11 Questions with the Grant Bond and Ed Lavallee

This was originally posted on my old Blog Beneath the Mask on September 27th 2006:

I was lucky enough to get an interview with Grant Bond and Ed Lavallee, the Creators of the Revere Mini Series.

Now on with the interview!

What initiated your interest in comics?

Grant: I attribute it to two people really. My grandmother and George Lucas. My grandmother was a great painter who challenged me from a very early age to create and I would say sparked my first interest in storytelling. George Lucas opened my eyes to what you could do with storytelling. Star Wars changed my life. My first comic was a Star Wars fanzine when I was about 8 years old. I did it cover to cover with colours and lettering duties done by a much tinier version of yours truly.

Ed: For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in art and comic books. It all started way back in the days of old spin racks at the local pharmacy or convenience stores. The brilliant colours and cool looking characters always caught my attention. Lucky for me my mom never discouraged me from reading comics. She’s was always supportive of the funny books. Thanks mom.

Revere

Was it always your dream to draw/write for comics or did you somehow ‘fall into it’?

Grant: I would say I was drawn to it. Insert pun joke here. I saw the way line could be used to convey emotion and feeling. To a kid like me some of that art was almost magical. It was also escapism in a way. I had a less than savoury childhood like most and comics helped me sort of deal with the world around me I think. I wanted nothing more than to draw funny books for most of my life. I stopped for about ten years to become an adult and get an adult job but it didn’t work out. Basically I was miserable. I decided I would pretty much rather be dead than live out my life not pursuing my dreams. Even as childish as they are. I am happy now. I think I will be even happier if/when my dreams come true.

Ed: I actually never really knew what I wanted to do growing up as a kid. I just knew I wanted to be involved in art/media somehow. As time progressed and I went to college I realized how hard it is to actually draw the human figure! That didn’t discourage me from art though, just from wanting to draw comics.

I actually have a degree in graphic design and have been working as a graphic designer for the past 10 years. Writing comics came along during college and more recently for me.

Who do you look up to as influences?

Grant: So many names… Eisner, my grandmother, Romita Sr., Buscema, Jack Davis, Rockwell, Bill Mauldin were all early influences. Nowadays, I see guys like Krigstein and feel I must step up my game big time.

Ed: For writing and comics in general, my favourite is Mike Mignola and his character HELLBOY. Frank Miller without a doubt. Steve Niles, Jeph Loeb. Warren Ellis.

I’m also influenced by others outside of comics, mainly movies and books. I like Tarantino, Rodriquez, Scorcese, Scott, Salvatore, Tolkien and Martin to name a few.

Can you give the outlining plot for ?

Grant & Ed: The quick rundown of from the actual pitch:

A supernatural killer stalks the townspeople of Boston, and renowned silversmith and monster-hunter, Paul Revere is called in to fight the evil. While tracking down clues to the killer’s identity, the first shots of the revolution are fired and finds himself battling a war on two fronts in a struggle to save his family.

Revere Alternative Cover

What made you choose Paul Revere as a character and also the setting of the American Civil war? (You’ll have to forgive my ignorance since I’m not American)

Grant: I better let Ed handle this one!

Ed: I think the whole thing that sold me on Paul Revere was the mystique surrounding his fateful ride that night on April 18th. After that it was the fact that he was actually a renowned silversmith by trade.

Silver and werewolves go hand in hand, so at that point it was a no brainer.

The first book was enthralling, the art complemented the story and the mood was set by both. How has the reaction been to the book so far?

Grant: Really good. 99.9% of the stuff I have heard is absolutely positive. I am new to the game though. I am hopeful people would be willing to share criticisms as well as compliments. I have hopefully have made it clear to everyone I have talked to that I want open honest feedback. All I get are compliments so I suppose I should go with it.  I think we are telling a great story with a highly recognizable character and people will continue to enjoy the story with some of the future surprises we have brewing for our historic monster hunter.

Ed: The reaction to the book has been great. We really haven’t heard any negative feedback on the story or art. That makes me kind of nervous, but we’re going into issue 3 this month without hide nor hair of any negative comments. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be improved upon. We just haven’t heard anything negative.

Will we see a return of after the mini has finished? Any chance of an ongoing series?

Grant: I believe we are sticking to the mini series format. Ed has several very interesting and solid ideas for upcoming minis I am hopeful we get a chance to tell.

Ed: I am hard at work right now doing research for the next mini series. Revere has never been planned as an ongoing. If the demand was there for a monthly I am sure grant and I would be all for it.

How did the two of you come together to work on ?

Grant: I initially hired Ed to letter a submission on a book that is yet to see publication. I am excited to say I am talking to interested people now and it looks like it will happen when the time is right. Ed had this concept for a book called , so I was doodling concept art for it off and on jokingly during correspondences with him. He eventually said in one email he was looking to make the submission pack a paid assignment so I was all ears at that point.

Ed: Grant and I met at a local Comic Convention in Kansas City. I was promoting my other book, ARCHEON at the time and Grant was walking the floor showing his wares and looking for a letterer. I ended up doing some lettering for him on a submission pack he was working on. The rest is history.

Revere #2

What other projects are you currently working on?

Grant: Yikes. I keep getting asked this question and I keep saying the same thing. I do have several projects I am working on with established creators. I am hopeful some official announcement comes soon! I know Ed and I are gearing up for another mini. I actually can say I have been commissioned to do a piece of individual art for an auction this fall for a very good cause by Thank You Walt Disney, Inc. to help in the restoration of the Laugh-O-gram Studio building in downtown KC. Please check out my site @ www.grantbond.com or my MYSPACE profile @ www.myspace.com/tinycowboyhat for more information on this great cause in the next few months to come.

Ed: Right now, my main focus is getting vol 2 written and ready to go. I have a few other irons in the fire at the moment, but nothing ready to go. My other stories are mainly in the idea/plotting phase.

If you were able to be on any book what would it be?

Grant: Right now? Something with Frank Miller or Steve Niles.

Ed: HELLBOY, of course!

What other work have you done?

Grant: In Comics? None! Actually, I did some ghost inking an old friend of mine back in the early nineties on a book called Scimidar. That’s about it really. I am a newbie man.

Ed: I did a creator owned, self-published book called ARCHEON. I did 2 issues of it through the Digital Webbing imprint line. That was a long time ago. I actually still have an ARCHEON TPB in the works. I’m just waiting on a single page of artwork from my artist. I hope to find a new publisher for it, so stay tuned.

Once more I’d like to thank Ed and Grant for letting me interview them and everyone should now go out and grab the first 2 issues!

To read more about Revere go to Alias Enterprises or The Official Revere Site and as Grant mentioned you can get in touch with him from his site or myspace account as mention within the interview.

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