The following is an interview with Joe Corallo and Andrea Milana regarding the upcoming release of the comic book series, Dahlia in the Dark, through Mad Cave Studios. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Corallo and Milana about their shared creative process in bringing the story to life, what they hope that readers will take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Dahlia in the Dark! What inspired you to bring this action/fantasy thriller to life?
Joe Corallo: Thank you so much for the kind words! This particular project is very much one I worked with Mad Cave on, so it’s a joint effort as far as that goes. After I was on board, we looked over some artists and I remember suggesting Andrea out of the ones we were looking over, and I like to think that was an inspired choice!
BD: The series deftly combines the crime noir and urban fantasy genres. How would you describe your shared creative process in weaving these genres together, both in terms of the narrative and aesthetic?
JC: Honestly, it was all pretty seamless. Andrea and I have only ever communicated via email, and yet I feel like we ended up just being on the same page with little effort. Andrea’s designs and the way he’d lay out a page would always work out with very little additional input. I feel like we made a great a team, but he’ll let me know if I’m wrong!
Andrea Milana: I confirm everything that Joe wrote, the work with him went on unhindered, and I was immediately comfortable with it. Regarding combining the noir and urban fantasy aesthetics, it was a pretty exciting job, especially in terms of palettes. Until now, I had worked more on black-and-white comics, and being able to find the right color combinations was quite a challenge.
BD: Andrea, did you have a specific art style in mind when you first read the concept for Dahlia in the Dark, or do you feel that your design evolved over time after working through the script with Joe?
AM: It certainly evolved as the story progressed, and at times I would even abruptly change style letting the script inspire me. In fact, you will find that in a couple of scenes I drew with a more painterly stroke. No matter how many references you might use, as the story goes on, the characters tend to take on a life and features of their own.
BD: Joe, as this will be a return to work with the Mad Cave Studios team, what makes Made Cave the perfect home for this story?
JC: Mad Cave has been very good to me. They’ve always made me feel welcome, made me feel my input on projects was valuable, and I try to give them my best work. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I hope to continue building on that for as long as they’ll have me.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that the story will connect with and impact readers?
JC: I think this story really delves into family related trauma, found family, and the complicated relationships we may have with people that are either close to us or traditionally assumed to be close to. Many of us, regardless of our backgrounds, have either direct or indirect experience with these sort of deeply personal situations, and I hope it resonates with readers as much as it does with me.
AM: Here again I find myself in complete agreement with Joe. We have all at least once experienced a difficult situation with the people we are closest to, and Dahlia in the Dark I think succeeds in conveying these difficulties. I hope that my drawings will also succeed in conveying what Joe had in mind to convey.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JC: I’m very happy with how the story I wrote for Archie’s Happy Horrordays came out, which [will be] available on December 14th!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Dahlia in the Dark and your other work?
JC: The best way to get more information as it comes is to check out the Mad Cave Studio’s website and to follow them on places like Twitter or Instagram. If Mad Cave is posting about it, I’ll be retweeting it, so following me on Twitter (@joecorallo) helps, too!
AM: I’ll just add that you can also follow me on Twitter (@AndreaMilanaArt) and on Instagram (@andrea_saru_milana).