Heart Eyes Monsters splash
Paneloids Podcast – Heart Eyes Interview


April 4, 2023

Heart Eyes issue #5 is in stores TODAY! In celebration of our final issue, I’m reposting this Heart Eyes conversation from Paneloids Podcast last Summer. I had the best time on the show. Kyle and Jeremiah were fantastic. Give this a listen and then go check out all of the other fabulous Paneloids episodes!



Kyle 0:16
Paneloids Podcast – This is Kyle with

Jeremiah 0:18
Jeremiah in a very special guest great writer best known for his run on All New X-Men, Cable and X-Force X-O, Manowar and will soon be in your poll boxes with Heart Eyes. The man with the most romantic name and comics, Dennis hopeless as

Dennis Hopeless 0:34
it is going, one of my kids got bitten in the head by a dog. Last Thursday, I saw blood gushing out of child’s head, the most blood I’ve ever seen in my life. So compared to last week, this week is going great, that’s terrifying. It ended up not being that big of a deal. He’s fine. He was at his boxing teacher’s house and a dog that has never even growled at anyone beat him just out of the blue. And when I came into the room, because I was just waiting for them to get done with class, I rounded the corner and my kid who’s seven is bent over and there’s more blood on his body than I’ve ever seen anywhere. And so I assumed he was going to be missing like an eyeball nose. Turns out he just had two little holes on his forehead that he got stitched up and all as well

Jeremiah 1:09
boxing class and he comes out bloody. Do you want a dog?

Dennis Hopeless 1:12
Yeah, the dog won the class.

Kyle 1:14
I have a little trouble sleeping for the next few weeks now.

Dennis Hopeless 1:16
It was weird because I think I was in shock. And I went into fix it mode like okay, what do we have to do call the doctor do we need to get stitches what we need to do. And then I was totally fine for hours because you know, you have to go to the emergency room. They had to clean it. They had to numb it and all that stuff. So you know, we got home about bedtime, got them to bed. And in the moment my kids are asleep is when all the emotion of it hit me and I was an absolute wreck for two days. And yeah, but in the moment, I was fine. So I guess it’s good.

Jeremiah 1:42
All right, so I’ll just get right into it. Dennis, what do you feel is the hardest part between writing very well known characters, the characters that you’ve written for Marvel and DC and then not as well known, but just as beloved characters. I’m a huge fan of Valiant Universe. It’s the third superhero universe a lot of people don’t realize it. And next I’m going to war is a fantastic tentpole character that you got to have quite a bit of fun with and I really hate Troy, what do you think is the most difficult part about those two dichotomies?

Dennis Hopeless 2:07
The hardest part about Marvel stuff and DC stuff is that there’s so many years of continuity and backstory that you are likely to piss somebody off by missing something, right? Like there’s some reference, there’s some thing you didn’t see, or in some cases, like, especially like cable, there was so many 90s Excellent comics that I would put things in the book that had happened before, because it was impossible for me to read all of the X Men books. So that’s the challenge there is like, how do you tell new interesting stories without changing the character too much, and that aren’t just rehashing old comics? The nice thing about valiant is there’s less of that, like, you can read all of the modern day access stuff pretty easily. The question is, how much of that stuff do you want to put in like, you want to make a new reader friendly? You want to tell your own story? There’s a thing at Marvel where we say don’t write comics about old comics, telling the stories in both cases, I guess it’s a challenge of how much of that stuff to put in. I mean, the hardest part about valiant is it’s a little bit like a punk rock label. Valiant fans love valiant and crazy, super passionate, getting other people to check it out. It’s a little harder, because you know, it’s like this thing. It’s off the side. Like you said, people don’t realize it’s this great, rich superhero universe. It’s been around for what, like 30 years, about 30 years. This year. Yeah, that’s the biggest challenge there I think is promotional, because like you said, the universe, it’s great. It’s interesting. The characters are three dimensional. You can do all of this stuff. You could do Marvel and DC over there. It’s just like, let’s get eyeballs.

