Tag: zenescope

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    SDCC ’11: Raven Gregory Talks Fly, Theater & Dream Eaters Saga

    At this year’s Comic-Con we had the pleasure of sitting down with Zenescope writer and marketing maven Raven Gregory, the writer behind Grimm Fairy Tales, the debut issues of Charmed (with Paul Ruditis), The Waking, and more. He updated us on his upcoming series, Fly and Theater, and told us why he’s not doing another large crossover like the Grimm Fairy Tales Dream Eaters’ Saga anytime soon! Watch below:

    Raven Gregory Comics




    Are you reading the Grimm Fairy Tales Dream Eaters’ Saga? Are you excited to read Fly? Post your comments below!

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    Mike DeBalfo Donates Hot Hack/Slash Cover to the CBLDF

    Michael DeBalfo CBLDF Sketch 2011Nice! Zenescope artist Mike DeBalfo has donated an excellent piece to our Third Annual SDCC Autograph Card/CBLDF Auction–a sexy cover he created for Hack/Slash Zombies Vs. Cheerleaders #1!

    The CBLDF is dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Support them today by becoming a member–click the link below!

    DeBalfo has lent his amazing talents to several Zenescope series, including Brimstone, Escape From Wonderland, and Grimm Fairy Tales Wonderland Annual 2011.

    You can bid on this year’s piece, as well as dozens of works from some amazingly talented publishers and creators, at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction July 23 at 7:30 p.m. in room KL Sapphire at the Hilton Bayfront.

    Want copies of all of the artwork donated to the CBLDF through TFAW? We’ll be creating limited-edition autograph cards of all of these pieces and giving them away at SDCC. To pick up yours, visit TFAW at booth #5625 July 21-24!



    Are you going to SDCC this year? Which autograph cards are you looking forward to?

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    Zenescope Weighs in on the Digital Comics Landscape

    Zenescope Digital ComicsDigital Comics Month continues with an interview Zenescope Entertainment’s Editor-in-Chief and writer, Ralph Tedesco! Read on as he discusses the present and future digital plans of the publisher behind Grimm Fairy Tales, Charmed, and The Waking!

    TFAW.com: How many titles/issues do you currently have available? What do you project to have at the same time next year?

    Ralph Tedesco: We normally have about four to five titles that hit each month, but in 2011 we’re going to be at about eight or nine regular issues per month.

    TFAW.com: How did you choose which comics would go digital first? What was your thought process behind your launch?

    RT: We just started to roll out a good amount of our back issues on a monthly basis. We started small and still have a lot of stuff to unveil digitally.

    Zenescope Charmed ComicsTFAW.com: What are the biggest challenges in publishing digital comics?

    RT: The key is to still promote printed comics and not roll out with digital too soon after publishing an issue. You want to make sure retailers can sell their issues in stores. Digital is a nice medium and is going to expand over the next several years, but this is still a print-first industry.

    TFAW.com: How have digital comics been selling for you, compared to traditional comics?

    RT: It’s definitely an extremely small percentage of sales right now, with potential for growth over the next several years.

    TFAW.com: Have you considered a digital-only option for comics that have lower sales? Do you think this is an opportunity to extend the lives of series that might otherwise be canceled due to financial realities?

    RT: Not as of yet. Printing can be costly, but artwork and general production of our books still costs money. Either way, as a publisher, I need to hit a certain number of sales or I’m going to lose money. At this point in the digital arena, if hard copies of a title aren’t selling, it’s safe to say that that same title won’t be selling digitally, either.

    TFAW.com: Currently, customers are still buying standalone issues. Are you planning to offer digital “graphic novels”?

    RT: We will eventually, I’m just not sure when.

    TFAW.com: Digital comics have broken a lot of the traditional barriers of the direct market–they’re easy to purchase and less expensive than the paper versions. Do you think this will help publishers develop a wider audience?

    Zenescope Comics and Graphic NovelsRT: I hope so. It’s something we know will definitely appeal to more mainstream audiences who wouldn’t usually think to hit a local retailer. If they are able to download the comic, the hope is they realize what a great medium this is and start following both digital and traditional comics.

    TFAW.com: What do you think of the piracy issue that comes along with digital distribution?

    RT: Not a lot you can do about it. Piracy is a part of entertainment now. You hope that most people are honest and pay for what they read or watch or listen to, otherwise they’re just helping to ruin the industry they’re stealing from.

    TFAW.com: What do you think digital comics will mean for traditional retailers in the upcoming years?

    RT: I think for a long while it won’t be a problem at all, but I do think retailers will begin to think ahead of the curve and start offering ways to evolve their businesses to cater toward a more digital audience. However, comics will always be a collector’s industry, and I hope that fans will continue to buy non-digital comics forever.

