Over the last year or so, Philly’s own Zenescope Entertainment has gone from being a small, boutique publisher to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of comic books. Part of the reason for this is the innovative ideas that get peoples attention, all spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Ralph Tedesco.
The latest is Comic Company, a web series documenting life at Zenescope offices. It is a funny, informative behind the scenes look at what goes on at Zenescope that the public rarely gets to see. Mr. Tedesco was nice enough to answer a few questions about Comic Company, the Grimm Fairy Tales Kickstarter and what’s coming up for Zenescope.
What was the genesis of your new web series Comic Company?
The idea just sort of popped into my head while I was watching an episode of The Office one night. I love that show (especially the earlier seasons) and I started thinking that I’d love to do something similar to that with a documentary style feel. But I didn’t want to imitate The Office because that would be a bad move. Then the idea of integrating characters from our books into our office came to me and I knew it had to be done.
The key was that we needed to make sure the series was entertaining and fun. I’ve always been a writer and I feel I have a decent feel for comedy and I’ve been acting for 15 years and always loved it so that felt natural but I’d never directed anything before and I knew that would be the biggest challenge in doing this. But I’ve been really happy with the results and we have an amazing team involved.
Is Red Riding Hood and Alice enjoying their time in the spotlight?
Of course. Those two characters are meant to be in the spotlight.
Zenescope has always taken a different approach than other comic publishers, like with Comic Company and the Kickstarter campaign for example. Has that always been your plan?
Joe and I have always felt it was important to think outside the box as a company. In my opinion, doing what everyone else expects or trying to simply imitate someone else’s success is a bit lazy and it’s definitely boring.
When you open yourself up to new ideas it allows for so much more growth. Sometimes it works out and pays off, and of course other times you strike out. It’s riskier but more fun and you just hope that the successes outweigh the strike outs.
Speaking of the Kickstarter, at the time of writing this, you have 7 days to go. How are things looking?
We’re at about $100,000 in pledges as we discuss this so to me that’s already pretty incredible. We are pretty confident that we can get to our goal of 175K. We’ve gotten so much exposure from this so either way we feel this has been a success. People have taken notice and we have a lot of incredible talent participating so we are feeling like this will get done one way or another.
You have the Wonderland monthly launching soon as well as the Oz project later in the year. Care to share what fans can expect from these two books?
Awesomeness… pure awesomeness. Wonderland is going to be really dark and really cool. Raven’s been chomping at the bit to write Calie and her now teenage daughter, Violet, for some time. It’s a cool story and Calie is such a beloved, strong character for us we can’t wait to create more stories with her.
OZ is going to blow people away. It’s something we’ve been planning and putting together for some time now and we’re going to flip the whole thing on its ear and our fans should really dig it.
What else can readers expect from Zenescope in the future?
That isn’t enough for you? Just kidding. We have some surprises. Stay tuned!
The Grimm Fairy Tales Kickstarter