Interview with a Vampire Creator.
A.L. = Andrew LoVuolo Art Director, Graphic Illusions Studios
D.F. = Dion Floyd Creator of Immortal Kiss and Urban Sprawl
A.L.: We should probably start by you telling us a little about your background.
D.F.: I grew up in Northwest Baltimore City and as far I as I can remember I always fascinated by the entertainment industry. I was actually trying to break in to the music industry, in the 90s I had a personal management company managing local artists and shopping their demos to record companies.
A.L.: What made you decide that you wanted to enter the comic book field?
D.F.: In the 90s I was reading books put out at that time by Milestone Media, the company started by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan and Derek Dingle. I liked their universe of these multicultural characters which inspired me
A.L.: Immortal Kiss is your first attempt at putting together a comic book. Why did you decide to start with a tale about vampires when there are so many already on the shelves? Also what sets THIS book apart from previous vampire stories?
D.F.: I made the decision to put Immortal Kiss out because I wanted to focus on the crime/mystery aspect. Ilya Romanov and Sonia Flores are on the trail of a serial killer who happens to be a vampire. In this story I wanted to show the dynamic between Romanov and Flores and also how the human and vampire worlds collide as a result of this case.
A.L.: Are the characters based on anyone youve met or have known in your personal life?
D.F.: I think the characters are a combination of different people Ive known with a little bit of myself thrown in. I must admit I have always been attracted to strong female characters, which is why I created Sonia Flores.
A.L.: If you were on the outside looking in what would make YOU pick this book up off of the shelves?
D.F.: If I walked in to a comic book store and saw IK for the first time I think it would be Chris Hardens artwork and Erik Korsgaards colors. As I begin to flip through the story would definitely pull me in.
A.L.: Is there a particular audience that this title is aiming at and what type of reader is Immortal Kiss perfect for?
D.F.: I wanted to put something out there for a mature audience like the Vertigo and Marvel Max line. I also cant help, but to admit its also the fan-boy base, Sonia is a hottie. (laughs)
A.L.: Does this book borrow or share any theme(s) from previous comic books, television, or novels about vampires?
D.F.: When dealing with the subject of vampires, it cant help but be derivative in someway. There have been many influences that helped the creation of IK. Authors like Anne Rice, Poppy Z Brite, Brian Lumley and Brandon Massey have served as inspirations for this project.
A.L.: What is the core of Immortal Kiss? Is it the characters, the overall plot, or the mythos of vampires?
D.F.: In this case I would have to say the characters, because the reader does get to see their strengths their weaknesses and vulnerabilities its like staring inside from a window.
A.L.: What other forms of media do you see Immortal Kiss being translated into? Also if this were a film based DIRECTLY from the comic what rating would it get?
D.F.: Honestly, I would love to see it as a motion picture I think it would be great.
As far as a rating, I think it would definitely get a PG-13 or R rating and thats probably due to some of the scenes in the book.
A.L.: Do you currently have plans for expansion upon this concept? If so, what do you have on the drawing board?
D.F.: Well the first story arc will be told in a six issue mini series. There are plans to do a prequel of sorts which delves more in to the origins and beginnings of some of the characters in the first arc.
A.L.: Tell us a little about the creative process behind Immortal Kiss.
D.F.: For this project I had commissioned writers to write a comic book based on the concepts and ideas I discuss with them. They write script to be submitted to the penciler who then visually translates what has been written.
A.L.: This is an entirely virgin creative team, right?
D.F.: I think only one person on the creative team actually had worked on other projects before and thats Jens Altmann, one of the writers for IK1 and IK2. I know that for Chris Freiberg, Chris Harden and Corey Raymond this is their first foray in to the comic book arena.
A.L.: If Immortal Kiss does well in the marketplace do you have other comic book titles in the wings?
D.F.: We are developing another title, Urban Sprawl which is a four part mini series cyberpunk sci-fi comic book set in the year 2250.
A.L.: Does Immortal Kiss have a publisher yet?
D.F.: We are in talks with Martyr Press, so well see what happens.
A.L.: Is this book going to be a monthly title, bimonthly title or a quarterly? Also how many books can we expect from this first series?
D.F.: This will be a bimonthly book, no doubt. This will be a six issue mini
A.L.: We know that the artistic style of the books will change between the first and second issues. Why the change and how will the styles differ?
D.F.: Well at the suggestion of my editor we are moving toward a more Adi Granov influenced style, which is comprised of shaded pencils with digital coloring laid over the shaded image. This style will give the book a more moody, atmospheric feel.
A.L.: How and why did you come to join forces with Graphic illusions Studios?
D.F.: Initially after the first artist I had on the project bailed out I needed to find another artist and thats what led me to Graphic Illusions Studios. I talked to them about taking on my projects since we had kept in touch and the rest is history.
A.L.: In conclusion, can you tell us about release dates as well as what to expect in terms of marketing and promotional items to be released in 2004-2005?
D.F.: Were pushing for a late spring early summer release for Immortal Kiss issue one and then a bimonthly release for the issues to follow. We are talking about promo items for the book as well so keep an eye out. 2004 is going to be a good year for Immortal Kiss and were all very excited about that.
Graphic Illusions Studios would like to thank Dion for taking the time to chat with us!