If you love, like, or tolerate me even a bit - drop by a comic shop and put in your order for ROBYN HOOD: WANTED #1 today.
I’m starting a mailing list. This will include links to downloadThomasina’s Human Zoo when the issues have been released, information about pre-ordering my books at very low prices, my appearances at conventions, and more. If you are interested in signing up, message me your e-mail address.
The Shape of Things to Come
Two days ago, Zenescope Entertainment announced Unleashed. It’s a massive event comic book, comprised of the main Unleashed series and five tie-in books. I’m going to use this entry to answer questions fans have been having, add some new information to the pot, and clear things up.
UNLEASHED #0 cover by Anthony Spay
1. The Basics
Unleashed is about a creature that we have been referring to as ”the Being.” This is not his his name - he is too old to have one. For reasons that haven’t been revealed, the Being opens a rift into a dimension that has been used as a prison for monsters for centuries. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, and more are unleashed on the Grimm Universe, and our heroes are facing the biggest crisis they’ve ever been up against.
2. FIVE TIE-IN BOOKS!?
My immediate answer to this is don’t worry. The entire Unleashed story takes place in UNLEASHED #0-6. The tie-in miniseries also stand alone, telling complete stories that focus on the new characters we introduce in Unleashed. I’m writing the main Unleashed arc, and all of the minis were plotted by me and Raven Gregory. Here is some more info on those series.
Written by Pat Shand
VAMPIRES: THE ETERNAL #1-3
Written by Pat Shand
WEREWOLVES: THE HUNGER #1-3
Written by Mark L. Miller (Jungle Book, Grimm Fairy Tales)
HUNTERS: THE SHADOWLANDS #1-5
Written by Raven Gregory
DEMONS: THE UNSEEN #1-3
Written by Pat Shand
ZOMBIES: THE CURSED #1-3
Written by Troy Brownfield
Here’s the release schedule:
Q: Will your vampires be monstrous or romantic?
A: This question actually has been asked a LOT in the last two days. The answer is… read the first few pages of Vampires: The Eternal #1. There is a pretty significant explosion of blood that will answer your question. We are definitely using these creatures to explore fears of death and why humans have been so enamored with vampire stories for as long as they’ve been around, but the opening of the book clearly makes a statement - that our vampires think it’s their job to erase what modern vamps have become.
UNLEASHED #0 cover by Jamie Tyndall, featuring VAN HELSING (co-star of Unleashed and Vampires: The Eternal)
Q: Who is drawing these books?
A: Superstar artist Nei Ruffino is doing the full art for Unleashed #0. That’s all I can say right now. (Really though, with Nei what more do you need?)
Q: Is this a crossover?
A: No. It’s an event, but each series is self-contained. While the shadow of Unleashed looms over the tie-in miniseries, each of these books can be enjoyed on their own. None of them will be side stories or ancillary; each story is just that… a story in and of itself.
Q: What do you need to read before this to be sure you’re caught up?
A: The Being is revealed in our Godstorm series, I did some early set up in Grimm Universe #1, and there is a short Unleashed prequel story in “THE BEST OF ZENESCOPE,” a one-shot that we’re putting out in February… but really, nothing. Not a thing. You can come in having read every Grimm Fairy Tales book, or you can come in blind. 100% new reader friendly.
Q: When does Unleashed begin?
A: April. To be sure that your comic shop doesn’t sell out, please pre-order your comics in February Previews.
Q: What else will Zenescope be doing during Unleashed?
A: There are a bunch of series that won’t tie in at all. We don’t want our whole publishing line to be one story. I’ve got a one-shot (not announced yet) comic in April, and I’m launching two brand new series (non-Unleashed) in May. Details on those next month. The other books, such as what Raven is doing with the Wonderland ongoing and what Mark is doing in Jungle Book: Last of the Species, will not be official tie-ins to Unleashed.
On the eve of the Godstorm…
In one day, Godstorm #0 will be released in comic shops all over the country. To celebrate that, and maybe tease you a little bit, I’ll tell a little tale of how the series came to fruition.
