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Interview with Danny Donovan
With Jager

Click meRecently, I had the opportunity to interview up and coming writer Danny Donovan. Danny's been hard at work in the comics industry since 1998 when he couldn't take the 9 to 5 doldrums and quit. Since then he's worked for small press studios like Frog Stomp Studios, Blue Corn Comics, and Committed Comics.

Now Danny's working on some things that are going to make you all sit up and take notice. Yes, it's true. But thankfully he set it all aside to talk with me. Remember the name: Danny Donovan.

First off, I need to thank you, Danny, for taking time and agreeing to an interview with little ol' me.

No prob!

Now, Danny you're a man of many interests and projects (comic writing, online comics, smoozing with the big wigs, writing prose, movies). What's taking up most of your time now?

Secretly replacing heads of state with my own shadow cabinet, with plans to dominate the world within the next 2 years... you didn't hear that..

Actually, most of my time is being spent helping friends get their feet in the door in comics, and working with my little cabal of creative characters at Mad Science Studios. Which will be the sub banner for original works from folks like me, James Ritchey, III, Chad Porter, Dave Newton, Ron Fortier, Annika Laurea-Wood, and the list goes on and on.

While we're doing our own thing, we also offer a full pre-press service for any publishers wanting to give their line some spice. Our first client will be AC COMICS (publishers of FEMFORCE we'll be trying to relaunch characters that've fallen off the fan map as it were, and trying to re-energize them. And also looking to find licensed properties to try to breath some life into.

I'm also feeling out solo ventures, stretch what I can do in the writing world, and as you said, I have dipped my toes in Hollywood waters, which is SO much of a different yet similar atmosphere to comics, but, I've never been one to shy away from a challenge. I've got a good rooting section and I hope I can do them proud.

All this in your early twenties; How do you do it? Can you give any advice for those soon-to-be comic creators out there?

Well, I'll be creeping up to senile old coot any day now. I turn the big 2-3 in July (hopefully at SDCCI).. I hear my minions.. uh, friends shopping around for rest homes for me all ready.

How do I do it? Have more courage than sense! Honestly, that's the best way to do anything. If you're passionate and have the drive, and don't mind giving up any semblance of a real life or sanity (they're both over rated anyway) you can achieve anything.

As for advice, all I can say is try your best. Put your best foot forward and give it your all, if you love something, and put your heart into it, you'll go far. Its all patience and strength through adversity. Oh, and save your contracts. :-p If nothing else they make nice kindling for those starving artist years. But it's always good to have a copy of every business deal you enter into, in case things don't stay so rosey.

Click meYou had a big part in the 9-11 Emergency Relief from Alternative Comics, what was it like putting on the editor's pants to pull all that great work together for such a great cause?

Well it wasn't so much an editor's pants, aside from helping pick some of the talent. It was hard going for Dave, Neil, and I at first, we'd never tried to put together a book of our own before. Just 3 writers calling in favors! After Neil brought in Jeff Mason, publisher of Alternative Comics things got easier. I don't think I'll ever know how Jeff does it month in and month out, there's so much stress involved in playing air traffic controller with so many people. He was an amazing person to work with, and really made the project what it was.

But any stress, as I hope all of us involved with the project can attest to, is well worth the effort. We raised a lot of money for a great cause. One of the best moments of that entire experience was when I was on the press tour and had parts of my story on display at the NY Comic Book Museum in Manhattan. It was the first time I was ever really IN New York, usually I'm just back and forth to JFK Airport every few years or so.

Seeing the city from somewhere other than streaking past from the backseat of a car, was great. And seeing how many people came out to applaud not only our work, but Marvel's Heroes and DC/Dark Horse's 9-11 book.

It was a different crowd for me, being a small town southern guy and in the middle of this ritzy classy affair, I spent the evening in the company of another as bewildered by it as me, a firefighter, who used to be a big comics fan and got back into the swing of things with the benefit books. It was a blast hanging with him and his wife, discussing all the different books and going from piece to piece.

Back to you writing. What got you started writing comics?

Not being able to hack it at a real job! :-p Actually, I've always loved comics, and writing, And it'd been in my thoughts as a career ever since I found out it was something you could really make a life out of.

