Robyn Hood Wanted: An Interview with Patrick Shand

Robyn Hood: Legend  Image: Zenescope
Robyn Hood: Legend. Image: Zenescope.

This interview contains spoilers about Robyn Hood: Wanted #5.

Robyn Hood: Wanted is one of the hottest selling Zenescope titles and understandably so. Robyn is a strong, independent character that not only brought her male attackers to justice, but is also a member of the Realm Knights, one of the hottest teams in comic books. With the exception of a few story plots, I’ve enjoyed the character since she came to life two years ago, and I’m looking forward to her next adventure in Robyn Hood: Legend, written by Patrick Shand and drawn by Larry Watts.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to interview Shand and Watts about Robyn Hood: Wanted and a little bit about what else they have in the works. Today, I’d like to share my chat with Shand, with the Watts interview coming later this week.

Robyn Hood: Legend #1 Colors  Image: Zenescope
Robyn Hood: Legend #1 Colors. Image: Zenescope.

GeekMom: Welcome back to GeekMom! Thanks for talking with me again about Robyn Hood. She is one of my favorite Zenescope characters.

Patrick Shand: Well, first, let me get this out of the way before we go all nitty gritty: I wanted to thank you for your constant coverage of Robyn Hood. I always love seeing your thoughts on the book, so it’s a pleasure for me to be chatting it up with you again.

GM: The final issue of Robyn Hood: Wanted was pretty harsh to some of the characters. I know I wanted to get out my pitchfork and storm the Zenescope offices. So, the question on my mind is…why did it have to end the way it did and was it as hard for you to write it as it was for me to read it?

PS: Yeah, the end of Robyn Hood: Wanted #5 was incredibly difficult to write. When I wrote it, when the art came in, when the lettering proof came, when I was approving it on our printer’s site, when re-reading for continuity… every time, I cry every time Much pulls the sword out of Friar Tuck’s chest and recites Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Every time. That issue hurt a lot, and it changed the game for Robyn as a character and me as a writer. You’ll see what I mean more in Legend, but the status quo is about to get switched up in a big way.

I remember Jim Campbell, our talented letterer, posted on Facebook that folks should prepare, because Wanted #5 was my version of the “Red Wedding.” It seems I did get a little kill happy in that issue, but I think reading Legend #1 will show readers that all of the deaths in Wanted #5 were integral to the character arcs and where the story is ultimately headed.

Because even before I knew a second series was green-lit… my dreams for the series were very similar to what I’ve actually written. The end has always been the end, and we’re on the way there.

GM: Some of the comments I saw on Twitter were pretty bad. For instance: “You heartless bastard, why Will!?” and “I’m beginning to think you hate Robyn.” Is there anything you would like to say to them?

PS: I usually reply to those tweets by being an ass—ha ha. I joke around with readers on Twitter, but the truth is that I’m as much of a sap for these characters as the readers I piss off. I love Robyn. I love Will Scarlet, and hell, I love Gisbourne, our misunderstood, misguided villain.

About the “Why Will?” stuff, all I’ll say is read Legend. I won’t say it’s a safe one, but I do hope it’ll be a hell of a ride.

Robyn Hood #2  Art: Emilio Laiso
Robyn Hood #2. Art: Emilio Laiso.

GM: When it comes to putting characters through pain, is it ever considered to give them a break and maybe not make them go through certain things?

PS: Yeah, but that’s the thing. In some cases, the pain is the drama. The pain is what makes them better. The pain—as it does for me, even right this very moment—makes them realize a truth buried deep inside of them. Could be something great, could be something scary. But it’s that discovery of the core of who we are that makes me feel.

And really, each of these characters carries a piece of me inside… so it’s a bit of self-exploration and catharsis as well.

That’s why I try to make my books—Robyn especially—fun, even as they’re devastating. I think of the best moments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when I’m crying, having become an emotional puddle of tragedy on the floor… and then, with such an organic line, I laugh. I want Robyn Hood to do that—to show that even when life is at it’s ugliest, it’s more than just the sum of it’s worst parts. It’s funny and silly and strange and surprising and, sometimes, if you’re lucky, it might be good for a while.

GM: Legend is being promoted as the final story for Robyn Hood. Would you be open to another writer taking on her story and continuing on what you’ve accomplished, or would you rather see them start her over and revamp her?

PS: Well, it’s being promoted as the final piece of the Robyn Hood trilogy. That’s all from me, so I take full responsibility for questions like these that I kind of just can’t answer. I’ve put a lot of myself into the character, so I certainly feel a bit protective, but other folks have written her well before. Eric Esquivel, namely; he wrote some great Robyn dialogue in January’s The Dark Queen: Age of Darkness one-shot. So I guess I’ll say while the trilogy is over, who knows? Raven ended his Wonderland trilogy, and then he relaunched it as an ongoing a while later. So yeah… this is the end of the story I set out to tell, but maybe—depending on who survives—there may be more?

GM: Robyn Hood has been in her own series, Realm Knights, and one-shot issues with Red Riding Hood. Looking at her from the beginning to Legend, what’s the chronological order in terms of when things happen?

PS: I was actually planning on posting an order of this! Here is the exact order:

Robyn Hood #1 – 5, Robyn Hood vs. Red Riding Hood, Realm Knights one-shot, Robyn Hood: Wanted #1-5, Realm Knights #1-4, Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween 2013, Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday 2013, The Dark Queen: Age of Darkness one-shot, Robyn Hood: Age of Darkness one-shot, Robyn Hood: Legend.

GM: What’s next for you after Robyn?

PS: Wow, ummm. A bunch of stuff I really can’t talk about. I will have my first (maybe two?) ongoing series ever this year, which I’m excited about. It’s a different muscle than the one-shot or the mini, and I couldn’t be more eager to start in on those. Those two will probably take up most of my time, but I like to do between four and seven books a month, so after I get rolling on those, I’ll be picking up some minis here and there. I do want to do some creator-owned this year, but I don’t have details on those yet. I have been collaborating with a bunch of super-talented artists on creator-owned pitches. I’m actually writing something for the fantastic Jen Hickman as I type this, so I think you’ll see more creator-owned from me soonish.

Robyn Hood: Legend is coming this March, with a 17+ rating.

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.