Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pat Shand: Interview With A Realm Knight

Pat Shand: Interview With A Realm Knight
By: Jay

I recently had the chance to interview Mr. Pat Shand, writer at Zenescope Entertainment. He is the writer of some of Zenescope’s biggest hits like Godstorm, and Robyn Hood now their first big event, Unleashed. Pat Shand’s latest book Realm Knights is about to hit comic shops. Find out about the new mini-series, his creator-owned all-ages title and more.

Comic Frontline: First I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day for this interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

Pat Shand: Sure! My name is Pat Shand and I am a staff writer for Zenescope Entertainment. I’ve written Robyn HoodUnleashedGodstormGrimm Fairy Tales, and other titles, for Zenescope. We’re also currently releasing my creator-owned title, Family Pets, through Silver Dragon Books, the all-ages imprint of Zenescope. Besides my Zenescope work, I’ve written for Joss Whedon’s Angel with IDW Publishing and produced short plays off-off Broadway in NYC. I teach Screenwriting, Script Writing, and English 101 at Five Towns College in New York. I am ginger. I once had a beard. I have DFTBA tattooed on my wrist.

I think that about covers the Spark Notes.

CF: It's funny that you said you worked on a Whedon book, because in my review of Unleashed #1 I compared the story to how Joss Whedon would build up to these epic season finales on his show Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.

PS: I loved reading that. Buffy is my favorite show, and Joss’s work on that and Angel has influenced me as a writer and a person more than any other fictional work.

CF: What can you tell us about Family Pets?

PS: It’s an all-ages comic about a girl who wakes up to discover her family has been turned into animals. The elevator pitch would be “If Pixar had created Harry Potter with a female lead,” but it’s such a quirky and emotional read that it feels like a different comic every time I think about it. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing a Brian Wood-esque examination of teenage years, and other times it feels like a romp through a metropolitan Narnia. Issue #2 is out on Comixology tomorrow, and #1 is available for just 99 cents here

Realm Knights #1 Cover A

CF: That sounds pretty awesome. I am going to be adding that to my cart right after this.

How did Realm Knights come about?

PS: The idea had been in place for a while, and it just lined up that I happened to be the guy Joe Brusha (Zenescope prez) chose to write the series. It’s Joe’s concept, and the two of us went back and forth on the phone a lot to plan this out and make sure it’s going to kick as much ass as possible. Which I think, hey, “fairy tale Avengers” has a pretty high ass-kickery potential.

CF: You have written Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, Sela Mathers and Van Helsing before. How did that affect how you handle them in the team setting?

PS: At this point, all three of those characters are very natural to me. Sela is the hardest I guess because she’s been written by so many writers and she’s really Joe and Ralph’s baby, as she’s been around since 2005! Helsing, Red, and especially Robyn, I’d written a lot of before. Robyn’s voice is very much my own. I’m so immersed, both as a writer and a fan, in all of these characters, so it was very natural to have them reach to each other. Robyn and Helsing have a really cool back-and-forth in #1.

CF: The Realm Knights prelude, or prequel issue, came out and the team is slightly different due to events fromUnleashed. Was this always the plan or did you have to change gears in the story?

PS: I outlined and pitched Unleashed before I got the gig to do the Realm Knights one-shot, and there was a character I was killing in Unleashed #1 that Joe had as an integral part of Realm Knights. I remember the two of us talked about the logistics of killing this character and if the stories could line up. They lined up perfectly, and also allowed us to let that character shine in the Realm Knights prelude one-shot. It all worked out very well.
Realm Knights One-Shot

CF: What else will be changed from that issue to Realm Knights #1?

PS: Their handler from the one-shot, Agent Aranda, is not around after the events of that issue. I introduced their new handler, Agent Jessica Ciampo, in this month’s issue of Grimm Fairy Tales. She’s a really cool character and I think she’s going to be a blast to write as she interacts more and more with the main cast. Also, a big difference is the scale. The one-shot was big action, but the miniseries is global action. It’s summer blockbustering the Grimm Universe.