Kyle 3:27
I recently read Scarab due to, you know, the DC app taking forever to update. So I finally got to it. And there was a great Blue Beetle story, and I got this vibe from it. I was like, you’d be really good on Venom. I was like, I want you to write venom. But with that, my question is, is there any mainstream character you haven’t touched that you’d like to mess with their sandbox?

Dennis Hopeless 3:46
Guy Gardner is my favorite superhero. I grew up on that 80s Justice League International like ba stuff, like I think it’s because of Han Solo. But I like Dick’s who are also heroes. And I think I’ve always wanted to write guy Gardner, as you know, like, Han Solo Green Lantern. Because of that, I’ve never pitched him because it’s scary. Like, I want to mess that up. If I do that, I want it to be the greatest story ever told. So one day. The other thing is the characters that had been the most fun to write, in my experience, were often the ones I didn’t expect. For instance, on cable and x force. They suggested I put Domino’s in because it was right on the heels of recommenders, uncanny x force around which had been like a total departure and a brand new thing. And so we were trying to bring some of that 90s flavor back in and make it a cable book. So like, let’s bring in Domino’s. I had zero interest in Domino’s. She’s a character I didn’t care about that I had no thoughts on it. But that made me have to get creative with what to do with her. And now Domino’s is one of my favorite Marvel Universe characters writing her was the most fun so it’s a little bit weird because the ones you think they’d be the most fun are kind of challenging because they already exist is like the solid things in your head. And then the ones you want to do with you find it she’s like my friend and I can hear that voice in my head or what if I give her a fling with Colossus and make that a whole thing, which is what I did, but yeah, it’s hard to do. characters you love the most are the hardest to write sometimes.

Jeremiah 5:02
I don’t think I could do a little story. If I was given the reins, I’d be too, too scared to just mess it up.

Dennis Hopeless 5:07
The legal part of that is hard, right? Like, I’m too lazy to figure out how a lawyer actually talks. That’s not the kind of research that I like to do. That was always my fear. I’ve only written Daredevil a little bit during my Doctor Strange run. But yeah, that’s always my fear is like, can I actually make this guy smart enough and the right way without having to bless your research?

Jeremiah 5:26
Speaking of doing a bunch of research, since you have wrote a lot of WWE comics, who is the greatest wrestler of all time, and why?

Dennis Hopeless 5:33
Oh, it’s probably Ric Flair, but my heart is with Dusty Rhodes.

Jeremiah 5:38
Oh, man, after my own heart. You’re a man after my own heart.

Dennis Hopeless 5:42
Dusty Rhodes should not be good. Like the man has a list. His body is terrible. Go this isn’t a great example. Like on paper that sounds I’m a boy. And it’s amazing. So yeah, my favorites, Dusty Rhodes. And the hard thing about that is you don’t want to say the rock. You don’t want to say stone cold. You don’t want to say Hulk Hogan, just because they’re boring answers. But there’s a reason we remember those guys, right? Those runs when those guys were on top. They were the greatest ever. So it’s more of a Mount Rushmore situation if we’re being honest. But I give it to dusty.

Jeremiah 6:10
Occasionally, if I get really looked down on myself, I will watch hard times to feel better. Because that’s what you need to do to feel better have dusty yell at you that it’s hard times.

Dennis Hopeless 6:20
Yeah, my girlfriend doesn’t care about wrestling at all, and doesn’t understand anything about it, or why I ever liked it or anything. And I have made her watch the package they put together when he died that has all of his greatest hits on it like this. This is wrestling. I’m not sure it worked. But she likes Dusty Rhodes,

Jeremiah 6:35
my wife, we’ve been together seven years. And last year, she allowed me to show her one wrestling match a year. So last year was the first year so I showed her Bret Hart versus British Bulldog at SummerSlam 93. So I don’t know what I’m going to do this year. I haven’t decided yet. But I gotta make it good. And now we’re done talking about wrestling because it’s making kind of uncomfortable.

Kyle 6:53
So yeah, since I know absolutely nothing. Let me change the subject drastically. Do you prefer independent or mainstream? And mainly, I’m asking that simply from the recent panels I’ve gone to from a ton of different conventions seems like a lot of writers are leaning independent. And obviously with your new book coming out, where’s the preference? And if you could explain why.