Last April, Ralph Tedesco (editor in chief at Zenescope and co-creator of Grimm Fairy Tales) asked me to write theGrimm Fairy Tales 2012 Annual, which told the stories of Greek and Roman gods in the GFT Universe. Based on Joe Brusha’s outline, I spun a yarn about the gods of old living in modern times. Some of them have adjusted quite well - Zeus is living as a business man named Gregor Brontios, Venus is a fashion icon, and Ares is… well, still loving war, and there is no shortage of that in our world. Others… not so much. Neptune has become a homeless wanderer, and Hades has been locked in the underworld after refusing to join Venus in her plan to reclaim their former glory and take over Earth. And that really was the crux of it - Venus, not content with her fortune and fame, was rallying the troops for a war against humanity… and I was the guy that got to set it up. Very gratifying.
(GFT Annual 2012)
The issue debuted at Wizard World Philly, the first show where I hung out at the Zenescope booth. I was in my glory - the GFT Annual was out, and the day before, Raven Gregory had called me to give me the job writing Robyn Hood. At that point, I knew nothing about the book. The conversation with Raven had gone, “Pat, GUESS WHAT YOU’RE WRITING! Robyn Hood! New flagship title for Zenescope! It’s all you, man!” Annnnd that’s all I knew about that book. It was called Robyn Hood and I was writing it. I was approached by Dave Franchini from Zenescope, and he congratulated me on getting that gig. “Man, I love Robyn Hood. So, you know, don’t fuck it up,” he said (which was the best advice I’d gotten about the book - Ralph and Raven would later repeat that to me). He told me what he knew about the book, which was that Robyn was a lady (I’d assumed, and honestly hoped, because I’d already crafted a voice for the character) and that it was spelled with a “y.” Compared to what I knew about what the book would be, that was a veritable wealth of information. Then, off-handedly, he said, “Yeah, with that and Godstorm, we’re gonna have some cool stuff.” Before he could even explain, I knew what Godstorm had to be. The series that I set up in my annual - Venus going to war with the other gods and humanity to reclaim her former glory. He said he thought Joe Brusha would write it, and all I thought was, “That’s going to be one hell of a story.”
Fast-forward a bit. I’m writing Robyn Hood, and going through a bit of a personal issue. The writing was going well, but I was in a pretty bad place. I was talking to Raven, who had quickly taken on the role of more than an editor but also a personal mentor, and he was giving me advice. He was like, “No matter what goes down, just look in the mirror and be like, ‘I will get over this. There is no one like me. I’m Pat fucking Shand and I’m writing Robyn Hood. And probably Godstorm too. No one else can say that!’ Bam!” After I’d processed the advice, I asked him, a bit nervously, “Wait, what? I’m writing Godstorm?” He laughs. “I think!”
A week later, I’ve got the gig and I’m crafting a story arc from the ideas that Joe gave me and Raven. I had the freedom to really make this story, which has a giant impact on the GFT Universe, my own. It follows through on the promises we set up in the annual, but it’s also a crime drama; there is the epic battles of supernatural powers you’d expect from such a title, but it’s also about a regretful father and a woman who turns his vengeful son into a weapon; it’s a completely modern story that I was able to lace with everything I love about classical literature; it’s at once the biggest, most action-packed story I’ve ever written and the quietest character piece I’ve done; it’s a strange, weird mix, and I’m pumped to see what people thing. Reviews have been strong so far, and I honestly feel good about the book, and the characters have all forced their way into my heart and brain to the point where… well, just about every day, I think, “What would Zeus (or Hades or Neptune or so on and so on and…) do if I put him in this situation…”
If anyone enjoys the book nearly as much as I enjoyed writing it, I’ll be very pleased indeed.
Hey, everybody/anybody! Zenescope Entertainment fans! Comics fans! Folks who haven’t ever opened a comic but might read my stuff! I’m taking any and all questions you might have about Robyn Hood, Godstorm, Grimm Universe, or any of the other books I’m working on. Also, any other kinds of questions.
To answer your first one, hyenas are my favorite wild animal.
I’ll be posting answers on my Tumblr. Leave ‘em here or inbox me.
Best review of a I’ve written… ever.
“REVIEW: GRIMM FAIRY TALES - 2012 SWIMSUIT EDITION”
Click the link. I have nothing to add.