Getting a Reality Check with Glen Brunswick!
I spoke with comic book writer Glen Brunswick. If you liked Non-Humans
, Reality Check
, Killing Girl
, Jersey Gods
or all of the above, he’s the man to thank for them!
Me: You started off as a screenwriter. Why did you choose to be a screenwriter?
I was a literary agent that represented writers at first. I wrote a screenplay with one of my clients that we sold to Universal. The project was never made, but that give me my first taste of the writing bug.
Me: What scripts have you written?
I've written a few for various studios. The only one that was made into a film was the New Line Cinema picture, Frequency
. I only co-wrote the story to that film, not the actual screenplay.
Me: Why did you decide to become a comic book writer as well?
It's all John Romita Jr's fault. We met at a movie premiere years back. He had been a fan of Frequency
, and had this idea he wanted to do as a comic--he needed a screenwriter. I guess I must have been the only one at that premiere. I took his pitch and fleshed it out into a three-act treatment that we took to Image Comics. That became my first comic book writing experience entitled, Gray Area
Me: Your first big comic book project, The Gray Area, is supposed to become a film. What is this series about and how are you involved with the movie?
Brunswick: The Gray Area
is a story about, Rudy Chance, a corrupt cop in bed with the mob. When he decides to pressure the mob boss for a larger cut, his plan backfires and his family is murdered. Hellbent on revenge, Rudy is killed. Instead of going to Heaven or Hell, Rudy arrives in the Gray Area. Once there, he is forced to work for an afterlife police unit that eliminates threats to the earth and helps those who might be redeemed ascend to Heaven.
John Romita and I are executive producers on the film. At this point we just give notes on the script drafts that we've seen. Hopefully if things keep moving forward our involvement will increase. The film is being produced by Solipsist Films. They produced the Sin CIty 2
film that comes out this Summer.
Me: Can you describe the premise of your mini-series Killing Girl and why people who read that would especially like your Dead Girlfriend graphic novel?
Brunswick: Killing Girl
asks the question: What if the Mafia had their own secret service? We follow a former prostitute that has been trained to be a world class killer by the mob. She barely remembers her family having been kidnapped as a child. A chance encounter with her sister begins to unlock memories of her being a human being with a REAL connection to her past. It alters the course of her life by offering her a possible shot at redemption.
There is no specific reason why readers who like Killing Girl
would like Dead Girlfriend
, other than they are both written by me.
Me: You wrote Jersey Gods a couple of years back. For those who don't know about it, what is this series about and why did you pick New Jersey as your setting?
Brunswick: Jersey Gods
tells the story of a God of war who fights an epic battle against his sworn enemy in the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey. In the midst of battle, he saves the life of Zoe, a typical high-maintenance Jersey girl. In a surprising twist, she comes to his aid as well. Having won the day, the War God discovers a deep attraction for Zoe. They fall in love. Now, the God must settle down in a too expensive house in the Jersey suburbs, too close to meddlesome in-laws, all while trying to save the universe as long as it doesn't interfere with his newly designated family time.
New Jersey felt like a good place to place a God--with the unique characters that live there. I felt a lot of good comedy could come out of that. Jersey has an unfair reputation for being an underdog state. I was thinking of it as the "Rocky" of the states. I wanted to use location as a character in the book.
Me: Your four issue mini-series Non-Humans recently ended. Are you planning on writing more mini-series or an ongoing series taking place in the Non-Humans universe?
Whilce Portacio and I are hard at work on the new Non-Humans
story arc right now. Our plan is to complete two whole issues before we announce the new series so as not to have any shipping delays with this story arc. I fully expect this to be out by Summer time. I think we both view this as a series of limited story arcs, not an ongoing series.
Me: What inspired this world?
Toys coming to life in the future and functioning as a new minority feared by society was the basic hook that kicked off our enthusiasm for the work. But I think the thing that really got us stoked for the idea is that the toys are actually born in the same way that a mother gives birth to her child. The idea that these toys actually come from us, and a piece of our consciousness, if you will, is transferred to the toy at the point of its creation.
Me: What inspired you to write Reality Check?
Traffic mostly. I was stuck on the 405 freeway, in LA, America's parking lot, and it was clear I wouldn't be at my destination for some time. I started thinking about what my life would be like if one of my fictional heroes entered my life in the real world. What kind of havoc that would cause for me. By the time the traffic cleared up, I had the basis for Reality Check
in my head. Now I do all my writing in the car.
Me: I'm sure you've been asked this a lot, but how much of yourself is in Willard Penn, the comic book writer in Reality Check?
Probably more than I originally intended. As I started developing the character a lot of my attitudes and feelings about being a writer in the comic industry began to bleed through. I think the book gives an honest depiction of some of the things writers have to contend with in the industry. They say you should write what you know. I guess that's what I unintentionally may have done.
Me: I've noticed Dark Hour in Reality Check is a lot like Ash from Army of Darkness. Did you base his character off of Ash at all or any other characters?
I've never read Army of Darkness
. Any similarities are simply due to collective consciousness.
Me: What has been your favorite comic book series that you’ve worked on so far?
My favorite project is always the thing I'm currently working on. Of the past projects, it's tough to pick a favorite kid. I love them all for different reasons.
Me: Do you have any other comic book series or screenplays coming out in the future?
As I mentioned, there will be more Non-Humans
. I have a few other projects in the works, but it's too early for me to talk about them just yet.
Me: Most (if not all) of your comic books have been published by Image Comics. What has it been like working with the publisher? How has their emphasis on creator-owned series helped you?
If you work on creator-owned projects, there's no better place than Image to work. The books are yours, to publish the way you see fit, and you own all the rights to your material. Image is always there to support me to publish the best product I can.
Me: If you could write for a current ongoing series, what would it be and why?
Spider-Man was my first comic book love. I'm sure I could figure out something interesting to write about him if I was given the opportunity one day.
Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers and screenwriters?
Just believe in your vision and make sure that you actually finish it. Once you've got it down, you can always make a so-so project great. But the great project, in your head, that's never given the chance to come out has zero chance of succeeding, ever.
Me: Thanks for your time Mr. Brunswick. Best of luck on your latest arc of Non-Humans and your other secret projects. I look forward to reading them!