Dennis Hopeless 7:12
Yeah. I mean, there’s like the creative. And then there’s the practical like business answer. Right. All right, Marvel took really good care of me for a really long time, which is why I haven’t done much creator own, I kind of snuck in the side door. Marvel, because I did to create our own books. First one got done, and it took five years to get the second one done. And in between there, I did a whole bunch of pitches and false starts and things that died because artists moved on. And I had this pile of work that nobody was ever gonna see. And I was frustrated. Because you know, my friends who were artists were getting work for hire work quicker, because art is easier to sell to show people even show editors. And so I put together this package of all of these dead projects and made fake logos for them. And I lied about when they were going to be published. Like it pretended like they were all coming out soon. And I sent that to Marvel and DC editors, I was like, hey, like I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming out next year. But I’d love to pitch you. And that’s how I got into Marvel. 10 months after that I’ll hundra or Bono, who was at marvel at the time called me and asked me to pitch and that’s how my Marvel career started. So when I started working, like regularly at Marvel, I had to create our own books under my belt. And then the third one came out pretty quickly. And then I didn’t do any creative work for a decade. And then Jason Aaron and I co wrote CSR as the came out, I think it started in 2019. And that was the first time I’d really thrown myself back into creative writing since the very beginning of my career, like before my career really took off. So I was really lucky and really well taken care of at Marvel for all those years. Well, then the pandemic came, and pencils down happened. And like I had two books that were paused and then eventually cancelled, nothing to do no work, I was stuck at home with my kids who didn’t have school and losing my absolute mind, because I’d had a reason to be creative every day for a decade, you know, over a decade at that point, and now I had nothing to do. And that’s really what got me in the Creator own mindset, again, is like CO stars is the only one to work on. And I’m like this is really fun to write something that I own and like have these calls with Jason to figure it out and what Steven the artists, maybe I should you know, dig into my dusty creator own folder, all the things that I thought about I never did anything with and get something going since then the last two years, that’s really been all I’ve been doing. Like I finished off my Expo run I did Suicide Squad thing and a crossover event at DC over the winter. But otherwise, my brain has been all creative grown and it’s a totally different world, it’s a lot harder, you have to do a lot of the legwork yourself and there’s a lot less money at the beginning it all comes in the back end. So it’s challenging to do especially before you build your brand and have an audience and can guarantee that you’re going to be able to keep the lights on so that’s the business answer like it’s much easier to be a Marvel or DC creator and have them asking you to pitch things and then you know a month later you’re writing and some amazing artists drawing it than it is to put together this small business and run it that is each creator on project that said I’ve never been more creatively satisfied in my whole life than I have been in the last two years. Just putting together these three create our own project it It is a very different thing to create a world and create a character with a collaborator with an artist from whole cloth, and to be able to do whatever you want. And like nobody can tell you Oh, that villains taken you can’t use it this month or like this contradicts something from 1978. Like, you don’t want to mess with that at all. And there doesn’t have to be 10 pages of punching in each issue. And I don’t have to have Wolverine guest star to get the numbers up. Like there’s a lot of different things that are cool about writing superhero comics, but like I’m doing a horror romance comic and a crime book about my parents right now. And like, those things are way more exciting for my brain, especially at this point, whatever it is 13 years into my career, then trying to figure out how to make spider man kicking someone that had different than the last 900 times he’s done.

Jeremiah 10:47
Talk about a crossover that should happen. The horror romance crime book about your parents,

Dennis Hopeless 10:52
My parents wouldn’t survive in Lupe’s world for five minutes

Jeremiah 10:55
Before becoming the great writer that you are. You and me had a very similar career path. You worked at a comic store?

Dennis Hopeless 11:00
I did.

Jeremiah 11:01
I did the comic book store grind for about 10 years. What was your favorite part about working in a comic book store? And what was your least favorite part?

