Charles Soule and Ryan Browne talk about the hit comic Curse Words at New York Comic Con. Check out ComicsVerse’s interview with the pair behind CURSE WORDS. This interview may be edited for clarity.

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ComicsVerse (CV): Could be actual CURSE WORDS, or could be the comic book, we’re not really sure yet.

Charles Soule: Yeah, curses, foiled again. Right?

Ryan Browne: Yeah, like that? That’s the curses? You know, we didn’t ask you is this rated TV-MA or…?

CV: It could be.

Ryan Browne: Rated E for everyone? Let’s make it E for everyone.

CV: E for everyone.

Charles Soule: Let’s make their hosting company kick them off their hosting. For violation of Terms of Service.

Ryan Browne: We’re about to go crazy, everyone, apparently.

Charles Soule: How much is that one, Ryan? We made a sale.

Ryan Browne: It’s 20 dollars.

CV: For everyone who’s listening. So, CURSE WORDS. I’m kind of curious how the idea came about, how you guys came together, was it one person had the idea, reached out? Was it something you guys working together just kind of came up with? Especially when you have a character named, I hope I’m pronouncing this right, Wizord?

CS: Wizord, that’s correct.

CV: Wizord, like Megazord.

CS: Yeah, I mean I think Wizord would say that Megazord is named in honor of him.

Ryan Browne: Almost certainly, yeah yeah yeah.

CS: He’s that kind of dude. The genesis of CURSE WORDS is really that Ryan and I are very good friends and we enjoy each other’s sense of humor very much. Our sense of humor, if it was a Venn diagram, it would overlap almost completely and then there’s this little sliver where there’s things I do that are not the things he does, and vice versa and so we’re like,

“That could be the genesis of a really cool working relationship, because we’ll enjoy a lot of the same things, but we’ll also bring things like new stuff to it.”

And we’re like, what would be the story or the kind story that would allow us to do literally whatever we think of? And we thought a story about magic would be, would give us that opportunity. So CURSE WORDS is a story about, basically it’s sort of a family of evil wizards, who doesn’t really know they’re a family who pop up in New York City and start causing havoc. They’ll kind of hate each other, they’re all fighting each all the time, while everyone in the city is kind of like, “Whoa, there are wizards now?” And it’s very, sort of darkly funny, has lots of great emotion to it. Has incredible art from Ryan. I would say the tone is sort of like RICK AND MORTY or ARCHER, but with evil wizards instead of scientists or spies.

Ryan Browne: I think I remember the initial concept was Charles and I wanted to do something together, that visually could do anything imaginable. So then we settled on, “let’s do something with magic” cuz with magic you can do anything, and in comics, you know as they say, you have an unlimited special effects budget. So, then Charles had the idea, I’m going to do a story about a wizard that’s, a dick, right? And that’s what we started with and so then I started sketching.

I came up with a design for Wizord, and I drew a little koala and he figured out who the koala was going to be. So then we went back and forth, it was very much an organic process of figuring out what this book was going to be. Originally the title was “Wizord” and to the point where I made a logo for it and “Wizord” came from it was originally called The Wiz-Sword. It was a wizard and a sword combined into one word and it was really fun but no one knew how to pronounce it. So, yeah.

CV: Because you guys are such good friends, strong working relationship, kind of on the same page as far as humor, how was the collaboration? Did it kind of, was it face to face since you are friends? Was it more email correspondence? How did the collaboration work and how much of a guideline.. Was it more of you know, less from top down and more like side by side creation?

Charles Soule: Right, I’d say it’s face to face as often as we can. We love hangin’ out together when we can. So there’s a lot of times we’ll be at conventions and we’ll sit together like this. Or we’ll make sure that we make time to go have drinks or dinner, or whatever we can do. We actually spent a month in a van together last summer. We went on a road trip, yeah we did; and we went on a road trip, kind of like a band goes on tour.

So we rented a van and we painted it all up, or we decorated it all up like a 1970s wizard van, right? Like with art from the book and we drove all around the country stoppin’ at different comic book shops. And so when you spend a month in a van with a man, with no plan… you begin to understand. You ruined it, I had a whole thing. We got to spend a lot of time together and like work on the book and just sort of, before we did that we said, “This is either going to destroy the book or make the book 20 times better.” And I think it made it a lot better.

