BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
When the epitome of the Brittany Spears Womanizer Song has a one night stand with a witch, he soon finds himself cursed to literally see how the other half lives every evening, because when the sun goes down Patrick Dalton becomes Patricia in the Jason Burns
penned dramedy, The Curse of the Were-Woman
. Burns teased, "At first heíll have a hard time with his nightly transformation, but eventually, it will help to open his eyes to the person he was, and pave the way for the person he will become. And in the process, while in the temporary guise of a woman, heíll meet a woman, and discover true love."THE PULSE: You've worked on a lot of different projects these past few years, how'd you come up with the idea to do something like The Curse of the Were-Woman?
I wanted to do a straight comedy in the comic book/graphic novel world, while also paying tribute to the great horror movies of the past. I was trying to come up with something for a few days, and then I was lying in bed one night and the title came to me. After that, I built the storyline/plot around the title itself.
Itís the comedic story of Patrick Dalton, a womanizing player obsessed with conquests of the opposite sex, who unknowingly has the tables turned on him after being cursed by a jilted lover.
Now forced to see the errors of his ways through hands on experience, Patrick finds himself turning into a woman when the days turn to night. At first heíll have a hard time with his nightly transformation, but eventually, it will help to open his eyes to the person he was, and pave the way for the person he will become. And in the process, while in the temporary guise of a woman, heíll meet a woman, and discover true love.THE PULSE: That sounds crazy. I mean ... really crazy! Did you eat a lot of anchovy pizza mixed with chocolate milk shakes before that idea came to you?
Hahaha. No, but I tend to write ridiculousness for a living, so I think the readers who get into my work half expect my stories to be somewhere out in left field.THE PULSE: Why would you call this a "Were-Woman" one would think wolves and creatures of the night, not something like this ....?
Well, the term ďwereĒ can actually pertain to any sort of transformation creature, but itís the werewolf that gets all of the glory. Patrickís nightly metamorphous does mirror what you would expect to see when a person turns into a werewolf. His nails grow long. His hair extends. Although unlike the Howling and other movies within that genre, in this story our lead character also grows breasts. [grins]THE PULSE: Does that excite him at all? I mean, yeah it's crazy he turns into a woman, but ....
It doesnít excite him, though after he has a few drinks, he does try to make out with himself. HAHA
Oh Ö And his longtime friend and drinking buddy grows a liking to him.
Basically the transformation is very painful. Particularly the portion of it where his penis (can I say that?) gets sucked up inside his body and disappears until morning.THE PULSE: Sure you can say that! So what happens to give him this curse?
He makes a woman believe that heís all smitten about her, sleeps with her, and then tells her itís not going to work out. Unfortunately for Patrick, she is also a practicing witch, and in the process, puts a spell on him in hopes that he will learn what itís like to walk in a womanís shoes and learn the errors of his ways.THE PULSE: So he's a pig of a man before all of this?
Oh, yes. Heís Porky, Babe, and the Three Little ones all wrapped up in one package.THE PULSE: Did you base him on any guys in your life? Because I know you have nothing but respect for the fairer sex ... even though you never did call again.
I was young. Naive. I DIDNíT MEAN IT!
Haha. No, I donít think he was based on any one person, just parts and pieces from different people I have probably come across, but wouldnít necessarily call my friends. Unfortunately, when you put guys in one room, to an extent, they all try to act like Patrick Dalton and wave their testosterone aroundÖ Talking about their great Magellan-style conquests. My guess is that there are a bunch of men who could use a visit from their were-woman side!THE PULSE: I have to admit when I heard "The Curse of the Were-Woman" I was thinking about someone's time of the month and that definition of "curse." But does our manly man get the "curse" when he's woman at night? How many weeks/months does your story cover?
Actually, thatís my favorite scene in the book. He does in fact get his period, and I was afraid the editors were going to tell me I went too far, but thankfully, itís in there and untouched. Letís just say Patrick will never be the same after that life lesson, and it may very well be the turning point in the book.
The story only spans the course of about a week, but for Patrick, turning into a woman a half dozen times is more than enough to learn that he has been treating women poorly his entire life.THE PULSE: Does he tell anyone about this curse? I'd imagine people would be eager to lock this loony up!
Yes, he shares whatís going on with his best friend, who at first doesnít believe him at all, so Patrick decides to show him the transformation taking place.
I should point out: By day he is known as Patrick, and by night as Patricia.THE PULSE: He doesn't do any experimentation with is best friend when he's a chick does he?
No, but his friend does cop a feel, only to be caught doing so by his wife.THE PULSE: Crazy! I keep remembering a scene in Ugly Betty after the character had a sex change and was grabbing his, now her, own boobs. It was the stuff of fun comedy ... why do you think a story like this will appeal to the masses?
While there are some real over the top moments, I think at the end of the day itís a classic love story Ö and a story about redemption. Those are two elements that almost anyone can relate to, and what I hope readers find in Curse
is a story that they can not only connect with, but also laugh along with. With everything going on in the world, people need to laugh now more than ever.THE PULSE: Who'd you get to bring this story to life?
The artistís name is Christopher Provencher
, who worked previously with Ape Entertainment
, and what I love about his work is his ability to bring a great amount of comedy to the expressions of the characters in the story, which I felt was so important to a straight comedy graphic novel.THE PULSE: If you were able to cast this right now, who would you see playing Patrick/Patricia?
Good question. Hmm. I think Patrick would be someone like Julian McMahon
, who I think does male pig so well on Nip/Tuck. As for Patricia, maybe someone like Scarlet Johansson
, who I think can be really funny and animated on screen.THE PULSE: I remember seeing this in Previews several months ago, why has it taken so long to actually BE released?
It became a production issue more than anything. We took on too much in a short period of time, and we didnít want the book to suffer, so we focused on making sure the pages were the best that they could be. Iím proud to say that the end result will reflect that.THE PULSE: How was working on this different from some of your other projects?
For me, I look at every project different .Ö While also just going into them with the hopes of giving people a fun read. I try not to take myself too seriously in life, and the same goes for my writing. I just want to make stories that people can enjoy.
My previous works, like A DUMMYíS GUIDE TO DANGER, THE EXPENDABLE ONE and GYPSY JOE JEFFERSON Ö they had a more serious tone, but still had comedic elements. Very seldom is my work just straight drama, though that was the case with SERPO, a graphic novel that Devilís Due
released last year.
I have over a dozen titles due out this year, and while I canít really go into them in too much detail, I will say that they all for in the same wheelhouse of what people have come to expect out of me. Theyíll get some dark, twisted stories .Ö But theyíll hopefully go away with a laugh as well. Thatís my ultimate goal -- send people away smiling.THE PULSE: What can you tell us about your next project in stores after The Curse of the Were-Woman?
I have two books due out in June, and then two more every month thereafter throughout the remainder of the year. The first two books are very different from each other. Praetorian
is a dark, murder mystery best described as Highlander
, and then the other is a re-release of a series I had on tap over at Viper Comics
called Imaginary Friends
. We are repackaging with another publisher, and there is a new cover by Josh Howard (Dead@17)
that kicks complete ass.
The Curse of the Were-Woman
from Jason Burns, Christopher Provencher
and Nick Deschenes
should be in stores March 25th from Devil's Due. You can find more information about this comic book at http://www.devilsdue.net