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Interview: Ian Brill Talks New BOOM! Series FREELANCERS, Kung-Fu Orphanages & Exclusive Art

Get ready to find about a new series you're going to want to check out.

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BOOM! Studios has had a wide range of titles. With titles ranging from IRREDEEMABLE to PEANUTS, there's a wide selection of new and existing characters for everyone to enjoy. Now that both IRREDEEMABLE and INCORRUPTIBLE have ended, what's next for Boom?

Ian Brill (DARKWING DUCK) has a new series coming in October called FREELANCERS. Described as a "fun action-adventure grindhouse-inspired series, the kicker is it features two female bounty hunters that were raised in a Kung-Fu orphanage, trying to make a living in L.A. We asked Ian some questions to find out more about this new series.

Comic Vine: First of all, "two female bounty hunters, raised in a Kung-Fu orphanage." Where did this idea come from?

Ian Brill: According to series co-creator Matt Gagnon (editor-in-chief at BOOM! Studios) the idea came from reading Jackie Chan’s autobiography and his exploits at the Peking Opera Schools, specifically his time as part of the performance group Seven Little Fortunes, which also featured Sammo Hung.

CV: Are you familiar with the existence of actual Kung-Fu orphanages?

IB: I looked into the school that inspired the orphanage (which is a boarding school). The series exists in a slightly heighted version of our own. No superpowers, no sci-fi tech, and no magic, but there is a mythic martial’s arts/crime culture in Los Angeles. Something like a West Coast version of the THE WARRIORS, one of my favorite films.

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CV: How far out do you have the series planned?

IB: I have about four or so issues mapped out. Each one presents a self-contained story, with threads running throughout. I want to make each issue totally enjoyable on its own, while at the same time following the series becomes an even richer experience.

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CV: Is there any connection between the two characters besides being at the orphanage at the same time? Could they possibly be related in any way?

IB: They’re not blood related, for one they are of different ethnicities. Cassie is of European descent and Val is half-Chinese, half-Filipina. They do a particular bond that gives them the strength to be powerhouse fighters. It’s a gift they have that makes them the best fighters on the streets.

CV: Is the Kung-Fu orphanage completely behind them? Did they leave on good terms or does it have dark roots?

IB: It’s both. They did graduate with this great friendship and have fond memories of the place. But the trainers there also worked them hard, and those people are out in the world too… and may be back again.

CV: What kind of cases will they take on? Besides a Kung-Fu orphanage (which, as far as I know, aren't too common), how grounded in reality will the series be? Will they be dealing with 'normal' people or will there be any sort of super or mystical powers?

IB: It’s heightened; in the way that Quentin Tarantino’s films are street level but feature out-sized characters. My job is to create characters that are compelling strictly through personalities and outrageous crimes, and I can’t rely on giving them powers or costumes.

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CV: What's one word to describe one of the more unusual cases?

IB: Fire.

CV: Is there a tagline to go with the book?

IB: According to solicitations it’s “These angels may be pretty, but they show no pity.”

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Be sure to let your local comic shop know you're interested in this title. FREELANCERS is on sale this October.

Update

Check out the covers BOOM! sent over!

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