Kurtis J. Wiebe Talks Falling in Loving While Caught in a Perpetual State of Death

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Finding love is hard enough these days without the fear of perpetual fear and rebirth staring you in the face. Looks like that dream wedding is off the cards, that’s if Kurtis J. Wiebe has things his way.

“This series is all about how death and consequence shapes our experiences with those around us,” says Wiebe, a face behind Image Comics's creator-owned revolution that’s defied expectation throughout 2012. 

Grim Leaper might be a love story, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, Wiebe is touting it as the “final-destination rom-com you’ve been waiting for!” Instead of focussing on a bunch of prepubescent teens struggling with a bout of aerophobia though, Grim Leaper pulls focus onto Lou Collins, “a guy struck with a bizarre curse that sees him killed in horrific, bloody ways only to wake up in the body of a complete stranger.”

The perfect way to continue making a pass at the girl of your dreams, the U.S judicial system can’t exactly put a restraining order on a soul after all. Not for lack of trying on Lou'spart mind, in issue one in May we caught him starting to see the real up-sides of his ‘curse’.

“He’s experienced a lot of gruesome deaths but he seems to take it all in stride. In fact, Lou’s started to see the definite positives of living a life of no consequences. In the opening act, he’s at a funeral of the body he just leaped from, hitting on the deceased’s friend…

“Classy guy.”

As appealing as watching Lou wretch his way through romantically awkward situations for four issues sounds, Kurtis is using this as a prime example to explore the power of love, can it save someone that’s already far too gone?

“Lou definitely wasn’t a good person before the curse struck him. In fact, he was a total loner. Now he’s sort of meandering through ‘life’ until one day he meets Ella, a woman with the exact same curse.

“The narrative is focused on their relationship, about how their blossoming romance is affected by the ability to start all over again every single day. Finding themselves in such a bizarre predicament together definitely draws them close to one another, but as with all things, love is never certain.”

“That’s part of the great mystery, isn’t it?” Says Wiebe, offering an interesting thought, “Will this be a match made in heaven or will it drag him through yet another layer of hell?”

Putting any demented Along Came Polly associations aside, Kurtis isn’t actually a big fan of romantic comedies; in fact he completely shot down any hope of seeing rom-com queen Jennifer Aniston making any sort of cameo.

“Romantic comedies are routinely terrible. I think those films that actually work at ones that are rooted in reality, how love really works. 500 Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are examples of that.

“[But] that’s why this comic is important to me. I want to be able to talk about relationships, dating and love but make it a lot of fun in a totally insane way. I feel like Grim Leaper is a good take on the genre, even if it isn’t grounded in reality.”

With so many new creator-owned books hitting the stands, fantastic stories and gorgeous art don’t seem to be enough. Readers are on the lookout for as much content as possible for their cash, and Kurtis has found a way to give readers a serious amount of good times for their hard-earned dollars.

“Each issue of Grim Leaper will have a completely original 5-page short story in the segment More Love Stories to Die For. These will be stand alone stories with no connection to Grim Leaper but will feature a love story that ranges from extremely messed up to really sweet. People are going to be getting a lot of story for their $3.50: 22 pages of Grim Leaper and 5 pages of More Love Stories.”

Kurtis Wiebe has been taking the Image mantra in his stride, “Experience Creativity” are two words that seem to embody every title his name graces. Whether it’s the; super spy madness of Intrepids, high flying adventure found in Peter Panzerfaust, or even the crutch of love explored through Green Wake, Kurtis is putting out such a wide variety of genres that there really is something for everyone.

His other new book, Debris with Riley Rossmo, is launching late in July, and of course Grim Leaper is forging forward with its bizarre blend of big laughs and big heart, so if you are interested be sure to give it a try – if it does well enough, the creative team have more in store for us.

“This is a four-issue miniseries but with how I end the final chapter of Grim Leaper, it leaves things wide open for more. If that happens I’ll explore the curse in more detail and, well, explain what the end of the first arc means. It’s a real awesome twist and I’m excited to see people’s reaction.”

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  • Flipsyder

    Flipsyder Jul 27, 2012 at 6:42pm

    A great little article for what looks to be a great little read. After the awesome Peter Panzerfaust I'd be willing to give Wiebe's delightfully absurd necromantic tale a shot!

  • Josh West

    Josh West Jul 29, 2012 at 5:05am

    I'm really enjoying his work at the minute, Debris #1 hit last week and was pretty awesome!

    Apparently the BBC are making an animated show out of Peter Panzerfaust!

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