Grivante is a writer of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and post-apocalyptic fiction, and also the writer of “The Zee Brothers Zombie Exterminators: Mini Comic,” Part 1 of which appears in Oneshi Press Anthology #07. We asked him about comics, egg-centric puns, and pushing boundaries.
Tell us about yourself, Grivante. How and why did you get into comics?
When I was a kid I used to help my grandparents at a flea market selling their stuff. Being the kid, I naturally gravitated to the toys, comics, etc., and during slow times would sit there and read them. I got hooked, learned about them, started buying and selling them, and eventually went on to have my own business doing the same for about ten years in my early adulthood. I didn’t know at the time that I would eventually end up making comics as well.
Can you tell us about your inspiration and process for creating “The Zee Brothers, Zombie Exterminators: Mini Comic”?
The Zee Brothers started out as a short story that I wrote and had me laughing. I could see it panel by panel in my head and wanted to turn it into graphic form. The process to do that was quite an adventure, including interviewing artists and working with them to create samples and drafts that really captured the feel of the story. We finally settled on Samir, who really nailed both the fun aspects of the story as well as the more gritty parts.
I love the wordplay with omelet vs. amulet. How did you decide on using the egg-based breakfast as a title for your other comic?
It’s all part of the humor angle. The brothers are good at what they do, but sometimes it seems like they couldn’t figure their way out of an unlocked building with a glowing EXIT sign above the door. Trying to find a “Zombie Omelet” was just so ridiculous, it’s only something the two of them would try to figure out…and succeed.
Who are your writing heroes and other people who inspire you?
A lot of the normal ones: Stephen King of course, then Terry Pratchett and Terry Brooks. In the comics realm, there are so many: Garth Ennis, Brian K. Vaughn, Robert Kirkman, Neil Gaiman, Stan Lee, Ben Edlund; that list goes on and on!
What’s your all-time favorite comic-book-based movie? TV series?
The Crow. The original movie captured the gritty feel of the comics so well and was so well done for its time. It also showed the power of indie comics crossing over to mainstream media. As for TV series, I’d have to go all the way back to The Incredible Hulk because that’s what was on when I was a little kid, and I absolutely loved it. As bad as it is by comparison to today’s shows, it was amazing for me as a child.
What comic book character do you identify most with, and why?
Identify with… hmm. I don’t know. I’ve always loved Peter Parker as Spider-Man. I don’t really identify with him, but I loved his witty banter as he battled villains. I guess in some way I always aspired to be that cool in the face of challenges and adversity.
What’s important to you in a comic book, as a reader and as a writer?
As a reader, I love stories that draw me [in] and get me interested in the characters and what is going on in their world, no matter how crazy it all might seem. As a writer, I want to create an immersive story that readers can fall in love with and get lost in. Something that, for a little while, makes them forget whatever may be going on around them.
How do you make your work immersive and progressive (the Oneshi Press themes)?
My stories take the reader deep into strange new worlds. Ones which are not quite our own but [are] very similar and present ways of being that aren’t normal in our world and therefore open them to different possibilities than what they may be used to. Gently pushing at the boundaries they are comfortable with and bringing them to the realization that there are other paths than the one they choose to follow, different views to be explored. Hopefully opening and expanding their minds and [their] view of our world at the same time. One aspect of this is elements of a polyamorous dynamic between the main characters in the Zee Brothers series—things that are outside societal norms, but that can work when done with love.
Any new projects you’re working on?
I’m finishing up the series of novels that make up The Zee Brothers in 2019, then returning to a young adult fantasy novel that has been waiting for me for a decade or more. After I get that wrapped up, I have another zombie-themed project in the works. That’ll be a trilogy, currently titled “Altered Earth.” Unlike the comedic-horror of the Zee Brothers, this will be [a] straight sci-fi horror series.
Where can readers find you online?
Or [there’s] our zombie-themed group, The Reanimated Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reanimatedwriters/
Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14223262.Grivante
Amazon Profile: Author.to/Grivante
Get your own copy of Oneshi Press Anthology #07 in print or digital, featuring Part 1 of “The Zee Brothers, Zombie Exterminators: Minic Comic” by Grivante and Samir Simão!
Check out the rest of our other Creator Interviews!
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