Curt Pires is no stranger to weird fiction.
Having written series like Mayday and The Forevers for Black Mask Studios, and Pop for Dark Horse, his work exists at the nexus of social commentary and pop culture pastiche. A kind of modern, more comically inclined, Hunter S. Thompson previous stories have features the likes of a villain sporting the shiny, disco-ball-esque mask that Kanye West wore on his Yeezus tour, and drug-fueled crime benders that put some segments of Fear and Loathing to shame. No stranger to weird fiction, indeed. It makes sense that he, alongside co-storyteller and artist Antonio Fuso, would stumble upon literal “wyrd”-ness eventually, then. Their new Dark Horse series, Wyrd, follows an immortal, clandestine, detective named Pitor Wyrd who takes on the world’s weirdest cases (and a fair share of existential dread along the way). I chatted with Pires about the book, and the creative process behind it, earlier this month in advance of its January 30th release. Catch that, and a few preview images, below:
AiPT!: Hey, Curt! Thanks very much for taking some time to talk with AiPT! about your new book, Wyrd. I’ve seen it, which follows the eponymous immortal detective of sorts, described as a mix between The X-Files and Black Mirror — with a little lampooning of DC and Marvel characters to boot — but for those not in the know, how do you describe the series elevator pitch style?
Pires: Honestly, I think you nailed it. It’s Hellblazer meets Bond, with a dash of X-Files and a remixing of heroes/concepts in a dark Black Mirror sort of way. Pitor Wyrd is an unaging detective who solves the unsolvable, and tackles the monsters lurking in the dark side of our history–our world.
AiPT!: Wyrd is slated for four issues, which I’m sure you know, but I’m curious about the format there. With a lot of mini-series these days bleeding into five, six, even 10 issues, what draws you to the shorter format?
Pires: Honestly, [Dark Horse] just wanted to start with four. It’s tough to get support for new properties these days, so it’s a safer bet. That said, I like the mini-series format because I can basically treat it as a first season of the book. Tell a complete story but leave the door open.
AiPT!: Your previous series like Pop and Mayday have all explored various elements of mainstream culture — I know you love your Kanye and Kojima as much as me — as well as the human condition, under a microscope. What would you say you’re aiming to explore with Wyrd? What sets it apart?
Pires: I love Kanye and Kojima for sure. I think they’re both great artists who transcend the boundaries of the mediums people try to box them into, which is what I’m always trying to do. I don’t agree with everything Kanye says — I wanna make that clear. Like, today’s New Year’s and I just woke up to him on about Trump again, and kind of wish he’d just shut up. Still love him as an artist, and even a human, but it’s just like — man, you don’t know what you’re saying.
Tangent aside, I really don’t know. I just want to make beautiful, complicated art objects. Whether that’s a comic, a T-shirt, a film or whatever, that’s always the goal. Immersive, thought-provoking experiences. Executing my talents and convictions to the best of my abilities.
AiPT!: You’re not alone on the endeavor — you’re joined by Antonio Fuso for the art. What’s that creative process been like? Is there a little give and take between your ideas? I’ve seen the first issue and it’s gorgeous!
Pires: Thanks man. It’s been really great. Antonio and I are asking to be credited as storytellers instead of as writer/artist, because it’s really been a feedback loop, everyone adding and bringing something to the table. It’s one vision, created by two people.
AiPT!: How would you describe the visual language of Wyrd? How did you land on the idea of rolling in all these DC and Marvel characters? What’s the appeal in subverting them to you?
Pires: I remember the feeling of reading Planetary and recognizing characters but also digging how Ellis and Cassaday subverted them, so it’s a bit of that. Like how can I re-write and deconstruct these myths in a way that is unique to the way I think about stories. I think of Wyrd‘s take on these characters as like if Shane Carruth directed The Avengers. It’s recognizable sh*t presented in a new language — often a dark and f*cked up language, haha.
AiPT!: And even still, with Antonio on the art, you’ve got some killer variant cover artists! Jeff Lemire, Rafael Albuquerque, Gabriele Dell’Otto, and Danijel Zezelj. What’s it feel like to see those come in?
Pires: It’s amazing, man. I love all these cats’ work, so it’s a treat. I remember reading Secret Wars by Bendis and Gabriele when I was like 16 or some sh*t. And now he’s doing a cover for me. It’s a trip! Life can be cool sometimes, alongside all the darkness. Zezelj’s cover is my phone background, and we’re talking about doing a book together.
AiPT!: Lastly, I know you’re a bit of a sneakerhead, so what’s the official Wyrd sneaker?
Pires: Off white / Nike blazer grim reapers! The dark side of postmodernism. Here’s my pair. I switched the laces!
Wyrd will be available in comic stores and on digital store fronts on January 30th, more information on the book and some preview images are available over at Dark Horse’s site.