There's no arguing that Robert Kirkman is a prolific comics writer. Whether it's his wildly popular "Marvel Zombies" or the creator-owned series "The Walking Dead," "Invincible" or "The Astounding Wolf-Man," it seems a new Robert Kirkman issue can always be found in the comic stores every Wednesday, if not a new title altogether.
One such book is "Brit," the story of the last line of defense between super-powered menaces and us. The one-man killing machine starred in a three-issue miniseries published a few years back, before Kirkman shot to stardom, and has recently been collected in a trade paperback edition.
Brit is back in a new ongoing Image Comics series, but this time things are a little different. For this new series, Kirkman finds himself sitting in the editor's chair while writer Bruce Brown handles the heavy lifting. With "Brit" #2 out this week, CBR News caught up with Brown for a quick chat about the series, to see just what kind of editor Kirkman is, and to get a preview of what's to come.
"Brit" #2 on sale now
To begin with, introduce us to "Brit."
Brit is a career soldier. He has one power, invulnerability, and he's spent the majority of the last century fighting one new apocalypse after the next. His opponents are usually smarter, stronger, and 30 years younger. Brit has the treachery of experience, plus he's a relentless unkillable man. His best friend Donald is a federal agent and an android.
Tell us a bit about the overall story arc you've crafted -- what's going on here? With issue #2 out this week, what do CBR readers need to know in order to jump on to this title?
The story so far, Brit dies. Somehow, the unkillable man is killed. In issue #2, we meet Brit's sister. She's as strong as Brit was tough. She'll team with Donald to figure out what happened and why. I can only stand by my junior Lincolneer promise that this title will get stranger and stronger, and do it's best to peel your wig and rock you like a Denver scramble.
You talk about how it's going to get stranger and stronger - how so? Any clues?
The future may contain the following ingredients: moon boots, alien drive-bys, holographic Nazis, sharks with jet packs, submarine enemas, grunion of the damned, ginormous conquering platypi, deaths by spoon, ghost ronin, cybernary loves that dare not speak their names, and that's not only the tip of the iceberg - but the Living Evil Iceberg as well. Artificial colors, but no trans fats.
How long do you expect this mystery about Brit's death to last? And is there a larger plan once that storyline has been tackled?
Readers will have some answers to the mystery of Brit's death quickly, definitely within the next few issues. There's a larger plan. There be long shadows running under the boat. I have to put a quietus on the details though. This spice cannot flow.
Fair enough. Talk about working with Robert Kirkman - he's handed one of his creations over to you. How involved is he in the construction of your stories? Has he been hands off, or been very involved from the start? What's the working relationship like?
It's a Garden of Eden thing. I'm loosed in a world he's created and except for a few forbidden trees, I'm free to chuck amok on it. Robert already has Brit's origin written and he has certain ideas he wants in play. I was surprised to find that I enjoy the collaboration. Robert's smart. He knows comics. He knows the industry. He might look like a soft lumberjack, but Robert thinks like a cheetah full sprint, hundred of turns and angles in a second. I trust his intelligence, plus he's already given a shoulder load of trust to me by putting in putting his personal creation into my clutches. His feedback is open and direct, better than playing 120 e-mails of "guess which character another writer has reserved and/or scheduled for a retcon." And on the weekends we have sleepovers and braid one another's beards.
Dare I ask -- during those sleepovers at Robert's, do you guys do each others make-up and have tickle fights?
"What happens in Kentucky...."
Yeah, that's probably best.
Talk a bit about working with artists Andy Kuhn and Cliff Rathburn. What can you say about their work on this title?
It's like stumbling across conjoined twin hookers. Andy Kuhn's style is like watching an acrobat you'd swear had no bones. Fluid and motion, things don't simply move they practically crackle off the page.
Rathburn has those clean tight lines that you'd swear would slice a finger to the bone if you traced them. And sweet red meat, his detailing is a narcotic. When their styles meet it's like peanut butter and chocolate transforming into a giant dinosaur eating robot. The more they sheer off the top of my head, the more I want to push to see what I can make come next. Creatively, it's a big adrenaline needle.
To what type of audience do you feel "Brit" appeals?
I think "Brit" will definitely appeal to anyone that enjoys "Invincible" or "Astounding Wolf-Man." You won't have to read 40-plus issues of another comic's back-story or know the secret handshake to enjoy "Brit." I'm meaning for it to read like its own island. But it is a part of the Robertverse or Kirkworld or however you fancy it. I'm not focusing completely on capes and fingerless gloves though. I believe a writer should read like a locust and write likewise. I love pulp adventure, science, night nurses, and things at the foot of the stairs. I want to take my personal hurricanes, every obsession and influence, distill it 100% proof, and skim the top quality to share. "Brit's" for any reader down for managing a laugh, a stop, a "hells yeah," and a "WTF" within the flip of a few pages. That's the aim, anyway.
Wrapping things up here, Bruce, tell our audience a bit about yourself. Who is Bruce Brown?
I haven't slept in a few days. I have cereal, but I think I'm going to have to teat-jack a cow because I can't afford the cost of pasteurization. My last relationship ended like a tumor-filled guinea pig clapped between two cinder blocks. My finishing move is the Mongolian Burrito. I wrote for a time under the name Kimo Temperance, but it starts wearing thin when your pen name can tell better travel stories. The last gild off that lily came with an airline reservation made for me under my pen name.
"Sir, are you saying you're attempting to fly under an assumed name?"
The subsequent ripping sound you now hear is the collective sphincter of airport security gobbling seat cushion. I think comics are the ultimate medium for expensive imaginations. Writing comics is twice the drug of reading them. I love the live wiring of it. And I think that someone at Marvel needs to be eaten or deified because Jonathan "Motherless Brooklyn" Lethem is writing "Omega the Unknown." Kitten in a biscuit, the world twists as we know it and we are the Walking Dead.