    TFAW.com: Do you have any retailer incentives or plans to include traditional retailers in your digital comics program?

    RT: Not yet, but that’s a great idea.

    Our thanks to Ralph for participating in Digital Comics Month! Make sure to check out Zenescope’s latest comics and graphic novels, including Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths and Legends, here at TFAW.com!


    Have you entered the digital age of comics? Post your comments below!

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    TFAW Interviews Real-Life Monster Hunter John Paul Russ

    Monster Hunters' Survival GuideEnter our Twitter contest to win a signed copy of Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide #1! Click to learn more.

    Let’s face it: most people don’t believe monsters are real. We live in a world dominated by pop culture and technology, and while teenage girls may get all aflutter about the vampires in Twilight, most people do not actually believe monsters exist.

    Well, do us a favor and put your skepticism aside before reading the following Zenescope Month interview. We had an exclusive opportunity to speak with John Paul Russ, who asserts he is a real-life monster hunter, much like his father before him. And he’s used his years of experience encountering real-life goblins and ghouls to create the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide, a book chock-full of techniques and strategies to protect yourself in the event of an attack by creatures like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more! Illustrated by Anthony Spay, Shawn McCauley, and Andrew Mangum, this is a one-of-a-kind series you’ll want for your collection–whether you believe in monsters or not!

    TFAW.com: Hi John Paul, thanks for answering some questions about the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide!

    John Paul Russ: Sure.

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide #1 Greg Horn Variant CoverTFAW.com: This seems like a really unusual series. Can you tell us what to expect?

    JP: Expect a lot of interesting and relevant information on hunting monsters and surviving potential monster attacks. I’m covering everything from vampires to werewolves to zombies to the Loch Ness Monster. This will be a comprehensive and interesting guide with illustrations.

    TFAW.com: What is the purpose of this series? Is it merely to inform readers about the different types of monsters, or will it really give them strategies to defend themselves?

    JP: It’s definitely more geared toward confrontations with various types of monsters. It also will discuss popular myths versus the facts. I wanted to be informative enough where it would help out both amateur and seasoned hunters, as well as those who just have a curiosity about monsters.

    TFAW.com: What types of monsters will be featured in each comic?

    JP: The first issue deals with the undead like zombies, vampires, mummies, ghosts and more. In issue #2 we’re delving into cryptids such as Sasquatches and the mythical Krakens. Other issues will examine unnatural beasts like werewolves and giant creatures like killer catfish and anacondas.

    TFAW.com: You’re a monster hunter yourself, in real life. How did you get started down that road?

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide #2JP: My father was a hunter and taught me everything I know now. I was intrigued by it as a kid and started going on expeditions with him when I was 12 years old. So many people were skeptical of him and his encounters, but he was a modest man and never forced anything down anybody’s throat. He always said to me that people are not going to want to believe certain things and you can’t make them try and understand you. He hunted for himself and he found it extremely rewarding . . . as do I.

    TFAW.com: We’ve all seen monster hunters in movies and on TV–how close are their experiences to yours?

    JP: Not very. Once in a while there may be something out there that strikes a chord, but 99% of the time it’s BS. My niece had me watch Twilight with her last year and I didn’t realize it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy until just a couple months ago.

    TFAW.com: When did you discover, for yourself, that these monsters are real?

    JP: My father once brought home a baby chupacabra he had captured. I was only seven or eight at the time. Right then I knew there were strange and mysterious creatures in the world, creatures that few knew about. And that’s really when I knew I wanted to hunt like my father.

    TFAW.com: Have you encountered all of the monsters you cover in the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide?

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide #3JP: Not firsthand, but the community of monster hunters is larger than you would think. Most of the information in the book comes directly from my own personal experiences, but there were several times when I called on other hunters and their knowledge. They were happy to help but prefer to remain anonymous.

    TFAW.com: What’s the scariest situation you’ve found yourself in with a monster?

    JP: They’re all pretty damn scary. That’s why I’m writing this book. Believe me, you do not want to go up against a werewolf or a zombie without it. But if I had to choose one encounter over all the others, I would say it was the first time I encountered a vampire. Let me tell you this, the weakest real vampire makes those Twilight pretty boys look like Count Chocula.

    TFAW.com: Do you hope to capture any alive?

    JP: I’ve captured, and killed, plenty of monsters. but not in an effort to prove whether they exist or not. I do it to protect the general population, who more times than not scoff at their existence. There are many creatures, like Sasquatches, who are mainly docile and just want to be left alone. But there have been times when even a Sasquatch has gone rogue, and that’s why every aspiring monster hunter needs to know how to take one down. Unfortunately, encounters like that generally happen because humans are encroaching on their natural habitats.

