Shannon Lee Co-Authors Bruce Lee Comic Book

by Vince Brusio

It’s not often that your father is a legend. Even more rare is when a comic book is dedicated to his life’s work! In the case of Bruce Lee: The Walk Of The Dragon (JAN181591) from Darby Pop, Shannon Lee got lucky. She found a bunch of creators at Darby that shared her dream of making a Bruce Lee comic. Now, her father is once again held in the highest esteem, and a new comic book coming to shops this March 28 puts The Little Dragon in the spotlight for a new generation of comic book readers.

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Vince Brusio: How did you first get involved in this project? How/when were you approached, and by whom?  

Shannon Lee: Actually, I came up with the idea to do a Bruce Lee comic book. I was talking with someone at a friend's signing... and saying that there should a "Bruce Lee" comic book. He agreed enthusiastically, and ended up introducing me to Jeff Kline (President of Darby Pop Publishing).  Both my brother and I read comics as kids so it was a part of my life from early on. It just seemed Bruce Lee in comic form should be a given!

Vince Brusio: What was the goal for you personally when it came to aiding the narrative that would tell a story about your father?  

Shannon Lee: I had a couple of goals. The most prominent one was creating a way to introduce my father to a younger audience.  But, I also was keen to have fun and satisfy 13-year old Shannon!

Vince Brusio: Were there any personal anecdotes or stories that you wanted to work into the comic narrative, or was your role more of a consultant for what was previously drafted?

Shannon Lee: As Jeff gleefully tells anyone who will listen, I actually helped create the original concept and storyline, and I co-wrote the first book (with Jeff). In fact, the young female lead is named after my daughter, Wren. I worked really closely with Brandon McKinney (the Artist) to get my father's physicality right both in appearance and movement, and I made sure that there were some casual philosophical nuggets sewn into the story just as my father would have wanted. This project is a true labor of love!  As a self-contained adventure, Bruce Lee: The Walk Of The Dragon was a nice detour to get to interact a little more directly with my father's legacy, which Nicole (Dubuc) did a great job writing. She didn't need much help from me at all!

Vince Brusio: What do you think of seeing your father's legacy in comic book form? Does it do different justice to it than, say, a film treatment?  

Shannon Lee: The comic book medium is great. It's colorful and fun and both The Walk Of The Dragon and The Dragon Rises are all-ages books, so they have a lighter tone and more playful/broad appeal than a dramatic film might have. I think it's a great way to highlight my father's legacy; in particular, for reaching a younger audience. And it really is the best means at the moment for telling a fictional story starring the man himself. 

Vince Brusio: What was your most rewarding experience working on Bruce Lee: The Walk Of The Dragon

Shannon Lee: I think my favorite part of this issue is the moment where Bruce realizes the lasting impact he's had, and the amount of love that still exists for him out in the world. It kind of choked me up to be honest. And I really have to give credit to Jeff for conceiving and shepherding this particular issue, and to Nicole for writing such a great script. And, of course, the rest of the team has been amazing, as usual. I think it's been particularly rewarding because we work so well together and we all enjoy what we do so much!

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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.

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