Today is the release day of our newest series: Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven! We’re interviewing legendary writer, Chuck Dixon, writer of this series and other Zenescope fan favorites.
Zenescope: Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven is set in India, did you have to do a lot of research when writing this series or did you already have a working knowledge of the culture?
Dixon: I did a number of comics for Graphic India set in India and intended form an Indian audience. In addition to watching PILES of Bollywood movies, I spent a lot of time talking with my editors. I’m in no way going to explain I’m an expert ion India, but for the purposes of a comic book, I did my homework.
Zenescope: Do you prefer reinventing characters with a solid backstory or completely building a new character from scratch?
Dixon: They both have their challenges and rewards, But it’s often easier to step into a series that already has a following and of plenty of good will from readers. I can take advantage of what the creators before me have done and try and build off of that. I’m not here to re-invent anything. My job is to give the fans more of what they like about the characters and their stories.
Zenescope: Does Zenescope differ in any way from other publishers you’ve worked with?
Dixon: They rank up there with the more professional outfits I’ve done work for. But they’re a fun bunch as well. They trust me with the material and are very specific with changes they want when I get it wrong.
Zenescope: How is Sword of Heaven different from Liesel’s other adventures?
Dixon: I think, if I’ve accomplished anything here, it’s to break Liesel out of her comfort zone. She’s in a strange environment facing breeds of vampires she’s never encountered before as well as a dangerous supernatural being that proves to be a real challenge for her. This adventure also has events that will resonate through the series for the foreseeable future.
Zenescope: Does being a writer make you more or less of a consistent/dedicated reader?
Dixon: It’s weird but I write a lot more than I read. Or maybe, as a compulsive reader, I’m not aware of how much I’m absorbing. I juts feel that I used to read a WHOLE lot more before going pro. And I seldom get to read for pure pleasure.
Zenescope: Are there any inside jokes or secret meanings you put in your works?
Dixon: I slipped all kind of easter eggs into Batman when I worked on it. On Van Helsing the humor (and I always include some element of humor) is right there in the open. And I emphasize “humor” over “comedy”. There’s a big difference.