others figure that out, their lives are going to get very difficult.
Big Bad Wolf: Is this an ongoing or mini series?
This will be a four part series, and we're hoping to follow it up with a collected volume that has the whole story in one place.
The Big Bad Wolf: The first issue was released at the NY Comic Con, when is the release date
of the next issue?
John O'Connor: We're planning to roll out issue #2 at San Diego in July. We're busy at work on it now.
The Big Bad Wolf: How much is the book?
Black Dawn #1 is $4. The second one is going to be a bit thicker, and we haven't figured out the price for it yet.
The Big Bad Wolf: Who’s the rest of the creative team on the book?
Jeff Clemens is our fantastically talented artist. He is doing the pencils, inks, color, and lettering. He did "Obsession" recently with William Rees, and we're lucky to have him. I love getting his emails with penciled pages, questions, and ideas about the book. Bruce Levine, our editor, has been a terrific help in guiding Black Dawn through the development process.
Big Bad Wolf: Where can our readers find out more about Black Dawn?
John O'Connor: They should come to www.blackdawnweb.com. We've got a little information there about the story, as well as a link to the preview video that we posted on YouTube. They can buy it via our friends at Scare Tactix Graphix, who have generously given us table space at shows too. The web address for http://www.scaretactixgraphix.com/blackdawn.html. They are always welcome to contact us at email@example.com. We're here because of the fans, and for the fans. If they want to learn more, they're welcome to contact us.
The Big Bad Wolf: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about Black Dawn?
I would say that anyone who likes a dark, tension-filled science fiction and horror story would like Black Dawn. Plus, we're offering fans the chance to literally become part of Black Dawn in the future. We've set aside some characters in future issues to actually "be" our fans. If anyone wants to be in Black Dawn, they should send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to make it happen. We have a few spaces, and we'll accommodate as many as we can. Come on down!
The Big Bad Wolf: Thank you for your time,
John! Best of luck with Black Dawn.
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