From the first few pages of their new comic Big Man Plans, it’s clear what creators Tim Weisch and Eric Powell have in mind—a Tarantino-esque, blue-collar revenge fantasy about a disenfranchised member of society straight-up wrecking dudes. Powell’s no stranger to big, bold action stories—he’s the writer/artist behind the Eisner winning comic The Goon, a story about a brawny guy in a golf cap wrecking a wide array of horrific monsters. Weisch—whose day job is VP of Business Development over at Oni Press—is very good at drawing dudes getting wrecked. They’re a good fit.
But as much as you may like comics about wrecking stuff, there’s more to Big Man Plans than big, violent fight scenes—and so EW reached out to Powell and Weisch to get a feel for what we can expect from the titular Big Man and his plans.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, this is very clearly a revenge story—what can both of you tell us about the guy out for revenge? Who has it coming, and why?
TIM WEISCH: I think Big Man is just a really extreme version of anyone who felt like they just couldn’t get a fair shake in life. A normal person usually retreats into themselves or finds some healthy outlet to deal with that sort of stuff…Big Man went with a machete instead. Everyone has it coming and they know why.
ERIC POWELL: Yeah, I would definitely describe this story as a vengeful catharsis. To tell you why would ruin the whole mystery and even though this is definitely a crime drama book, it is a mystery at heart. We’ve worked really hard to construct a story that builds to a meaningful, and violent, crescendo.
Eric, you’ve described BIG MAN PLANS as both brutal and noble. Why is that?
Because there aren’t any other comics out there where a dwarf is a lead character and gets to not only be a hero but an unapologetic badass. He’s doing some pretty brutal stuff, but at the end of the day his intentions are noble. This isn’t, “Wouldn’t it be funny to have a dwarf mess people up!” This is about a marginalized human being as a hero and showing what he’s capable of if pushed to the edge. Again, I can’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but this isn’t some kind of torture porn book. The brutality that takes place is for the purpose of moving the story and setting tone.
Tim, when you both announced the book, you talked about how you enjoy working with someone who doesn’t flinch at your most visceral or painful offerings. How have you both been pushing each other?
TW: For a while Eric and I were just texting each other ideas for the story and little by little it started to turn into almost a form of brinkmanship between us. Which one of us could push it a little further than the other while still making a cohesive story? The answer, I learned pretty quickly, is very definitively Eric. He’s just so good at knowing exactly how to push the envelope and when to rein it back in.
EP: Some people would disagree with that reining it back in part.
Let’s say BIG MAN PLANS is someone’s first comic book. What do you guys think is going to make it a great read?
TW: Oh man… I really hope that if this is someones first comic that they are not the sensitive type. I don’t want to be responsible for chasing them away from the entire industry. Way to put the pressure on!
EP: It’s got violence and nudity and a couple of funny parts but will mostly make you sad. Is there any other reason to read anything?
Big Man Plans #1 goes on sale March 4, 2014.