Troy Brownfield Interviewed by Captain Rob!

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I recently chatted via interwebs with comic writer Troy Brownfield. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…
The Tale of the Blood King: Troy Brownfield interviewed by Captain Rob!
Now lets jump right in before nickelodeon sues my ass.

 

ROB: First of, I really enjoyed Blood Queen #1 and look forward to reading issue 2. I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you for adding another comic to my pull list! You seem to be working with a fantastic team on this book. How did this new project come about. Be honest, was blood magic involved?

TROY: I refuse to comment on the use or non-use of blood magic. But! I was in the midst of working out the details for “Prince Dracula” when the possibility appeared. Dynamite editor Molly Mahan was looking to get a book of this type going, and my Drac editor Hannah Gorfinkel suggested that Molly and I talk. We did, I pitched a version of the idea that they dug, and we were off to the races.

ROB: Recently it seems that geek culture has taken a strong interest in gender roles (as seen in Gail Simone’s “Women in Refrigerators” or the high praise for George R.R Martin’s female characters). What is your approach to writing a beautiful lady, especially one whose roots stem from times before gender equality?

TROY: My approach is person first. By that I mean that every character is a collection of attributes. They will have positive and negative qualities, they will strengths and weaknesses, and they will have things are appealing and unappealing about them. Just like anyone you’ve ever met. So I try to zero in on the fundamental qualities of the person, regardless of gender, and then I might see how things like gender affect, enhance or play off of those qualities. In the case of Elizabeth, she’s beautiful, but she frequently uses that as a weapon or an item in her toolbox for getting what she wants. Her primary qualities are intelligence and cunning (two different things, in my opinion), and those things are bolstered by a willingness to use whatever else is at her disposal to achieve a goal.
That said, there IS a strong set of gender conflicts in this story. Patriarchal society vs. women. Wizards vs. witches. And more. I’m interested in exploring that, and it gets front and center quickly.

ROB: Does the nerd world’s always watching, always judging eye ever play a role in your writing?

TROY: For that, I shall simply quote Ricky Nelson’s 1972 classic, “Garden Party”. And that goes: “But it’s all right now, I’ve learned my lesson well. You see, you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.

ROB: Jumping to a slightly lighter topic, I seem to recall you mentioning a pretty “metal” approach to the naming of story arcs in Blood Queen. I thoroughly approve your method and am curious where this idea came from and how much metal we can expect.

TROY: Can we segue from a Ricky Nelson quote to a metal question without mentioning Nelson? We can’t? Okay. So we did. Anyway . . . my stated intent is to name each arc after a Slayer album. That came out of the general idea that I was inspired in part by this metal/European power metal imagery that this story seems to evoke. You think of castles and dragons with Dio . . . Ghost B.C. and others have Elizabeth Bathory songs . . . it’s kind of natural. The VERY FIRST title I thought of for the first arc was “Reign in Blood”. I mean, that’s PERFECT. So I went with that. There is also a ruling family of a neighboring kingdom where most of the court is named after Ronnie James Dio’s actual family. I like bits like that.

ROB: Speaking of music, you have a fantastic series of web comics pulling from the realm of music. As a local musician myself, I must know how are you able to craft such interesting, amusing, and most of all genuine characters and circumstances?

TROY: Thank you, sir! I’m glad you think that. In a lot of circumstances, the characters are based in tiny part on real people, and then greatly exaggerated or expanded upon. A lot of incidents are based on things that I’ve actually seen or at least heard about. Like the drummer hooking up with a girl and not remembering her name. So, I’ve tried to take this story that wanted to tell, which is really a multi-chambered story (how friendships survive in a band, how relationships affect a band, how bands deal with finally succeeding, etc.), and surround it with funny details that would be familiar to anyone in any music scene.

ROB: In the back of my Blood Queen #1 comic I see a little blurb for a book called Prince Dracula. In my best Lando Calrisian voice I ask “What have we here?”

TROY: “Prince Dracula” is a novel that I wrote; it’s published by Dynamite and available as an ebook on Amazon, just like their “Seal Team Six” series by Chuck Dixon. It was huge fun to, and I hope that everyone rushes right over there and checks it out. Rob will link to the description and the book RIGHT HERE. 😀

ROB: Zenoscope fans are treated to your run on “Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland: Clash of Queens” which is available at your friendly local comic shop now. What can you tell our readers who may not be as familiar with GFT and Wonderland?

TROY: “Clash of Queens” pits the four queens of Wonderland (Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds) against each other in a battle for supremacy. It’s crazy-ass medieval warfare with a dash of madness. The mini ends with issue #5 next week. You’ll see fallout in the regular Wonderland book, and that also feeds into my next Zenescope project.

ROB: So there are other projects with you and Zenoscope that we can look forward to?

TROY: AND! As noted above, the next thing is the Grimm Fairy Tales vs. Wonderland mini-series that I’m writing. It’s four issues and begins in July. Sela Mathers (of the GFT books) meets Calie (of the Wonderland minis and series) for the first time, and it’s going to be insane.

ROB: Here’s your chance to pimp out any projects I may have missed and share your online presence. What are your sites? Can we stalk you on social media?

TROY: If I give you permission, is it really stalking? Let’s see. Blood Queen from Dynamite. Prince Dracula from Dynamite on Amazon. Clash of Queens and GFT vs. Wonderland from Zenescope. Sparkshooter and Solo Acoustic at www.sparkshooter.com. Those are my projects right now. I’m on Facebook, as are Sparkshooter and Solo Acoustic pages. I’m on Twitter at @troybrownfield and I’m on Tumblr at troybrownfield.tumblr.com

ROB: One last random question. What have you geeking out on lately? Are there any good comics, shows, or albums we just HAVE to check out?

TROY: I’ve been watching the “Attack on Titan” anime. I’m looking forward to Matt Brady’s “Warlord of Mars” #0 issue from Dynamite, and I never miss “Alex + Ada” by Jonathan Luna and original Sparkshooter artist Sarah Vaughn. I’ve been listening to Ghost B.C. and CHVRCHES. And the next movie I really want to see is probably “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

ROB: Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope to pick your brain again in the near future!

TROY: Thanks, Rob! This was fun.

 

 

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