Dan Parsons is well known to fans of Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics, having worked on various titles in that universe over the past decade. During his career, he has played pretty much every role when it comes to creating comics but it is his talent as an inker that fans get to experience most often. As an inker, he maintains the integrity of the original sketches while creating a depth to his characters to create a seamless image of emotion. At Phoenix Comicon, Rush Urbalejo had a chance to ask him a few questions about his career.
Mr. Parsons, you’ve been working on Star Wars comics for close to 15 years now?
Actually, about ten years, since 2002.
And that was about the time you finished up Stranger Kisses, right?
I’m surprised you remember that…
Obviously, the Star Wars universe is something that is well loved by so many different people through so many different mediums. How do you manage to stay fresh after ten years?
Well, you know, I have constantly been inspired by comics since I was nine, so that never really comes as a challenge to me. It’s kind of like the ideas just sorta spring because, like I said, since I was a kid I’ve been inspired by this type of medium.
What were the first comic books that really inspired you?
Well, when I was nine my uncle gave me an X-Men reprint and that kind of opened the door. I had a few comic books when I was nine or ten then I found the [Frank] Frazetta Books when I was eleven. I saved my allowance just to buy those. Those were probably the biggest influence on me. As far as comic books, when I was a kid I kind of liked the Creepy and Eerie magazines, believe it or not, in addition to Captain America and the regular superhero stuff. But I always did like the black and white stuff with a lot of…mood to it.
So like pulp fiction type comics?
Yeah. Even Marvel Horror Comics, I loved those! I mean, they came out a few years before I started collecting but the back issues were still cheap at the time. So Werewolf By Night and [Frankenstein’s Monster
That was a great title!
Yeah, and all of those Marvel magazines that were also about horror monsters, I love those. And, you know, my work reflects that too, to some extent. It has a dark edge to it.
Yeah, it looks like you really have a grip on fantasy and on the dark. Is there anything that you feel like you should do just to challenge yourself? Maybe more lighthearted sort of work?
Yeah that would be a challenge! That would be cool, try to do something a little different. Personally, I think doing a comic book that’s funny and writing something that’s funny is very difficult. It’s probably the hardest thing. I mean you can kind of do things that are cool looking or kind of horrific or scary but doing something that is generally funny…now that’s a challenge.
Big thanks to Dan Parsons for taking some time out of his busy con schedule to talk to us. If you want to find out more about him, you can find him on Facebook. Stay tuned for more of Rush Urbalejo’s coverage from Phoenix Comicon!