Tag: Neverland

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    TFAW Interviews Neverland Artist Jean-Paul Deshong

    Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: NeverlandWe’re midway through our epic Zenescope Month, interviewing the many creators that produce sexy, creepy horror comics like Grimm Fairy Tales and The Waking, as well as the very popular Charmed. Today, we interview Jean-Paul Deshong, artist for Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland, an upside-down take on the classic tale of Peter Pan. Here, Deshong tells us how he broke into the business, what it’s like working for Zenescope, and what he likes drawing the most!

    TFAW.com: What drew you to comics?

    Jean-Paul Deshong: To tell you the truth, That is a very good question. I have been literally been drawing from three years old, I was the action figure type of kid, so I was always into things like superheroes. My mom always (even to this day) encouraged my interest. Comics came into the scene as an extension to that . . . I guess that pointed the direction of my artistic interest.

    TFAW.com: Who were your favorite comic book creators, growing up?

    JP: Oookay!! I guess I’ll begin at the beginning. I’ve had many favorite artists. John Romita Jr., John Byrne, Arthur Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane. Manga artist Matasume Shirow was a big influence. I also started to follow anime studios like Mad House and Bones. A lot of people say that they can see an anime influence in my work.

    Neverland #5 Preview PageTFAW.com: How did you start to work for Zenescope?

    JP: I was handing out submissions out at NYCC08. I went to the submissions booth and met Raven Gregory. I told him I had a submission for him. He looked at me kinda of strangely as I passed him my sample. As he looked at the work and his face lightened up. He looked up at me and said, “Never give someone work like this out of a bag like that.”

    NOTE: It was a crushed bag that was handed out at the beginning of the Con. It was pretty beat up by the time I got to Zenescope.

    Getting back on the topic, he looked at the sample, said he liked it, and told me he was going to pass it on to another editor, and they would be in touch. In a couple of weeks later, they were in touch.

    TFAW.com: Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland deals with fairies and magical places, but overall, it’s a very dark tale. What did you think about when you first approached the material?

    JP: Before I got the actual script, I was given an overview. I was excited about it. Once I received the actual script, and [saw] how it was really Pan turned on its ear, I was even more enthusiastic about the book. So much so that I emailed the new editor and expressed my excitement for the story.

    Neverland #5 Preview PageTFAW.com: Were you a big fan of Peter Pan?

    JP: I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but at my mom’s house I still own the Disney Peter Pan record from the Disney animated movie. I can still probably sing all the songs, but I think that would take a lot of tequila.

    TFAW.com: Did you go to the older stories for inspiration when you designed the characters?

    JP: My designs were based off of the studies I received through Zenescope and from the cartoon.

    TFAW.com: What’s the biggest challenge of working on a book like this?

    JP: If I had to make an assessment, I would say that keeping the emotion intact from the script into the art was my hardest, or I would say interesting, part of drawing the book. Pan was evil, Hook was schizophrenic in our realm, but the hero in Neverland, Tinkerbell was beautiful but deceitful, and so forth. Keeping those emotional woes to define the characters were the biggest challenge.

    TFAW.com: You covered the inks as well as the pencils here. Do you prefer to ink yourself? What’s it like for you when someone else handles the inks?

    JP: That’s tricky. I like to ink my own stuff because I add different textures in my ink that I don’t see until I ink something. But I’ve also had great inkers take my work to another level and do things I wouldn’t have thought of. In the case of Neverland, it was my enthusiasm and excitement for the story. I wanted to do my part in making the book as well as I could. Thankfully Zenescope was receptive.

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    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite thing to draw in Neverland: the girls, the monsters, or the technology/weapons?

    JP: Not to sound like a politician, but I enjoyed drawing everything in Neverland. Drawing Evil Pan was just as fun as drawing Hook’s hook, or Croc, or the Lost Boys. There are great books out there who do maybe one of these things, but with every issue, of every page turn of the script, I was always finding myself saying, “Oh wow, I can’t wait to draw that.”

    TFAW.com: What’s it like working with Zenescope?

    JP: It’s been a great ride. The people at Zenescope are great. Down to earth, great to talk to about anything from the script to everyday life. If I ever had a problem, it was addressed in a timely manner. Patient and understanding. Everything that a comic company could be.

    TFAW.com: Do you prefer supernatural-horror books? What other genres would you like to play with?

    JP: I’m open to anything and everything. From horror, to sci-fi, it really doesn’t matter.

    TFAW.com: What types of comics are you reading these days?

    JP: It’s funny. Whenever I go to the comic shop (incognito, of course), I always pick up something different, I pretty much dabble in everything, although I tend to pick up trade paperbacks because I want to get the whole story in a sitting. Batman is one of my favorite heroes, so I’m eager to see Batman Inc. Wolvie had babies, so the X-Men books are interesting, I’ve always liked Dark Horse’s manga, and of course Grimm Fairy Tales and The Waking and the Wonderland series. Like I said, Zenescope has a great knack for taking stories we know and giving them a great twist.

