World's Worst Sailor: Wickline talks "Sinbad"

The ancient Arabic story of Sinbad the Sailor has been presented in countless iterations since it was compiled in Sir Richard Burton's "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights" (or "Arabian Nights," as it is sometimes known) so many years ago, and Zenescope is getting ready to roll out a new interpretation of the character in an April preview with a #1 issue to follow in May. Writer Dan Wickline is at the helm of Sinbad, and CBR news sat down with him to get the skinny on the writer's take on the mythical mariner.

In Zenescope's "Sinbad," the titular character has already completed his legendary seven voyages. "To me, I don't think he was Sinbad the Sailor until after the voyages," Dan Wickline told CBR News. "He learned who he was and what he can do though those journeys. The Sinbad we have here is at his confident, charismatic and creative peak. Why just save the girl when you can do it with style? Why retreat when you can charge? And he will always have a plan, even if it's made up as he goes along.

"Our Sinbad has had his seven voyages and a few more," Wickline continued. "He is used to being in tight situations and finding a way out. But there is more to him than just that. There is an anger buried inside of him as well."

In his research for the project, Wickline revisited Sir Richard Burton's classic text, and in so doing the writer came to an interesting conclusion about the character: "Sinbad was by far, the world's worst sailor," Wickline remarked. "He went on seven voyages and never once came home on the same ship." In addition to being a rogue and a womanizer, Sinbad had a tendency to squander what little wealth his journeys did bring. "I wanted to take that character and expound on him. Give him a reason to be a sailor, not just because its fun."

Wickline said that his Sinbad assembles his crew from the land-lovers the mariner meets along the way. "Shon'Du: strong in body and in mind; Ashcroft: young and idealistic; Samelia: powerful but unsure; Pots: small in stature but large in frying pan; Wilhelm the cursed; Vu the incoherent warrior; and Old Man the ancient seer," Wickline said. "Each one brings a unique quality to the crew and to the series."

In the first issue, Sinbad finds himself sentenced to death in Baghdad for a murder he didn't commit. The mariner embarks on a sea-faring search for an artifact known as the Jericho Visor, which he believes can clear his name. "What the Visor is, how he plans on using it and where he can find it is all told as the story unfolds," Wickline teased. "The first stop in the search for the Visor will take him to the Eyes of Fire, a pair of volcanic islands not found on any map," where Sinbad and crew encounter the alluring Witch Queen Alorana.

Wickline has made a long-term commitment to "Sinbad," but it's not the only project on his plate. "I'm finishing up Steve Niles' 'Strange Cases' at Image and moving forward on another Image book with Steve, but this one will be through Shadowline," Wicklines said. "I'm doing more prose pieces for Moonstone, the next to appear in 'The Avenger' anthology."

Zenescope's "Sinbad" features art by Paolo Pantalena and Nei Ruffino. A preview issue will be available in April and "Sinbad" #1 hits stands the following month.

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