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BRIAN WOOD - PART TWO
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DF Interview, Part 2: Brian Wood serves up apocalyptic future in Starve

By Byron Brewer

Chef Gavin Cruikshank has stepped away from the fame of his television show Starve and is aghast to find out what it has become in his absence. Now, chefs compete to serve the rarest -- and often most illegal -- dishes to their patrons, no matter the cost. With his return to the spotlight, Gavin must balance repairing his professional life, his severed relationship with his daughter, as well as figure out how to undo the damage the show has done.

From the acclaimed team that brought readers DMZ and The Massive comes an all-new ongoing series beginning this May from Image Comics. Announced at Image Expo, writer Brian Wood, artist Daniel Zezelj and colorist Dave Stewart re-team for Starve, a new creator-owned series that explores a world where celebrity chefs are the ultimate stars and the world's elite clamor for a spot at their table.

To get the full course of information servings, Dynamic Forces met Wood at a local 4-Star and asked these questions. Here is what he said.

Dynamic Forces: First, Brian, congratulations on this new creator-owned series, Starve. How does it feel to be re-teamed with your co-conspirators from DMZ and The Massive, artist Danijel Zezelj and colorist Dave Stewart?

Brian Wood: It’s my personal dream team, is what it is.  I was a fan of Danijel way before I was in a position to ever work with him, so every time I do get to, it’s sort of a thrill.  I can’t believe how lucky I am.  And Dave… in a similar way, he’s this legend of a creator who, if you’re lucky, you get to work with.  So, all in all I feel pretty blessed.

DF: So tell us how this ongoing series, as spectacularly announced at Image Expo, came to be.

Brian Wood: Starve is an older idea, something I came up with to follow DMZ over at Vertigo.  Other things came up, or got in the way, and so it sat on a shelf for many years until Danijel plucked it out of the pile when he and I decided to start something new together. I love that, I love when old things get new life breathed into them.

DF: As a great fan of the Food Network and Cooking Channel, I applaud this world coming into the comics. Tell us about the introductory arc.

Brian Wood: Obviously, the cooking is the hook, it’s the world these creators live in.  That said, it’s not simply a story about cooking.  It’s about all sorts of other things, and even if you aren’t a fan of those cable channels, there’s lots to like.  In short, this aging chef comes out of retirement and finds the TV show he created, as well as the state of his chosen profession, to be corrupted beyond belief.  He agrees to appear on Starve, the TV show, for a season to try and burn it all down and destroy it forever.  Not that easy.  Old rivals, fresh blood, estranged family, and a brave new world all conspire to mess with him.

DF: Come clean, Mr. Wood. Chef Gavin Cruikshank is modeled after Chef Gordon Ramsay, right? (laughs) Tell us about your cooking protagonist and the challenges he will be facing.

Brian Wood: He’s Anthony Bourdain if he’s anyone.  Maybe Marco Pierre White.  But honestly?  He’s closest to Spider Jerusalem, from Transmetreopolitan. Spider with a set of knives.

DF: Tell us the importance of Gavin’s daughter Angie to the plot.

Brian Wood: She’s the key. That’s all I can say.

DF: So are you a “foodie” like me? Do you enjoy shows like Masterchef, Chopped and Iron Chef? If so, which ones?

Brian Wood: The original Iron Chef for sure, and Top Chef as well.  I like the act of cooking, the art of it, so the more sensationalist the show, the less likely I am to watch it. Also, something a bit under the radar, the Hong Kong movie God of Cookery.  You should watch that.

DF: Will we get to glimpse behind the stove at some of the chefs’ rich clientele, maybe see warts and all? These folks are obviously the engine driving this nightmare.

Brian Wood: Yes, absolutely.  This is a deeply corrupt world, and as it turns out Chef Gavin’s estranged wife is a part of it.  They have such a nasty relationship… when he went AWOL, she had him declared dead and stole everything he owned.  She starts off as a pure villain, but as it usually is in family dramas, everyone’s a little bit guilty and a little bit innocent.

DF: In all this, Brian, and personally knowing what a labor of love The Massive was for you, what aspects of this story concept are you most looking forward to telling?

Brian Wood: The food stuff is a lot of fun, but this father-adult daughter dynamic is proving to be a lot of fun.  I spent most of my career writing young characters, and now I’m having a blast exploring the flipside to that… people in their autumn years have so much life history to explore.  From Callum in The Massive to Chef Gavin in Starve!

Dynamic Forces would like to thank Brian Wood for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions for this special two-part interview. Starve #1 from Image Comics hits shelves June 10th!

Get your copy of X-men #1 DF Exclusive Gold Signature Series signed by Brian Wood right here




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