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AICN COMICS Q&@: Bug talks with Brea and Zane Grant about their new punk rock horror comic LET’S PLAY GOD! In comic shops this week!

@@@ What the &#$% is AICN COMICS Q&@? @@@

Q’s by Ambush Bug!

@’s by LET’S PLAY GOD writers
Brea & Zane Grant!!!

Ambush Bug here. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both Brea and Zane Grant numerous times at cons in the past. They are a brother and sister writing team to beat all with a firm hand in alternative pop culture, horror, and comics. Their new comic LET’S PLAY GOD focuses on the Portland punk rock scene as viewed through the lens of the classic Italian Giallo murder-mystery. The first issue which is available in comic shops this week had me full of questions and biting my nails to see how it all pans out. Here’s what Brea and Zane had to say about LET’S PLAY GOD!

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): Explain the premise of LET'S PLAY GOD to those who might not know what it's about.

BREA GRANT (BG): It's a slasher comic set in the Portland punk scene. A riot girl's friends start getting killed and she has to figure out who is behind it all.

BUG: There is definitely a Giallo theme throughout the first issue, especially Argento's FOUR FLIES ON BLACK VELVET with the focus on a musician who sees what he thinks to be a murder. Here it's a female witness. Before working on this project, what experience did you have with those types of films and how did you incorporate them into LET'S PLAY GOD?

ZANE GRANT (ZG): I love Gialli! NEW YORK RIPPER, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS?, STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER, all that stuff... FOUR FLIES and DEEP RED definitely inspired the idea for the musician amateur detective. The black driving gloves we used are in so many Gialli. The main thing though is the suspense that comes from being stalked by a maniac while trying to find the killer and not turning away from showing maniac brutality.

BUG: Who is the artist on this project and how did you find him?

ZG: Eric J is the artist. We met at SDCC a few years ago on the convention floor through our current editor Denton Tipton. Eric's art on REX MUNDI was great and that year he had just done a DOCTOR WHO book. More recently he did a book called FLY which showed some of what he can do. He did all the art on LET'S PLAY GOD though, including color, and it shows how insanely talented he is. When it came to this project, he had a solid grasp on punk and is a maniac, so that helped the process.

BUG: The characters in this comic seem to be steeped in punk rock culture, what experience have the both of you had with that type of music? Are you fans of “the punk rock”?

BG: Yep. Zane and I both played in punk bands (sometimes together, sometimes separate) when we were teenagers...angry, angry, small-town teenagers. I played drums and he played guitar or bass or whatever was needed (one time trombone). I don't play music anymore but the punk scene really shaped our opinions on politics. For me, its emphasis on cooperation, lack of competition and the idea that anyone could create art has really stuck with me and allowed to continue what I do today. The philosophy of punk that anyone could pick up an instrument and start a band is really empowering.

ZG: I used to say there are two kinds of music... punk and hardcore. I've abandoned that binary but I do book reviews for Maximum Rock'n Roll on occasion. My favorite band Brea played in was Vicki Lawrence Fan Club. I think they played with CATHARSIS once. I've been cleaning out my dad's house. I'll see if I can find a video of them. Har!

BUG: What's it like working together as a brother and sister writing team? How do you make it work? Are there pages or scenes one of you does or does one handle scripting while the other handles story?

BG: Mostly we just complain about our childhoods until we get bored and start writing. Kidding. Kind of. It depends. Zane always comes up with the titles because he's best at that. Usually one of us will write a piece of it then pass it to the other who will change it up and then add a few more pages. Somehow it magically gets finished.

BUG: LET'S PLAY GOD is really unique compared to most everything else out there right now. Was it hard to convince IDW to take a chance on it?

BG: ...yes. But they are always pretty nice to us.

BUG: Brea, what do you find most challenging being a female comic book writer?

BG: My boobs do really get in the way of the keyboard. Jokes…

I come it at from a pretty different path than most women so I think I face a lot of different issues. The thing that's the most frustrating to me is actually personal. In the world of comics, I still feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. I didn't grow up reading comics (but if you quizzed me on MY LITTLE PONIES, I'd know more than most people) and didn't start getting into them until my 20s so I feel like I don't have the background knowledge that Zane can bring. But also don't want people to think that I'm just latching on because it's "cool" to be a comic reader. I'm terrible at the quiz game when people start dropping names and I wish I wasn't. Essentially, I'm in competition with myself to be cooler.

Honestly, I think the comic industry is hard for anyone to break into, not just women. I watch Zane go through heartache trying to get his other project published and I don't think it's any easier for him.

BUG: Zane, is it challenging to write a female character?

ZG: I prefer to write women protagonists. I don't know why. Chun Li syndrome maybe? I've always had platonic friends who were women and I think that's important for a writer. Otherwise, you'll make people set pieces instead of characters. When writing fiction you are constructing an elaborate lie. It's hard enough to pull it off without rejecting the mental states of half the population. In short, when writing women, it doesn't hurt to co-write with a woman. If you can't do that, just put on lipstick before you start typing.

BUG: What other projects do the both of you have going on both together and separately?

BG: We have a couple of other comic ideas we've been floating around, including one called YOUTH AND BEAUTY BRIGADE. I'll let your imagination fill in what that's about. I'm also wrapping up on an apocalyptic feature film I directed last year called, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, which pretty much only leaves me time to sleep and eat (while working).

ZG: I do a webcomic called DETECTIVE WARLOCK, WARLOCK DETECTIVE. We finished the first arc and then took a web hiatus to do a couple of stories in that world for a two anthologies that are coming out soon. ANIMAL KINGDOM ships in November, and the OCCUPY COMICS book should be here any day now. Look out!

BUG: Last chance, why should folks rush out this Wednesday and pick up the first issue of LET'S PLAY GOD?

ZG: Punk ultra-violence. (P.S. If YOU are in Austin, stop in and say hello at my signing at AUSTIN BOOKS AND COMICS October 24th, 7-9pm!)

BUG: Thanks Brea and Zane and best of luck with LET’S PLAY GOD!

ZG: Thanks so much!

BG: Thanks, Mark!

BUG: Look for LET’S PLAY GOD #1 in stores this week from IDW!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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