Dennis Culver To Lauch ‘Davey Jones And The Mystery Of The Monocle Men’ In ‘Dark Horse Presents’ This March [Interview]
This March two curious kids get the best friend they could ever ask for: A legendary, undead sea captain who helps solve mysteries. That's right, Davey Jones and the Mystery of the Monocle Men by Dennis Culver is set to debut in Dark Horse Presents #34. Described by DHP Associate Editor Jim Gibbons as "A Scooby-Doo type mystery by way of the Hardy Boys with a big zombie pirate and nautical trappings," Davey Jones is set to run for three DHP installments through issue #37. Click through as CA works to crack the mystery of just what Culver has in store for DHP.
ComicsAlliance: What's the premise of Davey Jones and the Mystery of the Monocle Men?
Dennis Culver: Cribbed from my pitch: In the small seaside town called Ishmael Bay, two kids, Sadie and Jackson, throw a message in a bottle into the ocean to summon the supernatural pirate hero: Davey Jones. They solve mysteries and have adventures.
CA: But who are the Monocle Men?
CA: What made DHP the right home for Davey Jones?
DC: Jim Gibbons was the one that brought me in to work on the Captain Midnight story for the CBLDF Annual and after that we got to talking about me pitching something for DHP.
CA: What was your inspiration for the story and how long did you mull its details over before you knew you were on to something you really wanted to make?
DC: This is one of those cases where I knew what the format was for the story before I had the idea. Since it’s DHP I knew it would be three parts and eight pages each. After thinking on it a bit I envisioned kids putting an SOS in a bottle and throwing it out to sea but I had no idea what would walk out the water to help them. Then one day I was riding around in the car with my wife and I got the visual of Davey Jones. It was perfect. I met up with Jim at SDCC and he loved the idea. He ran it past his boss on DHP, Mike Richardson, and he loved it too. It all came together pretty fast.
CA: This story title kind of sounds like the name of a band. Has it occurred to you to take this act on the road?
DC: It was this title or DAVEY JONES: LET’S GET KRAKEN but that, my friend, is another story.
CA: To my knowledge you have never interacted with undead pirates, but do you have any other scary or supernatural-adjacent experiences that've informed this tale?
DC: You don’t know my life, Caleb. Some of my best friends are undead pirates.
CA: When you write, do you have defined character voice sounds in your head? If so, who does your Davey Jones sound like?
DC: Pretty standard salty pirate voice in my head probably pretty close to that pirate dude on Venture Bros.
CA: You have quite a bit of all-ages and humorous work in your portfolio. Do you naturally gravitate toward comics with a "fun" element to them?
DC: Yeah! I love fun! My work is certainly not geared for any set age group but any age group can read it (if they can read, sorry babies.) My stuff is just what naturally comes out of me when I tell stories. It’s pretty good.
CA: Sloane Leong, a fellow comic book artist, is coloring this story. How hands-on are you with colorists and how has it been teaming with her on Davey Jones?
DC: Sloane rocks! When I was looking for a colorist for this story, my buddy David Brothers suggested Sloane. I really liked her colors in her portfolio especially the work she did on Sabretooth Swordsman. Jim reached out to her and she said yes. We just got the colors for part one and I love how moody she made the story. I can’t wait until people see it!
CA: You're a busy creator doing Edison Rex monthly with writer Chris Roberson at MonkeyBrain, this project, and I suspect a few others. Is 2014 going to be your most prolific year yet in terms of releases?
DC: That should be the case. Two Rex trades should be coming out in 2014 if all goes well. Plus I have an OGN I did a few years back for Oni Press written by Jeffrey Burrandt and colored by Ramon Villalobos that should see the light of day soon. Everything’s coming up Culver.