Zenescope Entertainment was founded in 2005 by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco. They originally wrote screenplays together and realized that writing comics uses a similar process. After putting together some creative teams, Joe, Ralph and crew launched our flagship title Grimm Fairy Tales and did some licensed work as well, such as the comic adaptation of the movie Se7en.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about zenescope that they may not already know?
The main takeaway I would want people to get who see us for the first time is this: there’s a lot more to the company than beautiful covers and pinups. Sure, we’re known for our variant covers, but we also have the largest female-driven shared universe in comic books, and Grimm Fairy Tales is one of the longest-running independently published comic books ever. I’d just like everyone to approach our titles with an open mind; I promise if you’re a fan of comics, there’s something for you to like in one of our books, whether it’s something fantasy-related like Grimm Fairy Tales, or extremely gritty like The Courier. Visitors should know that our office is pretty messy, sorry in advance. Also, the VA hospital is next door, it’s not the door with Sela on it drawn by J. Scott Campbell. That one’s us.
How has zenescope grown since it started?
Zenescope has grown into one of the most recognized independent comic book and graphic novel publishers in the world. We publish and develop both original and licensed comic books and graphic novels such as Grimm Fairy Tales, Neverland, Return To Wonderland, The Courier, The Library, Inferno, and Spirit Hunters to name a few. Some of Zenescope’s past and present publishing and media partnerships include Discovery Channel, History Channel, CBS Consumer Products, New Line Cinema, Scholastic, Titmouse Studios and several others. We also have made some moves in the film and TV industry, with a show on SyFy inspired by our Van Helsing series, a Robyn Hood short film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RH-wRgxFaU), and an upcoming Grimm Tales of Terror film.
Was there a pitch for a story that didn’t make it to print because it went too far?
We’re still waiting for a pitch that goes too far, bring it on! We like to push the envelope, so there really haven’t been many times where something doesn’t happen in a book the way it was pitched. I was informed there was an idea for some severed genitalia action in Wonderland back in the day, and that was shut down. There was some wild stuff going on in that original Wonderland trilogy, that’s my favorite trilogy of ours. That incident was well before my time though, as long as I’ve been here everything’s been printed. [SPOILER WARNING] One of my personal favorites was when Hellchild split open Jezebel’s head completely in half at the end of Hellchild: The Unholy #4. We don’t shy away from gore here, and Renzo [Rodriguez, artist] knocked that one out of the park. Very gnarly.
What’s the craziest thing to happen when promoting zenescope?
For me personally, I think the craziest thing that happens is when really talented and awesome cosplayers follow us and cosplay as some of our characters. My favorite so far was a recreation of J. Scott Campbell’s cover that you can see on the Wonderland omnibus. The models and photographer all did an incredible job with that. Also, me and my good friend, our VIP & Sales Manager Kirby, used to do videos every week introducing and promoting the new books. She gets recognized all the time at cons from the videos which is pretty cool. Nothing too crazy on my end since I’m more behind-the-scenes, but it’s always great to see people caring about what we do here. I think Eliza Dushku posed with a cosplayer one time that was dressed as Van Helsing, that’s pretty cool. Buffy the Vampire Slayer rules.
What’s next for zenescope?
We have lots coming up. We’re finishing out the rest of the year with some con appearances (http://blog.zenescope.com/2017/01/2017-convention-schedule/), a few
in-store appearances, as I said the Grimm Tales of Terror movie is in the
works, and we’ll be putting out lots more comics as usual. We have a few
titles that are a bit different than what you’re used to seeing from us.
Those would be The Black Sable and Vessel, both more on the sci-fi side of
things rather than fantasy or horror. Keep your eyes peeled!
What social media does zenescope use?
We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, and YouTube. I run
all of those, come say what’s up!
Describe zenescope in 5 words or less
Fun, craziness, family.