Dark Red Inside And Out
Jan 13, 2019
by Vince Brusio
A deep troubled soul that doesn’t like what he sees going outside of his window is equally troubled by what he sees within him: namely his bloodlust. Because he’s a vampire. Not that it’s a totally awful thing, though. At least he’s not some uppity east side elite who lives only for his next latte. Sound familiar? Writer Tim Seeley creates an unconventional vampire in his AfterShock Comics series Dark Red #1 (JAN191458) which carries a strong social message…along with all the blood, monsters, sex and stuff.
Vince Brusio: A vampire that pushes a mop? No wings or European accent? So you’re keeping it real for Dark Red #1 (JAN191458). Ok. Keep it real simple for us, then, and tell us more about Charles “Chip” Ipswich. Obviously, we wouldn’t want to be around him when he’s hungry, right? But what might endear us to him?
Tim Seeley: Chip is just a regular guy who just happens to be a vampire. He prefers to live in a small town...in fact he HATES the cities, and the people (and vampires) that live there. No “clans” or anything for this vampire. That allows him a certain amount of anonymity. But it also makes his life harder in a lot of ways. I think anyone who lives in rural America can relate to that.
Vince Brusio: Let’s leave the Google Maps view of this book, and go street level. What do we see in a day in the life? Who are the people in Chip’s life? Would we know their type? Their blood type? Are they a help or hindrance to Chip? Does any of them make him glad that he’s undead?
Tim Seeley: We’ll meet a few characters right off the bat...but I think the main one in issue 1 is Evie Evie and Chip have a relationship that allows both to survive. And I think, as we play in this book, most people, if they were bring really honest with themselves would much rather be a vampire. Especially those that feel trapped, or if there’s no future for them anyway.
Vince Brusio: Are there any familiar tropes that you conveyed to artist Corin Powell when she started work on the book? Or did she and you want to do things a little differently for Dark Red? What tone or ambience was more conducive to the story? Is there any place in it for biting wit?
Tim Seeley: Yeah, the tone is intended to avoid tropes at all cost unless we’re making fun of it. I did the layouts for this because so much of it is based on my own experience growing up in rural America. But, I think Corin is a great choice for this because she does humor and horror in equal measure. Dark Red is funny and dark, and human, and very much like living in one of these forgotten places.
Vince Brusio: How does your writing style on this book compare to your other works in horror like Hack/Slash? Have you approached this book differently from previous projects, especially since you’re being published through AfterShock Comics?
Tim Seeley: No, I think it’s an extension of my stuff on Hack/Slash and Revival. A combination of those styles I guess. It’s satirical and subversive, but it’s about the characters more than anything else.
Vince Brusio: The solicitation tells us that Chip is not like the other “coastal elites.” Associating the word “elites” with things like a liberal arts degree, and a job at a social media start-up implies that these people are “where it’s at.” Would Chip want to be where “it’s at”? Does he feel it’s something to shun? Could we be in store for some poetic justice like in Romero’s Land of the Dead where the zombies get to feast on the elites despite their elevated social standing?
Tim Seeley: Well, I mean, Chip is a guy who thinks that this country has gone wrong. He feels, as a lot of Americans do, that the centers of culture and power have abandoned what he thinks is the real American way of life. And, I think, he’s looking for someone to blame. And that’s a lot of what the book is about...we’ll take a lot of the tropes associated with vampire stories and reverse engineer them. It’s about needs and want and what happened in America in the 20th century that put us in this very divided state we find ourselves in now. But of course, it’s also about blood and monsters and sex…and all that good stuff.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.