Dino Caruso is the writer of “Confidence Game,” a one-off short comic that appeared in Oneshi Press Anthology #02 in October, 2017. The story takes readers into the little-known underworld of superheroes and supervillains, exposing the less-than-glamorous reality behind the epic battles you see on the news. We talked to Caruso, a prolific writer with numerous anthology credits to his name, about his history, his inspirations, and his ambitions.
Why and how did you get into writing comics?
I had always been a fan of comic book and comic strips as a kid. It’s an amazing form of storytelling that had imprinted itself on me from an early age. It had always been a goal of mine to be a creator one day. And that day came when I met my pal Paul Quinn. He illustrated a couple of stories for me, and I was off to the races.
How did you learn how to write comics?
The classic reply to that question is “I’ll let you know when I finally figure it out!”
There’s actually a lot of truth to that. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s one that is a lot of fun. When it comes to actually writing the scripts, I learned by communicating with the artists I was working with. There’s no “correct” way to format a script. It’s all about clarity and working together to tell the story.
Who are your comics heroes? Who inspires you?
There are so many creators that do amazing work. The list would go on for days, but lately, I’ve been reading and re-reading writers like Greg Rucka, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman and Brian K. Vaughn. Berkeley Breathed, Will Eisner and Jeff Lemire are big talents with great storytelling skills.
Who’s your favorite comic book hero/heroine? Villain? Morally ambiguous anti-hero?
Hmmm…tough one. As a kid, I was mostly a DC reader. I always liked Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) and Robin (Dick Grayson) a lot. As far as villains and morally ambiguous characters…maybe the cast of Preacher? That’s an amazing series.
We published your piece, “Confidence Game” in our second anthology. That story dealt with a lot of moral ambiguity. Is that a theme you write about often?
That gray area is probably where the best stories happen. James Liswed did a great job creating a look that built up a world for those characters to inhabit. It was a true collaboration, and hopefully we can do it again sometime.
What’s important to you in a comic book?
That’s a great question, and an important one. I suppose I like a story that the creators are passionate about…a story that only these particular creators could tell.
Who are the artists you’re dying to work with?
There are some amazing artists out there in the world, and I’m always honoured to partner up with someone who’s eager to collaborate and tell a good story. This might be a good place to give a shout out to a few people I’ve worked with recently…Shawn Richison, Chad Cicconi, Simon Fernandes, Michael Odom—great talents, all.
Any new projects coming up?
Shawn Richison and I have a project called FISK: THE S.U.B.S.T.I.T.U.T.E coming out later this year. We’ve also got a second series called ORIGIN POINT that we hope to find a home for. Other than that, a few short stories and a bunch of irons in the fire.
Where can readers find you online?
While you’re here, grab a copy of Oneshi Press Anthology #02, featuring “Confidence Game” by Dino Caruso and James Liswed!