This publish is Filed Under:

Home page Highlights,
Interviews as well as Columns

Beau Smith under cover of darkness.

by beloved Smith

He’s one of the most prolific writers for the past 25 years. He co-created one of DC Comics as well as Batman’s biggest villains, Bane. He has written whatever from The Hobbit to The Simpsons. He is now seeking to dominate a new field of fiction, novels. He’s likewise a long time buddy of Westfield Comics. He is…. Chuck Dixon!

“Chuck Dixon Is My Daddy”

Chuck Dixon has been reading as well as studying comic books from the moment he discovered to read. Comic books as well as the art of composing comic books is something that has fascinated Chuck from the moment he saw the unique merger of words as well as photos in the four-color format. like Wayne Gretzky was born to play hockey, Chuck Dixon was born to write.

“Chuck Dixon Made Me state It.”

You’ll be difficult pressed to discover a writer who equals Chuck’s code of professionalism. It’s well understood within the publishing circles that Chuck Dixon not only turns his work in on time, he generally turns in it months ahead of time. His requirement for speed isn’t done without substance, it’s done since he truly likes to write. His work doesn’t go unrewarded, his core readership is legion. He has influenced many an aspiring writer on exactly how to compose outside, inside, as well as on top of the box. He was composing gender as well as age strong characters before it ended up being a comic book hot topic.

Bad Times book One: Cannibal Gold.

Chuck Dixon has now turned his talents to the field of novels with his latest releases in the prose field of poor Times: Cannibal Gold as well as poor Times: Blood Red Tide.

Chuck’s core audience has not only complied with him onto the prose path, they have enlisted new visitors to join them. The non-traditional comic book reading crowd has likewise stood up as well as went into the time travel tunnels that Chuck has produced with his poor Times series; a series that takes former U.S. army Rangers as well as scientists into time traveling adventures that nobody else has believed to travel. Chuck has completely mixed the genres of action, adventure, horror, science-fiction, history, drama, as well as compelling romance as well as provided the visitors a custom in shape material of fiction that they can checked out as well as wear with pride.

Recently, Chuck as well as I satisfied at an concealed armed forces “Black Spot,” where the saucers are discovered in the sky, not the cabinet. He was kind sufficient to take a bit time out from work he will ultimately deny, to tell me about his travel from comic book composing to prose writing. I believed I’d share this conversation with you.


“Chuck Dixon–He’s never Under Par.”

BEAU: When composing prose, it seems that there is an open sea to sail on with dialog, character development, as well as set up. Did you discover this “open sea” freeing or did you still feel the craft of composing comic books wanting to keep you contained?

CHUCK DIXON: It was quite daunting at first. I mean, comics is my thing, my mutant ability. While I like reading great prose, it’s as a reader. I never truly examined exactly how the author accomplished what he accomplished. however I examined comics as I grew up, reading as well as re-re-re-reading the exact same stories searching for the craft behind them. The language of comics is fused into my mind.

And I enjoy the collaborative element of comics; the joy at seeing what the penciler has done as well as every step of the process. With prose, I’m all alone available in the shadow of Jack London as well as Dashiell Hammett. It’s scary. however I’m beginning to enjoy the “open sea” as you put it. I’m not afraid to sail from the sight of land now. Well, not as afraid.

BEAU: Your poor Times series of books, Cannibal Gold as well as Blood Red Tide, have a extremely cinematic feel where, as the reader, you can truly see as well as comprehend the characters, the surroundings, as well as the dispute without being weighed down with the overacting that some authors feel they must do to be taken as a “real writer.” Do you feel that your career as a comic book writer has improved your prose composing to make it so film-like?

CHUCK DIXON: I truly set out in comics to be of the “invisible hand” institution of writing. I put the story in front of everything. When I was coming up the style was long, verbose captions as well as artificially arch dialogue in which writers flexed their wordsmith muscles. I favored the composing of Archie Goodwin, Mike Baron or Larry Hama. utilize just sufficient words as well as get out of the method of the artist.

I assumption that brings over to my prose work. I don’t get bogged down in scene descriptions or inner monologues. I’m discovering to not compose “the parts nobody reads” as Elmore Leonard put it. You truly requirement to let go as well as enable the visitor to fill in the visuals. It’s genuine simple to get lost in descriptions. however I’m no Victor Hugo so less is more for me.

BEAU: You’ve always been noted for your extensive research study when composing comic books. Do you discover that composing prose adds to the research study since you don’t have an artist drawing as well as laying out things for the reader?

CHUCK DIXON: Again, I let the visitor fill in the detail. It really takes less recommendation beyond getting location names right. I like action experience fiction as well as I’m a gun nut. however even I get tired to tears with endless descriptions of what rifle a character is using. I figure other visitors are the exact same method as well as some visitors don’t understand anything about firearms. So, I balance my descriptions between the two. Do you truly requirement to understand what design frame a revolver is on?

But I am, in the poor Times series, forcing myself to send my characters back in time to less familiar periods as well as locations than I’m knowledgeable in. That makes it fresh for me however likewise means more reading. I have to raise the bar on myself so it doesn’t get stale. It’s likewise fun to share the experience of finding a new world with the readers. I’m setting a future book during the Taiping Rebellion in China, the bloodiest war in human history that most Westerners have never even heard of. It’s going to take some homework to do that a person justice.

BEAU: You’re a household man, a businessman in addition to a writer. Do you set aside specific times to compose as well as if so, has this altered since you’ve added so much prose to your already extremely active schedule?

