Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Matt Wagner's GRENDEL Returns in THE SHADOW vs GRENDEL

If you want more mature vigilante stuff for your comic book fix then you might want to invest in some good ol' GRENDEL. MATT WAGNER's story of betrayal and legacy has gotten a lot of good reviews for the past decade or so and now Grendel squares off against pulp classic hero THE SHADOW.

Here's an excerpt on the interview that Wagner did with CBR:

Q:Tell me about the origin of this series. It's been quite a while since you've done a Hunter Rose story -- why return to him now, and in this form?

A: The last time I worked on Hunter as a character was the "Behold The Devil" series for the 25th Anniversary, and I've been kind of flexing my pulp muscles over at Dynamite for a while now. I did some 30 issues of "Zorro," the 20 issues of "Green Hornet: Year One" and "Shadow: Year One," most recently. This new project come out of an e-mail from Dynamite Editor-in-Chief Joe Rybandt. He's been a big fan of my work for a long time -- in fact, when we first met, he showed me his Grendel tattoo. So his e-mail says, "I went to bed last night thinking about this, and I couldn't fall to sleep. What if we did a Grendel/Shadow crossover?"

I did the two Batman/Grendel crossovers years ago, and I've been offered the chance to do many, many other crossovers since then. I always turned them down because, after Batman, where do you go? But this idea I bit on immediatly because I'm a huge Shadow nut. As big a Batman fan as I am, I think I'm an even bigger Shadow fan. Just about the time that I was getting into comics as a real fan, more so than just a reader -- the time I became aware of the world of fandom that surrounds comics -- around when I was 12 or 13, DC had ads running in their books announcing their first Shadow series drawn by Mike Kaluta in the early '70s. That was very intriguing to me. My parents were from the World War II era, so they grew up listening to "The Shadow" on the radio, and by the '70s you could get old episodes of the radio drama on vinyl. Then, about a year after the comic debuted, Pyramid Books started releasing the old Shadow pulp novels with beautiful new covers by Jim Steranko. I got a whole big mega-dose of the Shadow all at once and just fell in love with the character.

So when Joe brought this up to me, I thought, "Yeah, this is a natural. If there's one character I could set Grendel up with besides Batman, it's the Shadow." And when I wrote him back. I said, "I think I've got to draw this one as well as write it."

I guess we'll have more details surrounding this crossover come New York Comic Con 2013. 

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