Posted April 1, 2018 by Norby Ela in Comics

NOT YOUR TYPICAL PINOY BALLAD: An Interview with Ed Brisson

The Ballad of Sang is a story of a Filipino child who was kidnapped and got raised as an assassin. All he’s ever known is killing and the kindness of his master, Chen, the closest thing Sang has to a father. When Sang’s enthusiasm botches a job, it brings the wrath of Don Minchella down on the pair, resulting in Chen’s murder. Barely escaping with his own line — and with Minchella’s severed arm in tow — Sang swears revenge, while every gang in the city mobilizes to return him to Minchella, dead or alive. FlipGeeks got to chat with The Ballad of Sang writer Ed Brisson for any Filipino relations of this comic.

Ballad of Sang 2018 1



FLIPGEEKS: How did you come up with the story for The Ballad of Sang?
ED BRISSON: The inspiration for The Ballad of Sang largely comes from my love of bizarre cult cinema. Initially, Sang was (very loosely) based on the Filipino actor Weng Weng, star of ‘70s and ‘80s films such as The Impossible Kid and For Y’ur Height Only. I was a huge fan and wanted to do something that would be a nod to the actor.

That said, I wanted to do a story that felt both original and wasn’t afraid to tip its hat to those beloved B-movies. This is my love letter to exploitation and cult cinema of that era.

Is The Ballad of Sang set in the Philippines? What is the exact location?
The story itself doesn’t take place in the Philippines—though we never specify WHERE it takes place. I specifically wanted the location to be a mystery. I wanted it to feel like a place that could only exist in the world of this comic, where several cultures can clash.

Ballad of Sang 2018

Working with artist Alessandro Micelli, what is the collaboration like? How involved is he in creating the sets and characters?
I think I stumbled across Alessandro’s work on DeviantArt about 7 years ago. He felt like the perfect artist for the project. He has a great kinetic style that fits the world and a nice cartoony edge to his stuff that helps us sell violence without it coming off as overly dark.

The collaboration has been pretty easy. At first, we spitballed a lot of the “gangs” that would appear. Once all the prep work was out of the way, we basically settled into a routine of me disappearing for a while, resurfacing with a script, and then him doing the same and coming back with art. It’s been pretty casual, but seems to work for us.

Ballad of Sang 2018 1

How did you and colorist Shari Chankhamma decide on the color palette?
I’d worked with Shari on SHELTERED before this and have every faith in her work and choices. With Sang, she pretty much nailed the perfect palette and look right out of the gate, so there were very few notes from my end. I love working with her.

There’s a lot of good action in the first issue—will we see even more excitement and action from Sang in the next few issues?
The whole series is going to be a non-stop action extravaganza. The next few issues get even crazier!

The Ballad of Sang #2 by Ed Brisson, Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma under Oni Press will hit shelves this under Oni Press

Norby Ela

Now residing in San Diego, CA, I strive to work in art and further grow FlipGeeks around the world.