Denton startup helps comic book industry thrive

Denton startup helps comic book industry thrive

Denton startup helps comic book industry thrive
December 06
17:12 2017

A long-haired man with a graying beard sits patiently in The Multiverse Comics, Collectables, and Games. He is surrounded by many colorful comics, posters and figurines — both artifacts of the characters he grew up with and new stories he has yet to discover. He arrived early for the Texas Creative Community Mixer, a networking event he created to bring together writers, artists and creatives from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

David Doub is the founder, publisher and head writer of Dusk Comics, a local independent startup that aims to help other independent writers publish their work. Doub began drawing his own comics as a kid, a passion which he pursued into adulthood. He flirted with the idea of starting his own publishing company for a while and finally decided to take a chance in 2006.

“I’m like, ‘You need to do it,’” Doub said. “‘You need to pull the trigger and do it,’ and for some reason that jump is hard because I know there is the classic fear of failure. If you don’t do it, you can’t fail, but you can’t succeed either. It’s really a mind thing — the rest is just putting in the time and the work. Once you get it going it becomes easier — not easy, but easier.”

Doub will be celebrating Dusk Comics’ 12 year anniversary this coming year, a feat that many independent comic book developers never see. 

“Dusk Comics is pretty awesome,” said Terry Parr, who works as an artist for Shonuff Studio, which he and his wife run. “They have been around for a while and have a good selection of books and comics. Most indie publishers don’t last as long as Dusk. David understands the culture of vampires, goth culture and the music. I think most writers never really think about that.”

Dusk Comics publishes a variety of comics and graphic novels, including superhero pulps, sci-fi adventure and supernatural thrillers. The company was named after Doub’s first work, which was a vampire series.

“At its simplest, [Dusk] is a supernatural vampire story,” Doub said. “But it’s more about a young lady who gets pulled into the supernatural, and at first, she’s kind of traumatized. When she is finally freed, she has such a Stockholm syndrome or battered woman syndrome that she doesn’t want to leave. The things that go bump in the night that do work with her realize that she is an adult, and they are not going to exploit her, but they’re not going to force her to go where she doesn’t want to go.”

People who have worked with Doub believe his writing works on a deeper level than the average supernatural, gothic vampire story.

“His biggest strength is that his preferred focus comic-wise is strong, capable female characters,” said Beth Dobbs, who works on the planning committee of Women of Wonder Con. “He writes exactly what people are always complaining is lacking in so much mainstream comic media — apart from Wonder Woman — so his content is very timely.”

Doub also sees deeper meaning in his comics.

“It’s more of a play on, you know, people’s flaws and all that to where she’s staying purposely in a bad situation because it seems like it’s the best out of what she has had so far, with very gothic trappings around it,” Doub said.

The author attends many conventions and feels they are an important aspect to the comic book community. He is helping with the Women of Wonder Con, which is an event that exists to support women in creative industries of all types and to encourage new generations. He also helped to create the Texas Latino Comic Con, which aims to highlight Latino artists, writers and creators in the comic book community.

“We’ve been involved with conventions,” Doub said. “We found that it’s kind of silly to leave out a big part of the creators involved. It’s not only about celebrating the current creators but to show the next generations, ‘No, you can do it too.’ You know anyone can do it if they really want to, so we do a lot of those types of events because we feel it just makes for better stories ultimately. Honestly, anyone who does comics loves comics, and you would want to see good books, so you want good people to make those books.”

Doub is also able to advertise Dusk Comics at the conventions. There are many different avenues in which one can sell comics, such as online or through stores, but Doub finds success through a more personal touch.

“It sounds a little old school, but I find conventions work best,” Doub said. “If you are online, you are fighting with every other bit of content — not even just comics, but YouTube videos, Vine videos, whatever news is happening, memes — and you can’t put that personal spin on it. You can’t talk to a person.”

For Doub, conventions are just another step towards sharing ideas, theories and interests.

“It’s funny because at conventions you can say, ‘Hey, here we are, we are meeting face to face, I’m going to explain it to you and kind of you know, open up about the book,'” Doub said. “On a comic book shelf, you still don’t get that across. It’s harder to sell them that way, one-by-one by hand, but I do find that that seems to have the best results.”

However, Doub does not just believe in face to face communication as a way to sell comics, he also believes it is good for the publishing community as a whole.

“I’ve noticed the metroplex is so huge and we have so many different nerd organizations,” Doub said. “But since the metroplex is so huge, it’s like we don’t notice each other. We end up re-duplicating efforts rather than leverage each other’s help, or you know, just camaraderie and all that. It’s all just about getting together and networking.”

Featured Image: Dusk Comics founder David Doub helps indie writers publish their own comics and graphic novels. Dusk Comics is entering its 12th year as an independent start-up. Rachel Walters

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Slade Meadows

Slade Meadows

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