GRIMM: THE WARLOCK is based on the popular TV show, and Jai Nitz is here to talk about the first issue of the book. Robert Napton is asking the questions on this Dynamite Friday.
Q: Jai, it’s always fun and challenging to write comics for a show thats on the air because it’s a fluid situation with what might happen on a televisions series. When I wrote comics for Dynamite based on Syfy’s Battlestar we always tried to make them work seamlessly with what was going on with the show, which made for some last minute changes. Do you feel compelled to do the same thing with Grimm or do you just run with your story?
NITZ: I personally felt compelled to make it as seamless as possible with the show. I watched every episode of GRIMM and wanted the comic to have the look and feel of the show without stepping on any story toes (which was easy thanks to my editors and the folks at NBC). The main reason I felt that way was that I wanted a fan of the show to be able to pick up my comic and not feel out of touch. I didn’t want a fan to notice continuity problems or get pulled out of the story by uncharacteristic behavior from the principles.
Q: The city of Portland and it’s green outskirts are major characters in the series and your comic — how do you approach the setting for your story?
NITZ: That was my first goal as a comic writer when pitching this series. I wanted it to be very Portland-centric. And I wanted to use real locations that might be a nightmare to shoot for a TV show (for budget or logistical reasons) but would work easily in a comic.
Q: Grimm is both serious and funny — as our the main characters — do you enjoy that balancing act when it comes to the writing?
NITZ: I pushed for it in my script. I wanted the characters to have fun. I love the actors on the show and their range. They can all be really funny. So I wanted to have that happen in the comic along with visual storytelling that pushes the action and violence of the world.
Q: You’ve talked about that since comic art has no limitations in terms of budget or physical action, it really opens things up for the writer. Could you explain how that’s influenced your approach to Grimm.
NITZ: Exactly. The “budget” in a comic is the same if an artist draws an alien space station or a 1979 Corvette jumping over an elephant or a pair of lovers sharing a cup of coffee. So why not go for awesome visuals that would be tough on the show? It’d be impossible to shoot an episode during a live Trailblazers game. For a comic, it was a piece of cake. And Jose really nailed that bit.
Q: What do you think your story adds to the overall Grimm mythos?
NITZ: I think each issue would be a good GRIMM mini episode. I think the miniseries as a whole would make for a good GRIMM mini movie. I made sure we didn’t alter the characters in any way, but I wanted to show that I knew the characters and understood their motivations. I also wanted it to use the unique storytelling of comics to do something the show couldn’t do.
Q: If you personally could see any mythological creature come to life — who would you pick and why?
NITZ: Ooooooh! I’d like to see a dragon. They mix kaiju and King Arthur. Every culture has them and every culture respects and fears them. I’d like to see one stomping around just to show that shared human consciousness was right about something.
Robert Place Napton is currently writing the monthly series WARLORD OF MARS: DEJAH THORIS 9In stores this week) for Dynamite. His past work includes WARLORD OF MARS: FALL OF BARSOOM, WARRIORS OF MARS, THUN’DA, and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: ADAMA also for Dynamite. His other recent projects include SON OF MERLIN for TOP COW and he wrote the graphic novel adaptation for Terry Brook’s story DARK WRAITH OF SHANNARA for Del Rey/Random House.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.