Comics Features

INTERVIEW: Tucker Tota and Michael Ruiz-Unger – Creators of Dark Beach

What would happen if the sun suddenly died? That’s the premise of the new comic Dark Beach, (Kickstarter) as creators Tucker Tota and Michael Ruiz-Unger explain.

AP2HYC: So, the planet Earth loses its sun, causing it to fall into despair?

Tota: Well the “official” story is that around the year 2050, humanity realized that the Sun was killing us. So we developed a technology, a series of explosive satellites, to propel Earth away. But the TRUTH of why we left the sun is part of the conspiracy the Gordo begins to dig up. Since Earth has been drifting for hundreds of years, nobody is really sure what actually happened and everyone has their own theory. This is something that we’re looking forward to going into detail about in future issues.

AP2HYC: Would you describe this as a dystopian story or is it something else entirely?

Ruiz-Unger: It has most of the elements a dystopian story would have, but that’s not something we purposefully went for. I’d like to think of it as a love story masked as a noir thriller.

AP2HYC: Why is your protagonist, Gordo, nicknamed ‘The Ghost’?

Tota: In the original script, Duke calls him “Gordo the Ghost” because he sneaks in and out of crime scenes undetected. It didn’t make it to the final draft, but we like the nickname, so it’ll definitely come back around in a future issue.

AP2HYC: Do the other characters have their own secrets?

Tota: Oh yeah. We’re introduced to four main characters in this first issue, and all four of them are hiding plenty from each other and from the reader.

AP2HYC: Why did you opt for the moody art style?

Tota: We knew the colors had to be dark and moody to match the story. We thought of it as film noir while writing it, so definitely wanted to capture that mystery and suspense with the colors. But working with Ray Jones, the colorist, is what really gave it the vibe you see in the final product. He constantly blew us away with his work. He’s got a very original coloring style.

AP2HYC: Was this an idea that you and your writing partner had for a long time?

Ruiz-Unger: The very beginnings of the story came around 2010. I had a broad idea of where and what the story should be about. At first, I wanted to write it as a feature film but the prospect of creating a comic book appealed to me more. I then started talking to Tucker which led to many nights of world building and detailing our characters.

AP2HYC: How did you find the process of creating your first comic book?

Ruiz-Unger: Personally, I found it to be maddening but extremely rewarding. Conversation after conversation. Email after email. Lots of back and forth, but then you finally see a finished page and its all worth it. I can’t wait to do it again for issue #2.

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About the author

Davidde Gelmini