Greetings, Zenescope faithful! As UNLEASHED gets rolling, the writers of the big horror event of 2013 have gotten together to talk about it. In the near future, you’ll see Raven Gregory, Mark L. Miller, Troy Brownfield and Pat Shand interviewing AND being interviewed by each other. You can read the pieces here on the Zenescope Blog, then hop over to the Z-Facebook page to post your own questions which the guys can drop by and answer. Remember: the Grimm Universe isn’t just our universe; it’s YOUR universe. You are the readers, and we want you to be as much as a part of this event as we are.
First up, Newsarama alum and writer of Zombies: The Cursed Troy Brownfield dusts off his interview hat to talk to Pat Shand, writer of Vampires, Demons, and Unleashed in general.
TROY BROWNFIELD: Pat, I think that everyone understands the basic premise of Unleashed at this point, but they might not know where the whole idea originated. Could you give us some insight into how the ball got rolling, and were some of the new characters like Helsing and Samira came in?
PAT SHAND: The gist of it is that a mysterious being has opened a portal to a hell dimension known as the Shadowland, unleashing hordes of vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, and other nasties onto Earth. So essentially we’ve got the Grimm Fairy Tales characters vs. classic monsters, which I think is just so much fun… but then you’ve got the added element of mystery. Who is the Being? What does he want? We’re building something very different from your normal summer blockbuster event, and I think fans of our books and new readers alike will be shocked.
Helsing has already had a great reaction. She’s the daughter of Abraham Van Helsing, the original, and she’s one of four timelost monster hunters who had been banished to the Shadowlands. When the monsters come out, so does she… so the Being has her to reckon with. Samira is the antithesis of Helsing – she’s the Being’s right hand man, and the Queen of all Vampires. Both of them are the stars of my tie-in series, VAMPIRES: THE ETERNAL.
TROY: You and Raven are arguably the architects of this particular event. Can you talk about what it’s like working with Raven, and do the two of you have a particular style in which you collaborate?
PAT: Raven will call me up, rattle off a 2Pac quote, I’ll sing the next line, and then we’ll talk shit for a little while. Before you know it, we have a plot. We’re just natural collaborators and we feed off each other’s ideas. Also, we pretty instantly know if an idea isn’t work based on the other’s reaction. Plotting with Raven is so natural that half the time it feels like we’re just fucking around and talking about friendly bullshit, so it’s surprising that the plot for Unleashed came out so tight. I guess it’s not really a surprise, though, because the collaboration is just so natural.
TROY: I will now ask the most predictable of comics interview questions: Pat, how did you break into comics?
PAT: I was running a review site for IDW’s Angel comics. I loved what they were doing, so I made it a point to get in touch with all of the folks working on those books. Not because I was trying to break in then, but because I loved the work they were doing. I befriended a lot of the writers and editors and started pitching, but it wasn’t until the last Angel book they published that they gave me a shot and put one of my stories in. Dream come true. I used that as a stepping stone and started working with other companies. Zenescope really pushed me as a writer, so when they asked me to go exclusive, it was a no-brainer.
TROY: Hypothetical Question: Joe and Ralph decide that you have to let someone else write the next Robyn Hood mini after Wanted, but you get to pick a different Grimm Universe character for your own new mini to run at the same time. Which writer would you pick to write the Robyn Hood mini and why, and which other character would you put into your mini and why?
PAT: Man, this answer is going to make me seem like such a dick. But I just couldn’t. I love writing Robyn more than any other character. I could sooner give someone my arms than pass Robyn Hood off in the middle of the story I’m telling. Her voice is my voice, you know? She is a bigger part of me than any other character, and losing that would be to lose some of myself. As far as working on another character in a miniseries, I’ve been asking about doing a Red Riding Hood or Van Helsing title a lot this year. We’ll see which of those happen first.
TROY: Dude, seriously; what’s your problem with GFT/GFTM&L character Marcus Jenkins?
You can follow Troy and Pat on Twitter at @troybrownfield and @patshand