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Local comic book writer’s series is based in Red Deer

The third issue of ‘The Nefarious Symths’ is scheduled to come out Wednesday
Red Deer’s Dug Dixon is getting ready to release the third edition of his comic series ‘The Nefarious Smyths.’ Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer’s Dug Dixon has loved comic books his whole life.

“The first comic I ever bought was Gargoyles (issue) No. 1, because I was into the cartoon at the time. Then I got into Spider-Man after that, and it just kind of grew from there,” said Dixon.

Now, he’s getting set to release the third issue of his own comic series, The Nefarious Smyths.

“I was a driller for five years and I just snapped one day and thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I hate this, I’m never home.’

“So I quit drilling. My wife and I went to Lake Louise for a summer and worked at the ski hill. We almost went broke doing that, because we still had all our bills to pay in Red Deer, so we came back and I got a pretty good job at Olymel.

“But I had to do something, because all I do is work … and my wife told me I should do something creative.”

Dixon then began writing the first issue of The Nefarious Smyths, which is based in an “else world Red Deer” that was attacked by aliens, and he reached out to artists to draw the comic.

“I wanted to make something about Red Deer. Nothing is ever about where I’m from. It’s always about New York or California.”

Dixon’s wife suggested he bring the first issue to Chronicle Comics in downtown Red Deer. He said they were excited to sell the comic – the second issue’s cover features the storefront of the business.

The third issue of The Nefarious Smyths is scheduled to come out Wednesday.

It’s unclear how long the series will run, but Dixon said he has plotted out about 20 issues.

“I was just going to make one to have it and check it off the bucket list. …But then when I made one, a lot of people liked it, so I thought I should make another one, which is cool, because I want to keep going.

“There are a lot of people I’ve talked to locally who have wanted to make comics, but just haven’t. It’s kind of cool because now they’re thinking of making a book, too.”

The artists Dixon is working with are based in Mexico. Even though he isn’t drawing the comics, putting the series together has still been a lot of work, he said.

“I thought being the writer would be the easy part, but there are so many emails, and you have to check everything. I’ll look at the drawings and say, ‘Oh this car’s the wrong colour here.’

“I don’t know how anyone could do it all. It’s definitely nice to have a team.”

For more information, or to support a Kickstarter campaign for the series, visit

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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