Pat Shand has become a household name on the Universal Monsters Universe website these days. Whether it be via an interview or our reviews of his Van Helsing vs… series, Pat’s name is always somewhere to be found on the site. He and I go back to my days at What’cha Reading where I was first introduced to Zenescope comics. While at New York Comic Con, I had the opportunity to talk to Pat about Zenescope and his own projects as well.
Zenescope has been a staple at New York Comic Con for over ten years and it’s been seven years for Pat Shand himself. They have given us great characters like Robyn Hood and Liesel Van Helsing among many others. What makes these characters great is just when you think their stories are over, they return for brand new ones. I asked Pat what makes him, the fans and the characters come back for more.
“There’s something to be said about giving a new take on an old, classic character, an icon. You see books like Superman, Batman those are what people think of when they think of comics. So what Zenescope did is they took iconic characters from literary canon, from fairy tales, and added a twist that made them unique enough that they weren’t adaptations they were brand new stories. They’ve done it in a way that made these characters very engaging for me as a creator so there are some I gravitated toward more. I do love horror so I did want to do a lot of Van Helsing stuff. When we did Van Helsing vs. Dracula, I just pitched that as sort of an extension of the first series. It made sense to do that. That one did so well that they’ve since wanted to do more and more monster series. Now we’re doing Van Helsing vs. Frankenstein and we announced here Van Helsing vs. The Mummy of Amun-Ra, it’s coming out in January.”
You read it right, Liesel will be back again to fight another classic monster! While he does great work for Zenescope, Pat has written his own series of comics such as Equilibrium and Vampire Emmy and the Garbage Girl. He even has his own kickstarter project as well! “My kickstarter is Destiny, NY. It’s a graphic novel so it’s not a comic series. It’s a full graphic novel, complete one-and-done story, about a world where magic is a real part of every day life and it examines what would happen to prophecy kids like people who have prophecies about them. They complete them when they’re 13 or 14 years old then what’s next for them in life. It’s about that, it’s about two girls in love, it’s about cats and coffee and just life in the city for people with a slight magical aspect to their life.” Funding for Destiny, NY is still open and it comes with some great perks. Before we concluded the interview, Pat gave us a small preview of what to expect from Van Helsing vs. The Mummy of Amun-Ra.
“It’s going to be written by me, drawn by Mark Rosete. He did Deathforce for Zenescope, Wonderland, Grimm Fairy Tales and he’s one of our favorite artists here. He’s a great kind of action-oriented, super kinetic artist and what I’ll say about the story is that it takes place primarily in the modern times but there is a flashback element to show this isn’t Van Helsing’s first clash with the mummy character. It uses the structure of Orange is the New Black and Lost where it’s set in a static time but also flashes back to past events as well.“
Mark your calendars Van Helsing fans because a new story is ready to be told in January to kick off the new year. I would like to thank Pat Shand for the opportunity to meet in person for this interview and I would like to thank Zenescope for all they have done and continue to do for not only myself but Universal Monsters Universe and the comic book medium. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.
*Universal Monsters Universe would like to thank Mr. Pat Shand for spending some time with us. You could also find Mr. Pat Shand on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. To find Zenescope, you can visit their website or check them out at your local comic shop.
(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)