Interview: Ivan Brandon

Matthieu-David: Which artists influenced you the most ? And what are your influences in general ?

Ivan Brandon: Well like everyone, Frank Miller broke me in but lately I’ve been looking at the storytelling skills of guys like Hiroaki Samura and Kazuo Koike. In general, I’m influenced by everything I see, travelling and at home in NY. Not the things you’d expect… for me I get inspired by something ridiculous I hear at a bar, or a bad hairdo.


Frank Miller



Hiroaki Samura

Kazuo Koike


M-D: So what is the last ridiculous thing you heard at a bar ?  

I.B.: “No Smoking”.


M-D: Is there an artist you would you love to work with ? (writer, inker or colourist )

I.B.:The list goes on and on. Claire Wendling would be right there on top, tough.




M-D: On which comic book would you like to work or is there a specific character that you would like to work on ( can even be a dream project )?

I.B.: I don’t really have a dream character.  I’ve talked about working on some licensed stuff and it’s lots of fun, but I don’t really think a lot about any of that… I think I can get a great experience out of almost any character.  Except Bishop.

M-D: why don’t you like Bishop ? ( I’m not too attracted neither by that character but I’de like to know your view ;) )

I.B.: I don’t like his hair.  


M-D: What type of script do you write ? Highly detailed ones or very short ?

I.B.: I'm right in the middle.  I detail things that I think have to be exactly the way I see them in my head, but I leave a lot of things open to the artist's eyes.  I think trusting the artist is hugely important... a lot of writers seem to be control obsessed.

M-D: Have you noticed any storytelling changes  since you started writing  ?

I.B.: I change all the time.  I think that's what it means to be an artist of any medium... pushing for personal evolution and challenges.  I like to always surprise myself and the reader with unexpected approaches.

M-D: What do you think of the increase of length of a story to make it more suitable for a trade paperback release ? It seems to happen more and more lately.  

I.B.: yeah, I've heard the complaints, but I don't really read a lot of the books people talk about, so I don't know if the discussion is warranted.  I think it sucks though, if it is.  A storyarc shouldn't be bound by the packaging.  I like to write single issue standalones... 2 issue arcs, or 8 issue epics.  Whatever I feel is appropriate to the situation.

M-D: What are the advantages and disadvantages of working on licensed stuff ? I guess you have certain things you are obliged to write ?

I.B.: I didn’t see any disadvantages.  When I worked on Terminator, for example, they asked me simply to write a prequel to the film.  I’m obligated not to contradict the film, basically, but otherwise they let me write pretty freely.  

M-D: If you hadn’t worked in comics, what would you have done for a living ?

I.B.: I’d be homeless.


M-D: If you were a comic book character, who would you be ? and why ?

I.B.: Madman. His town has all the best looking girls.



M-D: What’s your favourite movie ?

I.B.: God, I have no idea. I don't really have a favorite anything... Badlands ?


M-D:  speaking of movies, what do you think of the scripts of some of the recent comic book adaptations ?

I.B.: I haven’t really read any outside of the Terminator.  They don’t generally look very exciting on the shelves

M-D: what attracted you in “Terminator” ?

I.B.:I was a huge fan of the first movie as a kid. I love homicidal robots.


M-D: you told me what you thought about the movies adapted in comics but I'de also  like to know your thoughts on comics adapted into films ?

I.B.: I think there's a potential there, but I don't think a lot of the new adaptations have maximised on that potential.  I like some of them though...  I hated road to perdition.  everyone got excited about the film legitimizing our art form, but it was a pale shadow of the book it was based on.  the main character was awful...crying and convulsing... an embarassment to his samurai inspirations in lone wolf and cub.  I think the best comic book movie is yet to come.  needs a good director that really gets the vibe of the source material and not the superficial details.  you need to understand why the concept is appealing and extrapolate to the screen and the larger scale.  I have some hopes for the future though...

M-D: Could you describe your typical day ?

I.B.: Not really. I don't have one.  sometimes I wake up in the morning like everyone else, sometimes I go to sleep at 7 am after writing all night. (or drinking all night)  
all depends on where the inspiration is.

M-D: What’s your favourite song ?  

I.B.: All week I've been listening to a song by Fugazi that I like a lot, but I don't remember the name...



M-D: What’s your favourite book ?

I.B.: Last good thing I remember was David goodis' shoot the piano player.


M-D: What's your favorite alcohol ?

I.B.: Depends who’s buying.


M-D: I’ll be more than happy to buy you on next time you come to Paris  , So what would it be ?

I.B.: Well, I would ask for a nice single malt whiskey, but from you I only ask a Stella. It's my favorite beer in Paris.

M-D: Who’s is your favourite comic book character ?  

I.B.: Rob Liefeld. He's rich, and he gets into the craziest situations!

M-D: Is there a comic book character that you really can’t stand ? which one and why ?  

I.B.: I dunno… Blob? What’s his power, that he’s really fat?


M-D: How would you pitch “Ruule”  ?

I.B.: Unfortunately you get the canned response, as I get asked this question a lot… Braveheart meets Gladiator meets the Road Warrior in Chinatown.



M-D: What is your best achievement so far ?  

I.B.: My 27th birthday


M-D: did you have some hard times in your career ? which ones and how did you deal with those ?

I.B.: I've had a pretty smooth ride so far, no real horror stories to speak of. I write comics for a living, how bad can it be?  anytime I feel like complaining I remember working in an office.

M-D: What’s the weirdest thing a fan asked you ?

I.B.: To draw a Doctor Doom sketch

M-D: LoL ! Well actually it's Giuseppe Camuncoli who asked you ;)

M-D: What surprised you the most when you arrived in Paris ?  

I.B.:I was surprised by how similar the people in Paris are to New Yorkers, despite the obvious difference in the terrain. Paris is a very easy shift for me.


M-D: Is there a question no one ever asked you in interview  and what would be the answer ?

I.B.: No one's ever asked my measurements. I'll have to get back to you tough...


M-D: And since My website is on Dr Doom mainly : How would you describe the character : “DR DOOM” ?

I.B.: Dr Doom is the ultimate villain. No one gets to throw a punch on Doom. I'd like to write him one day.


M-D: Who do you think wrote the best Dr Doom ?

I.B.: I have no idea… Grant Morrison did a great version.  He also wrote the best Invisible Girl I’ve ever read.


M-D: Who draw " Dr Doom" the best in your opinion ?

I.B.: I haven’t read a lot of books with Doctor Doom in them, but Mignola did a great version…

M-D: I totally agree !


Thanks a bunch Ivan  !

Check Ivan Brandon website at :