BYRON BREWER: Before we discuss your new BOND one-shot from Dynamite, Ibrahim, I understand one of your other books, JAEGER, was nominated for a Will Eisner Award for Best Webcomic. That must have been very exciting.

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: It was, thanks! It's an idea that I had sitting in a drawer for a few years, and I'd blind-submitted it to a few publishers before I'd had a foothold in the industry, so I was very happy that it was well-received when it finally found a home.

BB: As an artist, I see you are a lover of James Bond. For awhile, you were doing pinups based on the BOND films each month. Tell readers about your fascination/love for 007.

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: I am, indeed! There are a lot of things about the character that appeal to the very base level of my male psyche, I think, haha. The cars, the gadgets, the suits. Bond is the template for so much of what has come since by way of the action hero genre. As I grew older I discovered a love of the deeper levels to the stories; the espionage, the intrigue, the danger, etc. It's a fascination that is forever growing and evolving as my awareness of the world does.

The Bond films (and the books they're based on) are such a diverse grouping of stories over several decades, and they made for the perfect exercise in graphic design and single-image storytelling. I started with one for fun and then it quickly became all 24 films, haha.

BB: How did you become involved in the BOND: SOLSTICE one-shot?

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: A friend put me in touch with editor Nate Cosby, and he and I had been emailing back and forth talking story, pitching ideas, and trying to find something to collaborate on. Then one day he wrote me and asked that I pitch him a James Bond holiday special one-shot. I was READY.

BB: Can you give us your take on James Bond as a character? Of course, at Dynamite we are talking about the Ian Fleming novel iteration.

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: Correct! The Fleming version of Bond is my favorite. Many of the films reduced his dimensions as a character, and Fleming's literary Bond is quite layered. There are a lot of aspects to him, and with the space allotted, I chose to focus on his sense of duty and his respect for M, his stoic boss who can be a bit of a mystery to 007. But his wit, love of finer things and nice cars are all over the book as well.

BB: What can you tell us of your book’s storyline?

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: M calls on Bond for a discreet, off-book mission. A dangerous Russian spy is attempting to gain leverage on someone inside MI6 through an estranged relative, and he needs to be removed from the equation, quietly. In the spirit of giving and the holiday season, Bond accepts the mission as a favor to M. But the mission turns out to be much more complicated and dangerous than Bond anticipates.

BB: Will we be seeing any new characters? If so, can you introduce readers to them here briefly?

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: In addition to M, Moneypenny and Major Boothroyd (Q), the villain and one other character are new to this Bond universe, but I can't say too much about who they are-- readers will have to stay tuned for the issue!

BB: Any BOND book is just as good as its villain. Who is 007’s foe here?

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: The baddie in this one is a ruthless Russian spy, ousted from the Kremlin for being too extreme. He's got MI6 blood on his hands, and is very deceptive. I think he proves to be a worthy adversary for Bond.

BB: I notice you are doing the art as well as the writing. Do you enjoy being a one-man band? Is it an advantage or disadvantage?

IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA: I do have the privilege of collaborating with Nate Cosby on this, whose input and notes as an editor were invaluable and made the story much better. We've also got my dear friend and frequent collaborator Jordan Boyd making the pages sing with his colors, and Simon Bowland putting the finishing touches on this with his lettering, which he's been doing an amazing job of across all of the Bond books at Dynamite.

There is nothing more rewarding than getting to write and draw my own stories. I'd liken it to driving myself to a destination and being very familiar with the route and the most concise way to get there, as opposed to having someone in the passenger seat call out “take a left up here”. Road trips with a friend are wonderful, but sometimes you just wanna get behind the wheel and cruise solo. So I'm very excited to pick up Jordan and Simon along the way and ride into shelves in November.