11/27/13 @ 3:32 pm EST
The television series Grimm
is a hit and has built a loyal fan base. So when Dynamite Entertainment
started putting together the creative team for a comic book series based on the show, they did the smart thing… the got two of the show’s writers to do the scripts. Marc Gaffen
and Kyle McVey
sat down with Jim Zub
to talk about the Grimm Universe, writing Nick Burkhardt’s
adventures and keeping the fans happy. JIM ZUB: What themes or characters draw you to Grimm?
MARC GAFFEN: The biggest draw for us is that Nick’s story is, at its root, a simple fish-out-of-water story. The idea of a hidden world right in front of our faces has always been a fascination. And it leaves us with a lot of room to pull from history and bend it to our will. “Oh you thought Ancient Egypt was weird before, let us tell ya a little something about that.“ It’s fun. From Fraggle Rock to the X-men, the discovery that things aren’t always as they seem and a character trying to make sense of the insanity always resonates with people. JZ: Are there any favorite episodes that spring to mind?
MG: I think we both have a great fondness for an episode from the first season called “Tarantella”. It introduced the the Spinnetod creature. The creature wasn’t just some senseless monster, but someone that has to kill in order to survive. You feel for the Spinnetod because death is a necessary part of their life cycle. That kind of conflict has become the lynchpin for this latest season of the TV show and we hope that we’re bringing that same sense of dimension to the characters in the comic books. Drama resides in shades of grey…and we love that. JZ: I know fans of these properties can be sticklers for detail. How often do you find yourself re-watching episodes as you’re working away on a script?
KYLE MCVEY: Oh boy, you just mentioned one of the biggest fears any writer/genre writer has. People love the material so much that they have far longer memories than us when it comes to the little details. Make no mistake, in that regard the Grimm fan base are no slackers. They know their stuff. So we are always very cognizant of that fact. We want to give them something new but have it be informed by all that has come before us. It can be tough to keep it straight. JZ: Do you worry about making a comic like this appealing to a casual reader, someone who hasn’t watched the series before?
KM: We talk about this all the time. It can be tricky pleasing the hardcore Grimmsters’ thirst for a growing mythology while providing new readers with a welcome entry to the series. At this point in the run, we’re doing a couple really exciting, self-contained issues that play just like an episode of the show. They’re a great entry point for new fans before we go off the rails for Nick’s next globe-trotting arc. But we do try to tow the line and let the reader know what’s going on in each issue. Give them a little taste of what this world is all about before we toss them in the deep end. JZ: This issue seems to be playing with superhero-comic tropes more than the typical fantasy ones of the show. How did this story come about?
KM: We both grew up HUGE DC/Marvel comic book fans and here we’ve been given this world to play in where there are people hiding among us with secret abilities. Sound familiar? So it was nice to ditch the fairy tale set up and tackle the Grimm world from another angle. We live in a society where we’re constantly inundated with super hero’s in the media and in some cases (ie. The Rain City Superhero Movement) people have actually taken it upon themselves to live out their super hero fantasies. Imagine being a young Wesen, inbued with these amazing abilities, how could you resist the urge to suit up? JZ: How tightly do you write your comic stories – Are they full script with panel counts and detailed descriptions or more outline-style for the artist?
MG: We tend to be very detailed when we write a script. We specifically describe the shots we’re looking for. But at the same time we always tell the artist he has free reign if he has a better way to visually get the panel across. Comics are a highly collaborative medium — with the artist, inker, letterer, and our editor — and in the end the best idea, no matter where it comes from, wins. JZ: Do you have any particular writing habits or routine?
MG: Kyle and I are actually complete opposites when it comes to writing habits, but it is also very beneficial. I’m a morning writer, all my creativity runs from 8am to 3pm – but after 3 I usually become brain dead. While Kyle is a night writer. So we break the outline of an issue or an arc together, then I’l work on the script in the morning and send it off to Kyle in the afternoon, where he’ll work at it all night. JZ: What other projects, comic or otherwise, have you got on tap for 2014?
KM: Besides the comics, we have a couple things we’re really excited about next year. We currently have a film called “ReEnactment” that is in preproduction and slated to film next Spring. It’s a horror comedy in the same vein as “Evil Dead” or “Slither” that revolves around a bunch of Confederate Zombies that come back to life seeking REVENGE! Come on. Admit it. You know you’ve always wanted that movie. We’re also in the midst of writing an episode for “Grimm” that should be airing some time in March. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get to keep writing comics. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun so far. www.bleedingcool.com/2013/11/20/pleasing-the-hardcore-grimmsters-gaffen-and-mcvey-on-writing-grimm/
07/18/14 @ 11:41 pm EST
Review: Vampirella #1 (Collins)
Writer: Nancy Collins,
Pencils: Patrick Berkenkotter,
Inks: Dennis Chrisotomo,
Colors: Jorge Sutil,
Letterer: Rob Steen,
Cover: Terry Dodson,
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Vampirella gets a new start and a new #1 as this veteran character shows she can still star in one hell of a yarn.
