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Interview: 'Dahlia in the Dark' Delivers A Hitman's Fairy Tale

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios 

In comic shops now, Dahlia in the Dark is the latest series from Mad Cave Studios mainstay Joe Corallo (Becstar, She Said Destroy). This six-parter invites readers into two worlds: the criminal underbelly and the realm of the fantastical. When these two realities come crashing into each other (and they will crash!) the results will be one fast-paced, action-packed, fantasy thriller! 

In the following interview, Ringo Award writer Corallo explains what it's like when magic meets mercenaries.

 DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

Catch us up to speed. What is so funky about Dahlia in the Dark?

I actually just read a tweet from @ThatComicGirl that summed it up as Supernatural meets Mad Max: Fury Road and while that wasn’t necessarily my thought process going into writing this comic, I think it’s a good way to sum it up. 

Beyond that, I worked to ensure the pacing was fast and that there was quite a bit of action in every issue. And the action is never taking the place of strong character moments. As I was putting this story together I never felt that I had to sacrifice action for the story or vice versa, and I hope that comes across in the final product for readers.

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

Can you talk about Donny Dahlia and his daughter more? Why are they important to this story?

I want to be careful in talking about this, as I don’t want to reveal my hand too early. That said, the core of this story is Donny’s relationship with his daughter, whether or not she’s there with him in person. So many of Donny’s decisions are informed primarily through his relationship with his daughter, from taking on this job that’s the catalyst for this series to how he treats other people along the way.

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

This book is a mishmash of crime and fantasy, right? What made you want to fuse those two genres?  

I’ve always loved fusing genres. I’ve previously collaborated with Rachel Pollack and Eva Cabrera on the ComiXology Originals series The Never-Ending Party which blends horror and romance with mythology. I view storytelling as really about the characters and their relationships, and the genres help with worldbuilding and provide a compelling backdrop for these characters to interact with. To me, a crime when looking at it as a genre is very easy to plug into something like fantasy to create something unique that can complement both genres.

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

The artist on the project is Andrea Milana. What made Andrea the right artist for the job?

I had the opportunity to look at Andrea’s work before Mad Cave reached out to him. After seeing his work I was pretty convinced he’d be a great choice, which Mad Cave agreed as well or they wouldn’t have reached out to Andrea in the first place. Andrea has some very expressive character work which is crucial for a story like this, while also being able to create fantastical imagery of things that don’t exist. And I can’t understate how beyond the linework, Andrea is a fantastic colorist that makes this book moody when it needs to be moody, and pop when it needs to pop.

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

Looking forward, what can readers expect from Dahlia in the Dark?

Issue 1 sets up most of the important characters that Donny is going to run into. That said, people can expect more action and magic is we start to see more of Donny’s past and can put some of the pieces together to figure out how Donny got to where he is and what he’ll do when he gets to his final destination; if he can even get that far. 

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios

In terms of audience, who is this book for?

I’d say it’s probably a teen+ kind of audience for something like this. People who like crime noir and fantasy, or grounded stories that have something fantastical about them. I’d also say this book is for anyone who has lost someone, whether they’re just not in your life anymore and still out there or that have passed on, that still thinks about them all the time and strives to be a better person because of them.

DAHLIA IN THE DARK from Mad Cave Studios 

Dahlia in the Dark is available now at your local comic shop. Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more artist spotlights! 

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #1 (OF 6) CVR B SHEHAN
(W) Joe Corallo (A) Andrea Milana (CA) Chris Shehan
A washed up hitman, Donny Dahlia, takes one last job transporting a package cross country in the hopes of seeing his estranged daughter again. Little does he know this job is going to get him caught in the middle of a war between the fairy realms that could determine the fate of humankind.
Dahlia in the Dark is a fast-paced, action, fantasy thriller about family and hidden truths. Ringo award winner and Eisner nominated author Joe Corallo (She Said Destroy, Becstar, The Never Ending Party) joins rising star artist Andrea Milana for an all-original mini-series that will take readers on one wild ride!
In Shops: Dec 07, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #339

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #2 (OF 6) CVR A MILANA (MR)
(W) Joe Corallo (A/CA) Andrea Milana
Unable to hide from the law for long, Donny is forced to confront the police while being unknowingly pursued by a federal agent. All of this while Donny's partner in crime grows suspicious that he's hiding something from her. Meanwhile, the outlaw king of the fairies grows impatient and begins his preparations for war.
In Shops: Jan 25, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #341

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #2 (OF 6) CVR B SHEHAN
(W) Joe Corallo (A) Andrea Milana (CA) Chris Shehan
Unable to hide from the law for long, Donny is forced to confront the police while being unknowingly pursued by a federal agent. All of this while Donny's partner in crime grows suspicious that he's hiding something from her. Meanwhile, the outlaw king of the fairies grows impatient and begins his preparations for war.

Dahlia in the Dark is a fast-paced, action, fantasy thriller about family and hidden truths. Ringo award winner and Eisner nominated author Joe Corallo (She Said Destroy, Becstar, The Never Ending Party) joins rising star artist Andrea Milana for an all-original mini-series that will take readers on one wild ride!
In Shops: Jan 25, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #341

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #3 (OF 6) CVR A MILANA (MR)
(W) Joe Corallo (A/CA) Andrea Milana
A hostage situation gets out of hand, leading to Donny going off on his own during the ensuing chaos. The outlaw king of the fairies, dissatisfied with the progress made in retrieving the package, sends a powerful wizard to earth to end this chase and take back what is rightfully his.
In Shops: Feb 15, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #368

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #3 (OF 6) CVR B SHEHAN (MR)
(W) Joe Corallo (A) Andrea Milana (CA) Chris Shehan
A hostage situation gets out of hand leading to Donny going off on his own during the ensuing chaos. The outlaw king of the fairies, unsatisfied with the progress made in retrieving the package, sends a powerful wizard to earth to end this chase and take back what is rightfully his.

Dahlia in the Dark is a fast-paced, action, fantasy thriller about family and hidden truths. Ringo award winner and Eisner nominated author Joe Corallo (She Said Destroy, Becstar, The Never Ending Party) joins rising star artist Andrea Milana for an all-original mini-series that will take readers on one wild ride!
In Shops: Feb 15, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #368

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #4 (OF 6) CVR A MILANA (MR)
(W) Joe Corallo (A/CA) Andrea Milana
Donny has to fight his way through a magical blizzard to confront a powerful wizard and the treacherous fairies that are helping him take the package back to their outlaw king. Meanwhile the federal agent in pursuit of Donny has been betrayed, but it will only make things worse for him.
In Shops: Mar 22, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #371

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
DAHLIA IN THE DARK #4 (OF 6) CVR B SHEHAN (MR)
(W) Joe Corallo (A) Andrea Milana (CA) Chris Shehan
Donny has to fight his way through a magical blizzard to confront a powerful wizard and the treacherous fairies that are helping him take the package back to their outlaw king. Meanwhile the federal agent in pursuit of Donny has been betrayed, but it will only make things worse for him.

Dahlia in the Dark is a fast-paced, action, fantasy thriller about family and hidden truths. Ringo award winner and Eisner nominated author Joe Corallo (She Said Destroy, Becstar, The Never Ending Party) joins rising star artist Andrea Milana for an all-original mini-series that will take readers on one wild ride!
In Shops: Mar 22, 2023
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #371

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.

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