March 04, 2007

The latest on DARKNESS CALLS

Doing Nothing Gives It Power--An interview with "Darkness Calls" creators Steve Sanderson and Sean MuirSo, do you have any idea whether it is preventing suicide?

SM: "I get that all the time. The comic didn’t come with any evaluation money. It would have been very hard. Are you tracking this for one-year or ten years? I’ve looked at studies and the numbers tend to be incorrect. Coroners report it wrong. Families don’t want it [recorded] as suicide. It can be cultural. I look at it as an icebreaker. Usually with youth the wall goes up. What did you think of that comic? When we first started we came up with a nine-page manuscript. And we tried to get the youth to look at it. Try to get a fifteen-year old to look at a nine-page single-spaced manuscript. So we created a DVD of the storyboard, panning in and out from panel to panel and Steven telling the story. People started asking about the DVD and so we are going to turn it into an animated short. And the kicker is we’re taking the color animated short to a BC First Nation (an Indian reservation) that has a high rate of suicide and the youth are going to redo the dialogue in their native language."

What’s next?

SS: "We have two other comics on the way. One is about Diabetes. It’s a serious problem among First Nation people. It was tricky. The other is about staying in school. Also, about myself. I had a younger cousin who wanted to drop out of school. They also want to make a short film (of "Darkness Calls"). It’s terribly stressful. It’s like giving away the baby. It’s hard as an artist. It’s emotional. I want it to be handled to the degree it needs to be. How much control do I want to give away, how much do I want to keep?"

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