With horror writer Nancy Collins at the helm, this is a particularly strong issue for everyone’s favorite dark mistress. There has been a kidnapping and Vampirella has been called in by the Vatican itself to investigate. All she has to hear is that Ethan Shroud is someone connected and off we go!
I was expecting a bit more of a horror vent in this one, but what Collins spins out instead is a bone-chilling detective novelette, complete with mysteries, victims and red herrings. And while we do get a bit of the mystic here, Vampirella’s strong suit as a dark detective really comes through.
And a cliffhanger that makes NOT wanting to read issue #2 impossible!
All in all, one of the strongest beginnings for Vampirella in her long, long history.
07/18/14 @ 5:51 pm EST
Writer: Brian Buccellato,
Art: Ronan Cliquet,
Colors: Viviane Souza,
Letterer: Rob Steen,
Cover: Jae Lee,
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Coming up fast on its conclusion (and sadly this book’s final issue), this most excellent and noir chronicling of the adventures of the Black Bat hits its stride with #11. Full of answers to questions posed since issue #1 and nefarious reveals, writer Brian Buccellato begins to put a bow onto one of his most brilliant pieces of pulp writing.
Our boy Tony now knows Cameron Tell, not Oliver Snade, is the true mastermind behind pulling the strings, and as he battles for redemption there is a possibility the hero may have to violate one of his most sacred vows. Will the vigilante turn to murder, even as the cops and press had feared?
For such a character-driven yarn, #11 is also very action-packed. Artist Ronan Cliquet has already proven his mastery of cinematic tenseness with the fabled “truck issue” of Black Bat, and here too we see that same sense of urgency that carries this tale through to its final page.
Anyone who is not utterly shocked by the conclusion of #11 has not been following this series, and if you missed it you really missed it.
07/16/14 @ 3:17 pm EST
Questions for Joseph Michael Linsner @ Dawn/Vampirella #1
Congratulations are in order on the occasion of Dawn's 25th anniversary, and those are congrats to you as creator. How does it feel to have created a character with such a legacy?
Thanks. It feels fantastic -- like a rebirth! I'm at the beginning of another 25 years and can't wait to get started. My epitaph is going to be "Joe Linsner -- The Dawn Guy", which I can deal with if that's my legacy. I'm very proud of the work I've done with Dawn on her 3 graphic novels. I'll be honest though, in 1989 when she first appeared in Cry For Dawn #1, I had no idea I'd still be drawing her 25 years later.
To my mind, I believe this is Dawn's first crossover with ANY character. But crossing over with a Dynamite signature character like Vampirella ... was there any added pressure there?
I have nothing but the greatest love and admiration for Vampi. She was designed by my favorite artist, Frank Frazetta! So that was an extra kick in the rear to make sure that I give this project my all. I'd be lying if I tried to say that Vampirella wasn't an influence on Dawn. I grew up loving Vampirella. Having the two of them meet for Dawn's 25th is bringing things full circle.
Instead of just handling the writing and covers, I now hear ...
06/12/14 @ 3:27 pm EST
Steve Grant Talks Jennifer Blood - From Bleeding Cool
Steven Grant is probably best known for his run on The Punisher as well as his recent story-turned-film, 2 Guns. Now he is tackling the Jennifer Blood character created by Garth Ennis. Byron Brewer caught up with the writer to talk about how the new series came about and why he likes working for different companies. BYRON BREWER:
Steve, how does it feel to be working with Dynamite Comics for the very first time? And on such a special project! STEVEN GRANT:
It’s interesting. I like working with different comics companies, to get an idea of how they’re similar & different & get a view of how different approaches work creatively. Being published by Dynamite was something I felt was worth doing. So far so good. BB:
Can you tell us a little bit about how this mini-series came about and how you became a part of it? SG:
In the wake of the 2 Guns film last summer, when things momentarily appeared nice and relaxed, I ran into Nick at the San Diego con. We’d loosely chatted about doing something for years, we’ve know each other for decades now. I told him to throw anything at me for a limited series, his choice. He took it under advisement. A couple months later he dropped me an email saying he’d really like me to resurrect Garth’s Jennifer Blood. All he had to do was say Garth Ennis, one of the most consistently interesting comics writers working today. I was pretty relieved, really. I realized after I’d said “anything” that John Carter was potentially on the table. Edgar Rice Burroughs is not my thing. But Jen made ...
06/09/14 @ 2:11 pm EST
Dynamite's Vampirella sale ends today on Monday, June 11th at 11 PM EST! All periodicals are priced at only 99 cents and collections are also incredibly discounted with prices ranging from $3.99 to $8.99!http://tinyurl.com/kfpm22s
Make sure to take advantage of this incredible sale!