CF: Speaking of Unleashed, you’re currently writing Unleashed, Robyn Hood: Wanted, and now the up-coming Realm Knights. How do you handle all of that, and are you planting any seeds in one title for any of the others?

PS: Yep, each title stands on its own while also lending itself to its sister titles. The way I handle it is because I love it. I’d be writing as many comic book scripts even if I weren’t being published. It’s my passion. I can’t not do it.
Realm Knights #1 Cover B

CF: Unleashed is the big event for Zenescope right now, and Robyn Hood: Wanted is something fans have been looking forward to since the first mini-series ended. Realm Knights uses very key characters from these books. Where does it fit into continuity in relation to the other two titles?

PS: Unleashed and Robyn Hood: Wanted take place during each other, though Wanted only spans about a week and Unleashed spans over a year. The Realm Knights mini is set firmly after both of them.

CF: I got into reading Zenescope books through your first Robyn Hood mini-series after Mike Spider-Slayer reviewed it and gave it a high recommendation. I really love your writing style. You write for both a new reader as well as long time fans. How important do you think that is, especially with comic book companies looking for new readers now?

PS: It’s vital. Any chance to get a new reader without talking down to the returning fans is a chance I will take. Each book, whether it be a mini or an ongoing or a spin-off or an event or a tie-in… should be completely new reader friendly. No one should be grasping at straws trying to figure out what is going on in a comic book.

Realm Knights One-Shot

CF: With team books, members usually fall into roles such as the comedic relief, etc. How would you describe each Knight’s role in the book?

PS: I want to answer very badly, but I think I’ll have to let the story speak for that.

Real Knights #1 Cover D

CF: Was there any other character that you would have liked to have used, but couldn’t?

PS: I originally pitched Belinda as an addition to the team along with Helsing, but Joe and I spoke about it and the two of us couldn’t come up with something for her to do. She didn’t add to the story, and she’s such a cool character and her role in Unleashed was one of the most rewarding character arcs I’ve been a part of, so I decided that I didn’t want to cheapen that by throwing her into a team she would never join just to write her again.

CF: Will the Knights be limited to this mini-series, or can we expect them popping up as the Knights from time to time in other titles?

PS: It’s a big cohesive universe, so I’d say other titles. I include the supporting cast in Grimm Fairy Tales #86and #87, and I reference the Realm Knights throughout Unleashed.

Realm Knights #1 Cover C

CF: Are there any hopes/plans in making Realm Knights an ongoing?

PS: No plans, but I certainly hope it does well enough.

CF: How about Robyn Hood?

PS: That’s the dream.

Realm Knights One-Shot

CF: What can our readers expect from Realm Knights?

PS: Big action, big scares, big heart. Fairy tale characters, Medieval legends, Greek gods, and horror icons fighting off the biggest of bads… together in one comic book. Take that, Justice League!

CF: What’s coming up in Unleashed and Robyn Hood: Wanted?

PS: This month’s Unleashed closes out the saga of the gods. Zeus, Neptune, and Hades’ story comes to an end… for now. It’s the big finale of the first act of Unleashed, and there will be blood. This month’s issue of Robyn Hood: Wanted shows Robyn getting taken into police custody while Nottingham is invaded by the mysterious Sheriff and his band of monsters.


CF: Do you have anything else coming up?

PS: I’m writing a lot of Wonderland stuff with Raven Gregory. Besides that, stay tuned for announcements!

Well that is it for now. I will like to once again thank Pat Shand for taking the time out of his schedule for this interview, and encourage everyone to check out Unleashed, Robyn Hood: Wanted, and Realm Knights. Don’t forget to also check out his creator-owned title Family Pets!

Let us know what you think in the comments Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to know whenever we post more previews, reviews, news and interviews on Comic Frontline.

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