Diabolik Double Feature Book 2 Creators Talk About the Blood Freaks and Gringo Loco
The second installment of Diabolik Double Feature brings readers Professor Dario Bava: Orgy Of The Blood Freaks #2 and Gringo Loco #2 to Kickstarter! This mind-bending series, meticulously crafted by the talented Phil Mucci, features spellbinding artwork by Mike Dubisch and Vicente Alcázar.
Accompanied by mesmerizing covers from Robert Sammelin and Alcázar. With a whopping 88 pages, this perfect bound, oversized flip comic brings you two sensational stories in one sensational edition!
Professor Dario Bava: Orgy Of The Blood Freaks #2 takes us to 1967 Rome, where the former Vatican exorcist Professor Dario Bava joins forces with Sister Sadie on a spine-chilling investigation into a haunted abbey. Prepare for supernatural forces of psychedelic proportions, as they unravel the mysteries surrounding the murder of Bava’s assistant.
Meanwhile, Gringo Loco: The Buzzard King’s Bounty continues the pulse-pounding saga of Dead Late And A Dollar Short. Across 40 explosive pages of relentless action, Gringo Loco relentlessly pursues bounty killer Cyrus Caldwell into the treacherous hideout of the infamous horse thief Laredo El Latigo and his gang of ruthless outlaws. Brace yourself for a blood-soaked showdown like no other. (Please note that the Ennio Morricone soundtrack is not included!)
Prepare yourself for an unparalleled experience filled with action, monsters, and stunning artwork on this extraordinary ride! Join the Diabolik Double Feature on Kickstarter today! We had the opportunity to speak with the creators of the exciting Double Feature, check it out below:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me for Geek Network. I’d like to start at the beginning, as the best stories do. How did the three of you meet? What made you want to work together?
Phil: Being a team of artists all working in different countries, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Vicente in person yet, and Mike and I only met for the first time in person last December at LA Comic Con – after making books together for 5 years! I knew Mike and Vicente’s work, but Diabolik producer Dan Simpson really gets the credit for putting us all together. Once I knew they were interested, I was thrilled! I can’t think of two more perfect artists for the stories we’re telling.
Mike: Coincidentally, decades ago, Phil and I grew up in neighboring towns, we even have a few mutual friends, and yet we never met until now! Phil and Dan contacted me separately from Vincent, whom I have never met. I’m not sure where they knew my work from.
Vicente: Phil & Dan knew my previous work on Jonah Hex and contacted me for the job.
I mean this in the best way possible: what in the absolute hell? Where did Professor Dario Bava AND Gringo Loco come from?
Phil: Haha! Thanks! Both projects had a long gestation period, living rent-free in my head for over a decade, so it was time for them to pay up!
Professor Dario Bava began as a film treatment back when I lived in NYC, which I later adapted into a narrative music video called “Sorrow” for the band Huntress. As portrayed by Diabolik partner Ian Mackay, the Professor was so popular with the crew on set that we knew we had something special. He combines everything I love about Italian horror films and giallo from the 60’s and 70’s, with a little sexy Hammer gothic thrown in!
Gringo Loco comes from my passion for gritty spaghetti westerns combined with my interest in existential body horror stories like Frankenstein (the book) and RoboCop — stories that explore what it means to be both human and a “monster”.
Your art slays, first and foremost. I appreciate the Elvyra vibes with Professor Dario Bava, and Solomon Grundy vibes from Gringo Loco. Did you pull from any particular sources when drawing both Professor Dario Bava and Gringo Loco?
Mike: I wanted it to have the vibe of ‘70s comic magazines, especially the feel of the Filipino and Spanish, and Italian artists. I was also influenced by the art of Berni Wrightson and Richard Corben, and underground comix from the ’60s, particularly the work of Dave Sheridan. I don’t know if I achieved any of that – it just looks like my style.
Vicente: After reading the script, designs for the characters came and went between Phil and myself until we reached a definitive look for them.
Why do a double feature? Double your pleasure, or double your trouble? With Kickstarter being all or nothing, was it a better way to ensure both books got to the deserving hands of the public or a way or make sure one succeeded because of the other?
Phil: All of the above! The inspiration came from my love of drive-in double features as a kid, but there were practical reasons to do it as well. After the success of our first Professor Dario Bava book with Mike, Murder Vibes From The Monster Dimension, we really wanted to tackle the larger story, Orgy of the Blood Freaks.
We also wanted to introduce a new story, Gringo Loco, which we’d hinted at in Murder Vibes. Producing 80+ pages of art is challenging to get done on a reasonable schedule, so doing a double feature not only allowed us to divide the work in two, but also resulted in a graphic novel of similar size and value. As an indie publisher, we can’t print at the same volume as bigger companies, so our price points are higher, and we want to make sure our readers get the most for their hard-earned dollars.
Not everyone gets a shout-out from Hustler. How did that feel from a comic standpoint?
