Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan Interview

Interview conducted by James Ferguson


I had the opportunity to chat with writer Jim Zub at New York Comic Con last year.  We talked about his comic Wayward, described as Buffy set in Japan.  I asked him about giant robots.  Now he's partnered with newcomer artist Djibril Morissette-Phan for Glitterbomb, a new series set to debut in September from Image Comics.  I had the chance to speak to the creative team about the project.

James Ferguson: What's the elevator pitch for Glitterbomb?

Jim Zub: It’s a Hollywood Horror that tears a piece of flesh out of celebrity culture and our obsession with the rich and famous. It’s The Exorcist meets Sunset Boulevard with a nasty modern twist.

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JF: Tell me a bit about Farrah Durante.

JZ: Farrah’s an out-of-work middle-aged actress and single mother struggling to get by in Los Angeles. She’s too old to play “arm candy” for male co-stars and isn’t old enough to play grandmothers, so she’s trapped in an all-too common gap in Hollywood. A mixture of tough situations and bad decisions has led her to this point and she feels lost and adrift. That’s when something supernatural lures her out into the water and gives her the means to enact bloody vengeance on the people who have wronged her.

JF: Can you tell me anything about this monster in the water?  Is it Cthulhu?

JZ: It’s not Cthulhu, though obviously there are some Lovecraftian aspects reflected there. The story is less about “how do we stop this monster” and more about “how do we get to these dark places where revenge feels like the only option”. It’s a character story punctuated with horror rather than a gore fest for its own sake.

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JF: How did the design of the creature come about?

JZ: I gave Djibril, my artist and collaborator, a rundown of some different influences and interesting approaches we could take and he sketched out some appropriately disgusting insect/aquatic features that worked well together.

Djibril Morissette-Phan: We tried a couple of different ideas and the design we ended up using just came naturally from that brainstorming. My main goal with the design was to have something simple and visually striking. The creature not being the focus of the story, we needed something people would understand without too much context.

JF: What is your collaborative process like on Glitterbomb?

JZ: Although he’s quite young, Djibril’s natural storytelling instincts are really strong and we really hit the ground running on the series right from the get-go. I sent Djibril an outline and talked to him about the bleak and grounded mood I wanted to create with the series and he dug right in. I was surprised how quickly he has able to hit the target and deliver the nuanced and nasty I imagined Glitterbomb could be.

DMP: Being involved from the very beginning of the project really helped me with the collaborative process. We both understood very quickly each other's intentions from the get-go, which made the workflow very easy and enjoyable.

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JF: Given the focus of Glitterbomb, what are some of your favorite movies?  Extra points for horror films.

JZ: The Exorcist is a natural. The Shining. Alien. It Follows. Films that build up tension and dread until the audience can barely handle any more. That’s the kind of horror that sticks with me.

DMP: They're not horror movies, but Drive and Nightcrawler were two big visual influences for the book. Mostly for the setting and the overall tone.

JF: What is an underrated comic (from another creator) that you think more people should be reading?

JZ: Emily Carroll’s short stories build up tension and mood like almost nothing else I’ve read online. It’s a master class in horror without gore.

DMP: Wes Craig's Black Hand Comics is a masterpiece of visual storytelling.

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JF: Anything you'd like to tease going into the premiere of Glitterbomb?

JZ:  We as a culture are obsessed with celebrities, fame, and the shallow Hollywood idea of destiny or being the one-in-a-million special person who wins it all despite the odds. This is a story about everyone else and the fears we all have about not getting what we think we deserve.

HorrorTalk would like to thank Jim Zub and Djibril Morissette-Phan for speaking with us today.  Glitterbomb #1 is set to debut on September 7th from Image Comics.  It is currently available for pre-order.




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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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