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Fisher, McCool And Young Talk Grumpy Cat #1

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  • Fisher, McCool And Young Talk Grumpy Cat #1

    With the upcoming release of Grumpy Cat #1, Byron Brewer sat down with writers Ben Fisher & Ben McCool and editor Rich Young to talk about the new series. Cover art by Steve Uy, Ken Haeser and Tavis Maiden.


    GrumpyCat01CovAUyBYRON BREWER: Grumpy Cat has been popular since her photos hit social media in 2012. Can you give us a little background into her growth and staying power as a franchise?


    BEN FISHER: I think Grumpy Cat found herself directly in the sweet spot of a Venn diagram where cuteness meets cynicism. The more she insults you, the more you just want to scratch her behind the ears. The fact that Grumpy Cat continues to enjoy such widespread popularity is a testament to how much her adorable bitterness resonates with all of us.


    BEN McCOOL: The Internet adores kitty cats, although they’re typically presented as furry bundles of unconditional love. Grumpy, like a real-life Garfield, makes mockery of this depiction—she’s delightful in her own unique way, but not in the slightest bit happy about it! I think this charming irony further fuels Grumpy Cat’s ever-growing popularity.


    BB: Dynamite will be doing a variety of publication developments featuring Grumpy Cat. Tell us about this first book, coming out in October.


    Ben F: The October issue will be the first in a three-issue comic book series, each containing multiple stories from a fantastic stable of creators.


    RICH YOUNG (editor): Each issue in the first series is going to feature three short stories, each written and drawn by different creative teams. Issue #1 will feature stories by the two Bens here, as well as another story by Royal McGraw. Artists will include Steve Uy, Michelle Nguyen and Ken Haeser, all giving their own artistic spin on Grumpy and Pokey. It’s making for some cool variation style-wise and some really fun shorts! The trouble those two can make and get into is something else…


    GrumpyCat01CovBHaeserBB: Writing this type of book must present a unique challenge. How has that been overcome?


    Ben F: The challenge to writing Grumpy Cat is also the best part: we’re tasked with creating the world around her as well as giving life to a whole cast of supporting characters, both new and old. It has truly been a joy to have played a role constructing the Grumpy Cat universe.


    Ben M: Here, here! These stories are *so* much fun to write, and to see the characters grow and evolve as each story progresses is both exciting and rewarding.


    BB: Almost everyone knows Grumpy Cat’s disposition (what a face!), but what about her brother Pokey? Can you tell us about his character?


    Ben F: Pokey is the yin to Grumpy’s yang. He’s good-natured and generally just wants everyone to get along and enjoy life to the fullest. He isn’t easily insulted (a useful trait considering his sibling), but he’s not unintelligent either. Of course, he’s no match for his sister’s wit …


    Ben M: Pokey is shaping up to be a brilliant addition to this world—his pluckiness and sense of adventure sends Grumpy’s life spinning in all manner of new, bizarre and fun-filled directions!


    BB: We know that Grumpy Cat is the official “spokescat” for Friskies. Will we see any behind-the-scenes looks at some of her “acting endeavors”? I would imagine on set she has the ego of Miss Piggy. (smiles)


    GrumpyCat01CovCMaidenBen M: Funnily enough, I attended Grumpy Cat’s birthday party last year! It was…fascinating. Also, fantastic! I received an email invitation from Friskies (likely due to my ongoing social media onslaught of kitty-related shenanigans) and I got to meet the miserable moggy herself. She was strangely charming—dare I say, an absolute delight! Although deep down, I’m sure Grumpy was scowling at each and every attendee at the party… “You call this a birthday party?! Meh. Next year I’ll arrange it myself and show you how to really throw a celebration–!”


    BB: Finally, tell us about the talent that will be bringing us this initial and highly unusual book in October.


    Ben F: Ben McCool and I are writing, along with Royal McGraw and Elliott R. Serrano. We’ve teamed up with a fantastic collection of artists like Steve Uy, Michelle Nguyen and Ken Haeser. We genuinely can’t wait to bring you an all-new (and hilarious) way to experience our favorite grump.


    RY (editor): The talent on the book is really outstanding, both on the writing and art side. I think fans of Grumpy will really find it fun and entertaining. As far as publishing plans go, Dynamite will be publishing the three issues and then collecting them all into a neat little hardcover collection which should be in stores in time for the holidays. Future editorial plans beyond that will be decided in the coming months.


