The Illumi-Nerdi Interview with Kurtis Wiebe

Kurtis Wiebe is the brilliant writer behind Intrepids and the uber fascinating Green Wake. Despite working on at least three new projects for 2012 (a retelling of the JM Barrie classic Peter Pan in Peter Panzerfaust, the post-apocalyptic Debris and Grim Leaper, "the Final Destination Rom-Com you’ve been waiting for") Mr. Wiebe was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Illumi-Nerdi. Check out Kurtis Wiebe's blog where he goes into awesome detail about the intriguing mythology of Green Wake.

1. We describe Green Wake to people as Lost meets Silent Hill. If you had to over-simplify it, how would you describe it?

KW: You know, I really wish I had an answer to that. It’s honestly one of the biggest struggles we’ve had with the series and the elevator pitch has been very elusive. So, I guess the short answer to what always ends up being a long answer is, if you can think of something better than Dark City meets Twin Peaks, I’m all ears.

2. Why frogs?

KW: Frogs are seen as symbols of fertility and rebirth in many cultures, and once you get to the final pages of Issue #10, you’ll understand in much better detail why I chose to use frogs in a symbolic way.

3. With Green Wake very unfortunately ending too soon, what more had you planned to do with the mythology?

KW: Quite a lot. Obviously I revealed as much as I possibly could but all those deep plotlines that I wove had to be fast tracked because of the early finale. I’ve actually posted a detailed essay on the mythology of Green Wake on my blog so if you want to know, in detail, what Green Wake was and found the answers in the last issue too vague, you’ll get the answers you’re looking for.

4. With your ever growing (and deserving) popularity, do you think you could ever get back to Green Wake? Or the characters (that survive)?

KW: Thanks so much for the kind words. I’ll never say no to that question, but truthfully I’m very ready to move onto new things. Green Wake was intensely personal for me and it was written in a phase of my life that was very difficult. I’m in a much better place now and you’ll notice in my new projects a definite turn to lighter and definitely happier material.

I really do love Green Wake, but I’m not in a huge hurry to go back there.

5. What can you tell us about your future works, specifically Grim Leaper and Debris?

KW: Well, Debris is a long way off yet so I’m not really releasing too much information about it at this stage, but it’s a new project that Riley Rossmo and I are teaming up for. It’s like nothing you’ve seen from him before and I promise it’s deservedly going to turn some eyes to his work. I’m very excited for it.

Grim Leaper is a project coming out with the immensely talented Aluisio Santos on May 30th. It’s a gory love story, the Final Destination Rom-Com you’ve been waiting for. It follows the lives and deaths of Lou Collins, a man stuck with a curse that sees him continually dying in horrific ways only to wake up in the body of a complete stranger. At the beginning we learn that he’s been suffering from this curse for quite some time already but very soon he meets a woman named Ella who has the exact same curse.

They date.

6. Why did you decide to write comics as opposed to another media?

KW: Well, I’ve written a novel that’s been published and while it’s a rewarding experience it’s a very different experience. With prose you’re alone in your project, locked away writing for months on end with little feedback from the outside world.

The opposite is true with comics and that’s why I love the medium. You create a setting and characters and another creative mind makes them come to life. It’s the sort of storytelling, that joint venture, that cannot be replicated in any other medium.

7. In Peter Panzerfaust, what made you decide to do a retelling of Peter Pan as opposed to another classic?

KW: It’s a childhood favourite of mine and a lot of the themes fit into the story we’re telling with the series. Peter Pan was about embellishing our youth and refusing to let go. What happens when you are thrust into a situation where that just isn’t possible? What if you are forced to grow up before you’re ready and that childhood innocence is caught in the middle of it all?

I think it allows us to really delve into some powerful themes as well as tell one hell of an adventure yarn.

8. Why do you believe in comic books?

KW: Because it allows me to create and share stories with the world and I want to do it for as long as I’m able.

That’s a powerful testament to why they are so important.

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