1) Where did the idea of writing humorous stories of Buddha come from?
Although I'm not religious in any way, I've always been fascinated by the different religions of the world. Tales of the Buddha started off to be just one 3-panel gagstrip, but I quickly saw that the idea had a lot of potential. And especially when I saw Jon's artwork, I figured that we had a character who could be very funny and also long-lasting - and because the stories all take place before Buddha is enlightened, we can do virtually anything at all with him. However, I imagine that most Buddhists won't be pleased with what we've done...I'm just glad that they're pacifists!
2) What's your favourite Buddha story so far?
I'm hard-put to name just one story - Jon's art is always so amusing, even I laugh at the stories (and I wrote them!). However, if I have to choose one, I'd say the strip featuring the "fish-guys", the worshippers of Oannes, who was some kind of Middle Eastern god about 3,000 years ago. Jon made them look so stupid, yet so appealing, I'm keen to do even more stories featuring them. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing what Jon does with my scripts where The Chubby One meets up with Elvis and Wee Jimmy Osmond.
3) What's the future plans for Buddha?
Anybody who knows Alan Grant also knows that future plans don't often come into my way of thinking. I'd really like to do a Buddha story where he meets Allah or even Osama bin Laden - but unfortunately, the way the world is today, I'd genuinely fear for Jon's and my life if we did it. So I think we'll stick to having Buddha meet historical characters, maybe like Nostradamus, Henry the 8th and various others. Oh, and the Pope might make a guest appearance! The solitary future plan I do have is to somehow get the Tales collected together in one (or more) editions. Normally I'd finance it myself, but having been off work (through illness) for 8 out of the last 13 or 14 months, my finances are in a fairly precarious state. What we need is a nice fat royalty cheque to provide the monetary cushion we need.