Dennis Hopeless 11:07
My favorite part was definitely opening the boxes on Wednesday morning and seeing the new comics and putting them up and you know, getting to see everything early. And like as a creator, the fact that I like talk to people about what they liked and didn’t like about comics and the physical action of putting the stuff up and saw what sold and what didn’t. It’s been great. It’s really interesting to figure out like what the readers connect with. Also, it’s really cool to realize that like internet, comic fans and real life comic book fans aren’t necessarily the same, but not even close. There are a lot of people that spend a lot of money in comics who have never been on Twitter and talked about it right. Which makes sense. Like I love television. I don’t go argue with people about my favorite shows online at all. Like it’s not a thing I’ve ever done. So yeah, I think that was the most interesting thing. Definitely about working at the shop. The worst thing about working at a comic book shop, this is not really answering your question, but it’s the truth. I had to run the YuGiOh tournaments on Saturday morning gamers. Yeah, like children. kamers were the first thing Yeah, I had this one little kid would come in, he played one game, he’d spend the rest of the time mocking me, like just trying to make me angry by making fun of me, which I appreciate it. That was funny. But that was exhausting.

Jeremiah 12:15
I had a kid he meant very, very well. But like every day, he’d come in and ask why is that book so expensive? Why is that book so expensive. And I have to explain like every wall book to him. And when he finally like recognized a name, we had an amazing Spider Man 38 on the wall. First Person Norman Osborn, you recognize the name Norman Osborn. He’s like, I want that. It’s $550. Like, you can’t have that in like two weeks later, his dad came in bought it. I was just blown away. I was like, Okay, kids, like five. But all right.

Dennis Hopeless 12:43
Yeah, I don’t know. I kind of miss it. I miss having that connection with other readers. Because most of my comic book reading friends are other creators at this point. And we’re also jaded, we read stuff for work and like the word on the street is so loud about it that you can’t ignore it. And it’s one of the things it’s kind of fun about cons is getting interact with fans and having them tell me like what are you reading? You like my work? So we obviously have stuff in common? Like what are you reading? And what should I go check it out? Because yeah, I do miss that. I miss the community of the comic book store.

Jeremiah 13:09
Yeah, one of the best parts is when like someone’s into something that you weren’t into at all, it wasn’t even close to your radar and having that conversation to where they can kind of convince you to pick it up. That was one of the most rewarding parts about working on a comic book store. Hands down. There’s lots of stuff that I picked up that I would have never even considered picking up beforehand. And yeah, I miss it, too.

Kyle 13:28
My comic shop likes to just put things they think I’m gonna like in my pile. So it’s normally like five or six extra. And I think the longer I wait to pick up my pull list, the more they think I like it.

Dennis Hopeless 13:38
To punish you.

Kyle 13:40
Yes. I don’t look when I walk in that’s it by whatever’s there is their right. Brain, we’re just not frugal. So to change the subject slightly, it’s kind of a general question. And it’s more of just to get an idea of like, how you work. And I guess as an example, when you do write, do you have background noise as far as music or just ambient sound? Or is there a place you write just an idea of how you work?

