Grayson Vol. 1: Agents Of Spyral – Interview With Tom King And Tim Seeley


Bam Smack Pow recently had the pleasure of interviewing Grayson writers Tom King and Tim Seeley. The two obviously love what they do and have a firm grasp on the character of Dick Grayson.  Adding a new dimension to Batman’s original, most famous, and most fan-favorite sidekick, King and Seeley have breathed new life into the character and injected him into the world of spies and espionage.

(Read More > Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral Review)

As we explore their thoughts in creating the story, King and Seeley tell us their inspirations for Grayson and what they hope to accomplish in terms of evolving the character. This is a fascinating look at the creative process behind Grayson.

Bam Smack Pow: There are various past sources for Dick Grayson’s characterization. Which incarnations did you particularly draw from?

Tom King: I wanted to recreate the optimism of the original Dick Grayson stories. A particular issue that stood out for me as an inspiration was Birds of Prey Vol. 1 #8. I wanted to capture Dick Grayson’s fun side and his brighter attitude.

Tim Seeley: The same. I wanted Dick Grayson to be fun and show off his more lighthearted nature. There were various sources, and I wouldn’t say I drew from any one particular background.

BSP: Did you take any inspriation from other works in the spy genre when writing Grayson?

TK: Most definitely. I wanted to capture the feel of the James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Ethan Hunt (Mission: Impossible) stories. You know, the super-spy action-thriller genre.

TS: Yes, knowing the “feel” of the story was very important. In Grayson, we wanted to get that original “Ian Flemming” atmosphere — the weird and wacky 1960s gadget-fueled ambience. All in all, we still tried to ground it in reality.

BSP: I know that different writers have a different process. When writing Grayson, was the story arc already planned? Or did you sort of let the story develop organically issue to issue?

TK: I think all writers will tell you that it’s a combination of both. We had an original plan of where it would start and stop, but we would also make adjustments along the way.

TS: The most important thing I think we focused on was the theme. As long as the theme was there, the story would fall into place. But, like what Tom said, we knew where we were going to end. The details of each story would then be a creative process.

BSP: If you could reinvent another character in the DC universe like what you did with Dick Grayson, who would it be?

TK: It would be Tim Drake. Growing up, Tim Drake was my Robin and I feel that he’s sort of been lost in the shuffle in terms of the New 52 reboot.

TS: For me, it would be two characters: The Creeper and Hawkman.

TK: The Creeper!?

TS: [Laughing] Hey, I like the weird and the wacky.

(Read More > Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral Review)

BSP: Tom, I would totally understand if this is something that falls into the category of “if I told you, I’d have to kill you” because you used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center. For the character of Mr. Minos, did you draw inspiration from any known notorious figures?

TK: Wait, wait, wait. You have to understand something. It’s not that I would kill you. They would kill me! But Tim was the one who created Mr. Minos.

TS: [Laughs] I was inspired by public figures like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. People who think they’re doing the right thing, regardless if you agree with their actions or philosophy. Mr. Minos was molded from that sort of mindset.

BSP: This may have already been touched on in another question, but every story has a message or a strong theme. Is Grayson just pure fun, or are you trying to convey an idea to the reader?

TK: I think the strongest idea I wanted to put out there was that one should stay true to one’s self. Even when Dick Grayson evolves, he’s still essentially the same character in spirit. His heart is still true.

TS: Agreed. It’s also a study on how you take a guy who grew up in a black-and-white world and immerse him in a grey world. Instead of being influenced by others, how does he make those around him bend to his will?

BSP: Any last thoughts? Any takeaways  you want the reader to have for Grayson?

TK: If anything, I want Dick Grayson to be back in the spotlight. It’s time to elevate him to Batman levels. He’s ready for that change and promotion. In fact, at a recent convention I was at, I saw more Grayson cosplayers than Batman cosplayers.

TS: Definitely. I hope that Grayson will give the character a chance to become a main player along with the other bigger names in DC — Superman, Batman, etc.

Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral is now out in comic book shops and available everywhere books are sold on June 9, 2015.  Get your copy today!

Tom King is a novelist and comic book writer. With a lifelong dream of writing, he started his career as an intern at DC and Marvel. Shortly after the events of 9/11, King left the publishing world to work as an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center. Following the birth of his children, King left the CIA and returned to comics.

For DC Comics, King has worked on Grayson and Omega Men. King also authored the novel A Once Crowded Sky — a story about superheroes who are stripped of their powers and forced to confront the dangers of a world without heroes. Released in July 2013, USA Today called it “One of the Best Graphic Novels of the Year.”

Source: Simon & Shuster, The Daily Beast

Tim Seeley is a writer and an artist. Born and raised in Wisconson, he received his BFA in Illustration from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. He started his career working for a children’s book company, and also worked for independent publisher Dead Dog, drawing interiors and covers for their books.

In 2001, Seeley was hired as a staff artist for publisher Devil’s Due. There, he worked on G.I. JoeHalloween, and Forgotten Realms. He also worked on original titles Kore and Hack/Slash — his most famous work to-date.  Seeley later moved to Image Comics and brought Hack/Slash with him. After Hack/Slash, he launched the crossover mini-series Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash.

In 2012, Seeley, along with artist Mike Norton, launched a new Image Comics title called Revival. Revival was a rural noir story set in Wisconsin about how the dead came back to life, but are indistinguishable from the living.

In 2013, Seeley went back to DC and worked on digital-first stories for Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman. He later followed those up with the Villains Month one-shot Killer Croc.  In the spring of 2014, Seeley would share writing duties with Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, John Layman, and Ray Fawkes on the weekly Batman series Batman: Eternal. In the summer of 2014, Seeley joined writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin for Grayson.

Source: Comic Vine

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