    TFAW.com: Do you have any other projects coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

    JP: CLASSIFIED. BLACK OPS. Can’t say. Guess you’ll have to wait and see.

    I guess we will! But you won’t have to wait and see our exclusive 10-page preview of Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland #5, in stock right here, right now. You can also pre-order future Neverland comics and save 20%.

    Love Neverland? Remember to check out our interview with writer Joe Brusha, who give us additional insight into this evil-tinged tale.

    Are you a fan of Peter Pan? Post your comments below!

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    Joe Brusha Talks Neverland, Sharks & Monster Hunters!

    Zenescope Neverland Joe BrushaWeek two of our epic Zenescope Month is here, and we have an interview with co-founder and writer Joe Brusha! Brusha gives us some insight into his work on Grimm Fairy Tales and Neverland, as well as introduces us to the upcoming Top 10 Deadliest Sharks, his non-fiction comic written in partnership with the Discover Channel. Read on to see what Brusha really thinks of Disney’s Peter Pan, how he likes collaborating with Ralph Tedesco and Raven Gregory, and what’s coming up next:

    TFAW.com: Hi Joe, thanks for chatting with us!

    Joe Brusha: No problem. Thanks for taking the time to interview us.

    TFAW.com: Well, we’ve heard Ralph Tedesco’s version of Zenescope’s birth: what’s your perspective?

    JB: I think we’re still kind of in the birthing process. Even though we’ve been publishing for five years, we’re still a very young company. We’ve learned a lot in our first few years but I think we’ve only just scratched the surface of where we want to go. We’ve made a ton of mistakes since we’ve started and hopefully we’ve learned from them. I don’t think anything has come easy for us but I view that as a good thing. We’ve had a small measure of success and if we can continue to grow and improve on what we’ve already done, I think we can become a very successful company.

    Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Neverland #5TFAW.com: What was your past relationship with comics?

    JB: I was a huge comic book fan growing up in the early ’80s. I read just about everything Marvel published until I was about 14. After that I still read them through my late teens and early twenties, but not as obsessively. But I was always fascinated by the medium and how versatile it could be. And I always thought the stigma it had was really undeserved. It’s such a unique way of storytelling that has never gotten the credit it deserves here in the U.S.

    TFAW.com: As a writer, what sort of ideas pique your interest?

    JB: That’s tough because there’s just so much out there that I find interesting in terms of ideas for stories. I’ve always been drawn to horror. And I like stories about the human condition. A lot of times those two go hand-in-hand, I guess.

    TFAW.com: What was the first book you wrote for Zenescope? What was that like?

    JB: Grimm Fairy Tales #1. Ralph and I wrote it together and it was fun and interesting. We had both been writing screenplays for several years and there are definitely similarities between the two crafts. But I can’t say there wasn’t a learning curve. Sometimes I still wonder if I know what I’m doing.

    Neverland #5 Preview PageTFAW.com: Of all of the books you’ve written over the years–Grimm Fairy Tales, the Wonderland comics, the Adventures of Sinbad, Neverland, and Stingers, to name some of them–which is your favorite, and why?

    JB: The Neverland series is my favorite. It’s hard to say why. Maybe because for some reason it was a lot easier to write than most of the other things I’ve written. I think most writers will tell you writing is not something they really enjoy doing. It’s more like something they have to do. So as a writer, when you’re able to tell a story and it comes out the way you hoped without all the torture and countless rewrites, you feel like you’ve finally done a good job and done it right. That’s kind of how I feel about Neverland.

    TFAW.com: In Grimm Fairy Tales, Sela has had some major revelations about her past and future, and she was forced to kill a friend in issue #50. What’s next for her, as a character?

    JB: Her character is really going to evolve as the series continues. Up to this point Sela has mostly remained in the background of the series. Going forward she will be the main focal point of Grimm Fairy Tales. We’re going to see her grow as a character and learn a lot about her as she travels through the fairy tale realm Myst.

    Neverland #5 Preview PageTFAW.com: What can you tell us about your plans for the book, post-issue #50? Will the tone or direction change?

    JB: The series is definitely going to evolve. We started out doing a lot of one-shots with new characters appearing in almost every issue. Going forward you’re going to see more multi-issue storylines that focus on the re-occurring characters, including Sela. There will still be the occasional one-shot fairy tale stories that started the series, just more infrequently.

    TFAW.com: Returning to to Neverland, what inspired you to tackle the story of Peter Pan?

    JB: I never really liked Peter Pan in the Disney version of the story. He always annoyed me. And I always sympathized with Hook and thought he got a raw deal. So I wanted to flip that dynamic of the story around. That’s were the idea for this version of Neverland started.

    TFAW.com: This is definitely a very different Neverland–and Peter–than the original story. What do you think is at the root of Pan evolving from mischievous to out-and-out evil?

    JB: His inability to grow up and face the responsibilities that come with that. To me it was creepy that he wanted to be a boy forever and keep bringing all these children to Neverland. That made it easy to make his motivations sinister in my version of Neverland.