You've been busy with the company Committed Comics. What can you tell us about that?

Actually, the extent of my work for Committed Comics was a few years back; I worked on an Anthology book called Threads. I had a story appear in the debut #1 issue, with a cover by western legend and Marvel Inker extraordinaire, Dick Ayers. And the other was for I believe issue #3. Both stories were drawn by Dustin Weaver.

I think to this day they're still changing things with it, so all I know that's in print for sure was the first issue. I hope the second story comes about, Dustin's art was amazing.

How about Marvel's Epic line. Do you have any plans for that?

Not under the current structure. Although I never say never. If there's interest, the people in charge know how to contact me, I'm listening.

I love the guys and gals at the house of ideas. Anytime they want to give me a buzz, they know where to find me.

Click meSpeaking of Marvel, I've read rumors of a Cloak and Dagger series for Marvel Knights from you. Is there any truth to this? Why Cloak and Dagger?

That was one of those pitches that happened many moons ago that people are still talking about. Honestly, between that and New Warriors, I'm thinking of just sticking to pitching! People seem to remember the things that never were, compared to the things that are actually out there. (somewhere!)

It was to be a four issue mini series if it ever happened. With tonal art (sans inker) by Tom Derenick. For whatever reason, it didn't fly. Tom and I had a blast coming up with it. I still have the promo piece he did for it, which still amazes me to this day.

Tom, is off at DC Comics doing LOTS of stuff, just coming off of a really impressive Superman run, and doing stuff for Smallville (both the TV show and the tie-in comic). Next time that episode with the psychic kid comes on, keep your eyes peeled for his favorite comic book Warrior Angel, Tom drew those props.

You've worked for the big names and indie companies. Can you give us a look at the difference between the two? And which is more satisfying to work for?

Really the only difference is the money being thrown about. (some compared to none :-p) Hopefully if you're doing it right, it always stays about telling a world class story. Whether you're working on the #1 book in the land or something you photostat at Kinko's. Because you never know who's watching.

Working for the big guns, you have on the face, more cred. You're dealing with icons that have been around longer than you most times, and a bigger production budget so more people see it, but honestly as long as you have a passion for the work, both are satisfying places to be. And it just comes down to how much you spend at cons that year. :)

If you could create your ultimate creative team to work with, who would it be and what would you do?

In a heartbeat, James Ritchey, III my artist on Nietchsze Falling on something like The Creeper for DC or Tomb of Dracula/Daredevil for Marvel.

Jeremy Rock, pal and artist on the aforementioned New Warriors pitch, and newly acquired Avatar find, (bless your stars Willam!) who will be doing a Robocop book sometime in the near future. I think we'd both love to do New Warriors, our way if we had the chance, and probably Iron Man, due to his amazing way with robotic things and a great affinity I have for the character.

Dave Finch on Wolverine, another one of those things that never came to be, I would have loved to see Dave stick around on Wolvie, and I would have loved to have done that Spider-Man's tangled web story with him.

Tom Derenick on Spider-Man (any title) Or that Cloak and Dagger thing!

Dave Cockrum on that Storm story that got away.

And one thing I would love to do with anyone that'd let me, SUPERMAN! That'd be an amazing thing. Or anything with the JSA characters.

What are you reading now?

Contracts!!! *sighs* Sadly, I haven't been able to get out to the shops in many months, so I haven't gotten many of my fave books like New X-Men, JSA, JLA, Daredevil, etc. But other than dotting t's and crossing i's, I'm reading through Michael Moore's book Downsize This! Which is hilarious.

Millionaire or Playboy? Which and why?

Millionaire. If I had to pick one. Why? I guess it'd be so I never had to worry about cash flow again! Plus imagine the havoc I could wreck if I were to buy up one of the major comic companies and toss certain people at it? Sara (Eternity) Owens on Uncanny X-MEN! 22 pages of Gambit nekkid.

Ok, that's a reference maybe 3 people in the world will get but it's my interview. :) I think I'd make a better rich eccentric than playboy. Tony Stark I'm not!

Check out Danny's site:

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