As Zenescope prepares for the massive Unleashed event beginning this spring, ComicMonsters.com reporter Stephanie Shamblin Gray caught up with one of the writers, Raven Gregory, to ask him a few questions about the book.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: Wow! The press release from Zenescope for the new book, Unleashed, indicates that this is going to be a seven-issue story with four “classic” monster mini-series tie-ins and one monster hunter mini-series tie-in. And all in a six-month time frame. That is a serious cross-over event! Can you tell us a little more about the Unleashed event?
Raven Gregory: The story kicks off in April with an issue 0 that reveals where all the classic monsters (vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons) have been all this time and the â€œBeingâ€, the unnamed villain of the series, who is intent on Unleashing them upon the world. The only thing standing between him and hell on earth is the guardian of the earth, Sela, and four time-lost monster hunters.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: Which books/series’ will you be writing?
Raven Gregory: I’ll be writing the Hunters mini-series that focuses on the Hunters and their time trapped in the shadow lands dimension where all these creatures have been banished to. Think I AM LEGEND but with five monster hunters trapped in a dimension occupied by an army of every monster you can think of and theyâ€™re all very angry about being sent there.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: This must require a significant amount of coordination. Can you tell us about collaborating with the other writers?
Raven Gregory: Pat (editor’s note: Shand) and I developed the entire event months before hand so the series is pretty well mapped out. Pat is writing the main series and two of the miniâ€™s so he has a good handle on where the story needs to go. Mark Miller (Jungle Book) and Troy Brownfield (Myths and Legends) will be handling the two other mini-series (Werewolves: The Hunger, and Zombies: The Cursed). Both of whom have done excellent work for Zenescope in the past so transitioning into something like this is more just making sure everyone involved knows where all this is building to so each writer can plant the seeds and really play up to each of their strengths while still allowing them to tell a story that is unique in voice and style and from what Iâ€™ve seen so far is coming out even better than we imagined.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: What can you tell us about the artist?
Raven Gregory: Because of how massive the story is and the schedule involved itâ€™ll be various artists on the different series but the one I am most excited about is the debut of Nei Ruffino (Long time Zenescope colorist and Wonderland collaborator) on the interior art for issue 0. Sheâ€™s doing her own pencils and colors for the first time ever and she is beyond words amazing. Just when I think she canâ€™t blow my mind with the talent and quality of her work she goes and raises the bar taking it to an even higher level than ever before.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: It looks like these books will cross a lot of genres. Horror fans will initially be onboard for the monsters. What else can horror fans look forward to in these books?
Raven Gregory: Thereâ€™s a much deeper story going on with the main villain of the series that is going to put a spin on what can and canâ€™t be done with horror. Something that will have horror fans talking for some time to come. This is something no one has attempted before and if we pull this off itâ€™ll definitely be one for the books.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: You’ve told us previously about how your writing process differs for an ongoing book compared to a mini-series. What about writing in crossovers?
Raven Gregory: They really are all different yet all the same. With this weâ€™ve almost completely fleshed out all the series well before hand. But we still make sure to allow each of the stories room to breathe and be able to grow organically as they are written so it doesnâ€™t feel stale. But at the end of the day, map or no map, I still have to sit down and write the bastard so it is what it is.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: Where can our readers go for more information on the book?
Raven Gregory: www.zenescope.com or visit Zenescope Entertainments facebook at www.facebook.com/Zenescope
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: Anything else you would like to say about Unleashed?
Raven Gregory: A shadow is falling over the Grimm Universe and nothing will ever be the same.
Stephanie Shamblin Gray: Thank you, Raven, and good luck with the book!
Raven Gregory: Thanks.