Interview - Ian Brill

The Occupy Movement rages on, albeit in a much smaller sized blaze than before. The 1% are still perceived at the top, but they're not vampires...yet. In Ian Brill's world in Dracula World Order: The Beginning, the vampires are the 1%, which makes for quite an interesting dynamic.

Brill was kind enough to take some time out of crafting a semi-fake world to answer a few questions about the one-shot, working with four talented artists and whether or not we'd be better off with vampires as the 1%.

Editor's Note: There were questions posed to the artists, but none of the four artists responded. It's likely they're just extremely busy being awesome.

Omnicomic: What can you tell new readers about Dracula World Order?

Brill: Dracula takes advantage of a world during a fragile time. He turns the top 1% of the world into vampires; they in turn enslave the rest of the world. Dracula’s son Alexandru, who was by his father’s side during all of this, has a change of heart about the whole thing and decides to lead a rebellion against his father.

Omnicomic: Where did you get the inspiration to write Dracula World Order? Based on the description it seems pretty obvious, but you never know.

Brill: I wanted to tell a story based on that feeling, one I think we can all relate to, that the whole game is rigged. I wanted to take characters that raged against an unfair world.

The vampire mythos led back to the ideas of greed and power I wanted to explore. Plus, I love classic monsters and wanted to play with those concepts. Thus, this book.

Omnicomic: Dracula World Order is an interesting take on the world's economic problems, blending vampires' thirst for blood and the thirst of the top 1% for wealth. How did you reconcile those two topics in your mind? That is, where did you get the idea to work the two things together?

Brill: Vampires can be metaphors for a few things, but I think desire and power are ones that burn the brightest. If I a vampire thirsts for blood who is in charge, the vampire who can bite any human, or the human who has what the vampire thirsts so badly for?

It allows me to explore these symbiotic relationships that arise in a world of economic inequality. The need for blood can be a transferred to many other concepts, many of them I intend to explore further.

Say instead of blood; let’s call it wealth. Who wants it more, the person who already has it or the person who never did? What is each willing to do to get it (or to keep it)?

Those are the questions I like to explore in these stories.

Omnicomic: There are four marquis artists on the work in Tonci Zonjic, Rahsan Ekedal, Declan Shalvey and Gabriel Hardman. How did you get hooked up with them? And why use four artists in the first place?

Brill: I worked with all four when I was an editor at BOOM! Studios. They are four of my favorite artists to work with, and all the comics they do are just beautiful.

I knew work with all four of these guys would make me push myself to be better. I knew I needed that push when taken this, my first big original project.

I also knew I could only get these gents for small chapters, as they are all quite in demand. I liked the idea of a comic that’s both an anthology and a unified story.

Omnicomic: There are four chapters, with each chapter committed to one artist. Did you collaborate with each for their respective chapters in terms of story and art? Or did you present them the overarching story beforehand and let them know what they were specifically illustrating?

Brill: I told them what the overall concept was, and then gave them the scripts (which included all four parts in it). I knew who each artist was for each chapter. So, even though each artist would make greater work no matter what they were given, I made sure each chapter had something an artist would just illustrate beautifully.

Omnicomic: Be honest. Would we be better off these days if vampires were the 1% instead of the CEOs?

Brill: It would be worst, because then I would have to do research for this book.

Omnicomic: Why keep the story to a one-shot?

Brill: In terms of business it’s a small, self-published book. Right now only a one-shot is possible. The four chapters idea helped me make this feel like a full experience, which is vital to me for to provide the audience.

Omnicomic: Do you plan on expanding the universe established for future issues?

Brill: Yes, this story is a calling. I have plans for much more, including how the whole bloody thing ends (and I do mean bloody). There are many options to creators these days; I am considering all of them.

Omnicomic: Do you plan to expand distribution beyond the initial 14 stores mentioned?

Brill: I’m always happy to talk to retailers. They can contact me through Working with retailers on this book is incredible rewarding.

Omnicomic: Clearly you're enthusiastic about the self-publishing model. What's so appealing about that model to you?

Brill: It’s another aspect that pushes me to be better. I knew I had to write a story I truly believed in if I oversaw all aspects of the book. It was a challenge to do a book with no safety net and no support, and I like a challenge.

Omnicomic: Do you see digital overtaking print in the near future?

Brill: I don’t know. I’m more interested in how digital and print can work together and feed into each other, giving consumers as many options as possible.

Omnicomic: What's your convention schedule looking like for the rest of the year?

Brill: I’ll be at San Diego, don’t know past that.

Omnicomic: What's tops on your pull list these days?

Brill: FATALE and SAGA are two of the best new comics I’ve read. They get me excited about comics all over again.

Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor?

Brill: On June 13th, the day of release, I’m at Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim. CA from 12-2, then Comics Paradise‘s Winnetka store from 5-8.