Zenescope’s Pat Shand takes the reins on Quest, the new November-shipping mini-series that touches every corner of the company’s shared universe. Shand has already built up an amazing body of work with Zenescope, including writing Robyn Hood, Robyn Hood: Wanted, Realm Knights, Grimm Universe and various issues of Grimm Fairy Tales, as well as orchestrating and co-writing the Unleashed event. With Quest, Shand gets to bring back some familiar faces and break new ground as the evolution of the Grimm Universe continues.
Q1. Pat, we understand that Quest is important because it’s the only Zenescope book that sets out to touch all the Realms. Can you speak to that a little bit in the sense of what the story is?
PAT SHAND: The Zenescope universe is comprised of Earth (the Nexus), which is surrounded by the four realms of power: Myst, Wonderland, Neverland, and Oz. The first series of QUEST follows a group of characters from Myst who are journeying through that Realm, trying to reestablish the Council of the Realms, which is essentially a group of protectors that is meant to keep evil away from the realms of power. If we get a sequel series, it will be set in Wonderland – the idea is that the journey these characters are on spans the entire Grimm universe. As I’m typing this, it sounds all very high fantasy, but I like to think of QUEST as the middle ground between LORD OF THE RINGS and SKULLKICKERS. It’s a constant mix of high and low fantasy, which is fun because if you read ROBYN HOOD, you know that I live pretty firmly in that gothic juxtaposition.
Q2. A couple of your leads might be familiar to long-time Zenescope readers. Can you give us a run-down on the cast? Who are they and why is the titular quest important to them?
PAT SHAND: Some newish players and some old. This team was established in GIANT SIZE GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2012, where I had them actually go to all four realms in one issue, but their quest there failed pretty miserably. Now, they have an actual plan. The cast is:
BLAKE, the forgotten White Knight of Wonderland whose defeat allowed the Jabberwocky to overcome that realm.
BOLDER, the disgraced dwarf who is on the run for his brother’s evil actions.
AISLING, a fallen princess who is the only surviving member of her royal family.
And DRUANNA, who you may know better as the goddess Gaia.
These people should NOT be in a tavern together, much less going on a Quest to save the Realms… and I think that is the most fun aspect of all of this.
Q3.Will this book explore any of the ramifications of Unleashed?
PAT SHAND: Not in this series. UNLEASHED was firmly set on Earth, because the antagonist of that series was not physically able to leave the Nexus. But hey, if we ever get a QUEST TO EARTH series, then I’d probably want to include some of the characters we introduced in UNLEASHED, like Van Helsing and Masumi.
Q4. Would you consider this mini to be a good jumping-on point for those that are curious about Zenescope? It seems like it would be new-reader friendly.
PAT SHAND: Oh, for sure. It’s a new beginning, and the tone is unlike anything we’ve done before. I try to make all of my #1s a jumping on point, but this is especially welcoming toward the uninitiated.
Q5. As a fan yourself, what draws you to a book, and how do you capture that quality for Quest?
PAT SHAND: Two big things. The uniqueness of a book really pulls me in. My favorite books right now are SAGA, ANGEL & FAITH, REVIVAL, HAWKEYE, TEN GRAND, and I’m currently blowing through SWEET TOOTH in trade, and that is phenomenal. These books, while some of the core concepts may be familiar, attack their premise from left field, creating new and interesting work. You’ve seen journey-driven fantasy a LOT before, but I can promise you’ve never seen it done like QUEST.
Also, passion. When a writer or artist has passion for their book and it shows in their work, then I am in from Page One, Panel One, Bubble One. And man, I’ve been pitching this book since I got my exclusive gig and Zenescope and it’s finally happening, so if the passion for these characters doesn’t exude from every page, I’m doing it wrong.
Q6. What else do you have coming up at Zenescope?
: By the time QUEST comes out, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS will be close to the end, REALM KNIGHTS will be wrapping up, and my creator owned comics, FAMILY PETS and SUCKERS, with be respectively complete and finishing up. All I can say for sure is that I’ll be working on the third arc of the new WONDERLAND trilogy when LOOKING GLASS is through, but I’ll be deep into writing some new projects that I can’t talk about yet.
Interview was provided to Geek-o-Rama by Zenescope. We’re just happy to share it with you.