Dennis Hopeless 14:01
Yeah, I thought when I had a day job, I thought, as soon as I quit my job and work on comics full time, and I’m full time writer, I’m gonna have this amazing office I did, I had an office in my old house, where I’m just gonna sit there and be in the creative zone all day long. And what that actually did was give me a place to avoid, didn’t want to be there. Because it was really stressful. When I first started writing comics. I don’t have an office at home, I don’t have any set place where I sit and I just take my laptop, either to the kitchen table or to a coffee shop or somewhere else. And what I’ve learned is I work best with ignorable chaos. I like to sit at the bar at a coffee shop that has a bar even an actual bar sometimes, and there’s, you know, the motion of the people doing their job beyond you but they’re not interacting with you so you can ignore them. And that really helps me get into the zone kind of in my head when I’m home. I will put on pop music for the same reason. Because like bubblegum pop songs like have a beat that keeps your brain moving but they’re completely abnormal. You don’t think about Even if you’re singing, you’re not thinking about the lyrics. It’s not stretching you mentally when I write, I write sort of top down. So I will break the story down by beats. And then I’ll figure out how many pages each one of those beats are. And then I’ll do like a shorthand rough of panels on each one of those pages, then I flush those panel descriptions out. And then I write the dialogue last. So the dialogue de has to be silent, because I hear the voices in my head when I’m writing dialogue. And you can’t do that through Britney Spears, or whatever. So that day has to be silent. That is also the hardest day to get work done. Because I can’t trick myself into getting into the zone, I have to actually sit down and think about and hear the voices. Once I get going. It’s my favorite day. It’s my favorite part of the process. But it is really difficult. Because yeah, like my ADHD brain desperately wants to distract itself from anything other than what I’m supposed to be doing. Which by the way, that’s why I work top down, it’s why I work the way I do, because all of those parts of the process seem like impermanent note taking until the end. So I’m tricking myself into getting a lot of script down before it feels permanent. And before I’d like one have avoided and run away from it. Because early in my career, I would try to sit down and write a perfect version of each page. And that took forever because it turns out, there’s not a perfect version of each page. And the more stressed out you get and the more tired you get. And the more you noodle on some nonsense that the reader is gonna look at for half a second. So yeah, it’s all about ignore trouble distraction and forcing myself into the zone for as long as possible. By the way, I don’t recommend this. This is a terrible way. It’s just the only way I know how to do it. Because I’m a crazy person.

Jeremiah 16:25
As someone with ADHD, my brain is like that could work maybe, but like, my brain just went like, oh, Dennis gets an email from the editor. Why did this character say toxic six times?

Dennis Hopeless 16:34
That happens. Those things will work into but I gotta do a lettering graph later. So I can pull Britney Spears out of anything.

Jeremiah 16:41
Generally speaking, when it comes to your independent work, how do you get artists interested in your stories? Do you have any tips or tricks for that? How did you get Victor to sign on for Heart Eyes, for example?

Dennis Hopeless 16:51
I almost never bring stories wholecloth to artists, I develop stuff with artists based on what they want to do, which at the beginning of my career, that led to a lot of pitches that weren’t really me, they were just me trying to do the thing that you know, that the artist wants to do. Later, I figured out that the best pitches, and the best stories are ones that like there’s a reason you’re the person to tell that story. There’s something personal, it’s something you have to say something you’re interested in something you’re passionate about something you’ve gone through, you cook into that and it’s not just like, I like GI Joe and I like Robocop so this is GI Joe meets Robocop because like every publisher gets that pitch 10 times a day, because all comic book creators are genre nerds that like the same stuff. So like everyone in my age group has the same inspiration. So now what I do is find out what those people are passionate about, find out what our shared inspirations are, and then figure out okay, what do I actually have to say about this. And then we kind of like have that conversation and cook it up together. In the case of parties, it actually spawned from a drawing that Victor did in that period of depression I was talking about when all my work went away and COVID was happening, I was looking up old pitches that had fallen apart and like old conversations with collaborators and Victor and I’d work together on Jean Grey at Marvel a few years before that. And I loved working with him his art is stunning. And he captures the little acting nuance in his facial expressions that is necessary for like the kind of character work that I like to do, while also drawing the most gorgeous, like amazingly intricate pages. He’s just like the perfect artist for the kinds of stories I like to tell. And so I’m like, oh, I want to evict yourself too. So I go to his Facebook page. He’s in Spain. So we mostly Facebook DM, and he had just posted this image of this weirdly smiling woman with like a crazy squid backpack thing like this crazy Lovecraftian monster behind it. Because like, that’s amazing. What’s that for? And he’s like, Oh, Lupe, you want to read a story about her. And so that’s like, basically all we have as a character, this idea, this notion that he wanted to draw. So I use that and what I was going through personally, and my thoughts on like loneliness and mental illness and like being trapped in a world and getting in your own way, and all these different things that I was thinking about at the time. And that’s where artists came from. So it’s equal parts stuff, Victor wanted to draw on this character idea that he had. And then like, where my mental state was, at the time, based on personal stuff, and where the world was, and COVID and everything else, and it all kind of cooked together into the stew that became harder.