Ryan Browne: What he said.

CV: Is there any future plans for the series or possible other series that might not be associated to see you two working together in the future?

Ryan Browne: Well, the series is an on-going so it’s going to go for a little while longer, for sure. I’m working on issue 18 right now. But yeah, we have some other plans for some other stuff down the line. We always make the joke that we would do a spin-off series called, “Curse Sword” where we just take the “S” from the end of the logo of words and just put it on the beginning of words so it’d just be called, “Curse Sword.” But it probably is never going to happen and in fact, I guarantee you that will never happen.

CV: Outside of this, do you guys have any personal projects you’re working on right now, that you’re really lookin’ forward to or really want to talk about?

Ryan Browne: Yeah, I’ve got a few things that I’ve been writing. I have a new volume of GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS that I just did a Kickstarter for. It’s this thing here. It’s a hardcover book that I did a Kickstarter for that you can get on my Etsy store, but it’s basically a bunch of short stories from the narrator of GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS, 3-D Cowboy, who is currently in prison. So, his really crappy son, 3-D Millennial, has to come in to prison and learn the family art of storytelling.

Charles Soule: So, why did 3-D Millennial or sorry, why did 3-D Cowboy end up in prison, Ryan?

Ryan Browne: 3-D Cowboy winds up in prison because he gets super drunk while narrating and loses his narration job. And he loses that job to Charles Soule and so in issue Seven of GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS, Charles appears as a picture and narrates the entire issue. And then in the next issue, Charles is gone and no one knows where he is and it turns out 3-D Cowboy murdered him horribly. So I killed that man in my comic and then this is about his murderer in prison.

Charles Soule: There was obviously no working out of aggression in that beat, there was no sort of subconscious desires being worked out there.

Ryan Browne: I felt so strange about it and I was like “Man, this is really weird.” But as GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS was progressing and I knew that the series was going to end at 10, so I wanted to do all the weird ideas, meta ideas, that I could and definitely having a photograph narrated… That was pretty alright.

CV: Real question is when do you get your revenge?

Charles Soule: When do I get my revenge? Well, Ryan Browne has been in CURSE WORDS a bunch and the nice thing is, when I say something needs to happen to Ryan Browne, Ryan Browne has to draw that thing. So, I think I’ve been getting my reven…

Ryan Browne: We’ve been on a plane that explodes, in issue five of CURSE WORDS. We have been on a plane in the background and then the plane blows up, so.

Charles Soule: True. But, I think it’s mostly like I know the things Ryan hates to draw, so I put those in. I know that Ryan loves baseball very much, very much! He’s an expert, he’s an aficionado, to use the fancy word for it. I am not really, I’ve heard of it. I’ve heard about it, but I don’t know the details. So I put a lot of baseball in the book, but it’s Charles baseball. Which has the wrong rules.

Ryan Browne: Hi, I’m Charles Baseball, nice to meet ya.

Charles Soule: It has the wrong rules, it has a lot of mistakes. It has coin flips and I put stadiums in the wrong cities, all kinds of stuff. And then Ryan is like,

“That’s now how it’d be in baseball.”

And I’m like, well, that’s how it is in the book. And so that’s it. So, you know, we’re good friends.

CV: If you guys had to tackle one property together, what would it be?

Charles Soule: That is in CURSE WORDS?

CV: That is in CURSE WORDS.

Charles Soule: Like a licensed property? Oh, I think for sure it’d be “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and that was Ryan’s idea, but I’ve been thinking about it ever…

Ryan Browne: I’m going to look into how much it would cost to license WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S for “Weekend at Bernie’s Three: The Original Graphic Novel” Because I think there you can do there with a dead man who has been cursed by voodoo to dance and stuff in number two. I got to rewatch number two before I really plan out what happens in three, but I think Bernie goes to space or something? It’s going to be good. Weekend at Bernie’s Three, the Original Graphic Novel, catch it in 2019.

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