Next month Kurtis Wiebe (Peter Panzerfaust, Green Wake) invites you to crash funerals and reap the benefits in Grim Leaper, a four-issue mini from Image Comics’ Shadowline imprint. But what does it mean to play hopscotch along the boundary between life and death? What is a Grim Leaper, and should you take that leap along with him?
Of corpse, you should.
Let’s talk to Kurtis Wiebe for a little pre-mortem.
iFanboy: What’s the difference between a Grim Leaper and a Grim Reaper? Or even the elusive Grizzly Reaper proposed in 1971′s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?
Kurtis Wiebe: A Grim Reaper takes lives, he’s got the final say when it comes to the longevity of our lives. A Grim Leaper, specifically in the case of Lou Collins, is someone who gets killed in your body. He basically has the some task as the Grim Reaper but has zero control over the whole taking of lives scenario.
As to the Grizzly Reaper, I always pictured a skeletal man driving over people with a lawn mower. My imagination is a little messed up.
iF: Without giving too much away, can you talk a bit about the mythology of Grim Leaper’s vision of the afterlife?
KW: Lou sees a very different version of the afterlife than most people do. You always hear about the light at the end of the tunnel, but it just so happens that while he sees the same thing, there’s a gate blocking his escape to the next phase of ‘life’. There also happens to be a hallway of pictures from the dead people he’s leaped into.
What I tried to create was a haunted house meets limbo feel and Aluisio definitely nailed it with the surreal layout and connection between the panels.
iF: Grim Leaper #1 features a bit of Lou’s philosophy on funeral flirtation. Have you ever hit on anyone at a wake? What would it take to consider taking that leap?
KW: I haven’t. Honest. I do have this memory of being at a funeral when my friend passed away years ago and this one girl we went to high school with seriously treated it like an alumni reunion. She was giddily hugging people in the foyer right after the ceremony and I could remember thinking, “is this really happening?”
Maybe some of that memory made it into the introduction of the first issue, or your question just reminded me of it.
iF: People kick the farm in some very unusual ways in Grim Leaper. Manners of death that the departed might be embarrassed to reveal at parties. What do you figure’s the worst way to go?
KW: Every time I see someone burning to death in films I get a little queasy, and I think that would by far be the worst. You’d be in horrific pain, begging for death and the worst part is you’d be smelling like bacon and at that moment, you really wouldn’t want any.
Look for Grim Leaper #1 by Kurtis Wiebe and Aluisio Santos on May 30th.