10 Questions for Dave Flora

Dave Flora is the talent behind the acclaimed pulp comic Ghost Zero from Moonstone Books. Ghost Zero is widely-admired by fans and pros alike. Illustrator Scott Wegener says, “Many of us in the comic book world pay homage to the pulp classics. Dave Flora has gone several steps further and resurrected the very spirit of the pulp hero itself.”

You can check in on Flora’s work on his Ghost Zero Blog and the Moonstone Books website.

Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?

I never really started comics with the idea of making a living. I really just wanted to come up with a story that involved all of my favorite things — pulp heroes, ghosts, and rural horror.

Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?

My parents for teaching me about positivity and persistence, and my wife for supporting my creative desires.

Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?

Probably Doug Klauba, though there are others. Doug’s unrelenting support of the Ghost Zero comic put me in touch with Moonstone Comics and being “officially” published. Along with being super talented, he’s probably the nicest guy in the comics industry, period.

Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

I have to get out of the house and either sit quietly out on the family farm, or dive into something that feeds my creative urge.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.

Right now, I work a day job from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. After dinner with my family, I hit the drawing board and stay there until about 9:00 PM. I usually spend five or six hours a day on the comic over the weekend.

Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?

I typically work on BlueLine comic board — which is a hot-pressed Strathmore paper — with pencils, followed by inking with a brush pen and micron pens. Then, I render the whole thing with grayscale Copic markers to get that “1950’s black and white movie” feel.

Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?

I really enjoy looking for new ways to improve the art with each story…and I get a great thrill when I come up with an idea that seems particularly spooky and fun!

Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?

Ghost Zero is all that I have — and all that I want — so it has to be the most rewarding project, but only because it really contains all of the things I’m very interested in, personally. I think if you’re going to tell a story, it has to be uniquely you — something only you can do.

Question 9: We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?

Adam Hughes once said “To be successful in comics (particularly as an artist) you have to have two of these three things: One, You have to be fast; Two, you have to be good; Three, you have to be a great guy to work with. If you have all three of them, great — but if you don’t have at least two, you won’t make it in comics.”

Question 10: Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?

That the good things in life — like a loving relationship, a great comic, or a great career — all take regular, diligent effort. Don’t expect the perfect thing to just fall in your lap.

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