@’s by ROBYN HOOD Writer Patrick Shand!!!
OPTIMOUS DOUCHE (OD): Hey Patrick, first off, how did you get hooked up with Zenescope? Is this your first comic gig?
PATRICK SHAND (PS): I’ve been working with Zenescope for almost a year now. I did my first comic with IDW in May 2011, which was a short story in ANGEL: YEARBOOK, the finale of that series. After that came out, I shot that story and some spec scripts over to Ralph Tedesco, because I was a big fan of what Zenescope did with Wonderland. Ralph found a place for me on their 1000 WAYS TO DIE graphic novel, and then I wound up doing a bunch of GRIMM FAIRY TALES stuff for them like last year’s Holiday edition, and this year’s April Fools edition, Annual, and some more that I’m pretty sure I can’t talk about yet. Robyn Hood is my first full miniseries with Zenescope, though, and I’m… let’s just say much with the happy.
OD: Zenescope is known for strong (and sexy) female protagonists. Can we assume by the Y in Robyn we'll be seeing a taught quiver holster?
PS: Hah, well yes. If you look at the covers there is obviously a cheesecake element, and we’re not trying to hide that. That’s somewhat of a staple of Zenescope and, to a larger extent, comics. You see books like HACK/SLASH and POWER GIRL, and those books have these big cheesecake elements, but the focus is squarely on story, and that’s what I’m going to bring to ROBYN HOOD. Tight quivers aside, I care about character – I care about this character, and I want to make her matter to readers the way she matters to me. The story we’re telling is intense, tragic, dark, thrilling, and a little bit funny even, so hopefully there is something there for all readers. I like to pitch it as VERONICA MARS meets GAME OF THRONES by way of KILL BILL, but I’m pretty sure that’s just me.
OD: How do you plan to give this tale the Zenescope modernization?
PS: Tight quivers, obviously. Quivers were just so loose in the old days, you know, so we figure tightening them up will give us a real modern, edgy feel.
But really, we’re playing up both the modern and the old. I was an English major in college (and for life, as it’s blood in and blood out in the literary field) and was always a big fan of the Robyn Hode ballads. That, Beowulf, and the Canterbury Tales made up my favorite parts of higher education, so I’m bringing a love of that to the story, so don’t think it’ll be modern in the sense that Robyn is texting and signing “Call Me, Maybe.” But what’s going on is that, yes, Robyn is a modern girl, but (and the solicitation says this, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here) she ventures into the realm of Myst, which is the fairy tale realm that much of GRIMM FAIRY TALES takes place in. It’s got a very medieval feel to it, so we’re playing with the dichotomy of this modern girl with modern sensibilities in a realm that is more sword and sorcery than Abercrombie and Fitch.
OD: So Robyn ends up in the world of Myst, but will the "rich/poor" crux card be played before she starts her travels?
PS: Yes, in a big way. It’s a dynamic that pervades the whole book, and informs many of the major moments of the story.
OD: I have to admit, my knowledge of Robin Hood extends as far as Maid Marion being a literal fox. Will we see favorites like the Maid and Friar Tuck?
PS: Maid Marian is a literal fox in our book, too. Thanks for the idea, Optimous. Oh and, you know, Disney. But yeah, we’ll definitely have a bunch of the main players that you’d expect. I’m looking forward to playing with classic characters like Tuck, Little John, Much, and especially Will Scarlet. For now, I’ll leave it up in the air as to who will appear in the series, because I’m hoping for readers to get a kick out of it when we slowly introduce certain characters to the universe. Because, while there will be no shortage of Merry Men, we’re going to include characters when it makes sense for Robyn’s journey as a character.
OD: Will we see Robyn encounter other Zenescope favorites when she travels to Myst or is this a self-contained kingdom within the world?
PS: Sort of a fun mix of both of those. We wanted to make this a standalone story that, while it clearly exists in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, can be read on its own. You can read Robyn Hood #1 and completely understand it. However, especially in #1, Grimm fans will get a lot of Easter Eggs. What I did was, when I was hashing out the outline and structure of the first issue based on Joe Brusha and Raven Gregory’s story notes, I looked at one of the bit players and was just like, “Hmmm, this would work perfectly for THIS Grimm character.” So while we won’t have any direct crossovers where you’ll have to follow aspects of the story into other titles, we will use some characters that appear in other books Zenescope is doing.
OD: So who is handling the art chores?
PS: Not announced yet, but I can promise that it’s going to look pretty as hell.
OD: How many issues can we expect and are you leaving room for follow-up stories?
PS: To the second half of that question… very, very yes. The series is five issues long, and we’re going to tell a complete story with epic stakes and big character moments with this really human and tragic backbone to ground it. So we’re not going to leave readers unsatisfied or anything with the story arc, but I am cooking up ideas for more Robyn Hood stories because I’m greedy as hell. Zenescope goes, “Hey, Pat, here’s Robyn Hood, you’ve got five issues!” and I’m all, “Sweet! So when’s the sequel happening?” But seriously, I love the story, and I’m in the middle of scripting #3 right now, and everything is exploding into this big, emotional, epic story and I would really write this for as long as people would read it.
OD: There you have it folks. Solicits for Robyn Hood start in July and we should be seeing some tight quivers and very merry men in stores this September.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2012 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G