Brea Grant interview: 'Dexter' actress talks 'Suicide Girls' cartoon

Published Jul 29 2011, 08:00 BST  |  By and Catriona Wightman

Brea Grant

© PA Images / Gus Ruelas/AP

Brea Grant is a busy woman. Not only does she work as an actress on television shows including Dexter and Heroes, but she also finds time to write comics as well. Her debut series We Will Bury You, written in collaboration with her brother Zane and illustrated by the celebrated Ben Templesmith, was released by IDW Publishing in 2010.

Grant spoke to Digital Spy about her comics work and recent Suicide Girls miniseries.

How long have you been interested in comics?
"I got into comics late as far as a reader goes - I've been reading them for maybe the past ten years or so. But I've been writing them for about two years now. My first series started coming out a little over a year ago and I'm now writing the Suicide Girls series, and it's been coming out for the last few months."

How did you make the leap from acting to comics?
"Well, you know, it was weird. I was actually at the London MCM Expo doing Heroes promotion and I met Ben Templesmith, who I'm a fan of - he did 30 Days of Night and he does another comic called Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse which I'm a huge fan of - and I had talked to him about how my brother and I had started writing comic books and we weren't really sure what we were supposed to do after we started writing them. And he gave us a lot of advice and introduced us to the editor at IDW. We pitched it like anyone else, you know, went through the whole process of pitching and then them saying no and stuff and coming back and working it all out. It's a similar process to any sort of pitching or acting - you keep trying out until people take you on and give you the role or let you write the comic books."

Brea Grant's artwork
You mentioned that you work with your brother - is there any sibling rivalry?
"You know, we definitely have our moments when we want to punch each other in the teeth, but generally we get along pretty well. We've always been pretty close. I think people think it's kind of weird that we get along so well! But it's kind of nice, because since I'm acting so much, I sometimes don't have time to get an issue done or look over some panels and approve them and it's nice because I can call him and say, 'Look, I just worked 12 hours and I'm just no good to do this right now,' and he can pick up the slack. And he can call me and do the same thing. It's sort of nice having someone you have that relationship with, not just a work relationship with."

What was it about Suicide Girls that made you want to write comic books about it?
"Well, since it's based on a website that has no story - it's just a website with pinup girls on it, essentially - there was something really interesting about having to write a story for that and come up with characters and who their enemy would be and all that kind of stuff was really fascinating for me. So that was the original thing that drew me in and then Steve Niles was attached to work on it. So to work with Steve Niles was amazing, and I love my publisher so when they asked me to pitch of course I had to do it. I mean, it's fun to write stuff with naked girls and guns. That's the dream!"

Brea Grant's artwork
What's it been like working with Steve Niles?
"Awesome. I mean, it's cool. It's weird, because I'm a fan. My brother Zane and I write the first 18 or so pages of the Suicide Girls story and then he does the Suicide Girls history stories at the end that are two or three pages. So I've gotten to see scripts which is really weird, to get behind the scenes of someone you're a fan of. But he's been really rad and sent me a lot of nice emails asking how I'm doing and making sure I'm OK and giving me good notes and stuff like that. It's been cool."

Do you have any other comics projects in the works?
"We're pitching around a couple right now and we're doing meetings at Comic-Con and hoping something will come out. We've started working on a couple of pitches right now with a couple of different artists. So I guess the answer is no, nothing coming out right now, but hopefully by next year we'll have a couple coming out."

Do you enjoy going to Comic-Con?
"Oh my God, I'm so excited. I love Comic-Con, it feels like a weird nerd camp. All my nerd friends are there and all the comic book writers I know and then a lot of actors too, and you hang out with these people for just a few days but you hang out with them all day every day. It's like camp, it's like a weird camp. I love it."

Brea and Zane Grant's Will Will Bury You graphic novel is out now. Suicide Girls will be published as a collection later this year.