Kyle 19:16
Well, you let us read hard ice early. It was really just fantastic. I love apocalypse. And I think we’re in the midst of starting around here in the world. I love it. And it was refreshing and somehow just perfect the way it flowed. And there’s a love story there. But I’m sure you’ve done it 100 times already. But if you could give you a little synopsis for us to share with everybody have Heart Eyes. 

Dennis Hopeless 19:38
It’s actually really hard book to elevator pitch, but I have gotten better at it, I think. Yeah, it’s like a post apocalyptic Romeo and Juliet. These two young people meet sort of inexplicably on the road that no one’s supposed to be on because humans have to hide on the ground because these crazy Lovecraftian monsters that eat your sanity that have taken over the world and destroyed human civilization, and so you don’t meet people, like people survive in pockets of whoever they in Get up with and this kid needs this girl. And it’s the first time he’s seen anyone his age that he could possibly be interested in, in years. Like he just sees his family. And to him she is like everything he’s ever wanted. And like he’s falling in love with her. And she’s amazing. But all his family sees is like a Manic Pixie nightmare, it comes to eat them all. And so that’s where we start. That’s the first issue. And that’s what I have to pitch because the book goes so insane, starting with issue two, and heads and all sorts of crazy directions. But yeah, at its heart, it’s a love story. And these two characters meeting at the end of the world, and trying to figure out how to be together.

Jeremiah 20:33
That being said, in the state of the world right now, I would totally be with Rico’s family, like, what do you do?

Dennis Hopeless 20:39
Oh, yeah, no, not necessarily. It’s insane that she was alone and alive. And there’s obviously something going on there. But also, because grandfather points out at one point, like the kids gotta live a life like can’t protect him forever, right? Forever. He’s growing up. And that’s one of the most interesting things I think about Rico is, he’s alive because his family kept him alive, right? He was a kid, and the most vulnerable, so all of their energy was kept into keeping him alive. All of the rules are based on keeping him alive. And now he has an opportunity to break those rules and be a teenager and go start is on life. No one wants that to happen. Because you know, before they had those rules, people died.

Jeremiah 21:19
Gestures wildly. So heart eyes is coming out through Vault. And I was curious why you chose to bring it out through Vault as opposed to like, boom, or image or aftershock or any of the independence,

Dennis Hopeless 21:31
I spent so many years mostly doing Marvel work. And they kept my plate full that I hadn’t really like I had pitched things intermittently, but I hadn’t really looked around at the landscape of publishers. So when I started developing these to create run books that I’m working on, I kind of just wanted to see what’s out there. So I saw McElmurry cheese barbaric book was amazing. Looks really good. And vaults promotion on that was amazing. Then Alex Panadol was doing the book through vault that he was promoting. And I know Alex little bit, so I reached out to him and asked him like, you know, all involved stuff that I’ve seen looks amazing. What’s your experience been? And he said, they’re awesome. They absolutely take care of you. They promote everything really well, like really big fan, you should reach out. And then he put me in touch with Adrian. And fortunately, Adrian was a fan of my Spider Woman run. So he was super interested in here, we had to say so at that point, we had put together the heart ice pitch pitch to Adrian. Everything he said in response to was exactly what I was thinking. So it was just like the obvious home for it. And it has worked out exactly like Alex said, like ball this amazing. They’re really careful with their line like the curate everything. Somebody called them the other day on Twitter, the eighth 24th comic, and I feel like that is exactly the thing they have in common is that they’re all kind of off kilter, and they’re all really, really good. So it’s a great home for the book Rush has been really good, as well. Literally everything that I’ve read from them so far has blown me away.

Kyle 22:46
From just one issue. I mean, there’s a vast world there. And now I’m excited for issue two, because this parent is gonna get crazier. But my question is, with the personalities there. Was there any inspiration that you mentioned before your parents are going to be a crime comic? Was there anyone in your life that kind of inspired any of the characters?

