Zenescope Entertainment makes it very clear that they’re on a mission to deliver exciting fantasy comics with strong female leads. When they announced Robyn Hood last summer the independent publisher turned a lot of heads. With the help of Pat Shand, writer of the series, Robyn Hood was received very well and remains highly praised by fans. Pat Shand and Zenescope recently announced that Robyn Hood would be returning in an all new series, Robyn Hood: Wanted, coming in May 2013. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Pat Shand himself about what we can expect from the upcoming Robyn Hood series. Enjoy!
RCB: Just to give our readers a feel for who you are, could you tell us about the first comic you ever read, what made you decide to work in comics, and what the first comic you ever worked on was?
Pat Shand: I’m the seventh son of a seventh son, born under a blood-red moon on a night when cats sang and birds meowed. Or, I’m a bearded ginger who writes funnybooks. I write because it’s part of me the same way that blood, flesh, and love for Joss Whedon is part of me; I chose comics because I adore the medium, but I also write short stories, novels, and theatre. The first comic I ever read was Stephen King’s oversized CREEPSHOW comic, which I still have and is still awesome, and the first I ever wrote was an Angel comic for IDW, which was a dream come true.
RCB: How did you come to work with Zenescope Entertainment?
Pat Shand: I broke into the office, deleted all of Raven Gregory’s scripts, and pretty much left them with no option other than to hire me.
RCB: When you first started writing Robyn Hood did you know it was going to go further than the initial five issues, or were you guys just testing the waters?
Pat Shand: A mix of both. I originally had a very definitive end, because I do honestly think it’s important to give closure at the end of the series. The first issue did really, really well though, so I opted to give Robyn thematic closure as a character… and add one of those Marvel movie tags at the end of the book that teases a second series. And thankfully, we’ve got a second series coming out in May called ROBYN HOOD WANTED. The fan response to the character has been amazing, and I am grateful to everyone who has ever bought a book with the Robyn Hood logo on the cover.
RCB: How many issues is Robyn Hood: WANTED planned to be?
Pat Shand: Same format as the first series – five issues, and the finale is over-sized.
RCB: Who will be the artists working on WANTED?
Pat Shand: I don’t want to jinx it, but the plan at least from where I’m sitting is to have Larry Watts draw the whole shebang. He drew #2, #4, and #5 of the first series, and his Robyn is my Robyn. For me, that is who I think of when I see the character. He’s got her down, from her badassery to her more down to Earth character moments.
As far as covers, we’ve got Artgerm… which, hell, you really can’t beat that. I’d been asking for him for a while, because he is the best cover artist in the industry. Look at his stuff for DC – just perfect. I couldn’t be happier. Robyn Hood: Wanted has been essentially the realization of all of my dreams. We’ve got Artgerm and Sejic, and I’d been wanting Nei Ruffino, who did all of the interior art of UNLEASHED #0, our big event this year, to do a cover. Now, she’s scheduled to do at least two covers for us. I’m a happy, happy writer.
Pat Shand: Yeah, for sure. I think that since the covers for the first issue show Robyn in New York, folks are expecting to see this set in our world. Most of the series takes place in Myst, though.
RCB: Robyn is a female character with a very dark past, having her character brutally carved by malicious men. What do you think it is about Robyn that makes her such a huge fan favourite?
Pat Shand: It’s her strength. She’s stood before the most horrible people, but she never bats an eye. Her integrity is her defining character trait, in that she never compromises. She does things her way, even if folks around her think she’s insane. Robyn doesn’t care. Also, she’s witty, smart, troubled, human, and just so fun to write. I’m constantly thinking about her, and I hope that translates into the book.
RCB: Will WANTED draw pretty heavily on Robyn Hood volume 1, or will it be a great place for new readers to pick up?
Pat Shand: I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive. It definitely feeds off of what happened before, but it is a true beginning, a true #1. A new reader can pick it up and follow the story with no problem.
RCB: Is WANTED going to focus more on the action and suspense of the story now that we’ve gotten to know the core of Robyn, or do you still plan to explore her past and inner conflicts pretty heavily?
Pat Shand: Both. It ups the action and suspense, and it’s a bigger story, but Robyn’s character arc is a lot more personal. She’s exploring her past as everything she did for the people of Bree comes crashing down around her.
RCB: Finally, what is the best part of working in comics for you?
Pat Shand: I really dig getting art in my inbox. Just getting awesome pages every day… it’s a great feeling. Seeing a new cover or a new page every single day is a real treat. Also, going to conventions. I love the human interaction and the actual sales pitch. There’s something really intimate of, “Hey, you in the Tick cosplay. I wrote this book and this is what it’s about. You interested? I’ll sign it AND I might even ask for a picture with you because, hey, you’re the Tick.”
You just got the low down on the next installment in the world of Robyn Hood! Don’t forget that Robyn Hood Volume 1 TPB is on sale now, and an upcoming one-shot, Robyn Hood vs. Red Riding Hood is coming soon, as well! Don’t miss out on these great comics before the company that does sexy fantasy adventure best releases Robyn Hood: Wanted #1 in May. Be sure to follow @zenescope and the man behind Robyn Hood himself, @PatShand. While you’re at it, you should read comic books.