Who Dies In The Last Contract?
Nov 24, 2015
by Vince Brusio
This is not your typical alpha male shoot-em-up gunfight. There is no leading man in Hollywood that will be contacted by his agent to look at the script. Ed Brisson’s The Last Contract TP (JAN171431) is about age and treachery overcoming youth and audacity. It is about one man spreading death so that he can once again have life. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, Ed Brisson explains this is a crime story for readers who like to have fun, and understand the sanctity of a secluded vacation spot.
The Last Contract TP (JAN171431) is available in comic shops May 31.
Vince Brusio: What was the floor plan for this story? How did the idea for The Last Contract originate, and how did it flesh out as production got underway?
Ed Brisson: For me, I wanted to do a story about a retired hitman. A retired hitman living on Vancouver Island, just relaxing, living out his last days. Him and his trusty, incontinent, Basset Hound Harvey.
Mainly, I wanted to play around with the idea of telling the story of an 80-year-old protagonist. This isn't your Liam Neeson superhuman martial arts-style story. The Man's advanced age means that he's got a lot of limitations on him. He's not going to be able to outrun anyone. He's not going to be able to go toe-to-toe with a 20-year-old. Instead, he's got to use his (diminishing) wits and that creates a lot of really interesting scenarios. He's got to be creative.
Vince Brusio: What can you tell us about “The Man”? If you had to profile him as a behavioral psychologist, how would you describe him to a room full of police officers? What makes him tick?
Ed Brisson: I think the thing about The Man that makes him interesting to me is that he's a bit of a loose canon and nearly impossible to anticipate. He zigs when you think he's going to zag. His unpredictability makes him impossible to profile. Hell, we don't even know his name!
There's part of him that runs on pure intuition. He used to kill people for a living and that's something he's still able to do when push comes to shove, but that's not what he wants. He walked away from that life and really just wants to be left alone. The only reason he allows himself to initially get dragged back into the life is so that he can go back to being alone. Just him and his Basset Hound, living a quiet life on the island. (That's Vancouver Island, for your readers—a great place to vacation if you want to relax).
Vince Brusio: What was your working relationship like with artist Lisandro Estherren? How did you two communicate during the production? What was some of the give and take? Or was it a marriage made in heaven?
Ed Brisson: I was introduced to Lisandro through [editors] Eric [Harburn] and Cam [Chittock] at BOOM!. I instantly fell in love with his work and was excited to start working with him. He and I will shoot notes back and forth while he's working and we seem to be on the same page. He'll add in a lot of visual moments that aren't in the script, but do improve the story. He really gets the feel of the story, which makes the creative process so much easier.
Vince Brusio: What does this story mean to you personally? How are you emotionally invested in The Last Contract?
Ed Brisson: In some ways, The Man is how I see myself in 40 or 50 years. Off living in a small community on the island, with little contact with the outside world. How we find him at the beginning of the story, that's my ideal. That's where I want to be.
Aside from that. The story is ultimately about family and making up for past mistakes, which is something that will always intrigue me. I see parts of my grandfather in The Man, as odd as that may seem. He was a bit of a scoundrel back in his day and I've been playing up that part of The Man.
Vince Brusio: Let’s go free style, Ed. We’re handing you the microphone to have the final say about The Last Contract. How would approach people to make them consider having The Last Contract added to their comic shop pull list?
Ed Brisson: If you like crime books that aren't afraid to have a little fun, then this is the book for you. If you just like crime in general—reading it, committing it, I don't care—then THIS book is for YOU.
Honestly, I could not be more proud of how this book came out. Seeing it develop from a germ of an idea into what it is today...it's just been an amazing journey. Lisandro is an incredible artist and the whole package is just some top-notch stuff (if I do say so myself). So, do yourself a favor: Buy this book!
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.