Dennis Hopeless 23:03
Not really, anyone specific, the characters are much younger than me. So it was more like remembering what it is to meet someone and fall for them and be completely blinded to the obvious red flags and the obvious problems. You know, when you’re dating, when you’re older, you immediately are like, Okay, I’ve been to therapy, like, I know what mental illness is. Let’s see what all of the potential problems here and but when you’re young, oh, this person is amazing. Like, we like the same stuff. This is great. And I wanted to play with that. But also play with the idea that everybody even in our world, everybody’s a little bit broken. Everybody’s a little messed up from their childhood and making a relationship work. Even a new one requires a lot of work arounds and feeling each other out. And you don’t get to do that when the world is ending, right? So it was more like, Oh, God, COVID and the political landscape are making everything about life way harder, and they’re making all of the structures and the routines fall apart. And making us realize that like, just getting through the day is hard without all this stuff we hanging on right. And I wanted to take a love story pile.

Jeremiah 24:04
Just felt more on top. Right? So you’re working with Victor Ibanez again, you worked with him when you run on Jean Grey? What’s it like working with him independently versus working with them with Marvel? Obviously, Marvel has their hands in the pot a lot. Is it been like such a great freedom with this? Or is it just like the same bike rides as a brand new bike that’s way better?

Dennis Hopeless 24:23
It’s actually really similar in a lot of ways because Victor is really communicative and likes to talk through things which I learned on Jean Grey, he would get a script and then he’d send me a DM through Facebook and be like, Okay, what’s this about? I don’t understand this or like I really like this kind of move this around, whatever. So we had a very back and forth communicative relationship there, which doesn’t necessarily always happen at Marvel because, you know, they just kind of top down the editor controls a lot of that so unless the creators decide to talk, they don’t have to so that part has been really similar. What’s great about it is Victor likes to take his time Victor does a lot of research. He does a lot of perspective work like All of his pages, all the perspective is perfect. And he like builds rooms and stuff to make sure the backgrounds are intricate, which is why you get these amazing cut out pages where he like does a three quarter view cut out of like looking at the underground and stuff was amazing. And on June grade, it was a challenge because the book Victor wanted to do, he couldn’t do monthly. And so there were a lot of great fillings, but fillings who came in, help us out with that with heart as we were able to build in a lot of lead time. So Victor can throw his whole self into the book and do every issue and still have it come out monthly. So that’s been the best thing is to have that time freedom. And then also, we’re not beholden to anything that we’re making this world up. What I see in my head is always like half as cool if that one picture puts on the page. And that’s the fun thing about like the Lovecraft stuff all comes from him. Like, I think Lovecraft stuff is cool. But Victor is really into cosmic horror and really in the Elder Gods and stuff. So the crazy monster stuff that happens later in this book is all just like bleeding out of his weird head and super exciting to get this pages.

Jeremiah 26:00
Talking about Victor the three dimensional kind of thing that’s sewer seen that immediately jumped in my brain as how the hell did you think of that? It was like the most captivating page there is.

Dennis Hopeless 26:08
I knew we could do that. The reason I asked for that is in Jean Grey, we have a scene where hope and Jean Grey are talking in like an abandoned building. They’re just having a conversation. And then beneath them is a bunch of rivers and a river hive that are like running up the stairs to get to them. And then there’s a big fight. And in my mind, I was asking for like a Jack Kirby straight on cut out where like you see them and you see straight down, but Victor cut it out and threw it in three quarters. So it’s the coolest double page spread that’s ever been in anything. And so yeah, that’s why I asked him for that Riverwalk scene. And then I asked him to do it again. And he said please don’t ever ask me for this. Again, these things take so long. And he’s like, I really don’t want this to be my trademark because I don’t do it anymore.

Jeremiah 26:45
Not as hard as have an end? Or is it going to be an ongoing for as long as possible?

Dennis Hopeless 26:49
This story ends in Issue five the world. There’s a lot of stuff we could do. So if it sells really well, it will probably do more. But hopefully, yeah.

Kyle 26:56
A little bit of a fun question now. So let’s say that your apocalypse is happening for real. You can only pick from comic creators who is your survival squad.

