TonyDoug Wright, occasional Love Slave and the diseased mind behind Champion City Comics, has a new comic in the works through Source Point press. Day 165 is a weird war tale that’s equal parts Our Army at War and The Twilight Zone. Joe and Tony sat down to talk about the new project, and Kickstarter campaign to fund the book.
THN: Welcome to the Ziggurat, Tony! What can you tell us about the story of Day 165?
TDW: Day 165 was a webcomic project that I developed with Giovanni Ballati, an Italian artist. We connected sometime in 2010 or 2011 via a comic book artist and writers forum, Givoanni politely turned down my crime noir pitch, and asked if I was interested in doing a story about the war in Afghanistan. The pitch was something along the lines of, “It will examine a day in the life of a soldier. Like day 165.” That’s how the title Day 165 was developed and I started to develop some ideas for a ten to fifteen page webcomic. War stories have always interested me, but I wanted to do something different to set the story apart from the pack. I proposed to Giovanni that we add some sort of supernatural event that happens to soldiers during day 165, and he liked the idea. Day 165 launched as a webcomic in 2012 and it was well received.
The comic book version of Day 165 we are currently offering is set during World War II and follows four British paratroopers who are lost behind enemy lines. One of the soldiers, Donnie, is an avid comic book reader and he idolizes Colonel Joe Monroe, an American comic book hero. Donnie’s sergeant does not appreciate the fact that one of his soldiers idolizes some comic book hero, so he tries to show Donnie what it means to be a real soldier.
TDW: Day 165 is a series that blends my love of old school war comic books like Fightin’ Army, Fightin’ Marines, and Sgt. Rock with some of my favorite TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories. When I was a kid, I pretty much read war comics and my favorite was GI Joe, which was written by the great Larry Hama.
THN: Who are your collaborators on this project?
TDW: I developed the story for this issue, but the script was written by Frank T. Allen, a fantastic writer from England who created the Bastard Son: Murderborn series. The pencils, inks, and colors were done by Joe Haemmerle, a very talented artist from Austin who also happens to be my cousin. Martin Perez, aka Magnus, provided the lettering for Day 165, and he’s a multitalented dude.
TDW: I received many positive comments about the original webcomic and decided a comic book would be the next step. Giovanni Ballati was not able to serve as the artist, but Frank, Joe, and Magnus were already part of the creative team, so we just shifted gears and moved forward as a group. The plan was to self-publish, but as the comic version of Day 165 was in progress, I was told about the good things going on at Source Point Press. They are a company based in Michigan, which is where I live so I connected with Travis McIntire who is one of the owners and he instantly loved Day 165.
TDW: You can back the project and receive a digital or physical copy of the comic book. However, you can back the project and get some titles from Source Point Press, an original Day 165 sketch from Joe Haemmerle, a special Day 165 pin-up from Erik Roman, a special Day 165 combat design by Victor Pozzi, a cool Colonel Joe Monroe piece of artwork from Joe Haemmerle, a Day 165 t-shirt, and dog tags. We are getting close to unlocking a stretch goal, so that means we’ll have twelve additional pages of another Day 165 story!
THN: When are you hoping to release the book and where will people that miss out on the fundraiser be able to pick it up?
TDW: The book is availabel for retailers to order right now and they can contact Source Point Press. The book will be availabel in November and you can go to the Source Point Press website to see what stores carry Source Point Press.
THN: Day 165 is a one-shot for now, but do you have plans for more? Any other comics work on the horizon?
TDW: I’m working on a second script just in case Source Point Press wants to continue with Day 165 as a series. I have it as a six issue series and everything depends upon the response in the series.
THN: Day 165 looks awesome and the donation tiers are super-reasonable. Matt and I have thrown our support behind it and you should to. Head to the Day 165 Kickstarter page, check out what these guys have to offer, and support indy comics. Tony, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today!
TDW: Thanks, Joe and Matt!