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide ZombieTFAW.com: Where do you think monsters come from? Have they always been here?

    JP: Some of these species inhabited this planet well before humans. Look at it this way, dinosaurs could be considered monsters, but they just happened to go extinct prior to us (at least most of them did, see issue #3 for the ones that didn’t). There are various reasons monsters walk the earth. I have yet to uncover all of them, but I’m trying.

    TFAW.com: Which monsters are the most dangerous, in your opinion?

    JP: A Kraken can take take down a battle ship, but they rarely come to the surface, so attacks are few and far between. Vampires are extremely dangerous beings, as are werewolves. Zombies may be the most deadly. If left unchecked, a zombie outbreak could wipe out the entire human population, and that’s no bull. I heard Kirkman actually got his idea for The Walking Dead because he’s related to a monster hunter who told him how real and deadly they are. But I don’t know if that’s true or not. What I do know is that as long as there are monsters out there, us hunters will hold vigil for our fellow man.

    TFAW.com: Why do monsters attack humans? Is there anything we can do to avoid such attacks?

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide PoltergeistJP: There are so many reasons, and I’ll cover those in my issues. Some are very aggressive and some are much less so. Some want to eat you, some want to turn you, and some just want to be left alone. Each type has its own agenda and intelligence level, that’s for sure.

    TFAW.com: What do you say to people who are skeptical that monsters really do exist?

    JP: I say to each their own, but don’t come crying to me if you’re attacked and unprepared . . . although at that point you’re likely not breathing anymore.

    TFAW.com: Did you advise any of the artists for the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide?

    JP: [I told them] don’t turn this into a damn cartoon.

    TFAW.com: How many issues will the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide be?

    Monster Hunters Survival Guide Zombie HeadJP: It’s five issues. And it’s very informative. I have to say, the artists (Anthony Spay, Shawn McCauley, and Andrew Mangum) did a really nice job on this book and I’m happy with their choices.

    TFAW.com: What made you choose Zenescope as your publisher?

    JP: They’re the best for what I wanted to do. Joe and Ralph understood my vision and supported me from day one. In my humble opinion these guys have set the tone for horror and supernatural comics over just the four or five years they’ve been publishing. Zenescope is one of those companies that feels like it’s been around forever, but hasn’t. That’s because they are so good at setting themselves apart from all the others, and that’s how I am. It’s why I knew we’d be a good fit.

    TFAW.com: What other projects do you have coming down the road?

    JP: A couple of networks have approached me about doing some reality stuff. I’m not completely against it, but it would need to be done right. I’m not a fraud like most of the other “reality” people out there now. I’m just not sure the world is ready to witness what I do just yet.

    Do you believe in monsters? Order the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide today and judge for yourself! Plus, you can still save 20% if you order now.

    What’s better than owning the whole series? Winning a copy of the Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide #1 signed by John Paul Russ himself! Enter our Monster Hunters’ Survival Guide Twitter Contest now through 10/27 to enter to win one of 25 copies.


    Have you ever encountered a real-life monster? Post your comments below!

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    Our Season of the Witch Winners Have Been Announced!

    We’re thrilled to announce that we have chosen our winners of the Zenescope – TFAW.com Season of the Witch Contest! It was a hard decision, as interest in this new series was hot, but at last we have reviewed all of our entries and are pleased to announce the following five winners! In no particular order:

  • Bette Smith of New Hampshire
  • Robert Goltz of Pennsylvania
  • Jeffrey Schultz of Texas
  • William Wurzbach of Florida
  • Joel Martinez of Texas
  • Congratulations!

    And What Did They Win?

    Our five winners have won an awesome Zenescope prize pack that contains the following:

    • Grimm Fairy Tales Hardcover, Volume 1. Signed by writers Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco!
    • Signed copies of Grimm Fairy Tales #31 and #32 (The Pinocchio two-parter). Signed by writer Ralph Tedesco and artist/co-writer David Seidman!
    • A free copy of the 2009 Wonderland Annual.

    Congratulations again to our winners, and a big thank you to all of you for participating. Keep your eyes right here on TFAW.com for all of your Zenescope needs, and for more great contests!

    Enjoyed this contest? Want to see more like it, or something completely different? Let us know below!

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    Win an Amazing Zenescope Prize Package With Our Season of the Witch Contest!

    This summer is bound to be a scorcher! Zenescope Entertainment, the team that reinvented the fairy tales and fables you love, is launching a stylistic and stunning new version of 19th century America like you have never seen before–Salem’s Daughter!

