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Meet Adam Sward, the artist for “Dark Art”


2009 was a great year for me in regards to writing and comics projects. I was published in IF-X and A Thousand Faces; I had two short fiction and one comic published on as part of the Special Edition project; and was hired to write Black Salt, a six-issue miniseries that is my highest profile project to date. Black Salt #1 was released in September, issue #2 should be available before Christmas and I have started writing issue #3. Feedback on my published work has been positive and I hope to use the successes of 2009 as the foundation for an even better year in 2010.

Adam and I discussed "Dark Art" in some detail via email. He did some sketches, one of which was this critter. This type of collaboration between writer and artist is one of the reasons why I love working in the comics medium.

One of the projects I have planned for next year is “Dark Art”, an eight page horror comic. The success of “Cutter’s Reward” kindled an interest in horror comics. I have always liked horror as a genre but was not well versed on horror comics, especially in the short form. I turned to the Creepy and Eerie Archives published by Dark Horse Comics to learn from the masters. I was amazed at the detailed artwork and how those artists used the space available to them, but from a writer’s perspective what was most valuable was what I learned from paying attention to the dialogue and narration crafted by the writers. I wrote “Dark Art” with these classic comics in mind. I feel the script is in keeping with the style of those horror greats, and have high hopes for the finished piece.

The man tasked with bringing my vision to life is Adam Sward. He was one of three artists I short-listed when I was looking for someone to draw “Cutter’s Reward“. That job went to Steve Smith, but I liked Adam’s work and told him I would keep him in mind for a future project. Adam was the first person I contacted when I completed the script for “Dark Art” in early November.

He was surprised to hear from me but was delighted I turned out to be a man of my word. He is now a full-time artist, and from the look of his online portfolio is an even greater talent.  I emailed him the script, he liked it, and an online discussion began. He wrapped up another project at the end of November and has agreed to take on “Dark Art” as one of his projects in December.

I am not going to give any details about “Dark Art” except to say I was inspired by Goya’s Black Paintings. The tale is not about Goya or that particular segment of his work, but in thinking about him and those works of art the idea that eventually became “Dark Art” was born.

Michael Colbert of Crazy Mary and Special Edition fame is putting together a horror anthology and had asked me if I wanted to be involved. “Dark Art” will find a home in Mike’s publication, which is slated to be released in the first half of 2010. If, for some reason, the anthology does not get off the ground I am confident “Dark Art” will be accepted into another publication. Either way, you will see “Dark Art” somewhere in 2010.

Fire plays a large role in "Dark Art" so Adam did this sketch to show me what he could do. I loved it.

2010 is not yet here and it is already shaping up to be a great year for me in regards to writing and comics. In addition to “Dark Art”, Black Salt #3 will be published, and there is already talk of completing the remaining three issues in the intended six-issue story arc before the end of 2010. Season Two of Special Edition began a few weeks ago, will continue into 2010 and includes two comics written by me, and at least one new work of short fiction. I would also like to submit another comic to IF-X, and another short fiction to A Thousand Faces. I will also be announcing in 2010 a project from Manoel Magalhães with which I am peripherally involved. Lastly, I hope to develop at least one longer project. I have several that are in the planning stages and feel it is time I try a longer format comic– a miniseries or graphic novel.


1 Comment

  1. Dino Caruso says:

    That’s a great looking sketch…seems like it’ll be a very cool story as well.

    Congrats on all of your success in 2009 Chad. Very well deserved!

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