When I contacted Zenescope for some juicy inside scoop about their UK visit, I was lucky enough to get to talk to Stephen Haberman, the Marketing Manager for the company and fountain of knowledge for all things Zenescope.
Hello Stephen. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your up and coming visit to the London Super Comic Convention this February. While you may not be the best known publisher in the US, you have been gaining a loyal following of fans around the world. What is it that sets you apart from other publishers out there and makes you unique?
We’re proud to be a top 10 comic book publisher, and we have built our brand on horror spins on classic fairy tales. After 7 years, we’ve gained the respect in the industry as a strong brand, and have built a very loyal fan base. But, being an indie publisher allows us to be close with our fans. We have made it a focal point of our company to actively engage our readers. Whether it’s travel to more conventions, or just answer more questions, we love our fans. We are finding that being approachable at these shows has really helped grow our fan base, and educate our fans on what’s new with the company.
When it comes to just the comics we publish, we have got some of the strongest female leads in comics. While some of the bigger publishers may have a hard time keeping their women on store shelves, our readership continues to increase, and our new series, like Robyn Hood, are welcomed with open arms.
Although you have a fantastic presence at US cons, it’s a huge step to travel to the UK to attend the LSCC. What are your goals for the visit?
As I said before, the goal is to engage with our fans and expand our readership. Horror spins on classic fairy tales is our specialty, and with titles like Neverland, Wonderland, Robyn Hood, and Sleepy Hollow, we do see a lot of new readers at each convention we attend. We’ll be bringing a lot of products along so that UK fans can get their hands on some exclusives and comics they may be having a hard time finding otherwise.
Who can your UK fans expect to see at the convention and will you be launching any LSCC exclusives just for the show?
We are hoping to send Editor in Chief Ralph Tedesco to the show to sign comics and speak to fans. Since he is a co-founder of the company, we thought his presence would be very exciting for attendees. We will also be unveiling a few exclusive, pin-up variant covers that will be available at the show, and designed especially for our UK fans.
Without a doubt, one of your most successful titles is the Wonderland series with issue one being Zenescope’s best-selling title to date. What is it about that series that has struck a chord with your fans?
When the company launched Return to Wonderland in 2007, we knew we were bringing a whole new and unique twist to a fairy tale that was much beloved, but the world we weaved became much more than just a twist. It became a world that was both beautiful and brutal. The horrific characters set in our Wonderland realm were complex. That was what really hooked people on Wonderland. It is always fun to talk to fans about who their favorite character is in Wonderland as there are so many different reasons to love Calie, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts or, of course the Mad Hatter. Now, with launching the Wonderland ongoing series, we can really flesh out the characters and the realm more than ever before.
I understand that the Wonderland series has also been picked up by Lionsgate Studios to be made into a TV series with Brian Robbins (Smallville) producing. Can you tell us more about that and how it was made possible?
While working on our comics, we also are out pitching to have our stories made into television shows and movies. We had a significant amount of interest in Return to Wonderland, and ultimately decided to go with Lionsgate for the series. As of right now, that’s all I can say, but Zenescope and its fans should be excited. This is one of several titles we have pitched, so more exciting news is still to come!
You have some pretty high profile titles on the Zenescope label. Are there any titles you currently have that deserve more exposure that you would like to mention?
We were really hoping fans would get behind Godstorm, and though it is a quality book, it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. More importantly, the finale in Godstorm is going to have huge repercussions in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe. We will be launching a comic book event in 2013 that our fans are not going to want to miss. That’s all I can say at this point, but the Zenescope office is pumped for what’s coming.
With Zenescope moving forward from strength to strength, what have you got in the pipeline for the coming year?
Well, we are going to be bringing more of what our fans have been asking for and bringing some of the most anticipated stories to our fans as well. We have heard the outcry for Robyn Hood, and we are happy to oblige. Also, for years we have been advertising that we would be putting our spin on Oz, and 2013 will finally be the year we do it. Much more information will be coming about Robyn Hood, our event, and Oz in the coming months.
Many thanks for taking the time to conduct this pre con interview. I look forward to meeting some of the Zenescope team at the convention for a follow up interview.
Thank you for speaking to us Adam, and to Comic Booked for all the excellent coverage.
For more information about the London Super Comic Convention or to buy tickets you can visit their website here. To check out the great range of Zenescope titles please visit the official website here.