GLEN BRUNSWICK is living every aspiring comic book creator’s dream. He has not just one, but TWO series with the powerhouse Image Comics imprint. Working with two fantastic artists, Viktor Bogdonovic and famed Image co-founder Whilce Portacio, (SPAWN, X-MEN) the sky’s the limit for Brunswick.
GeekMundo: I thoroughly enjoyed reading REALITY CHECK. Willard’s mishaps and Dark Hours’ raging libido make for great comedy. What inspired this particular spin on the Creator-Meets-Creation plot line?
Glen Brunswick: That element of the book came out of Willard’s character build. For one thing, he’s lonely, so that filters into the things he creates. In trying to come up with a different take on a super-hero he combines a new spin on an old idea and feels he has something unique to explore in a hero looking for love over justice. It’s what creatives grapple with all the time in trying to reinvent the wheel to hit on an idea that will catch on. In terms of what inspired the creator meets creation idea, I was stuck in LA traffic. With no where else to go, and fully recognizing that you’re not supposed to text and drive kids, I starting thinking about the kind of chaos that would enter my life if one of my creations entered my world. By the time I finally got to my destination, I had the basic framework for REALITY CHECK.
GM: Whenever I read a comic that has great flow as REALITY CHECK seems to have, I almost always think “could this be a film?”. Have you given any thought to adapting it to film or television?
GB: I’m really just focused on putting out the comic right now. Films are passé. TV, I mean, doesn’t everyone just about have their own show by now? Comics are where it’s at! It actually feels like comics are in a really cool growth period with great writers exploring every genre imaginable–not just super-heroes.
Willard has the ultimate hangover in Glen Brunswicks’ REALITY CHECK #1. Art by Viktor Bogdonovic.
GM: Speaking of film, I know that you have done some writing for film before with Jersey Gods. Is there anything else that you are currently working on that we might see in the future?
GB: THE GRAY AREA, the first comic project I worked on with John Romita Jr., is moving forward on the film side. We have a script with a strong producer that appears to be moving forward. More details should be forthcoming soon.
GM: Sounds exciting! Just going back to REALITY CHECK for a spell: In my Comics Review, I noted a love for Victor Bogdonovic‘s work, citing a Weiringo-esque look to it that worked in great sync to your script. Did you personally pick Victor to collaborate with? What is your workflow like?
GB: Viktor is fantastic! He actually just sent me some pages today for our fourth issue. He amazes me in that he adds little details that help smooth the storytelling and flow that were not in my script when we began. He’s very creative. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him working on his own written project down the line. I should also say that he gives me exactly what we need in terms of script translation–everything is clear–and the characters are always full of expression. You know exactly what they’re thinking without my word balloons. He’s quite a find.
GM: I’ll say! I saw quite a few jabs taken at real world companies like *cough cough* Marvel and DC. Were these borrowed experiences from you or general statements on how hard it is to break into the comic industry? Where these potshots planned or did Victor slip them in?
GB: My intention was to depict a realistic generalization. Marvel and DC have been circling Willard for months checking his availability, but never offering him any work. Willard sees this as an negative thing. It causes him anxiety that they don’t really want him. He can’t understand. This is the creative mind set that many up and comers have to deal with. However, it’s this very situation that causes the smaller indie comic company to step to the plate and offer to publish his book. They’ve also heard this buzz that the big two have been circling him. It’s a comment on how perception affects the industry and the players involved.
Glen brings out the dark and not-so-cuddly side out of toys in NON-HUMANS. Art by Whilce Portacio.
GM: Definitely. It’s something that parallels life. How you’re never in demand until the competition want you. Now, I want to touch briefly on your other mini-series, NON-HUMANS. I got to look at a slice of the action and I’ve seen it described as “Blade Runner meets Toy Story.” It certainly looks like there are some pretty dark elements getting worked into the story. What triggered the idea of an extra-terrestrial agent ‘sparking’ in-animates to come to life?
GB: The key element that Whilce and I seized upon in NON-HUMANS is the how of their creation. The NH’s come from us in the same way that a baby gets the DNA of its mother. That means when a teen brings a doll to life, a piece of their personality and emotions are also transferred to the doll. It feels like an actual form of creation–instead of having a doll who’s personality is based solely on the characteristics of the doll–as we see in many of these toy come to life entertainments. A talented writer, Noah Dorsey, who is the co-creator of NON-HUMANS, brought me the idea of the disease coming from one of our Martian space probes.
GM: The premise of NON-HUMANS means that the story might not be limited to just the 4 issue run. Will we ever get to see more of this dark, yet cuddly future?
GB: I’m currently hard at work on the new NON-HUMANS story arc. I just completed the first issue and Whilce has begin to do the heavy lifting of drawing it. We want to have at least two issue complete before we solicit to avoid any delays in the monthly release schedule.
GM: It’s always interesting to see what the industry’s best is reading and watching. What’s currently on your pull list and what are your favourite TV shows and movies?
GB: I really like the world that Greg Rucka is building in LAZARUS. I watch GAME OF THRONES, MAD MEN and WALKING DEAD. The last really great movie I saw was CRAZY STUPID LOVE.
GM: Yes, yes and yes. High five for all those shows! So what’s next for you at Image?
GB: Other than the new NON-HUMANS arc, nothing I can talk about just yet. I’ll keep you posted.
Geek Mundo: Aw man, that sounds positively loaded! Really looking forward to it, Glen. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. We really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule. We dub thee: “Sir Reality”!
Glen Brunswick: Thank you for being kind enough to ask me.