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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With ‘The Shelter’ And ‘Suicide Note’ Artist, Dwayne Biddix!

In the first installment of our exclusive coverage for Indy publisher Hardway Studios we have a special interview with “THE SHELTER” and “SUICIDE NOTE” artist Dwayne Biddix. The illustrator sat down with us to discuss these projects, the zombie apocalypse, people offing themselves, and future projects. Read on for the exclusive interview!

THEoDEAD: ”First of all thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Before we get started on “THE SHELTER” why don’t you give readers your ‘origin story’ so to speak? How did you get involved with comics? What did you work on before “THE SHELTER”?

Dwayne Biddix: ”Well, THE SHELTER was, in its most basic form, the very first idea studio publisher, Chris Carpenter and I came up with when we were thinking about starting our own studio, way back in 2005. The original SHELTER is DRASTICALY different from the new one.

As for how I got into comics, I had done some small press stuff and Chris and I decided if we are going to work this hard we should put it toward a company we could succeed with. With the studio, I have done many projects that are still in limbo at other companies, before we became our own publisher, but the work that has made it out are, THE SHELTER (original), MORBID MYTHS, THE SUPREMACY, and SUICIDE NOTE. As well as the new THE SHELTER and I am currently working on a new slasher comic called TOOTHGRINDER. ”

THEoDEAD: ”Tell us a little bit about “THE SHELTER”. What is the basic premise? You co-created the story as well as donating your talents for the artwork, correct?

Dwayne Biddix: ”THE SHELTER was an idea Chris and I came up with where we had a heart-breaking ending idea and we worked backwards to develop the full idea for the story.

The premise is about VIOLET, our lead character, awakens to a world swarming with zombies and she has to find a way to survive. She finds a shelter where survivors can go to wait the invasion out, but she finds that there is not always safety in numbers.

Yes, I am the co-creator, along with Jamison Kasian and Chris Carpenter. I did the penciling, cover colors, and lettering. I plan to ship the comics with my donkey Max soon! ”

THEoDEAD: ”There are a lot of horror stories going on right now, particularly ones that use the zombie aesthetic, what do you think sets “THE SHELTER” apart from the rest of the pack?

Dwayne Biddix: ”THE SHELTER is less about the zombies and more about VIOLET struggling to make it one more day. This is a much more emotionally driven story than your typical gore zombie story, though we do gore it up pretty good! ”

THEoDEAD: ”What kind of zombies are you using in your universe? Are we looking at the classic George A Romero style zombies that are much slower and deliberate, or are they the balls-to-the-wall run for your life type zombies?

Dwayne Biddix: ”It is sort of a hybrid. They are like animals that move in packs that spot a target and just descend on them until they overwhelm. Some are fast and some are slow. ”

THEoDEAD: ”What type of zombie films or stories inspired you with the story for “THE SHELTER”?

Dwayne Biddix: ”The way we see it, every zombie story sort of builds on the ones that follow. All good zombie stories drive you to do better and all bad zombie stories drive you to do better than they did. ”

THEoDEAD: ”Should readers be able to expect a very violent outing with “THE SHELTER”?

Dwayne Biddix: ”It’s not over the top on every page but where we do have it, WE HAVE IT! ”

THEoDEAD: ” “THE SHELTER” is described as a “one-shot in the dark” event. Is there indeed going to be just one issue of the story, or would you like to further explore the world you’re presenting?

Dwayne Biddix: ”This is a one-shot. What we are doing is giving people a one-shot comic that gives them a whole story, to try a new title out. If the book goes over well, we will absolutely go back to the world with longer stories. The ONE SHOT IN THE DARK will offer many different stories that will range from slasher, such as TOOTHGRINDER, to gore fests, to psychological horror, and any other skin-crawling thing we can dream up.

With comic prices going up we want to give everyone the chance to give a new book a shot and get a whole story without having to invest in a series of issues or trade paperback.

So the future of all the stories you read in our ONE SHOT IN THE DARK line will be left in the hands of the reader. If you like it let us know, if enough of you tell us, you will see that world again! ”

THEoDEAD: ”Do you have any other projects coming up this year or even further down the line that we should keep our eyes open for?

Dwayne Biddix: ”Oh, yeah, but my torturer has promised a lot of pain if I give too much away right now. But I do want to talk about it soon!
But I can say that TOOTHGRINDER, a ONE SHOT IN THE DARK comic is coming soon. It is an old-school slasher comic about a deformed killer who loves to disfigure his victims in some very gruesome ways. ”

THEoDEAD: ”Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers and fans before we let you go?”

Dwayne Biddix: ”Yes, before you let me go, can you please pull me back up onto the building? Seriously, our greatest joy is to know people are responding to something we create, so it is awesome that people like you are reading what we say and create.

Thanks for having me; it was a pleasure talking with you and thanks to everyone who took the time to read this! But now I hear someone coming down the staircase, time to look busy!”

We would like to thank Dwayne for the interview, and his keepers for allowing him to speak with us. To check out Dwayne’s work head on over to Hardway Studios website. And be sure to keep it locked here at Bloody-Disgusting.com’s Graphic Content as we continue to bring you exclusive content from the guys at Hardway all month as part of our April Spotlight!