    Neverland #5 Preview PageTFAW.com: Captain Hook is also very different in your version–someone who escaped Pan’s clutches and is returning as a hero to defeat him. Why the change?

    JB: It goes back to me sympathizing with the Disney version of Hook. I never saw him as a bad guy. He’s just a pirate trying to do his job and he’s got this man-eating crocodile following him around trying to take another bite out of him wherever he goes.

    TFAW.com: The character who seems most similar to the old story is Tinkerbell–she’s still in love with Pan, and she’s still trying to get rid of her “competition,” Wendy. What were your thoughts when you started to flesh out her character?

    JB: Tinkerbell actually plays a big part in the series as it comes to the climax. At the beginning of the story she’s pretty much Pan’s lackey and will do anything to please him. But as the series goes on she realizes that he’s never really cared for her and she’s just another one of his playthings. I don’t want to give to much away, so I’ll just say that hell hath no fury like a fairy scorned.

    TFAW.com: The third volume of Tales of Wonderland will be out soon in trade paperback. How would you explain it to someone who hasn’t read it before? Why should they pick it up?

    Neverland #5 Preview PageJB: Tales from Wonderland expands on the Wonderland universe by taking a closer look at the characters that inhabit the realm. It explores their back stories and usually reveals how they came to be in Wonderland.

    TFAW.com: One really interesting project you have coming up, which seems like a big departure, is Top 10 Deadliest Sharks! Can you introduce this to us?

    JB: This is a book we have partnered with Discover Channel on. It’s a non-fiction comic that examines sharks and what causes them to attack humans. This book is being published under our all-ages imprint, Silver Dragon Books. We have two more books in the works with Discovery Channel, one on dinosaurs and one on the world’s most dangerous animals. Both will be out in early 2011.

    TFAW.com: Have you always been fascinated with sharks?

    JB: Yes. Every since I was a little kid. I saw Jaws when I was about eight. And even though it scared the hell out of me I was instantly hooked on sharks.

    TFAW.com: The description says that this book will refute the idea that sharks are just mindless killing machines. What is it about sharks that you connect with?

    Neverland #5 Preview PageJB: I think it’s a basic fear that all humans have. The fear of being eaten alive by an animal that’s twice your size. Yet compared to the number of sharks in the ocean, there are very few attacks on humans. If sharks wanted to hunt us they could have an easy smorgasbord at our beaches. And yet sharks do occasionally attack humans. So why does that happen? This book tries to provide answers to that question.

    TFAW.com: You’ve collaborated with a couple of different writers during your career, including Ralph and Raven Gregory. What are some of the differences between working with each of them?

    JB: They both give me different kinds of headaches! Raven has a ton of ideas, a lot of which are really good, but there are some that are way out there. There are times when I have to slap him in order to get him to focus. Ralph and I have been writing together and collaborating on projects for a long time, so now it’s an easier process. The funny thing is when we were writing screenplays, they were mostly comedies, and the comics we write together are mainly fantasy and horror. Sometimes we still have a hard time being serious when we’re working on those types of projects.

    TFAW.com: Do you have a dream project you haven’t been able to work on yet?

    JB: Yes. But I can’t talk about it because it’s a licensed project and I’m afraid someone will steal it. I guess I’m a little paranoid.

    Top 10 Deadliest Sharks SCTFAW.com: Where do you see Zenescope Entertainment five or ten years down the line?

    JB: Hopefully we’ll continue to grow and become a major publisher. We really view ourselves as a content creation company, not just strictly a comic book publisher. We want to move into producing other forms of multimedia type products like films and video games.

    TFAW.com: What upcoming projects are you most excited about?

    JB: The Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide, which hits stands at the end of this month. It’s a real unique and entertaining book written by a real-life monster hunter [John Paul Russ]. And the new Grimm spin-off series Myths & Legends, which comes out at the beginning of 2011.

    We want to send our thanks to Joe for the insightful interview–and to Zenescope for our exclusive five-page preview of Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland #5, which is in stock on our site right now! You can also pre-order upcoming Neverland comics and the graphic novel, as well as Top 10 Deadliest Sharks, and save 20% now! To see all of Zenescope’s great comics and graphic novels, check out our Zenescope Month page.

    Want to make sure you get your monthly fix of all of your favorite Zenescope titles? Start up a subscription now and save 20% each month.

    What do you think of Brusha’s darker take on Peter Pan? Post your comments below!

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    WNR: Avengers Prime, Chew, Terminator, Casanova

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    So much good stuff this week, and we reviewed them just for you! Check out our thoughts on Green Arrow #4, Chew #14, Machete #0, Namor First Mutant #2, American Vampire HC Vol. 1, the Machete Action Figure, Archie Marries – 70 Years In Making Slipcase HC, Atlas #5, Avengers Prime #3, Casanova Luxuria #3, Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Neverland #5, and The Terminator™: 1984 #1.

    Chew #14

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