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Brusha Talks Neverland

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Zenescope Entertainment has a big following of fans that just love every twisted fairytale the company comes up with. From the company that brought us dark stories called the Grimm Fairy Tales and Sinbad to the amazing trilogy of Wonderland, now comes the yet-again-twisted story of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Hook! A seven-issue story in which it is revealed that Pan has learned the secret of immortality; children! And he captures them in Neverland and that way he can live on forever. Only one kid ever escaped, namely Cross (Hook) and Cross comes back to end Pan's evilness.

BROKEN FRONTIER: Wonderland is ending and Neverland comes around the corner! Can you tell us a tad about this Neverland, its inhabitants and its horrors?

JOE BRUSHA: Like all of our Grimm Fairy Tales series it’s a dark re-imagining of Peter Pan and everything has been turned around from the original. Most of the characters from the original story appear in the series [but] they’ve just been given the Grimm Fairy Tales make over. The croc has been transformed into a really monstrous beast that I think fans are going to love.

BF: That is indeed something I am looking forward to! Who are the leading characters in this new series?

JB: Peter Pan is the bad guy and Hook has been reinvented as the Hero, although he’s not called Hook in my version of Neverland. His name is Cross and the heroine in the story and his love interest is Wendy. Tinker Bell is still with Pan but she’s not truly evil and she plays kind of a wild card in the story.

BF: Wonderland eventually became a trilogy, with two sets of oneshots to wrap it up. Now you can never predict the future of this next series, but how will Neverland be set up at this point?

JB: Right now it is set up as a single miniseries. But it is part of the greater Grimm Fairy Tales Universe so I’m sure there will be other Neverland stories to tell down the road. If it’s as successful as Wonderland we’ll probably try to figure out what they are sooner rather than later.

BF: Who came up with the idea of Neverland in this Zenescope-fashion?

JB: I did. I can’t really explain how it came to me but it was one of the first stories I thought about doing for the Grimm universe. So it’s kind of been sitting around for the past few years.

BF: Who is the artistic team at this point? And do you also have plans for a regular kick-ass artists like Eric Basaldua did for Wonderland?

JB: Right now we have Vic Durichio doing pencils. Jason Embury is doing colors and Bernie Lee will be handling letters. We would love for Ebas to keep doing covers for the series and I’m sure we’ll get a couple from Al Rio. David Finch did the cover for issue #1 which is awesome. We definitely want to keep kick-ass level on covers as high as possible.

BF: Joe, besides being the writer of this series, you are also one of the presidents of Zenescope. Did you start out as a writer yourself or is it something that came to you after you became president of the United States of Zenescope?

JB: I was a writer first and kind of fell into running a comic book publishing company by default. My partner and I, Ralph Tedesco, we’re aspiring screenwriters who couldn’t get anyone to look at our scripts. I had been a huge comic book fan growing up and we saw publishing comics as an outlet for all these stories we wanted to tell.

BF: Zenescope Ent. seems like a very successful and driven company. What are your thoughts about the current publishing climate and the state of the economy?

JB: I would agree that we are driven. Successful in some ways yes, but this is a very hard industry to be profitable in. I think it’s hard to judge what retailers and comic fans are going to respond to. We’ve had a lot of success with our Grimm Fairy Tales titles but some of our other titles haven’t found the same level of popularity with fans. Overall I would say publishing comics is a very tough business.

BF: Sorry to hear about that! Can you show the fans some artwork for Neverland? Some interior artwork so they can get a taste for it already?

JB: We aren’t showing any interiors yet but we do have some cover artwork fans can see and the original concept sketch for Pan.

BF: What attracted you to the artist to make him the person to take on this highly anticipated new series?

JB: Vic [Durichio] has worked on a few books for us in the past and he recently finished a creator owned series by [Wonderland trilogy writer] Raven Gregory called The Waking. I though his work was excellent and when Raven pitched him for the series I just thought he was a good fit for the material.

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