|SHANNON ERIC DENTON
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DF Interview: Shannon Eric Denton talks Lion Forge, ‘80s-era comics
By Byron Brewer
If the 1980s are your thing, then you’ll probably be interested in the titles being released by Lion Forge. They recently released Miami Vice Remix and coming this month, the trade paperback of Knight Rider, which collects the first eight issues.
Lion Forge Editor Shannon Eric Denton recently talked with Dynamic Forces about these properties and more, and their unique core base of fans.
DYNAMIC FORCES: Shannon, tell us a little bit about your duties as editor-in-chief at Lion Forge Comics.
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: Man, that’s a long list of TO-DOs. A big part of my day is overseeing current projects, lining up future relationships like the print partnership I set up with IDW Publishing, as well as meeting with TV and movie producers about our properties. I’ve been all over Hollywood as of late spreading the word.
DF: You have had a slew of job titles in a wide variety of media, but I think you like to describe yourself as a "storyteller," correct?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: I do. People probably imagine the guy who tells stories at the campfire but I’ve found in this business people want you to be an artist or a writer. My being both and doing it in not only comics but TV, Film, Toys and Video Games really confuses many as it’s not often someone gets to play in all those arenas. I’ve been very fortunate but at the same time it’s not accidental. I set my mind to making things happen then I go for it. It helps that I have a thick head and can pound my head up against the same NO door over and over till it gives up and becomes a YES door.
DF: How did you first become enamored with comics, Shannon? I believe it had something to do with Marvel Team-Up?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: The Electric Company and Spider-Man. That led to Marvel Team-Up #47 with Spider-Man and the Thing out to stop the Basilisk. I was hooked on comics from there on!
DF: Lion Forge has been coming out with some titles reflecting back on many of our childhoods: Airwolf, Miami Vice ... and you just announced a new TPB of Knight Rider. Tell us about Knight Rider and this initiative as a whole.
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: Knight Rider has been a joy to work on. We have our first arc with TV writer Geoffrey Thorne and fellow former WildStormer Jason Johnson on art. Out of that comes all of our Airwolf and Knight Rider one-shots with creators like Marc Andreyko, Mike Baron, Barbara Kesel, Jeffrey Mariotte, B. Clay Moore, Adam Warren and more! Those special mission issues will be collected into the Airwolf: Airstrikes and Knight Rider: Knightstrikes trades. Really looking forward to everyone checking those out!
DF: Are these new stories, reprints of classic comics, or adaptations of stories that have previously been seen on TV?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: These are all brand new stories. They are basically the original series we all know and love but set in the here and now. They are a great jumping on point for new fans but have so much of the original story in them they should appeal to fans of the original series as well!
DF: Dynamite Entertainment has had success with titles such as The Green Hornet, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Why do properties like these remain so popular with such a stoic fan base?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: I think they had great characters. There are plenty of TV shows that didn’t stand the test of time because they didn’t connect with folks even when they originally aired. The ones that did make it into the collective consciousness had a magic and a charm that is timeless.
DF: What makes Knight Rider such a property?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: Michael and K.I.T.T.! Both are great characters. I cared what happened to both of them each week. That’s the x-factor networks are constantly chasing but find elusive each TV season. With Knight Rider you get this great friendship dynamic. They’re the odd couple and kindred spirits at the same time.
DF: Did I hear there may be a Knight Rider / Airwolf crossover?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: You heard correctly! We have an awesome script in for the crossover from the supertalented Adam Warren! I can’t wait to get an artist on this one and get it rolling! Adam and I have been trying to find something to work on together ever since I edited at WildStorm. It was a blast to finally get to collaborate on something! When I came up with the idea for the crossover story, Adam was the first guy I reached out to! He’s a true joy to work with.
DF: If up to you, Shannon, what former TV favorite would YOU like to see be translated into comics next?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: I don’t think I’m at liberty to say! That’s like letting the other team know what play you’re gonna run before you run it! That being said there are still a ton of them out there so let me know what you’d like to see!
DF: So creatively, what should we look for next from Shannon Eric Denton?
SHANNON ERIC DENTON: I have a few animated episodes on various shows that will air this year. Stay tuned for updates on that (as I can’t say what they are yet). You can also look forward to our Miami Vice Remix, Airwolf, Knight Rider, Rampage Jackson and Andre trade paperbacks in addition to our Lady Zorro & Lady Rawhide mini-series out now from Dynamite! Follow me on Twitter @ShannonDenton for all the latest news!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Shannon Eric Denton for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. The Knight Rider TPB is slated to be released June 3rd!
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