Ark Graphic Novel Cover A long-long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there once lived a very creative man with a mission on his hands. Granted, not exactly a 'mission' type mission. Agreed. Rather an itch to scratch of science fiction-type proportions. Now his name was Peter Dabbene. And he spoke to me just the other day, whilst scratching itches upon a Klingon's forehead. Bless him.

Staten Island, New York 1) What are your own origins, Peter? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   I grew up in Staten Island, New York, studied finance, and worked in that field for about a dozen years. I always wrote, but when my kids were born, I decided to get out of finance to be with them and focus on writing as a career.

2) What inspired you to create your sci-fi graphic novel ‘ARK’?   The idea was kicking around in my head for a few years, but it was never a priority for me because I knew I needed an artist to make it happen -- either that, or tell the story in stick figures. Eventually, I realized that if I didn't go ahead and write the script, it was NEVER going to happen. So I wrote it, and happily, found Ryan Bayliss to illustrate it.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   'ARK' has got a little bit of everything -- some 'hard' sci-fi, some space opera, and some mystery and humor. It’s the story of a crew that’s been cut off from contact with Earth, and whose supposed mission to colonize space doesn't completely add up. There’s a divide between the human crew and the meta-human passengers. And then it really starts getting crazy.

4) If ‘ARK’ was a song, what song would it be and why?   It’s kind of obvious and easy, but “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. Hey! They’re in space and a lot of odd stuff happens.

Jesus Christ Funny
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your graphic novel, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Probably Jesus Christ. It’d be great if he wrote a blurb. I think that might carry some weight.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with?   Writing 'ARK' has reinforced my love of comics and their unique characteristics, so I guess I’ve learned that I love writing for comics. You can tell a story in comics in ways no other medium can match. Comics are a collaborative medium (mostly) and while that coordination always brings its own set of difficulties (and unforeseen obstacles), the end result is well worth it.

7) How did you affiliate yourself with Arcana? And what format does your book come in?   We were looking for a publisher that had some name recognition, and Arcana is a respected, fairly well-known independent. We wanted a quality publisher, to show potential readers that we’d met with the approval of some people who knew what they were doing. Arcana seemed just right for what we needed, and happily, they felt the same about us and ARK. 

ARK is a 140 page graphic novel, available now digitally through Comixology for $4.99. The print version will be solicited in the September 2013 Previews, listing for $19.95.

Ark Graphic Novel Image
8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Probably the fact that I do a lot of different kinds of writing, which helps keep my approach to comics fresh. I also read a lot of different stuff, which brings in all sorts of influences and keeps me thinking.

9) If your novel had a motto, what would it be?   'Sic itur ad astra' -- which happens to be the motto of Explorer, the ship in ARK. There are variations as to the translation, but basically, it means, 'Thus you shall go to the stars'. But maybe more appropriate for the characters in ARK would be 'per aspera ad astra' – 'A rough road leads to the stars'.

Ohhhhh! Sound's very foreboding, Peter. Don't you agree, folks? So what are you waiting for? Check them out on facebookArcana, and Mister Dabbene's very own website! Trust me. It's a great read of interstellar proportions.

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