The Hero Of Suicide Girls: Interview With Brea Grant
Photo Credit: Teren Oddo
IDW Publishing in October will be collecting the mini-series Suicide Girls into a trade paperback that promises to be sexy, mysterious and more than a little bit dangerous.
The four-issue mature-themed mini debuted earlier this year, focusing on the punk rock/goth girl movement (“grrl” power) dedicated to women of alternative mindsets taking control of their lives, images and sexuality.
These "Suicide Girls" are tattooed, hair-dyed models who have made a name for themselves as the focus of the desires of every fanboy wishing an uninhibited girl would return his phone call. Just a quick click to the SuicideGirls website, and it is easy to see how it has become a new media empire: movies, magazines, books -- and now comic books!
Brea Grant is the writer IDW chose to balance the artistic and erotic exploration of SuicideGirls with an interesting story that has depth and will attract beyond the punk image.
Grant has made a name for herself as the fast-spirited Daphne Millbrook on NBC’s Heroes, and has gained literary acclaim co-writing comic books like We Will Bury You, a zombie epic set in 1920s from IDW, with her brother Zane.
The Suicide Girls mini (and TPB) is described as being set in “a near-future defined by its rigid conformity and persecution of women.” The Suicide Girls are the last hope for freedom. Can they take down the techno-religious cult, Way-of-Life, or will they die trying?
In a telephone interview with Cosmic Book News, Brea talked about comic books, playing Daphne and growing up in Texas.
Photo Credit: Teren Oddo
Cosmic Book News: In your comic “We Will Bury You,” you had the chance to create your own characters. How does that compare to writing characters based on an established property?
Brea Grant: When I first got the call from the SuicideGirls to create their comic, it was because of my work on “We Will Bury You,” and when you compare to creating my own characters, it is a totally different kind of creativity.
Cosmic Book News: So talk about “Suicide Girls” the comic book.
Brea Grant: It was quite amazing, because this is my first comic starring them and it is different from my previous comic “We Will Bury You.”
Working with the people of “Suicide Girls” has been fun and it is amazing to see stories and characters I have written penciled and come to life. [LAUGHS] I have to admit it was funny to get notes back that say, “We need more naked girls” or “We need boobs.”
Cosmic Book News: Do you think the industry is becoming more “girl” friendly?
Brea Grant: I think girls in this industry are finding their “niche” and we are seeing terms like “geekgirl,” but that definitely does not make it equal. It’s not 50/50.
CosmicBookNews: How is different from acting?
Brea Grant: For better or for worse, while I am playing a character, I start to develop into her. For instance, if Daphne stood a certain way so did I. You speak in a certain way and sometimes you take that character home with you.
Actually, after I finish playing a character, I go through a period of mourning. I mean you get to be somebody for 12 hours a day and basically give an imaginary friend life. This character is on loan and you have to give her back.
Cosmic Book News: Now with acting and writing, is there a different level of scrutiny?
Brea Grant: The hardest thing about being an actor is thinking that you were perfect for a role, but have someone say, “They loved you, but you did not have the right look.”
When they were casting for Daphne they said they wanted a blond and bitchy Tinkerbell, and I had the right look. So in acting, it can be all about judging your face, not just your talent.
I think writing is a little different. No one is judging my face. They’re strictly judging my talent as a writer, so that’s kind of a nice break.
Cosmic Book News: How much of you went into Daphne?
Brea Grant: I think the best actors are the ones that can embody some part of their personality into the character. So I think Daphne has a lot of me in her.
The very first scene I shot was the scene with Hiro in the office building and that was all I had to go on. I didn’t have any more scripts. I had to make up a good portion of the character as I went along and it was revealed to me.
I knew she was from a small town and being from a small town in Texas, I was able to understand her more.
Cosmic Book News: So what is next for you acting wise?
Brea Grant: Well, I will be guest starring on “Dexter” and I have an upcoming independent film called “Baytown Disco.”
Cosmic Book News: What was it like growing up in Texas?
Brea Grant: Zane and I grew up in Marshall, Texas and it was required to be into football [LAUGHS]. Kidding. Some people are into it and more power to them. Football just wasn’t important to us.
Cosmic Book News: It seems this sort of atmosphere would bring you and your brother closer together?
Brea Grant: Yes, I would say we were friends. We were both got into punk rock and would influence each other’s artistic streak.
Cosmic Book News: So what is your brother doing today?
Brea Grant: Well he is creating a web comic series called “Warlock Detective.” When he is not doing that, he writes a lot of short stories, non-fiction and science fiction.
Cosmic Book News: You must be proud of him.
Brea Grant: I am. He is an amazing creator.
Cosmic Book News: Jumping back to the Suicide Girls, where can people buy your “Suicide Girl” comics?”
Brea Grant: They can buy it anywhere IDW comic books are sold.
Cosmic Book News: Thank you so much for joining us. It has been a real pleasure.
Brea Grant: Thank you, it’s been fun.