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Zenescope Under the Microscope, Interview with Stephen Haberman...

Within the last few years Zenescope Entertainment has been making a name for themselves the publishing world. Their flagship title Grimm Fairy Tales is approach issue #100 next year and the crowd funded pilot for the animated series is completed. Screwed and Oz Prequel are titles gaining a lot of positive feedback from fans and retailers. CBNAH caught up with Stephen Haberman, Marketing Manager of Zenescope Entertainment to chat about Grimm Fairy Tales, SDCC, Screwed and more.
CBNAH: For people who are unfamiliar with Zenescope entertainment can you tell us the genesis behind the company?
Stephen: Well, about 8 years ago, the co-founder Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco were trying to break into the entertainment business as screen writers. They were having trouble getting their scripts read and felt they could publish their own work, and then formed Zenescope Entertainment. Since its launch, Zenescope has been known for its horror twists on classic fairy tales.
CBNAH: How was SDCC this year for Zenescope and the feedback you got from visitors and fans?
Stephen: San Diego Comic Con was outstanding for Zenescope. When we have a presence at a convention, we make sure we are offering top notch exclusives, entertaining panels, and have friendly, informative staff at our booths. I felt we did exactly that.
The exclusives this year featured covers by artists Elias Chatzoudis, Eric “EBAS”Basaldua, Franchesco, Anthony Spay, Mike DeBalfo, and Mike Krome. We even brought Elias Chatzoudis (all the way from Greece) with us as a guest to his first Comic Con.
On top of that, we dedicated Saturday to the Grimm Fairy Tales Wounded Warriors Project Special issue. The whole staff was dressed in camo and promoting both the regular issue as well as a silent charity auction featuring the original cover artwork generously donated by the artists. The charity auction took place right at the booth, and we were able to raise over $1400 during the auction, which will all be going to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Grimm Fairy Tales
CBNAH: Grimm Fairy Tales is your flagship title. The Omnibus came out this summer and it's approaching issue #100 for next year. Will there be any plans to celebrate this milestone issue?
Stephen: Grimm Fairy Tales is the title that started it all, and Grimm Fairy Tales #100 is going to be epic. We will be making sure it is a moment that fans won’t soon forget.
CBNAH: How was the Grimm Fairy Tales Animated panel at SDCC? Any new information coming out of the panel and what's it like working with Jon Schnepp?
Stephen: We showed off a good amount of behind the scenes footage which will be included on the DVD  Fans got to see the voice actors as they were working on various scenes, as well as see the talented animators from Titmouse at work.
Jon Schnepp is a great director, and has been able to bring his concepts to life almost effortlessly. He is also a blast to have around. You do have to be careful as he is a bit of a VINE addict, though.
Tyler Kirkham's 'Screwed'


CBNAH: I've been enjoying Tyler Kirkham's 'Screwed '. I know it's a mini, but are there plans in place for future minis?
Stephen: When it comes to future mini-series, a lot of it depends on how well the title performs in stores. We are an indie publisher, so we have to publish the titles that sell. Having said that, Screwed has been awesome, and the amount of enthusiasm Tyler has for his work makes Screwed an easy sell to everyone that sees it. Tyler is immensely talented, so we certainly do hope to do more with him.
CBNAH: Are there any titles that have floated under the radar that readers should check out?
Stephen: You know, there are a lot of titles over the course of a year that can go unnoticed. I would recommend that our fans check out our digital titles now being published on ComiXology. This year we are debuting a number of digital-first titles there, which will range from family-friendly adventures to dark comedy . There are only a few there now, but more titles are coming.

CBNAH: Any chance of using Kickstarter again for any future projects?
Stephen: At this point we are still working on completing the rewards fulfillment with our first Kickstarter, so it won’t be soon, but crowd funding has definitely proved to be a great way to expand on our universe. Who knows, maybe even our web series Comic Company could see a crowd-funded second season. Only time will tell.


CBNAH: What does the future hold for Zenescope?
Stephen: We will have a bunch of new series coming, including Realm Knights, and No Tomorrow this month, Hit List in September, and more series soon to be announced. Next year will be the year of Grimm Fairy Tales #100, and not many indie comic book publishers have a book run that long, and be as strong as it is.
The other thing you can plan on, is that Zenescope will be hitting the road a lot next year. We will be looking to expand our convention presence even more so that we can meet our fans face to face, and thank them for being so good to us.


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