James Robinson talks to Byron Brewer about Grand Passion #2, on sale in December from Dynamite. Cover by John Cassaday.
BYRON BREWER: James, in your new series, Grand Passion, with issue #2 on sale in December, the character of Mac seems to have his share of survivor’s guilt. His wife having died and him still being around, he’s not a happy camper, obviously. Tell us how this affects this character, and how it plays into his “romance” with Mabel.
JAMES ROBINSON: Mac is emotionally lost. He feels guilt that he’s still alive, but his feelings are further conflicted in ways we’ll learn as the series progresses. Mabel is a blast of love, passion and insanity that Mac needs. It’s something lurking within him that’s been waiting his whole life to emerge.
BB: In In Cold Blood, Truman Capote wrote about the real-life murder of the Clutter family in 1959 Holcomb, Kansas. Capote always maintained the perpetrators would never have done the deed alone, but each fed off the other. Is Mabel’s company similar in its effect on Mac?
JR: Mac and Mabel’s path together takes them in a different direction where the violence is more of them surviving together against forces even greater than their own. However, Mac does get awakened by something in Mabel and then his presence is the steadying factor that Mabel needs. So, yes, in a way they do feed off each other.
BB: There is a scene in issue #2 that is really revealing on Mabel’s character, and also damn funny! She encounters this … well, a guy who is not at all glad about his lot in life. Are these little gems conceived by you first (or afterward) outside the main plotting and then inserted as the story allows for dark humor, to catch our collective breath, or do they just naturally flow as the story comes?
JR: A bit of both. As I recall, the sequence you’re referring came to me in a flash. Partly to show that Mabel can handle herself and also to show the potential threat/menace in Mabel if you cross her.
BB: Can you tell us any more at all about some of those curious characters at the police station? Some who might become of more import as Grand Passion unfolds?
JR: Wait and see.
BB: You were originally going to do strictly a romantic comic for Dynamite, before the crime element was added. Can you give us any elevator pitch for THAT comic? If Mac and Mabel were characters, how would they be different? (I’m guessing Mabel would not be a professional criminal, lol.)
JR: I’m afraid it didn’t really get that far. I know there was the germ of something, but I don’t recall it. Being who I am, the crime element came pretty quickly.
BB: John Cassaday has done a couple of great covers for this series thus far. How do you feel about the covers as to what mood they establish for this bullet-riddled romance?
JR: John really gets into the design, but not purely the aesthetic. He talked to me about the facial designs of the characters and who they were as people. He really gets beyond the line on the page. Super thrilled and honored to be working with him.
For more information on Grand Passion #2, click here.