For many, to write and publish a comic book would be a dream come true. For those who are willing to work hard and take risks, that dream can become a reality. Just ask Tony Scott Astley.
What is your name and the name of your comic?
My name is Tony Scott Astley and I’m the writer of The Darkest King.
What is The Darkest King about?
The comic pits two larger-than-life brothers, the Kings, against one another as they both follow their own quest for power – one seeks external power, while the other faces the struggle within. The younger brother attempts to take back the crime-ridden fictional city, Coldwood, from the crime lords, namely the ring-leader, Mr X, through dirty politics. The elder fights to become master of himself in an internal battle that plays out on the streets of the city, violent vigilante style.
Which brother is The Darkest King? This question is presented throughout the story. With complicated pasts and a reality that forces even the most honourable of characters to act in shades of grey, fans will have to make their own judgement by reading the full novel.
What difficulties have you faced while creating your comic?
Having to pay for everything upfront was a real stress and strain. No publisher will hire a writer and they rarely hire illustrators, so you have to find and put together your creative team, pay the illustrators and then present your full comic to publishers and even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a publishing deal. As for making the comics themselves, everything has run really smoothly. I work with an amazing illustrator and have a good, rising publisher who prints amazing comics.
What part of the comic creating process do you enjoy the most?
The most enjoyable is definitely flushing out my ideas on my white/cork board. Brainstorming, planning and writing ideas down really gives you an amazing feeling because you feel the story coming together.
If you had to pick, are you a DC fan or Marvel fan?
Oh, I love them both, but my heart is with DC. My favourite hero is Batman. On the whole, I love DC more due to its darker tones in their stories. Team DC all the way. Ha
Who or what was your inspiration for your comic?
My inspiration for any and every story I write is a simple quote from Toni Morrison “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
Do you have any advice for those out there who want to get involved in making comics?
I didn’t dive straight in. I did months and months of research before I even wrote my story as a comic. Read comics, research them and how to write them. Don’t rush getting your creative team together, it’s going to take time, but the end result will be worth it. Also, if you believe in your comic and yourself, then go out and do it because with a comic it is solely your vision and no one can take that away from you.
Any closing remarks?
Keep your dreams alive. Persistence and Patience is the pain to prevail.
The Darkest King issues one and two are available online here, if you enjoy Film noir stories then I highly recommend you read The Darkest King. It’s a bloody good read.