JT: Thanks for doing this with us, Brandon! For our readers that don’t know, you and I have a long herstory together. When I lived in New York, you were working in fashion. What made you pull the plug and go full fledged famous writer/comic enthusiast?
BS: I got a degree in theater and moved to New York to be an actor but I’ve always written and been into comic books. I fell into the fashion industry totally by chance. I was supposed to temp at Marc Jacobs for 30 days and ended up there for seven years. My boss told me up front that she supported my acting/writing careers and gave me the freedom to follow them when I needed to. It was the sweetest deal. Eventually I found myself with enough steady work that I made the jump an left fashion behind completely. It was a very interesting and enlightening experience, the fashion industry. If you need a zipper cut or a garment dyed, I still know a guy.
JT: You have had a crazy schedule of panels and signings! What are you here to promote?
BS: I’ve got Adventure Time: Hero Time with Finn & Jake, Star Trek: What Would Captain Kirk Do?, the My Little Pony Wonderbolts Academy Handbook and a new series I’m doing called Peter Powers. Quite a diverse lineup! I’ve got a ton of books coming out this year and it’s all stuff I’m really into; Teen Titans GO!, Doctor Strange, Powerpuff Girls, Guardians of the Galaxy. And I’ve got some brand new original projects coming next year that are making me really happy right now. I love what I do. It’s total wish fulfillment. Life is good.
JT: What has been your favorite part about Comic Con this year and what has it been like with your fans?
BS: I did a panel on writing humor for kids that was really fun. Greg Grunberg was also on it and he’s the best. As far as fans go, my diverse resume brings out a diverse crowd. It’s pretty awesome and sometimes weird, which I like. When a kid comes up and tells me how much they love something I wrote it can be an incredible feeling. I always layer in positive and empowering themes in my work so when a kid connects directly to them it’s very special. Writing and creating is a dream job to a kid. Being face to face with someone who’s doing it shows them that their dreams are possible. Also, when someone waits in a line to meet you it’s the highest compliment ever because UGH lines are terrible.
JT: This isn’t your first Comic Con is it? Have you always been here for work, or to promote work, or have you come just as a fan?
BS: I’ve been to Comic Cons before but this is my first time at San Diego. It’s the BIG ONE and definitely a milestone. I’ve been going to them for years but now I have a lot more purpose to attend. When I was a kid I used to beg my parents to drive me to conventions. I’m from Ohio and all the cons were always two hours away in some dingy hotel ballroom. But it was such a thrill to go. One time I used my $20 budget to buy an original Black Manta model sheet from Challenge of the Super Friends with art by Alex Toth. Most people reading this are like “Uh what? Who cares?” but to me that was like buying a beautiful yacht.
JT: What is it – or why do you think Comic Con attracts so many people and why it continues to be bigger every year?
BS: Comic Cons can be overwhelming because there’s so much stimulus. Toys, comic books, homemade swords, weird dolls, people in sweaty spandex, a thousand boobalicious Harley Quinns, etc. It’s A LOT. But within all that chaos is a community of people who are super excited to share an experience together. People are free to be themselves even if their Aquaman costume is totally whack. No judgments. But be aware that one of the downsides is that people crop dust like crazy so don’t freak out when you’re forced to dodge fart clouds. It’s an unfortunate consequence.
JT: What were you most looking forward to seeing this year? Game of Thrones? American Gods? Fantastic Beasts?
BS: The Wonder Woman trailer. I saw Gal Gadot, Connie Nielson and Chris Pine in person at the DC booth and if someone could find out their skin regiment and email it to me, I’d appreciate it. All three of them are immortal amazons, even Pine.
JT: You are openly out, which is brave and fantastic. What has your experience been like being an out writer/artist especially in the cartoon/comic world that tends to lean towards – to be frank – nerdy, but masculine dudes. I think it’s so important to have you and your voice and your representation at Cons and in the comic verse.
BS: It’s been a long journey for me personally. Getting to this place in my life and career was hard won. What matters to me is bridging the inclusion gap and making sure people foster a sense of community. Fandoms are coming together more than ever and inclusive themes are all over the place. We need to keep telling our stories and connecting to one another. That’s the only way we move forward.
JT: What would you dress up as if you could be any superhero and/or what superhero power would you have?
BS: My favorite hero growing up was Firestorm and I always wanted to have a flaming head. As far as powers go, I know it’s basic but being able to fly would solve a lot of problems. Honestly I wish I could control people’s digestive systems with my mind. That’s a lot of power. Think about it.
JT: Rumor has it you’re a HUGE RuPaul’s Drag Race fan? Who are you rooting for this season?
BS: I’m rooting for all of them…but I think America is ready to embrace Alaska.
BS:I wrote a short play for the Collective NY’s C:10 theater festival that’s going up in September that I’m also acting in. The piece is a comedy about something tragic. I can’t reveal much more but the material is so timely that a major political party wrote about it in their shameful platform! And I’ll be at New York Comic Con in October!
JT: Thank you SO much for talking with us! WOW adores you!