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PopCultHQ Comic Creator Spotlight: DAVE DWONCH

PopCultHQ had the pleasure of interviewing comic creator Dave Dwonch, co-founder and President of Marketing and Development at Action Lab Entertainment and creator of Action Lab: Danger Zone’s upcoming series ‘INFINITE SEVEN.’

With over a decade in the industry, Dave has played a huge role in the growth and success of Action Lab Entertainment. He took part in creating the publishing company with fellow co-founders Shawn Gabborin and Shawn Pryor, produced the twice Eisner-nominated and five time Glyph-nominated series PRINCELESS, and has a list of titles under his belt. Oh yeah, and he’s also responsible for sculpting the overall direction of Action Lab Entertainment, and oversees the entire creative processes, working hand in hand with Action Lab’s writers, artists, designers and editors to produce the best comics on the market.

With credits to his name like Double Jumpers, Ghost Town, Vamplets, and Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab, he’s certainly carved out a sizable niche covering a variety of themes. In taking a closer look, his résumé spans a vast number of genres: crime noir, action/adventure, comedy, horror, and sci-fi. In INFINITE SEVEN, Dave’s ushering in almost an 80s Throwback genre, with the freakin’ hilarious title AMERIKARATE by Brockton McKinney, Corey Kalman, and Devin Roth following suit in March.

To see where Dave will be appearing this year, check his
Con Jobs page for a list of 2017 conventions

So sit back, relax, and find out more about INFINITE SEVEN and what you can expect, how important artists Arturo Mesa and Geraldo Filho are to Dave and the project, and hear how his new title will make an impact in 2017.

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PopCultHQ Interviews Comic Creator:

DAVE DWONCH

Dave with Nick Marino (Holy F*ck, Cougar & Cub)

PopCultHQ: INFINITE SEVEN is a team of badasses, each with their own unique personas and contributing skillsets. From where did you draw the inspiration for each of these individuals? Was it simply from movies and themes in the 80s, or were there actors who played a large part of it?

DD: Definitely a mixture of both. I’m a fan of “legacy characters” like Wally West and Dick Grayson, so while 80s action stars served as the initial inspiration for many of the characters, a lot of their back stories focus on how they tie to previous members of the Infinite Seven. Well, all except Lord Ellington. In my mind, he is Sean Connery James Bond, and the ONLY person to hold the Agent Seven title. Believe it or not, before he joined they were the Infinite Six. More on that as the series unfolds.

PopCultHQ: I noticed on the cover of issue two that next to the issue number, it says The Octagon. Since I’ve read issue two already, I recognized that immediately and it made me wonder…do you have plans to give INFINITE SEVEN an episodic feel, where each issue is “on the next INFINITE SEVEN…” complete with titles or chapters? Or are you taking the cinematic approach, considering the themes, obvious nods to 80s classics, and the movie-style variants for the announced issues to date?

DD: Definitely nods to classic films. I think it was [Robert] Kirkman’s Invincible that used TV sitcom names for story arc titles. I thought I’d be cute and do something similar. Movie titles did influence me early on, and I always joked that Anthony was one of the “Replacement Killers.” Though it’s not my favorite film, I really dig Chow Yun Fat flicks. Thinking like that gave way to story ideas tying to First Blood, Cyborg, A Better Tomorrow, and more. 

PopCultHQ: I imagine one of the difficulties in having a main crew with seven individuals is being able to give each member their “fair share of screen time,” if you will, in order to explore each’s background and identity. How difficult do you find it trying to maintain a balance of revealing each individual’s character while trying to advance your story?

DD: It’s tough, but I’m doing my best! Thankfully, I have no idea who fans will gravitate to, so everyone is sharing the screen equally. I have my favorites, but I’m trying to play fair!
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PopCultHQ: You’ve assembled a skilled and lethal team not only in INFINITE SEVEN but also creatively. How is it working with Arturo Mesa and Geraldo Filho and how influential were they in bringing your story and vision of the characters to life?
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DD: I’ve been working on the story for a while, but Arturo and Geraldo are definitely adding layers to it. Arturo is geeking out on these pages, man. You’ll see what I mean when we get to issue four. I’m just the guy that sets up scenes in the Infinite Seven trophy room. Arturo is the one filling it with cool stuff. And I swear I didn’t give the note– Geraldo is the one who colored the Chimera soldiers to look like Cobra troopers!
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PopCultHQ: Though still a couple weeks from release (2/1/17), how has the reception been so far for INFINITE SEVEN?
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DD: Really great! It seems like people “get” what I’m doing. It’s a love letter more than a mash up. I’m stoked that I haven’t (yet) been categorized as the latter.
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Action Lab Represent!
(l.-r.) Dan Mendoza, Nick Marino, Dave Dwonch, Brian Hess, and Jason Martin

PopCultHQ: Is INFINITE SEVEN part of the Danger Zone universe, as in could we see Vampblade show up or potential Easter eggs from various Action Lab titles?

DD: I don’t want to spoil anything, but one of the reasons I decided to go Danger Zone rather than Action Lab proper was so I could play in the sandbox. Jason Martin and Dan Mendoza are good friends, and I’ve cooked up a VERY cool way to bring them all together. It won’t be as big as the Actionverse in terms of scope, but it’ll definitely have lasting effects on my book, as well as the Zombie Tramp universe. It won’t happen for a while, though. I have a lot of story to tell first.

PopCultHQ: Can we expect any kind of promotion or exclusives planned in 2017 outside its regularly monthly distribution? (i.e. FCBD release, exclusive con variants, crossovers, one-shots, etc.) <Ed. note: ACTION FIGURES!>

DD: Oh, man! No, we’re going to focus on the series. Even the aforementioned Danger Zone crossover will happen in Infinite Seven. That said, issue seven will be special for the obvious numerical reason, and reasons I can’t reveal just quite yet!

Special thanks to Dave Dwonch for taking time to partake in this interview. But this is not the last of it! Be sure to follow PopCultHQ as we lead up to the release of INFINITE SEVEN #1 on Wednesday, February 1st. We’ll be on hand in Concord, CA at Flying Colors Comics where Dave will be making a signing appearance as well as drawing the winners of PopCultHQ’s INFINITE SEVEN Giveaway! 7 Winners will be drawn to receive INFINITE SEVEN #1, all its variants, a signed print, a collection of Action Lab: Danger Zone comics, and a special exclusive prize to be announced on Facebook Live at Flying Colors! If you haven’t entered yet, it’s so dang simple! You can do so below and perhaps Dave will draw your name as one of the winners!

ENTER NOW!!!

How to follow Dave Dwonch for all the latest!

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/dave.dwonch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/davedwonch

Websitehttp://www.outofmymind.co/

Extra special thank you to Joe Field and Flying Colors Comics in Concord, CA, Northern California’s one-stop comics super-store featuring a wide selection of reasonably priced comic books and other merchandise!

<PopCultHQ Comic Book Review: ‘INFINITE SEVEN’ #1 from Action Lab: Danger Zone>

<Preview Action Lab: Danger Zone’s New Release (2/1): ‘INFINITE SEVEN’ by Dave Dwonch>

Jason Bennett

Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ’s chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all!

Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett

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