By Nick Christophers
The comic book world has taken a big step into the mainstream media in the past decade. It has transcended the boundaries of what was considered “just a kids” hobby. Even though collectors have gripped at the value of comics being less beneficial the fascination still exists. For fans and creators like Gabe Guarente, that is a big plus.
Gabe is a creator of a graphic novel, comic book and middle grade novel that covers the human psyche with a blend of realism and dark comedy. He grew up enjoying such titles like DC’s Vertigo imprint: Sandman, Hellblazer, Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing.
“The artwork was unlike anything I had seen before and the writing mixed more sophisticated storytelling with the pop mythology of the superhero world. Garth Ennis, Alan Moore and all those really twisted minds were always an inspiration.”
For his first attempt at the graphic world he published “Satan’s Prep” which opened the door to some heated experiences. It delved into the rebel in every teenager and their experiences in High School. But this High School just happens to be in Hell. Imagine you are befriended by a band of unholy characters who guide the main character through what is known as “Satan’s Prep”. Gabe joined forces with artist Dave Fox using the works of Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns as reference points. The idea of developing the story “Satan’s Prep” actually originated from an even more heated source “Dante’s Inferno”.
“Basically I was reading Dante’s Inferno and fascinated with the different mythologies of hell, wondering why it’s never really been updated all that much. I thought putting a sullen teenager in such an environment would be funny — then it just came naturally.”
It is no surprise that Gabe’s favorite super-hero is the Dark Knight. Based on his knack of delving into the dark side of things and throw in a bit of humor is not a shock. As for humor, Gabe went ahead and co-wrote the comic book “Comeback Kings” with his friend Matt Sullivan.
The comic is a cross between a “what if? and 007” combined. The story revolves around the possibility that such notables like Elvis, Jim Morrison, Tupac and Bruce Lee faked their deaths only to become secret agents against evil. That alone is hilarious and Gabe along with Matt serves it up with every ounce of imaginative scenarios. Gabe also penned a novel titled “Hook, Line, and Sinker “besides having features published in publications like Us Weekly and Men’s Health.
Even though we are at a time where everything is going digital as well as comics, Gabe feels it’s not a negative. One of his favorite apps is Comixology where you can instantly seek a title you like with a touch of a finger. The app also provides a cinematic experience to any story. Gabe also pointed out how the panels unfold with the swipe of a finger and the most important part is less comic book boxes taking up space.
Currently, Gabe is taking a back seat to comics and is working on a Sci-fi YA novel with no artwork. Considering his knack for dark comedy it would be no surprise that he comes out with another roller-coaster ride of humor laced with a touch of darkness. Visit Gabe’s website to keep up with all his great work.