Mad Cave Studios’ marketing manager, Maya Lopez, sat down with 2019 Mad Cave Studios Talent Search winner David Hazan, author of Mad Cave Studios’ newest fantasy horror series, Monomyth! Read on to find out about David’s inspiration, his creative process, and more!
Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, David! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
David: Hi! I’m David Hazan, writer (and sometimes) editor of comics who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been working in comics since I won the Mad Cave Studios Talent Search in 2019 and I’m the writer and co-creator of Mad Cave Studios’ Nottingham. If I’m not writing or working the day job as a lawyer, I’m usually found playing video games or Dungeons and Dragons, or watching as much TV as I can squeeze in.
Q: What is your biggest inspiration when it comes to writing comics?
David: I usually find inspiration in missed opportunities. Alan Moore talks about this a bit. If you’re only drawing inspiration from things you love, chances are you’re going to just be doing the same thing as them, but worse…but the things that you watch or read that have the seed of a great story in them but the execution or timing isn’t quite right have the potential to birth something truly special.
Beyond that, I love that comics give us the breadth to play with some pretty huge concepts, on a very grand scale. Then, there’s also the creators around me. Comics aren’t a genre, and they’re as much a medium as they are a creative community. I draw inspiration and creative strength from the bald ambition of all my friends and colleagues in this crazy business. In particular this goes for the artists I get to work with on a daily basis.
Q: In Monomyth, we follow the descendants of an ancient bloodline on a journey through a deadly school for magic. What was your biggest inspiration in writing this story?
David: I wanted to deconstruct the power fantasy inherent in the magical academia subgenre. To me as a writer, knowing the kind of horror and pain that we put our protagonists through…I couldn’t think of anything worse than getting that invitation to attend a school for magic…and so our protagonists, our descendants of ancient magical bloodlines…they don’t really have any choice in the matter.
Q: What got you into creating comics?
David: Some kind and patient colleagues got me reading comics after they got very sick of me talking about adaptations of comics without having read the source material. I had been writing for a while (in fact, I do have a writing degree) and something just clicked about writing comics. From there, I entered the MCS talent search and won!
So Nottingham, and eventually Monomyth (and many more comics) were born.
Q: Which character in Monomyth do you personally connect with the most?
David: Oh, that’s a complicated question. I’d have to say, both Kole and Kerra Michaels, a little bit. Kerra is intellectual, driven and fiercely loyal. Kole (her twin) is a bit of a rogue…somewhat of the oddball of the family. I think we’re all torn between these two – feeling the burden of trying to keep everything in control and also feeling like the world is almost conspiring against you to spin wildly out of control.
Q: What do you hope for people to take away from reading Monomyth?
David: A greater understanding of how stories shape our lives, from every comic, to every news report we read, to the very stories we tell about ourselves. The magic of storytelling affects every decision we make in our lives.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
David: This can be a tough one to articulate. I work from dot point plots, then expand those out to detailed (but not exhaustive) outlines. I will then write the script from what I remember of the outline, though sometimes I refer to it if I hit a stumbling block in an attempt to get a result that feels organic and not so rigid adherent to the outline.
Q: Who/what are your biggest influences as a creator?
David: Anything that plays with comic book form or is deeply metatextual is basically like comic book crack to me. Alan Moore, Grant Morisson, Tom King, their work all really speaks to me as a writer.
Q: What are your favorite stories/artists/genres?
David: Obviously, fantasy is a big influence on me as a genre. I’m currently taking myself through the Witcher books and loving every minute of it. Other than that, so many things – from the big ones like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, all the way to obscure spy thriller TV like Counterpart.
As for artists – I’m usually a fan of comics-in-boxes style stuff (Mitch Gerads, Caspar Wijngaard) with really effective character acting and expressions, but then some really innovative layouts always get me going too (JH Williams III, Riley Rossmo) – and Cecilia really takes inspiration from both schools of comic making.
Q: Any upcoming projects we should know about?
David: Tales from Nottingham is still going, with brilliant creator teams on each issue, telling some interesting tales within the world of Nottingham. We’ll be back for Volume 3 of Nottingham next year as well, and Shane and Luca’s art has been coming in and it’s truly phenomenal.
I also have a new series, Death Drop: Drag Assassin which launches with #1 on June 14 from Scout Comics, as well as news of an upcoming Kickstarter dropping soon!
Q: Any cons you’ll be attending in the near future?
David: I will be at OzComicCon in Adelaide and Melbourne this coming June, as well as later in the year in both Sydney and Canberra. I’m also planning to make an appearance at NYCC this year, so stay tuned.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
David: Nothing other than to thank our readers, particularly the Mad Cave stalwarts for taking a chance on us once again. I hope you enjoy it because, I may be biased, but I feel like Monomyth is really something special.
ABOUT DAVID HAZAN
David Hazan is a comic book writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. After winning the Mad Cave Studios’ 2019 Talent Search, David exploded onto the comics scene as writer and co-creator of their hit medieval noir comic, Nottingham, which returns with a spin-off anthology, Tales From Nottingham in 2023. He has enjoyed collaborating with a number of publishers including Mad Cave Studios, Aftershock Comics, Scout Comics and more.
Instagram: @davidthazan | Twitter: @davidthazan
Monomyth #1 is now available on the official Mad Cave Studios website, and is available at your favorite bookstore, local comic shop, and digital comic reader!
Mad Cave Studios is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded by Mark London in 2014 driven by madness and committed to quality. For additional information, visit madcavestudios.com.
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