Phil: I loved it! And it was surprisingly one of the best interviews I did in the first book, thanks to the deep horror knowledge of writer Scott Feinblatt.
Mike: Adult magazines and comics have been somewhat interlinked since the inception of printing. “Tijuana Bibles” were small adult comics that were distributed much like illegal liquor and drugs from the 1920’s all the way to the 1960’s. Pulp “Men’s Adventure” magazines and just regular comic books have all gone through cultural moments where they were treated the same — read in private and stashed under the mattress when not in use, tossed in the trash if found by mom or the wife.
And comics themselves, from collectible “headlight” covers, to the superheroes in their skin tight costumes, to the romance comics with their pretty young woman in every imaginable scenario, historically have often served as a stand-in for girlie magazines for younger readers. The magazines themselves also have contained high end comics and illustration within, and sometimes even all comic adult publications. So an endorsement from Hustler fits like a sock.
Creator, writer, and colorist? Is there anything you can’t do? Why take on coloring when you’re already doing so much?
Phil: The short answer? To save money. We pay all of our artists up front – no waiting for residuals that may never materialize, so that’s always a consideration when expanding the team. And we were actually going to use a separate colorist on Murder Vibes, but with my decades of experience in filmmaking, animation, and Photoshop, I stepped in to take that on instead. Now it seems almost essential, as I have very specific ideas on how I want each of the two worlds to look. Color speaks volumes, so it also serves as my last pass on the story in a lot of ways.
When you were pitched the projects, what was your first thought? All in, or did you have reservations? The art feels like you went 100%, but there are always stories behind the scenes.
Mike: This project is very much Phil’s vision. This wasn’t developed as a collaborative concept — it’s a whole world with an incredible level of depth and detail all sprung from Phil’s imagination, his love and nostalgia for old Italian horror films, and his personal history. The comic itself is fully envisioned in his head, all the way to the panel and page layout. The challenge for me is portraying that vision with anything close to accuracy.
Vicente: From the beginning I thought Gringo Loco was a great character. Full of possibilities besides the fun that working with him would be for me. I love politically incorrect types: he smokes, drinks, has a go with ladies and above all, no respect for false morals.
With your Double Feature ready for Kickstarter, what can we expect from you guys next? Have any projects you’re working on? Issue 3 waiting in the wings? Please, let our readers know where to follow you for all your updates!
Phil: Yes, once Book 2 is finished, Book 3 is on deck, so that’s going to keep me very busy for the foreseeable future! We have other projects we’d like to tackle, like perhaps a graphic novel adaptation of one of my screenplays, not to mention continuing these two series on their own with new adventures. The best way to keep up with our madness is to follow on Instagram @diabolikllc and our website ProfessorDarioBava.com
Mike: My projects can all be found at https://forbiddenfuturesmagazine.com/
There you can find my other graphic novels, The Wet Nurse, The Crypt Kid, Mystery Meat and my illustrated weird fiction magazine Forbidden Futures.
Vicente: Working on WW2 stories for DC Thompson UK while waiting in the wings. https://www.facebook.com/vicente.alcazar.9
It’s silly but I think it’s important: What animal do you think you could take in a fight?
Phil: I have no qualms with animals. My fight is with The Man!
Mike: Nothing bigger or more aggressive than a waterbug.
Vicente: I honor all kinds of animals, though I must say, I am pretty good at catching flies and slapping mosquitoes. Anything bigger than that makes me very cautious.
Finally, What do you think people should know about DIABOLIK, you as individuals, or you as a creative force?
Phil: The formation of Diabolik has been the greatest honor of my life; to have two of my closest friends and allies, Ian Mackay and Dan Simpson, believe enough in the work we were doing to go full throttle – hiring the best collaborators, creating the highest quality work possible, regardless of whether not it seems profitable, has just been unbelievable. I’m incredibly grateful to them, to Mike and Vicente, to our cover artists and custom title queen Lydia Roberts, and to all the fans who recognize and appreciate the passion we put into our work.
Mike: I work 99% with traditional media. I never digitally draw, ink or paint my projects. I will color digitally, under protest — and I’ve recently started doodling and life drawing a little on my iPad. I think, with the advent of AI, it’s more important than ever to keep traditional hand crafted art alive and relevant.
Vicente: I see Diabolik as a new approach to comic book stories. Like previously said, there is a lot of fun involved in working on them. I hope some of it reaches the reader. That would be my real satisfaction as a creator.
Do I know Sabrina? Sabrina…Sabrina….Oh, you mean her? Yeahh. She’s wild. Homegirl throws solo dance parties in her bedroom. She writes like nobody’s reading…because they aren’t (yet). She is an award winning baker, and has seen every episode of every season of ALL the Star Treks, and Stargates except Stargate Universe because it wasn’t right. Perpetual teenager. 4’11 of sass and sarcasm. She’s obsessed with cats. Single if you can believe it. All around nerd, and just too weird for her own good. AND SHE’S PROUD OF IT?