Interview with Prom of the Dead creator Dave Dwonch!


1. Since it’s an obvious question and good for those who might be unfamiliar with you, what was the inspiration to make this comic in the first place?
 
Well, I’ve been a fan of horror flicks and teen dramas my entire life, and it seemed like a fun premise. Part of my desire to do zombie horror was to do something unique, different, and to perhaps explain the outbreak in a different way.
 
2. The comic itself is known to have zombies, but there’s more to it than that/ what is the comic exactly?
I’ve been fascinated by Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis or “zombie spore” for years and thought it was a great jumping on point. Basically the spores infect ants in tropical rain forests, controlling their motor functions. So technically the “zombies” in my story aren’t what you’d consider the undead, though the methods of infection are similar. Honestly at its core, the story is about the test friendship in incredible dire situations. I think it’s a bit of a cross-genre horror dramedy, and something we haven’t yet seen in comics. 
 
 
3. This isn’t your first rodeo with kickstarter. How comfortable are you with crowd funding this time around?
 
Oh, not at all! I’m super stressed out by the process. There has been very little sleep this past week.
 
4. Related to the previous question what lessons from the previous kickstarter are you applying to Prom of the Dead?
 
Just that hustle is key. Running a Kickstarter is a full time job (currently my third job!), and you have to commit to it.
 
5. How did you come to work with Santiago “Santi” Guillen and have him be the artist?
 
Santi’s agent has been sending me his work for a couple of years now, and we’ve developed a friendship over time. I always wanted to work with them both, but budgeting out creator-owned projects is problematic to say the least. I had to bide my time and wait for the right one. He’s absolutely perfect for Prom of the Dead.
 
6. Going back to the kickstarter, it’s mentioned that it’s the first volume of a larger story. Could this have the chance to turn into an ongoing series. Or did you want to keep it a trilogy?
Each Spores graphic novel will be VERY different from the last. I think they’ll stand alone. I wanted to shy away from floppies with this series.
 
7. Although it’s set in a zombie apocalypse back drop it doesn’t seem to be a book that will have a depressing tone throughout. Is that a challenge to write?
 
No, this one is a lot of fun. When your main characters are as distinct as these are, they almost write themselves. It adds up to great moments, some dark, some light.
 
8. Is the zombie apocalypse more of a back drop or is there going to be some old fashioned zombie fighting between the comedy and drama and will it also be important to the character’s growth?
 
The characters will evolve just as the virus does. This may begin as a highschool dramedy, but the tone will shift from volume to volume. This first arc is set over a one week period. When they get through that hell, they will be changed. Fans of my work will note that nothing ever is at it seems in my world, and Prom is no different. It will be a ride. Oh yeah, and there will definitely be some zombie fighting! 
 
9. There’s a reward that caught my eye. It was the store exclusive variant covers. What was the idea behind that one?
 
Because this crowdfund is for the entire graphic novel, I decided to offer up the first issue exclusively on Kickstarter. It felt like a natural move to offer retailers their own version of the only floppy issue produced. I mean, how rare is that?
 
10. Staying on rewards there’s also the reward that’s extremely limited to be in the book. That sounds like a cool way to get fans more involved. Was this Santi’s ideas or your own?
 
Well, the idea was mine, but Santi is going to KILL the likenesses. He worked as a street artist drawing caricatures across Europe for a year. He’s taylor made to draw fans into the book!
 
11. As we wind down here. Even though it seems to be just a zombie apocalypse at the surface, it’s already mentioned that it’s more than that. Are you aiming for a wide audience with this one, or for fans of particular of genres?
I am unapologetically a fan of teen dramas, and I think fans of 90210, The OC and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer are going to love the book. And you fans of the Walking Dead are going to love it, too.
 
 
12. Last question, this is a personal one if you’ll allow it. As a creator, what gives you the drive to keep creating? Some of us are creators and are struggling out there to find their styles or their stories. I figure they can hear some words from someone who has gone out and done it. Get their works out there that is.
 
It’s a tough question, really. I find inspiration in just working– putting in the time, and getting it out there to my fans. That’s why conventions are so important to me. I work in a bubble, and it’s the one place I get to connect to people face to face. So I guess my advice is to just keep doing it. Everyone works at their own pace, but if you don’t do it, you’ll never know what might come of it. At worst you get to tell YOUR story.
Thank you very much for your time Dave! The kickstarter for Prom of the Dead is right here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960202687/prom-of-the-dead chip in if you can. If you can’t then spread the word about it, share it on social media.