ROBYN HOOD goes ongoing!
So… the news has been slowly leaking this week and, with the release of PREVIEWS in comic shops today, the cat is out of the bag on a number of different things… but the one I want to talk about first is something I’ve been hoping to announce since 2012.
Comic Frontline was the first to pull the news from Previews World, so kudos to them.
ROBYN HOOD is finally going ongoing. The brand new ROBYN HOOD #1 will release this August, and this time, there is no end in sight. I’ll be returning as writer with the same team… Larry Watts, my artist soulmate, on art duties with Slamet Mujiono on colors and Jim Campbell lettering. Since the demands of an ongoing are high, we will have guest artists (one who I can’t wait to talk about!) on certain storylines, but the series will be structured so that Larry and I will be handling it together, as a team.
The trilogy (Robyn Hood, Wanted, and Legend) told a very specific story that made Robyn Hood the hero of Nottingham in the world of Myst. The ongoing brings Robyn — and a few returning characters from the trilogy — into New York City… for the beginning of an entirely new and epic story.
And the cover is drawn and painted by DC Comics superstar DAVID FINCH!
Here’s the solicitation info:
"The most badass archer in comics is back in a brand new ongoing series! From drug lords to corrupt bankers to the things that go bump in the night, no evils that plague the streets will be safe when Robyn Locksley sets up shop as a private detective in New York City.
While Robyn settles into her new life, the Cabal, a collective of mysterious and powerful individuals, sets their sights on bringing down the hooded heroine, who will face the biggest threat of her life.”
Interior art from ROBYN HOOD: LEGEND #1, in stores now. This art team will return for the ongoing series!
ROBYN HOOD #1 (Item Code: JUN141588)
Written By: PAT SHAND
Artwork By: LARRY WATTS
Cover A By: DAVID FINCH
In Shops: 8/13/2014SRP: $2.99
COMMENTARY on WONDERLAND: DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE #3
WONDERLAND: Down the Rabbit Hole #3
Written by Raven Gregory & Pat Shand
Art by Gregbo Watson & Yusuf Idris
Colors by Francesca Zambon
Letters by Jim Campbell
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
This was totally Raven. I’ll totally be saying that sentence again whenever I want to blame something on him (even if I wrote it, tehehe), but in this case, I just have to give credit where it’s due. I’ll often get calls from Raven, especially concerning Wonderland, that begin with, “WHAT IF WE (insert crazy and/or brilliant idea here)!?” The first issue was a product of that. Raven called me and said, “WHAT IF WE HAD THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE ISSUE BE THIS EPIC, TRIPPY BATTLE – ALICE VS. WONDERLAND, BOOM! And then, you know, we’ll have this page of bubbles and then boom, she’s in her therapists office.” He did that again here – he called me and was like, “Dude. Dude. Dude. Rabbit Hole three. The first page? Alice is going home… BUT SHE AND HER FAMILY ARE GOING BACKWARDS.” No one could write this successfully except Raven. No one on this planet. And yet, here it is. Kudos.
PAGE TWO and THREE
This is when Raven and I started getting the feel for what Gregbo is capable of. You’ll see that in the fourth issue, which is mostly double page spreads like this.
Here is when the overlap really begins. I dialogued this page that Raven had laid out in panels. He was way better at the deep ties to the original series, because he wrote it. I’ve read RETURN TO WONDERLAND as a fan before I ever wrote for Zenescope, so while this is a dream come true for sure, I also had to defer a lot to Raven’s intimate knowledge of the universe.
There’s that famous picture again. Bad things tend to happen when Alice looks at that picture.
Has a rabbit ever looked that intimidating? Actually, I just remembered DONNIE DARKO. I fold.
Here was a really hard part of this series. We have to reconcile the core concept of this series (Alice is not insane, but is rather aware that Wonderland is coming for her family, and she has to stop it) with her depiction as an insane white-rabbit loving, almost catatonic woman in RETURN TO WONDERLAND. Writing her is a balancing act, because we’re writing a woman who kind of IS losing it, who has to appear that she’s flly losing it, but in actuality she is fighting with everything she has. I think that is most evident in the white rabbit scenes.
I’ve complimented Raven enough. I am here to say that the conversation on this page got me a call from the creator of these characters, Mr. Gregory himself, raving about how excellent I am. Raven still repeats bits of this conversation to me, months after the script was written. (Bows.)
But really, both of our growing egos aside, this was the moment where I felt at home in this series for the first time. I like the second issue of the book a lot, but I did not feel natural walking in Alice’s shoes until this conversation. It’s drawing this parallel between the various members of her family that shows that, while they’re viewing her as this fragile, broken thing to be either mended or avoided or even to fear, their depression makes all of them interested in her and very… very… curious.
Charles Dodgson. Doesn’t he just ooze douche?
And now we’re really starting to cross over into RETURN TO WONDERLAND territory. I thought that’d make the book harder to write because we’re essentially doing “the scenes in this already very tightly written book that were not there in the first place,” but somehow, this is when I found my footing. Also, check for Raven’s clever reference to Lacie, the piece of herself that Alice left in Wonderland. We had to walk the line by making this new reader friendly while also having those nods to the originals.
I kind of regret making this a splash. Maybe we should have given the last page a bit more room to breathe, split the conversation between that one and this one. Either way, it LOOKS good. I also like to look back, though, and evaluate my own choices so I get better. Oh, wait, never mind, I can just blame Raven! TOTALLY RAVEN.
I loathe cheaters… and yet, I found myself striving to make Lewis sympathetic. In RETURN, he was seen with what looked to be a prostitute. I wanted to humanize him more, and show the struggle of a man dating a dangerously depressed person. I would never make the choices that Lewis made, but I think it’s important that we look into why they were made.
The Alice/Lewis scenes are the heart of this series for me. Lewis got the least page time in RETURN TO WONDERLAND, so I wrote this as sort of a marriage between a sequel to Raven’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND and Lewis’s story in RETURN TO WONDERLAND. Here is Alice trying very, very hard to remind Lewis that she is not what he has been treating her as. She is not gone. She is here, and she loves him, and she wants him.
I hate writing sex scenes because I am always afraid of writing something gratuitous. I think all of the love scenes in RABBIT HOLE are tense, heartbreaking, and plot driven, though, and there is nothing titillating about them. They are uncomfortable to read because they were uncomfortable and very sad to write. I hope and think that translates, because this is not foreplay… this is the deep, cracking sound of two people breaking together…
…and then breaking apart.
The Lewis/Alice dichotomy is especially at work here. The voice in Alice’s head is speaking to her, but the words it is saying also apply directly to Lewis.
Faceless Alice terrifies me.
Who hasn’t been scared of being grabbed by something in the tub or in a pool? I think it is one of those base, irrational, human fears. I probably owe mine to that horrific episode of ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? Maybe this will ruin some other reader’s psyche. Hope so.
Thanks for reading. ZOMBIES: THE CURSED #2, written by Troy Brownfield from a plot by me and Raven, is also out today.
- Pat Shand, 8/7