Q: How did the DangerKatt Creative Studio come about?
A: As a writer, I’ve worked in a variety of media. I came out of the theater, and have written and produced many stage plays. From there, I’ve written a novel, screenplays, and eventually landed in comics. I knew I needed to start a company to control all the IP that I was creating and properly handle everything from both a creative and business standpoint, so I created DangerKatt. DangerKatt basically functions as an umbrella for all of my creative efforts, and I have focused the company on creating comics and film properties. The two major works to come out of DangerKatt so far are PROPHET and MORIARTY. PROPHET was a comic miniseries/graphic novel that I wrote and worked on with artist Anthony Diecidue. It’s a supernatural Spaghetti Western, and everyone should check it out – because it’s awesome. I put it out under the DangerKatt label, and it’s currently available online at ComiXpress. The next project that Anthony and I worked on was MORIARTY. I knew that I wanted to go with a big publisher on this one. We spent a few years working on it, shopping it around, and eventually landed at Image Comics. So that’s the DangerKatt journey so far.
Q: Dan, what is your favorite thing about working together with Anthony?
A: The best thing about working with Anthony is seeing what color his mohawk will be every time we meet. But after that, he’s a great artist. He can draw, certainly, but the really good thing is that he really understands the script, really understands character, blocking and moments. He makes the characters perform like great actors. He’s like a good director and cinematographer in one.
Q: Right on! What color is his mohawk today?
A: Most of the time, it’s red. But he’s been wearing a hat a lot lately, so maybe he’s pulling some sort of fast one on us…
Q: Who are some of your earliest comicbook and/or cartoon influences?
A: Comics: G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Superman, Batman, Flash.
Cartoons: “Battle of the Planets,” Bugs Bunny, “The Secret of Nimh,” “Superfriends,” “Voltron.”
Q: Nice! And speaking of “Super Friends”, what do you suppose ever became of Apache Chief?
A: That’s an excellent question. Just where did he go? You still see Giganta about. She’s even in that DC Universe Online trailer. But what of the Chief? I would theorize that Apache Chief was just created for the Superfriends show, and didn’t have any street cred as a DCU character previous. So maybe he was forgotten for that reason. Giganta had street cred as a Wonder Woman villain and had some history. I have heard before that The Wonder Twins are owned by Hanna Barbera, and can’t be used by DC Comics. I don’t know if that’s true, just something I heard. Maybe that’s the case with the chief? Man, now you’ve got me a-thinkin’ about this… Whatever the case, I think Apache Chief is due for his own comic series. I think that would be pretty cool.
Q: How did the Moriarty series come about?
A: I’m a lifetime fan of Sherlock Holmes, and a lover of great crime fiction in general. I didn’t want to do yet another take on Sherlock, so I decided to concentrate on the other guy, the villain. I always enjoyed depictions of Moriarty that I’ve seen in films in TV over the years, such as Daniel Davis on “Star Trek: TNG” and Paul Freeman in “Without a Clue.” Since Moriarty really never appeared “on stage” in any of the original stories, there’s a lot of elbow room in dealing with him. The fact that the Professor holds such a unique place in popular culture, yet was totally open for interpretation, he became extremely interesting to me. It was fun getting into his fictional head and trying to figure out what made him tick.
Q: What do you like most about being on the Image Comics roster?
A: The best thing about being a part of Image is that it gives you some credibility. Image is very important in the industry and in popular culture, and their name rightly carries a lot of weight. Being an Image creator makes you legit in the eyes of many, gives you a track record.
Q: Any words of advice for up-and-coming comicbook creators on the rise?
A: Write your script from start to end. Draw or get several sequential pages drawn, put everything together into a nice package, and then go to every comic convention and show it to every editor and publisher that will look at it. Go to professional events and show your work around. Go to every publisher’s website and follow their submission procedure to the letter. That’s what we did. It took several years of hard work. But it paid off.
Q: Looking down the road ahead, what are some other comicbook ideas that you’d like to develop?
A: I have a few projects in the hopper. But I’m not ready to talk about anything yet, because I don’t know what’s going to happen and what won’t. So I’ll just have to say mum’s the word for now, and we’re going to keep plugging away at this Moriarty guy, put him in some very dangerous situations and such.
Q: Who are some contemporary comicbook creators that you admire?
A: Frank Miller, Jim Krueger, Brian Bendis, Scott Tipton, Ed Brubaker, Scott Snyder, David Mack, Darwyn Cooke…there’s others, but those are the ones that come to mind first.
Q: What’s in store for Moriarty fans over the course of the next year or two?
A: Right off the bat, I can tell you he’ll be doing a little globe-trotting as he attempts to rebuild his criminal empire. Our issue #5, which will be in the August Previews, finds Moriarty in colonial Burma.
Q: Colonial Burma? Good heavens, man! And what, pray tell, might Moriarty be doing in the South Pacific?
A: Well, he’s seeking out an old friend/business associate. Moriarty needs to rebuild his former empire, and the key to his success is in Asia. Revelations that occur at the end of THE DARK CHAMBER make this a necessity. The Professor needs to gain control over his destiny (in a science fiction/metaphysical sense), and the secret lies in the jungles of Burma.
Q: Do you have a favorite Sherlock Holmes tale? If so, which one, and why?
A: “The Final Problem.” It gave us the Professor. It also graces the first three pages of our first issue.
Q: You can only bring five things to a remote jungle with you, what are these five things?
A: A large, air-conditioned house fully stocked with a meat freezer and garden, my wife, my cats, a library of all the greatest books ever written, and a helicopter in case we get bored.