Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Your series, Pussycats, had a very successful 4-issue run this year, which will soon be followed up by a 2-issue mini-series in 2017. What can you tell us about the premise of the upcoming series?
Vince Brusio: This series picks up from the events of the last story arc. Lady Samantha (a professional spin doctor) has gone underground because of a political witch hunt that is exploding in newspapers and network television. Powerhouse Pam is cancelling her debt to Nurse Nancy after a long-overdue murder. Cowgirl Cathy, Schoolgirl Suzie, and Mother Superior have concluded their business with the Russian underworld and are now preparing to live life as outlaws, as they are now officially in the crosshairs of the U.S. government and its soon-to-be elected officials.
The group is now officially splintered. It’s The Empire Strikes Back scenario. The danger seems to have passed, but the ladies have gone in their own directions to tie up loose ends of their previous lives.
And, of course, along comes Murphy’s Law. What can go wrong does go wrong. A Steampunk masked badass who’s an amalgam of Negan, Darth Vader, and Christopher Walken enters the picture, and he’s about to ruin everything that Mother Superior has accomplished. He uses an android to do his bidding, and the result is a nationwide crisis that’s broadcast on live TV.
BD: Will the new mini-series be a solid jumping-on point for readers who may have missed the initial run, or would you recommend that readers start with the previous series to be immersed in the story?
VB: I would definitely recommend that readers pick up Volume 1 of Pussycats before starting this story arc. Issues #0-4 cover a lot of background history for the characters. That volume spells out who they are, why they are, and how these ladies have upset the apple cart on Capitol Hill.
That first volume is currently in print, if you pick up the trade paperback (order code JUL151337). And I believe the single issues (minus the sold-out #0) are also available to order through Diamond. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to the printed editions, then let me use this interview to give Fanbase Press an exclusive announcement.
The Pussycats Trade Paperback (which includes issue #0-4) will be available digitally with a new exclusive cover from Comixology in 2017. The price tag will be the same price as a normal print comic book: only $3.99.
BD: Given that you have worked together on the initial series and the upcoming mini-series, how would you describe your shared creative process?
VB: I would say that I am the luckiest publisher in the world, because Ivica accepts my “style” of production. I submit both a script and panels for reference. I create panels from a variety of scans that I collect from comics and magazines and pictures from the Internet. I send the script and these pictures to Ivica and basically say, “It should look like this.”
Now, I’m sure that there are a lot of artists out there who would say, “Screw that! I’m not drawing like that!” But Ivica understands that it’s not me saying, “This is what I want.” It’s me saying, “This is what I envision.”
He then takes this input from me and comes back with illustrations that say, “Well, here’s how I see this working in my world.” And I am always amazed that those drawings are 9 times out of 10 DEAD-ON with what I was hoping to see. If I have suggestions for tweaking, they are rare. I am very lucky to work with this man. He blows me away. He’s a real professional.
Ivica Sretenovic: I think we are a good team. We have understood each other perfectly from the very beginningl we have similar tastes. Vince is an excellent writer who does not cram the script with too many details, but leaves the artist enough room and freedom to be creative in his own way. The script just offers a basic and concise suggestion as to what should actually be there, which is the approach that I personally like very much, as it gives me extensive freedom to create and organize comic book pages. The technical side of our creative collaboration is standard and usual. Having read five or six pages of the script, I start collecting design documentation useful for making quick sketches and preliminary drawings. Then, I send initial pencil drawings to Vince for approval. If needed, I make any additional corrections in accordance with Vince’s observations, which is then followed by the final inking phase. Once a comic book page is finished, I email it to Vince in printing resolution. The same procedure keeps being repeated until the project reaches its end.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
VB: Sure. There’s another 2-issue Pussycats series on the heels of Sex, Drugs, & The Impossible. It should be ready to announce by San Diego Comic-Con next year. The art will be done by Pussycats #0 artist (and former artist of our Dying Fetus and Autopsy comics) Mats Engesten. Mats has actually worked on this series over the course of two years, because he’s been doing album covers and a variety of projects in between. We’ll be introducing new characters in this series as it takes place in the future. But it also ties into the “Sex, Drugs...” continuity. We’re really going to start having some fun next year.
IS: In addition to Pussycats, I worked on the horror comic book series, TerrorKlowns, until recently. The writer is Jarrod Dodson. Several TerrorKlowns issues were published by Indy Planet. I believe that this collaboration will also continue successfully.
I am currently working on the graphic novel intended for the European market with a famous Serbian writer Dejan Stojiljkovic. It depicts the Middle Ages in Serbia. This project has just begun, lots of work and many challenges are yet to come.
BD: The first issue of the mini-series will be solicited in the January 2017 issue of the PREVIEWS catalog. How can interested readers pre-order their copy?
VB: To guarantee a copy, pick up the January 2017 PREVIEWS order form from your comic shop retailer to get the book’s order code and place an order with that retailer. Or you can go to the PREVIEWSworld.com web site and click on the “Catalog” header at the top of the site to go to the 2017 order form online. That digital order form is available both in .pdf and .txt file formats, and they’re live on December 21.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Pussycats?
IS: This is a fast and dangerous ride through a black-and-white world of gorgeous girls, sleazy pimps, spies, rivers of blood, and tons of bullets. It is a story about alluring vixens carrying big guns who turn your life into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. What more could you wish for?
VB: Well, in addition to making the print version of the trade paperback available to order again from the January 2017 PREVIEWS, we went gonzo on Sex, Drugs, & The Impossible. Not only does Ivica’s artwork rock the house, but we brought on board professional photographer Randall Lloyd to do the covers for these books. We have both “store safe” and “risque” variants available for issues #1 and #2. All photo covers feature professional models dressed up as the characters from Pussycats. These covers are amazing, as are the models! Plus, an editorial page in the back of the book will have links that let readers download uncensored illustrations, plus a bonus video of Cowgirl Cathy cover model Debra A. Johnson! To see more updates as they are announced, just go to e-comix.net where we have links to our social media accounts. We first announce things on Twitter and Facebook, so check out what we’re posting, and let us know what you think!