GrizzlyShark is Back! [Interview]

May 13, 2016

GrizzlyShark is Back! [Interview]

IMAGE COMICS: Ryan...what in the heck is GRIZZLYSHARK about? Where did it come from?

RYAN OTTLEY: It's about friendship and loss. Or some crap like that.

GrizzlyShark came from the sea.

IC: You mention in an essay in the first issue that you drew pages of GRIZZLYSHARK in-between your work on INVINCIBLE. How long did it take you to finish GRIZZLYSHARK?

OTTLEY: Yeah, I'd work on it when I felt like it, really. Sometimes a page a week, a page a month. Just depends on what the INVINCIBLE schedule was like at the time. And that's usually non-stop, so it was tough to find time. But eventually it got done. It's been a side project for years, and I've been chipping away at it when I could.

IC: You did the first chapter of GRIZZLYSHARK around six years ago. Was it weird to look back and see your old stuff?

OTTLEY: No, because it doesn't feel like that long ago. That first issue was done during 24-Hour Comics Day. I wrote the whole issue and pencilled and inked the first 10 pages in 24 hours. So those do tend to look like the most rushed pages of the three issues, because they were.

IC: The GRIZZLYSHARK title page in #2, with the shark getting closer and closer to the camera and filling the panel as he makes mincemeat of a cyclist and his friend, is a reminiscent of classic b-movie gore. Are you into that stuff at all? Are you riffing on it in this series?

OTTLEY: I think even b-movies are riffing on horror. They aren't riffing on b-movie horror. So this comic equivalent of a B-movie is also riffing on actual horror movies. But it's definitely a b-comic. And also definitely riffing on straight-up horror. Does that make sense? Let's say it does make sense. I'm basically smashing bits of Jaws and Aliens into a pot and throwing in a dash of Jurassic Park. The scary bits. Not the feel-good bits.

IC: You're mostly known for drawing INVINCIBLE, but you're drawing, writing, and lettering GRIZZLYSHARK, with Ivan Plascencia on colors. I know your scripts are kinda like layouts, but how has writing been treating you? Are you going to do more in the future?

OTTLEY: Yes, for sure. As long as people like it, I'll keep doing it. I like to dabble in different styles, so it won't all be b-movie horror. I'll probably try some a-movie horror at some point. I'll keep you posted!

IC: Ivan Plascencia's doing your colors—how did you two end up working together?

OTTLEY: I emailed Ivan and asked if he wanted to play. He totally did! Talk about a great, on-time colorist. So good to work with.

IC: You've got some cool pinups in these issues, too. Are these fanart or pieces you've asked friends to do?

OTTLEY: I bugged a bunch of friends for pinups. It's actually a good gauge at who are your very best friends. Whoever finishes a pinup wins friendship!

IC: Finally, GRIZZLYSHARK VS SEA BEAR hits next month, the finale of the saga. Can you tease a little bit about what to expect?

OTTLEY: It's easily my favorite issue of the bunch and the one I'm most proud of. I went nuts with it and even added extra pages to make this issue 26 pages of story. Just too fun to stop. I miss it already. Yeah, expect a shark to fight a bear. But there's a lot more that happens with Jonbob and Donnie and friends, so much heartfelt loss and romance and good times. I honestly can't wait for you all to read it!

GRIZZLYSHARK #1 and GRIZZLYSHARK #2 are available now. GRIZZLYSHARK #3: GRIZZLYSHARK VS SEA BEAR, arrives 6/8.