Dennis Hopeless 27:05
I mean, most of us are dead. I’m definitely dead. I don’t know though. My kid was bleeding from the head the other day, so maybe I would be fine. And then I just cry. Since everybody went to sleep. Esad Ribic is the scariest person that I love. So he’s a sweetheart, but like, I would not mess with him. He has amazing stories about his time in the army that make you think like he would just kill us all if you wanted to. He’s definitely someone I would want on my team on that. Yeah, we’re screwed. Like we sit and type for a living mostly. And the artists have like a really physically demanding job. But it’s one that breaks their backs, like all my artist friends back at the end problems. So other than that side, I don’t know, I think we’d all be

Jeremiah 27:42
Looking at Jason Aaron. He looks like a tough son of a bitch. And then when he talks He’s so soft spoken. Yeah.

Dennis Hopeless 27:49
Jason is a good friend of mine. He lives here in Kansas City. And I think that is why he looks tough. Because yeah, he’s the cotton candy. Man. He’s so sweet and so nice and would never hurt a fly southern bastards was so good. His brain is twisted and dark and broken. But no, he’s a nice guy. And he would die immediately. I’m sorry, Jason, but you would die.

Jeremiah 28:06
Actually most important question that we have to ask is, why is cheese no longer part of your life.

Dennis Hopeless 28:12
I have a tattoo of cheese. And one of my first tattoos is cheese under my arm. And I got that because I love cheese as a child. But cheese was my favorite snack. And cheese was really important to me. And right after my kids were born, I went and got at the time when the only physical I’d had in my adult life because I’ve always been a freelancer. And it turns out, I have a genetic cholesterol condition that makes it so that dairy was rapidly clogging my arteries. Yeah, I was told if I didn’t change my diet, and go on this medication, I was gonna have a heart attack by the time I was 40. And I’m now 41. So I don’t get to eat cheese because I want to be alive for my children. So that’s what that means is a joke. Because yeah, for years, I always put cheese on everything. And then all of a sudden, I couldn’t eat it. So I didn’t want to remove cheese from like my bio. That’s where that came from.

Kyle 28:56
Outside of Heart Eyes, is there anything else you’re working on? Anything you can hint at? Maybe you’re not supposed to tell us that you’d like to tell us or anything you’d like to promote? And then of course, one final heart is promotion. Anything you could share?

Dennis Hopeless 29:08
Let’s see what am I working on? Like I said that there’s a crime book about my parents. It’s going to be coming out at some point that was actually really far along in the production. But where we’re doing it they wait until you’re completely done to start promoting. So I don’t even know what will come out sometime soon. And then I’ve got a mad cave studios graphic novella I’m working on when I’m bad with names of collaborators and ever spoken to allowed but I think it’s the auteur Kowalski is the artist on that. And yeah, it’s like a space thriller set on a space station thing that we’ve been working on in the last couple of years. So that’s almost done. I think that’s coming out soon. And then I’m cooking up some stuff with DC and I got another creator and book coming up. But so much of my energy lately has been on getting heart eyes out and promoting it that yeah, I’m just starting to get the other stuff a little further along. So in terms of heart eyes, I will be doing a local signing here the day it comes out, which I think is August 17. At elite comics in Johnson County, Kansas. I’m not sure if it’s Overland Park I think so. And then that weekend I’m doing a signing at Third Eye comics in Annapolis Maryland. So I love that store love both of those stores doing that otherwise Yeah, I just really hope people go ask the retailer for holidays vault is an amazing company like said they’re really good at everything, but they’re also kind of new. And not every comic shop will order heavy on bulk books unless you ask for it. Like the best way to help out creators you like or books that look cool is always always always go tell your retailer so please, the book looks cool to you which it has to because because it’s incredible. And our production team is incredible. Go sell your retail and where should everyone follow you I am hopeless Dan on Twitter, Dennis hopeless comics on Instagram Dennis hopeless comics on Tiktok. If you want to see the video trailers I made for heart eyes and other nonsense. Those are the best three places to find me these days. I have a podcast that we need to get back to called Missouri swagger with Cullen Bunn and Kyle Strahm. So if you want to go see that stuff, it’s on YouTube. Yeah, that’s it.





In the same category


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *