Pick Your Brain: Raven Gregory

Featuring: Raven Gregory

After two decades of establishing himself as one of the premier comic book writers in the industry today, Raven Gregory turned his attention to the world of stand-up comedy because what else screams mid-life crisis more than starting over with a brand-new career? Having published over 500 stories since starting in 2003, his works have become statues, board games, action figures, animated films, scripts, and other things you might not have heard of but that he thinks are pretty cool. He has yet to do a set completely clean, but he aims to someday.

Q: How does it feel being allowed to craft the ending to “Wonderland” after starting it so many years ago?

A: No words can describe it. Truly. Nearly two decades writing the same character is rare in itself, but being able to send that character off properly, the way you always envisioned, is just a (excuse the pun) dream come true.

Q: How has writing translated into being a stand-up comedian?

A: It’s been great. The art forms are so similar in many aspects: from the storytelling to the suspension of disbelief, and always trying to stay one step ahead of the reader and the audience so they never see it coming. It’s also great coming up with a bit and getting instant feedback, unlike in comics where it takes months before people see the finished product.

Q: Do you have any big plans or stories of your own in the pipeline?

A: Always. Whether or not my brain allows them to happen is another story. This brain stuff as you get older isn’t a joke. I went from writing 48 titles a year to maybe less than a dozen. They never tell you about this when you first start out. Keeping up the discipline and output is an art all its own.

Q: A lot of people who don’t know you might not really know this, but you experienced a significant amount of personal tragedy. How does that influence your creative process?

A: Everything bleeds. It all feeds the beast that is the story. Since the beginning of my career, I’ve used writing as a form of cost-effective therapy. As I’ve grown older, it acts as an outlet for all the beautiful and horrible things that happen on a regular basis. This latest and last “Wonderland” tale was very much informed by watching my father lose his cognitive abilities as he’s getting older. So, as with every other “Wonderland” story, it is very much a personal experience poured out onto the page.

Q: What would you say your greatest personal obstacle or block to overcome has been?

A: Alcoholism is by far my biggest challenge in this life. It’s a never-ending battle that threatens to constantly consume and destroy me if I put my guard down for even a moment. Unless you’ve personally dealt with the disease, it’s not even something regular people can comprehend, which makes it that much worse. Because no one else really gets it, and that is a lonely place to wander.

Q: Thanks so much for your time, Raven!

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