Dylan Sprouse is a man of many talents. After gaining mass fame as a teen thanks to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, he stepped back from the spotlight to discover himself, studying video game design at NYU, starting his own mead business, and in recent years, getting back into acting with roles that inspire him. Now, Sprouse is introducing the world to yet another one of his passions: comic book writing. In Dylan Sprouse's comic book, Sun Eater, fans are going to see a whole new side of the typically private celeb.
The nine-issue saga, which is being published by the comics magazine Heavy Metal, takes place in ninth century Norway and centers around a warrior, Kveldulf, who sacrifices his leg to the gods in exchange for a parasitic beast that will help him rescue his son from his enemies.
"This is a story that's largely influenced by my own interactions with my mother and her vices," Sprouse tells Elite Daily. "Everything kind of links to my own familial relationship, and I think [the comic book] has a lot to say about [being] a dark metaphor for drug addiction, and then how these things pass to your children."
According to Heavy Metal, Kveldulf is dedicated to Sprouse’s mom, Melanie Wright, and the character is "a fantastical rendering of what he wished she could’ve been when he was growing up." Up until now, Sprouse has kept his family life private, so this is likely the first time fans are learning about any struggles he may have had with Wright.
"A lot of people would associate comic books with superheroes, which this is not," Sprouse says. "In fact, it could be the opposite."
According to DIGA Studios, the production company in partnership with Sprouse and Heavy Metal for this project, the goal is to "eventually take it off the page and onto the screen and beyond." Does that mean fans could one day see Sprouse play the hulking anti-hero on TV or film?
"Certainly," Sprouse says. "I wrote this initially with the intent for it to be live-action and for myself to play Kveldulf. Considering it’s about my own mother, I thought it was also another way for me to have another layer of catharticism."
Though his original, Disney-loving fan base might not be the usual demographic for Sun Eater, Sprouse hopes they give it a chance. "I hope those people who maybe are taking a risk and are trying [this genre] for the first time find a nice home for themselves inside comic books," he says.
While he's been working on Sun Eater on and off for the past five years, Sprouse's love of comic books started even earlier than that. "My brother and I, funny enough, we were writing comics together when we were like, 6 or 7 years old. Just scribblings. My brother would write dialogue, and we made them about our stuffed animals."
It seems like everything Sprouse does — from acting to mead-making, to writing comic books — he gets really into it. "I tend to follow the fun-ness," he explains. "For me, it's just as much an exploration of myself as it is a desire for other people to hopefully take in an interesting insight or two."
For Sun Eater in particular, Sprouse is hoping those insights, at least for some, will be, well, insightful. "I hope they can empathize with it," he says. "And maybe it helps them in the same way that it helped me."
Sun Eater is available for pre-order. It will be available in select comic stores starting on August 7.