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.
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.
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.
Press Batch #1
Hey! It’s been a crazy week and change. I’ve decided to post, in addition to my weekly Robyn Hood tease, a collection of all the press that’s going on. It’ll be an easy way to follow the art we’re releasing, interviews I’m doing, and all that fun stuff.
This is what it all began with. Includes three covers for #1, info on the series, and a quote from me.
“Robyn Hood is the story I’ve been waiting to tell. We’re taking this girl, who pretty much has everything good in her life taken from her, and we watch as she evolves into a hero.” states series writer Pat Shand. “Like Katniss Everdeen, Robyn is a strong female character that realizes what her destiny is but approaches it on her own terms.”
This interview covers not only Robyn Hood, but my prior work on Grimm Fairy Tales, 1000 Ways to Die, and Joss Whedon’s Angel. Also, I talk a lot about writing in general. I may also geek out about R. L. Stine.
This interview, just posted today, gets down to the nitty gritty. What am I changing about Robyn Hood? What is staying the same? What about Maid Marian? Are the Merry Men all chicks?
(SPOILER: They’re not.)
Until next time!
Reflection On: Grimm Fairy Tales 2012 Annual
Grimm Fairy Tales 2012 Annual, which I wrote, comes out today. I drove to the comic shop, bought some copies, grabbed the rest of my pulls, and headed home. I just finished reading the book through and, even though I’ve obviously seen the completed comic before, it still felt a bit magical (cheesy as that is) having it in front of me like this. It’s my fifth comic in total and my third time playing in Zenescope’s Grimm universe, but I just can’t get past the sense of excitement. I’ve got comics coming out nearly every month from here on out, and I hope to never lose this sense of joy of getting to participate in the grand, epic, longform story that is Grimm Fairy Tales.
Writing comics really is the best job in the world.
From now on, I think it’ll be cool to write something here every time I put out a comic. Whether it be commentary, a reflection, a story about the comic, or something else entirely, it’ll be a fun way to celebrate.
I actually knew about the GFT annual before I knew I was going to write it. I’d seen Sean Chen’s cover to the issue and Mike Debalfo’s cover to GFT: Angel one-shot (which continues some story threads from my annual) around the time I was finishing up co-writing this year’s GFT: April Fools with Ralph Tedesco. My thought upon seeing those covers and hearing what those books were about was, “Man… it would be awesome if I got to write one of those.” Very shortly after, Ralph reached out to me about scripting the Annual, and I enthusiastically agreed.
For those familiar with the Grimm universe, this issue finally puts the spotlight on Venus (who will go on to co-star with the other devious GFT villains in the BAD GIRLS miniseries, coming next month). Zenescope has been building to a big Greek/Roman god arc for a long time now, since introducing Venus in the back of the ninth Grimm Fairy Tales trade. Raven Gregory built on the mythology of the gods in his recent arc on GFT, and it was an honor to spend this Annual with the diabolical Venus as she puts the final pieces of her plan together.
For newcomers, and I hope there are a few of you, I tried to write the Annual as if it’s the epic first act of badass fantasy movie. At it’s core, it’s a story about rebuilding and feeling out of place - the time of gods is over, so what does that mean for the gods? What is their place? Where do these epic Greek/Roman mythological figures fit in? Do they assimilate or do they destroy?
I was an English major in college, and spent a lot of time studying, reading, and writing about these myths. It’s a dream come true to get to write comics in general, but a special privilege to write a comic with Venus, Zeus, Hades, and more. You really can’t get more iconic than these characters, and I hope I’ve done them (and Joe Brusha’s epic plot) justice. If anyone has as much fun reading it as I had writing it, I’ll be pleased.