    In 1892 Massachusetts, a young woman named Anna Williams is about to fully embrace the immense and terrible powers she has repressed for so many years–the very powers that her mother had made her bury her whole life, for fear of sparking another witch hunt 200 years after the Salem trials.

    But now, as Anna comes of age and her gift can no longer be hidden, an immensely evil and mysterious being named Darius is on his way to recruit her. Meanwhile, Braden Cole, a hardened gunslinger with a sordid past, is on the tail of the elusive Darius as he looks to avenge the death of his family. Check out a preview of issue #1 right here!

    And to make things even more exciting, along with our friends at Zenescope Entertainment, we’re throwing the Season of the Witch contest!

    Enter For Your Chance to Win!

    Anybody who purchases two or more (out of the first three issues) of Salem’s Daughter is automatically entered to win!* So if you buy issues one and two–entered. Buy Cover A and Cover B of issue three–entered. Buy all three issues (and why wouldn’t you?)–entered! Get the idea?

    And What Will You Win?

    Five winners–yeah, you heard right, five–are going to receive an awesome Zenescope prize pack that contains the following:

    • Grimm Fairy Tales Hardcover, Volume 1. Signed by writers Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco!
    • Signed copies of Grimm Fairy Tales #31 and #32 (The Pinocchio two-parter). Signed by writer Ralph Tedesco and artist/co-writer David Seidman!
    • A free copy of the 2009 Wonderland Annual.

    We’ll be announcing our winners at the end of June, so order your copies and enter for your chance to win today!

    Pick up Salem’s Daughter and enter a world full of monsters, demons, ghosts, and creatures you thought you knew–but re-imagined in an entirely different and terrifying new light. Do not miss the newest supernatural thriller from Zenescope Entertainment that will grab you by the throat and not let go!

    Salems Daughter #1
    Salem's Daughter #1

    Salems Daughter #2
    Salem's Daughter #2

    Salems Daughter #3 (Cover A - Greg Horn)
    Salems Daughter #3 (Cover A - Greg Horn)

    Salems Daughter #3 (Cover B - Nat Jones)
    Salems Daughter #3 (Cover B - Nat Jones)

    * Or send a self-addressed stamped envelope marked Attn: Season of the Witch to us at this address.

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    Through the Glass Darkly. An Interview With “Beyond Wonderland” Raven Gregory

    Nearly two years ago, Raven Gregory and Zenescope Entertainment grabbed us by our ocular nerves and bodily jerked us into their beautifully twisted re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s world of Wonderland. With Return to Wonderland, we were introduced once again to Alice Liddle, who had grown up (and grown quite mad) since last we met her. But more intriguing still, we met her children–daughter Carroll (or Calie for short) and her troubled son Johnny. And it was through them, and their eyes, that we were to once again tour the world of Wonderland, a world grown far darker than we remembered.

    At the helm of this adventure was Raven Gregory, who was to reprise his role as writer for the 2008 followup, Beyond Wonderland, which comes to an action-packed conclusion this month. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Raven about Wonderland, the artistic process, and what lies ahead. So without further ado:


    TFAW.com: Hi Raven, thanks for taking some time to talk with us today.

    Raven Gregory: No problem. It’s cool to be here.

    TFAW.com: You have a diversified range of experience in comics, from The Gift, to Se7en, and your body of work with Zenescope Entertainment. Can you give us a sense of what you’re doing now?

    RG: Well, I do staff writing, talent relations, and editorial for Zenescope. I also handle all the Wonderland projects coming in and out of Zenescope, as well as write the main series. Other than that, I write, write, and then write a little bit more when I’m not spending time with the family.

    TFAW.com: With Return to Wonderland available as a trade for some time and the Beyond Wonderland TPB just over the horizon, the struggles of the Liddle family, Carroll (or Calie) in particular, have been diverse and twisted. For those readers who’ve not yet fallen through the looking glass, can you give a rough synopsis of where we find ourselves at the beginning of Beyond Wonderland?

    RG: Calie is attempting to start a new life, running away from her past as best as she can. Little does she know that something from the other side of the looking glass has found its way back to our world and is silently stalking her.

    TFAW.com: And there’s a whole new world of challenges for Calie in Beyond Wonderland?

    RG: Yeah, one of the biggest of which is how she relates to other people. How she maintains relationships when there’s this huge “thing” that hangs over her head every day of her life. A “thing” that’s really hard for her to talk about or share with other people, as they might, and probably would, think she was crazy. She’s at a point where even she is not entirely sure that what happened in RTW (Return to Wonderland) really happened. But events are fast moving to the place where even she cannot ignore the craziness that is again creeping back into her life, whether she wants it to or not.

