Exclusive: Jim Zub unveils the plot behind his grave work coming in Shadowman Halloween issue



Remember on Seinfeld where Kramer wrote a book about coffee tables and the book actually became a coffee table? Well, that is kind of what you get in the special Halloween issue of Valiant’s Shadowman #11.

Acclaimed writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers) teams with CBN fan fave cosmic artist Miguel Sepulveda (The Thanos Imperative, Stormwatch, Red Lanterns) to present one terrifying tale of ghosts, ghouls and goodies as Jack Boniface tries to survive his first All Hallow’s Eve in the Valiant Universe!

To capture the spirit (lol) of this ghostly offering, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer made his way by night to a certain old castle in New Orleans where he exclusively caught up with Zub and got the bone-ified truth about this special Shadowman issue.

Cosmic Book News: Jim, this is your first work for Valiant, I believe. How has the experience been?

Jim Zub: It’s actually my second Valiant project, but my first full issue. I wrote the “Who Will Lead the H.A.R.D. Corps?” back-up feature that ran in all the July Valiant issues and that was a lot of fun. Anyways, it’s been great. The Valiant crew’s done a great job relaunching their old titles and updating them without just retreading the same material. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute.

CBN: Tell us how Shadowman #11, a special Halloween-oriented issue, came about?

Jim Zub: Jody LeHeup, one of the Editors at Valiant, was the one who approached me about the H.A.R.D. Corps back-up story and it went really smoothly, so he told me he’d look for other writing opportunities for me at Valiant. When the idea for a done-in-one Halloween issue came up for Shadowman they dropped me a line. Pretty straight forward.

CBN: What can you tell us about the story?

Jim Zub: Halloween in New Orleans is probably the craziest the city gets outside of Mardi Gras. Combine those parades and crazy costumes with supernatural trouble and you’ve got an environment that’s ripe with possibilities for a wild Shadowman story.

I don’t want to give away too much, but suffice to say that with all the other weird things happening that night Shadowman doesn’t have to stay as hidden as he usually does.

CBN: Was Shadowman a character you were already familiar with? Any favorite Shadowman stories?

Jim Zub: I knew about Shadowman but honestly hadn’t read the original comics until I started doing research to write for Valiant. I dived right in and read both the original issues and the current series. I was really impressed with how the new team has kept key elements of the original but freshened up the concept. 

CBN: I heard you love New Orleans. How did it feel to use that city as your backdrop?

Jim Zub: New Orleans is probably the most unique city in America. It has such a unique blend of culture, architecture and history. While doing extra research on the city it was so easy to imagine the story playing out along the streets of the French Quarter. It really is a perfect setting for Shadowman.

CBN: Jim, would you say this issue is a good jumping-on point for new readers?

Jim Zub: Absolutely. That was part of the plan right from the get-go with this issue. Valiant asked me to put together an issue that quickly brings new readers up to speed before we dive in to a fun Halloween adventure. You don’t have to read any previous issues to enjoy this one.

CBN: You are just doing this special issue, I believe. Would you like to do more with this character?

Jim Zub: Absolutely. Writing this one up was a blast and I hope I get a chance to write more of Jack Boniface’s adventures down the road. All the Valiant characters are cool in their own way, but now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with Shadowman I’m definitely game to come back to the Big Easy and cause more trouble for Jack.


CBN: Is it true the issue’s cover converts into a Halloween mask? (laughs)

Jim Zub: It’s true! They just sent me the version that will be going to print and it looks awesome! I’m going to need to snag some copies for my family, because it’s a really fun little extra. I don’t know who at Valiant thought that up, but it’s a great idea. Something fun and different that will help grab attention for the issue when it comes out.

CBN: How was it working with Miguel Sepulveda? He has been doing a lot of cool space-oriented stories for Marvel and DC. Why was he right for this book?

Jim Zub: I’ve only seen a handful of pages by Miguel at this point but they’re looking awesome so far. His storytelling is really sharp and he’s doing a great job at setting the scenes. He’s not just drawing generic buildings, he’s really going the extra mile to make it look like New Orleans.

CBN: Jim, any new projects coming up you want to mention?

Jim Zub: I’m writing the upcoming Samurai Jack comic series from IDW that continues where the cartoon left off. That’s also coming out in October. I’m still writing the Pathfinder comic series for Dynamite based on the award-winning RPG. My creator-owned series Skullkickers is also continuing at Image. All in all, lots of projects on the go and my fingers are crossed for more fun stuff in 2014.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Jim Zub for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Valiant’s Hunter Gorinson who helped make this interview possible.

The Halloween-centric “Shadowman” #11 hits shelves October 2nd!