Earlier in the year, we were lucky enough to have a chat with writer Stuart Moore about his excellent new book Bronze Age Boogie. Seems fate’s smiled upon us once more as we recently reconnected with Moore prior to the release of the collected edition of the similarly awesome Captain Ginger (due out today!)
In addition to all things space cats, we spoke about June Brigman’s artwork, the actual cats in Moore’s life, and the creative process behind both grand books.
AiPT: Captain Ginger received glowing review from us here at AiPT!, but for those who missed the monthly series, how would you describe the collected edition?
Stuart Moore: It’s a beautifully drawn comedy-drama about a starship run by cats. It’s also about the tendency of all Earth creatures, human and otherwise, to sabotage themselves.
The collected edition features an introduction by Walter Simonson and a selection of June Brigman’s brilliant character sketches, with easily ignorable commentary by me.
AiPT: The book is full of colorful characters. Did you find inspiration from people (or cats) from your own life when writing the series?
SM: Oh yes. Most of the cats are composites of cats I’ve known, behaviors I’ve seen. For instance: Ecru, the prickly specialist who operates the ship’s Maker, is based on a clearly troubled cat I met when back we adopted our two current little guys.
As the series went on, June and I started comparing notes. I named Sergeant Buddy-Cat, who makes a less-than-valiant debut in issue #2, after a cat June had just adopted. It turned out to be a good match, so she used the real Buddy-Cat as a visual model for the character. (Editor’s Note: That’s Buddy-Cat below.)
AiPT: You’ve mentioned before that you created the series for June Brigman to draw. What was it like to see a concept like Captain Ginger come to life through her artwork?
SM: It was better than I could have imagined. June knows how cats look and move, but she also really knows how people move. There’s a physicality to the cats that’s just perfect, but their expressions are very subtle and human, too.
AiPT: How would you sell the book to someone that describes themselves as a “dog person?”
SM: This will allow you to experience the joy of cats without getting fur up your allergic nose. Also, DO NOT PEEK AT THE LAST PAGE!
AiPT: Your current series Bronze Age Boogie is every bit as great as Captain Ginger — if maybe a little weirder, if that’s possible. How do you balance grand concepts such as these with both series featuring casts of diverse characters?
SM: Thank you. Boogie is a very different writing experience. With Ginger, I set up a cast of characters and just write the scripts, knowing that June will carry it all off beautifully.
Boogie is a little more organic, because I’m writing it plot-first. It also has a large cast of characters and, as will become clear as the series goes along, a very complicated plot. So I keep lots of notes, let Alberto Ponticelli weave his magic, and then fit in the explanations and revelations while the characters are fighting in the Martian arena or battling undead dinosaurs in the shadow of the Taboo Zone.
It’s sort of like those Michael Bay movies where Megatron’s plan gets shouted off into the wind by a secondary character while the Earth is blowing up. Except better. Actually, it’s nothing like that at all. Forget I said anything. Can we start over?