Interview: Comic Artist Katie Cook on Bronies and Fellow Artists Who are Currently Killing It
Because my specialty lines within movies and television, I don’t often speak with comic artists. I still jumped at the chance to talk to Katie Cook, the artist and illustrator best known for her work on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Even cooler, she also worked on the Star Wars children’s book ABC-3PO, which is just as wonderful as its title.
During our conversation, we touched on the Brony fandom as well as her influences and the skills one might need to succeed in the business. Check out the full interview below.
You worked on My Little Pony. What are your thoughts on the Bronies?
It’s any fandom. Every single person in here is a fan of something, and bronies are just fans of My Little Pony. Even though they’ve been around since the ’80s, we’ve seen this surge in people that truly love My Little Pony, and I think that’s part of the whole culture, embracing pop culture as a whole right now. One of the things that’s risen out of it is the brony fandom, and it’s amazing, and a lot of them are really great. But I think that it’s a weird demographic because…the fact that it gets so much attention is because so many of them are male, for something that is supposed to be marketed toward females. So I think that’s why people are like “Oh my god! That’s so weird!” And it’s like, no, everybody’s allowed to be a fan of a thing.
How important is it for you to get a female voice out there in a sea of male voices?
That’s a dated question now only because there’s so many amazing female creators that are independent and a few of them work with the larger companies. You know, you can name like 50 amazing female writers and artists right now who are award winning and are putting out content weekly, monthly. And they’re killing it! I mean, look at Lumberjanes and how much that took off. And that book automatically filled a thing in the market… So there’s a lot of great books out there that have female creators, and that’s one of the the perks of the internet, is that you don’t need a publisher to put those out anymore. There’s so many people going their own way and doing either independent or they’re just publishing online.
Yeah, it’s great to see so many different voices out there because the internet is free and so many have access to it.
Yeah, and if you do good work, people will notice it. So the gender gap is getting a little bit smaller in comics.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a Star Wars children’s book. I just did ABC-3P0 with Disney Publishing, and then I am doing Obi Wan-2-3. I’m working on a project called Nothing Special that is the story of a 17-year-old girl. It’s a fantasy adventure tale that’s a coming of age story. It’s about friendship and family and adventure and really finding out who you are as a person, through your own faults.
Who are some of the creators that have influenced your work over the years?
I remember Betty and Veronica growing up, and Archie, and I love the reboots. Newspaper comics were a huge influence on me growing up. But now I think my biggest influence is my peers in the industry. Those are people that really drive me to do better because I see the amazing projects that people put out and it’s like, I wanna do that. I wanna do something like that.
As an artist, what do you think are the most important skills to have?
Always be open to criticism. Learn from it but you don’t need to bow to any will. Always keep up with what other people are doing around you because if you put yourself in a box, you’re never gonna inspired to do anything new. And draw every day, write every day. And always be open to new experiences.
To learn more about her, head over to her website.
(image via screencap)
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