CHUCK DIXON: Prose has turned my routine upside down. I spend more time composing now than ever. It’s not onerous since I like it. however it’s a different experience since it’s a long form. With comics I can compose as much as ten pages a day if I have to as well as have a completed story in a week. With prose I have to re-think that. I’m not quick by comparison to other prose writers who compose in a day the word count I can only perform in a great week. however I discover that it goes much quicker as I near the end of each book as well as the disparate aspects I’ve established draw together.

Novels are likewise different in that you can end them just about anywhere. In comics, which are all grand opera as well as nothing like genuine life at all, you requirement that dum dum DUMMM moment at the end of each story. You can end novels peaceful as well as still leave people feeling like they’ve checked out something worthwhile.

Bad Times book Two: Blood Red Tide.

BEAU: evaluations for your poor Times series seem to have caught a extremely wide variety of visitors that favor an even wider variety of tastes; action, adventure, history, science-fiction, horror, as well as flat out drama. Touching all these bases of emotion as well as genres would be a monumental composing task for most writers, yet you’ve been able to not only do it, however more than satisfy this broad visitor base. The evaluations have proven that in addition to the incredible word of mouth the series has produced. My concern is, when you are composing this, are you composing it for yourself as well as what you are interested in, or are you taking in what you believe the visitors want as well as trying to touch on all bases?

CHUCK DIXON: I’m composing for an audience base with restricted reading options. like convicts or guys working at a remote drilling rig. When composing comics I photo a precocious ten-year-old. When composing these novels I photo a lonely truck driver reading by a lamp in his sleeping cab.

But, more seriously, I compose what I want to read. As far as the reviews, when you phone call your book Cannibal Gold I’ve already reduced my visitors to those pre-disposed to like my stuff. If I’d called it Restless hour of the Misbegotten I’d be seeing a great deal more one-star reviews. I wished to phone call it what it was. nobody goes to Island of the Prehistoric Hookers expecting Kurasawa.

BEAU: For those that have not yet traveled in time with your team of former us army Rangers as well as scientists in the poor Times series, exactly how would you finest explain what they are missing as well as their story?

CHUCK DIXON: It’s about a team of ex-Army Rangers hired to go back to prehistoric Nevada to rescue a team of scientists who were the very first to travel with an experimental field generator. The eggheads run into great deals of nasty surprises that all their research study did not notify them off as well as they requirement somebody to pull their asses out of there. It complies with a style of mine that you’re much better off not making assumptions in life since life always has other plans. however it’s bloody action against impossible odds. as well as there are cannibals as well as there is gold. For sex, you have to buy for the sequel.

BEAU: As a lifetime starved reader, what strictly prose writers have influenced you the most?

“Fargo by John Benteen”

CHUCK DIXON: as well damned many. The earliest was Edgar Rice Burroughs. That guy might compose action like nobody else. even Gore Vidal agreed with me on that one. Ben Haas, when he was composing westerns as John Benteen, is another. I understand that you’re a huge fan as well as introduced me to the Fargo books by him. one more guy who might compose remove compelling action. Donald Westlake is one more either composing under his own name or as Richard Stark. I likewise admire a historical fiction writer named Alfred Duggan who composed mainly about ancient as well as medieval times. Cormac MacCarthy, George MacDonald Fraser, P. G. Wodehouse, as well as Frederic Pohl are likewise favorites.

But when composing pure pulp, Charles Whiting is the guy I keep in mind. He composed a crapperload of paperback originals in the UK as well as lots of pseudonyms. His stuff was vile as well as bloody as hell as well as he never let historical facts get in the method of a ripping yarn. When the anal retentive history buff in me starts to bog the story down, I believe of Whiting as well as plow through.

BEAU: If casting the team as well as supporting characters of the poor Times series as a film or TV show, who would you have play the parts of Dwayne Roenbach as well as the team?

CHUCK DIXON: In my mind, Lucas Black should play the lead or perhaps play Hammond. He’s not that famous however he’s authentic in a Steve McQueen type of way. The rest would be a batch of younger actors. These guys are Iraq as well as Afghanistan vets. They’re turning thirty or a bit over. Basically, anyone however Shia LaBoeuf.

BEAU: In the very first book, poor Times: Cannibal Gold, is there a specific reason you decided to set the experience in prehistoric Nevada as well as not a more well understood or utilized setting?

CHUCK DIXON: I didn’t want to tread familiar ground. I wished to take the visitor to a location they’ve never been so they might picture fresh visuals. If I had them go back to the Alamo or the battle of Thermopylae then I’m fighting against pre-conceived notions of what those times were like. In the second book I desired it to be a pirate adventure. however I set it in the ancient Aegean with Phoenician pirates. No yo-ho-ho or Spanish primary stuff. As much as I like that period in the 1600s, I wished to go someplace less explored.

I also, as well as this is the anal-retentive part of me, needed locations where the cast might conceivably set up their extremely unlawful field generator. See, my stories are about time travel. You go into the Taubder Tube in Pittsburgh, you’re gonna still be in P’burgh when you step out the other end even if there’s a T-rex waiting on you there.

BEAU: As a parting gift, please let our visitors understand where they may discover your poor Times series so they can set their watches to adventure.

CHUCK DIXON: Amazon, baby! Both books are offered on Kindle as well as in trade paperback here.


It was at this time around that the pilot of the black chopper motioned for Chuck to climb on board. A hood was put back over my head as well as I was lead to the transfer that would take me back to the dirt road where I was dropped to begin with. right before the chopper took off, I might hear Chuck state to me, “You should believe about using that hood all the time, it looks great on you… for the rest of us.”

Your amigo,

Beau Smith

The flying Fist Ranch

Leave a Comment