    I should also mention we’ll be launching a Grumpy Cat comic strip website in September that will be updated with new comic strips each week. When enough material is complete, we’ll also collect the online strips in print. Look for more details on that soon.


    For more information on Grumpy Cat #1, click here.


  • #2
    Question: Is anybody really looking forward to a "Grumpy Cat" comic book?

    If so, is it that you're looking forward to it for yourself, or are there younger children who you think will want to read it?

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not on my personal list, but since the character is very popular, and it's an all-ages book, I am sure there will be people who like it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
        It's not on my personal list, but since the character is very popular, and it's an all-ages book, I am sure there will be people who like it.
        Ah, but is the character "very popular" still today, or is it a case of "the character is very popular" so five minutes ago?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
          Ah, but is the character "very popular" still today, or is it a case of "the character is very popular" so five minutes ago?
          I imagine we'll all find out. Presumably, the people who decided to make the book have looked into whether enough people would be likely to buy it.

          Grumpy Cat would not be my first choice for a new all-ages title (honestly, someone needs to try to do something more with the old Harvey characters and make it stick, but the attempts never seem to last very long), but then I'm not the one making those decisions, so I hope it does well and people like it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
            Question: Is anybody really looking forward to a "Grumpy Cat" comic book?

            If so, is it that you're looking forward to it for yourself, or are there younger children who you think will want to read it?
            It seems to me a sad day when the creative inspiration for comic books is being driven by internet memes, but business is business, I guess. Whatever helps sell comic books. If IDW can base a comic book on Angry Birds, then why not. It's all about tapping into product recognition.

            I mean, I guess it's a good thing that DE is trying to tap the youth market, but competition is fierce in this arena, with companies like Bongo, IDW and BOOM controlling most of the major good licenses. DE was probably lucky to get something like Bob's Burgers, and now they're clutching at straws for some stuff like Doodlejump (no worse than Larry Marder's Beanworld, I guess) and Grumpy Cat.
            Last edited by pulphero; 09-03-2015, 03:46 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pulphero View Post
              . . . DE was probably lucky to get something like Bob's Burgers, and now they're clutching at straws for some stuff like Doodlejump (no worse than Larry Marder's Beanworld, I guess) and Grumpy Cat.
              Hey, I LIKED Beanworld back in the day . . . it was a fun, sometimes silly, but interesting story that may have been appropriate for an all-ages audience, but wasn't just a kiddy comic book.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, Beanworld is awesome and genuinely profound at times. It gets into all sorts of things about ecosystems and civilizations...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
                  Hey, I LIKED Beanworld back in the day . . . it was a fun, sometimes silly, but interesting story that may have been appropriate for an all-ages audience, but wasn't just a kiddy comic book.
                  That wasn't a slam. I haven't read either. Well, not entirely true... I do have a vague recollection that I must have read at least one issue or story of Beanworld in an anthology somewhere, but I honestly can recall no specific details about it, in terms of story or characters, just that it was simply drawn, and stood out as "odd" among most comic shop titles, so I've drawn that parallel with Doodle Jump. Both seem simple from a cartooning perspective, which is my only basis of comparison. For all I know, Doodle Jump may be a work of genius. I did have to look it up to see what, exactly, "Doodle Jump" was. I don't pay attention too much to video games, so they don't much impact my awareness.

                  I tend to think Grumpy Cat won't be a work of genius, because it's based on a stupid internet joke. Seems like kind of a cheat, if they can't fill the comic pages with Photoshopped images of annoyed kitty cats in various situations, doesn't it? Because look, I mean, it's a kitty, and normally it would be cute, right? But look here, I've Photoshopped it so that it looks very irritated, and plopped it into this photo with a clever one-liner. That's what makes it hilarious. I guess if it doesn't work out they could do a comic based on "injury-to-groin funny videos" and call it Just NUTS! or something.
                  Last edited by pulphero; 09-04-2015, 06:46 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually, the real cat isn't Photoshopped--she just happens to look like that. Apparently she has a bit of an underbite and a form of feline dwarfism.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumpy...e_Skidmore.jpg

                    As for Beanworld, it is indeed a Very Peculiar Comic Book Experience. It's all about ecosystems and civilization and such. One of them becomes a kind of shaman and effectively discovers art itself and creates the Fabulous Look-See Show...

                    http://www.rdrop.com/~half/BeanWeb/T...okSeeShow.html

                    It's just... really, really awesome, even though it's drawn and written on a very simple level. I'm not sure I know of any other comic like it.

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