    TFAW.com: I, and many others, have been drawn in and delighted by all the “Easter Eggs” hidden throughout the series to date (such as the Forest of Signs). Do these stem from conscious attempts at abstraction, foreshadowing of events yet to come, or some combination of both?

    RG: There’s a lot of all of the above. Some stuff I don’t even realize I do until after someone else points it out. The fact that CALIE is an anagram for ALICE was pointed out by our Editor-in-Chief, Ralph Tedesco. We were talking and he was saying how cool it was that her name could be rearranged to spell ALICE, and I was all like . . . “It does? . . . uh . . . I mean yeah, yeah, I meant to do that.” Then there’s other stuff like Watchmen shout outs (which I love) and Contra codes (up down up down left right left right) that I just throw in for shits and giggles, and it really does run straight across the board and all over the place.

    TFAW.com: Personal interest ((THERE BE SPOILERS HERE)). There’s a scene in Return to Wonderland where Johnny has dumped the body of his adulterous father’s lover into a hole in the basement. Besides her, you can see the corpse of Alice’s evil rabbit AND a fanged skull. I’ve got to know, what’s going on with that?

    RG: Some of the story I like to leave up to the reader’s interpretation to decide what they think is going on. I don’t want to always spell it out and would rather let the reader come up with their own ideas. But that one in particular was pretty simple, in the sense that there’s a live rabbit at the beginning of the RTW series, and shortly there after the rabbit is gone or zombified. So in reality, you might think that Johnny (being that serial killers usually start out with animals) killed the rabbit or you might think that the rabbit has been dead all along. It’s really up to the reader to decide . . . but everyone knows that there’s more to that rabbit than meets the eye.

    TFAW.com: Moving on, one element of the Wonderland series is the delicate balance between the erotic and the terrifying. As puppet master of this show, how do you view the relationship between these two elements and how they work together?

    RG: It’s a balancing act. Calie is me as a teenager. I don’t look at it as erotic. I look at it as when I was young, I was very comfortable with myself and my sexuality. I liked, and still do like, having sex. Why this isn’t portrayed in comics I get, but to me this is a part of the character’s makeup and I like to make my characters feel like real people. In Beyond Wonderland, there’s a scene where Calie is naked in the shower and her and her boyfriend have obviously just had sex, and I get all types of shit about showing her ass and what not. But everyone who “gets” it knows that in relationships there are times that people use sex as a bandage and a quick fix tool to get past problems. Brandon was about to leave her so she did what some people would do in a case like that. Not to mention she’s so emotionally drained and damaged at that point that she’d do just about anything to keep him from leaving, and all of a sudden it means something totally different than an erotic visage it’s portrayed to be. And sometimes I just like butts. 🙂

    TFAW.com: Have you ever had a scene you wanted to include, but that you thought was just too much? Or one that someone else balked at during the creative process?

    RG: Well, this one is a spoiler, so if you haven’t read the HC of RTW you shouldn’t read the rest of this. In the first issue of RTW there’s a dream sequence with Johnny and his family at the table that is quite bloody, with body parts chopped and all. Originally, there was supposed to be a male member on the table as well. Zenescope said it was too much. My argument was that Johnny was molested as a child, which led him to becoming the serial killer he eventually becomes, so it makes sense. They said no. Other than that, that is the only thing they censored me on. Everything else is in there, and after looking back on it, I agree with their choice. Sometimes we as writers can go too far because we can’t rein in our imaginations, and everything in Wonderland just looks so darn pretty we want to throw it all in.

    TFAW.com: So can you tell us anything else about the future of the Liddle family and Wonderland?

    RG: Beyond Wonderland #6. In stores in two weeks. Calie versus Johnny. And only one is getting out alive, and it’s not who you think. ‘Nuff said.

    TFAW.com: What else can we look forward to from you in the future?

    RG: We’re ramping up another Tales from Wonderland series featuring the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and the Mad Hatter. Also look for another big announcement coming not long after the last issue of Beyond Wonderland hits the stands.

    TFAW.com: Sounds awesome, I’ll be keeping my ears open. We’re looking forward to the conclusion of Beyond Wonderland, wish you every success in the future, and appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today. Thanks Raven.

    RG: No, thank you.

    We really appreciate Raven taking the time to chat with us, and encourage you to step through the looking glass with the Wonderland series. Any fan of horror, action, and good old-fashioned storytelling is sure to be pleased. And once you’ve whet your whistle, you’ll find there are all manner of worlds of comic awesome to be found at Zenescope . . . and apparently something secret in the works that we’ll be sure to tell you about as soon as it’s announced!

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