Since June 2005, Zenescope Entertainment has been publishing Grimm Fairy Tales, presenting updated versions of classic children's stories that, as the rampant scantily clad female on their covers are quick to indicate, decidedly aren't for kids.The series has inspired spinoff miniseries along the way like Grimm Fairy Tales: The Piper, and last month a second ongoing, Grimm Fairy Tales Myths & Legends, was announced. Starting in January, the title will feature four to five issue story arcs expanding the stories of characters from the original series, with an initial arc written by Zenescope executive editor Raven Gregory and starring Red Riding Hood. Newsarama talked to Gregory via e-mail to learn more about what inspired a second ongoing series, characters to expect in the future, and the work of the first arc's artist, David Miller. Newsarama: This is the first Grimm spinoff to be launched as an ongoing. What makes this the right time to further extend the Grimm Fairy Tales brand?
Raven Gregory: This is something we had been planning to do for a while. Zenescope founders Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco, who also write Grimm Fairy Tales, have brought the main series up to and past issue 50. That's the issue where the sh*t hits the fan so to speak. Now we have multiple storylines and characters to follow. The main one being the character of Samantha, who is Sela's protege.
Nrama: So given that, what makes this series different? What can you do with Myths & Legends that hasn't been possible in the main series or the many spinoffs?
Gregory: The two biggest things for me is that Myths & Legends offers something fresh for both old and new readers. With Grimm closing in on 60 issues new readers might be hesitant to jump into the series but with Myths & Legends we're able to go back and now expand on past fairy tales and past characters that we didn't originally get to spend time with. Now long time fans of the main series are going to finally get the answers as to why Sela was searching out these characters in the first place while new fans can jump on and dive in from issue #1.
Nrama: Raven, you're writing the first story arc, starring Red Riding Hood. Why was it important for you to write the initial arc?
Gregory: After the Wonderland trilogy finished I wanted a new series I could try and put my spin on without having to deal with the excessive confines of continuity. But I also wanted to advance the mythology and help give long time readers a pay off. With this series, and the way it is being told, I get the best of both worlds.
Nrama: The release stated that the book will have four to five issue story arcs – how many issues will the first story arc have?
Gregory: Five issues.
Nrama: What can you tell us about the plot of the first arc? How is Red Riding Hood's story expanded?
Gregory: Brittany, the girl from the very first issue of Grimm is now working as a therapist at an isolated facility for at risk teens. What she doesn't know is that a creature from another realm has found her and will stop at nothing to destroy her.
Nrama: And beyond that initial arc, to whatever extent you can talk about it at this point, what characters can we expect to see?
Gregory: The two biggest ones that we've discussed at this point are the Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. These are both stories that we want to expand upon from the originals.
Nrama: On that note, according to the initial press, the point of Myths & Legends was to expand the stories of the fairy tale characters seen in the main Grimm series. Does that limit Myths & Legends to characters who have been used in the main book before, or might we see some characters debut in the pages of the new title?
Gregory: There will definitely be some new characters coming into play but the first few arcs will be focusing on the highest profile and most well known characters. That being said, we're introducing these characters so new readers won't need to necessarily go back and read 50 issues of Grimm Fairy Tales.... but they might want to.
Nrama: What kind of role does Sela Mathers play in the new series?
Gregory: Sela is still trapped in the realm of Myst. The current Grimm arc is focusing on her trying to save Erik's (her true love's) soul and her attempts at escape. Sela may appear in the new series but it won't be happening for a while. The main focus of the new series will be on Samantha, Sela's successor. But it'll be very much similar to how small of a role Sela played in those first few arcs of GFT so that we can focus the story more so on the characters and the story itself. This way each of the arcs have that stand-alone vibe even though there's a continuing thread story moving the series along.
Nrama: Zenescope has been modernizing fairy tales for years now — are there still a lot of characters left out there that you'd like to explore?
Gregory: There are a few that have been in the works for years. One really big one that will blow people away. We probably won't announce it for a few more months though.
Nrama: Finally, what can you tell us about the art from David Miller in the first arc, who I believe is making his Zenescope debut?
Gregory: David is just an exceptional young artist who came recommended to us from my old collaborator Tyler Kirkham (Green Lantern Corps, The Gift) who has just been knocking our socks off with everything he's done so far. He did a few pages on the GFT 50 issue and GFT 51 and I just knew he was the guy for this book. I'm really looking forward to working with him for some time to come.Ready for a second GRIMM FAIRY TALES ongoing?