C.W. Cooke has been writing comics for a number of years now. You might not have heard of him before, but that’s ok, because now you can catch up on his work before he hits the stars! I had the honor to chat with Mr. Cooke about what got him started in comics and what he has in store for us in comic shops near you. Check out the interview below…
Raphael Moran: What started your love of art and comics in general? What was the first comic you read?
First comic book I ever read was a Jones Store insert comic in the local newspaper that my dad had been holding onto for years. Hulk and Spider-man vs Kraven the Hunter, all while trying on clothes at the Jones Store. It was incredible and funny and bizarre. I loved every minute of it. I was probably 8 years old or so at the time and couldn’t put it down (I’ve re-read it a number of times since.) Beyond that, it was the Burton Batman movie, the Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons, the “Death of Superman” comics, and countless others. I fell in love pretty hard and just could not stop. I’ve been reading and enjoying them ever since.
RM: How did you get started as a comic creator?
That’s a fun story. I’d talked about it for years, complained about comics and stories and how much better I would do certain things. After awhile, it just seemed like I was talking and would never get a chance to do. Then one random Planet Comicon in either 2007 or 2008, I had a long conversation with comic book creator/writer Jai Nitz who gave me some feedback, tips, and general good ideas. It was a blessing and it really pushed me in the right direction. Then I sent off emails, letters, and every single piece of writing I had at the time to every single comic company publishing at the time. After getting countless no responses, a couple maybes, and one yes from Bluewater, that was all I needed. My foot was in the door, and I was off and running, writing everything and anything that came my way.
RM: Which comic character besides your own would you like to work on in the future?
I’m loving working on my own and creating my own and working on Joan of Arc right now. It’s amazing fun. Truth be told, if I could write any comic book character, I’d love to write Madman, Mike Allred’s wonderful creation. If I was working at Marvel or DC, I’d take a chance and write anything they threw my way. I’ve loved comics for a long time and have loved the regular heroes and the weirdos. I’ve loved the big dogs and I’ve loved the strange outcasts. I’d love to write X-Statix, I’d love to write Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, I’d love to write Guy Gardner, Hawkeye, any of the X-Men (especially Nate Grey/X-Man), Ben Reilly, Richard Rider Nova, Iron Fist, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and on and on and on and on. I have ideas for everyone, and getting a chance to write any of these or any others would be a blast. I’d write a killer Woodgod story or a great Man-Thing just as much as I’d write a big fun book featuring Blue Devil or Wild Dog.
RM: Tell us about your new projects. How did you come up with this idea for the series? How did you pitch it and how long ago did you have this idea.
I’ve got my new creator-owned series, Solitary, coming soon from Devil’s Due Entertainment. It’s my baby, the comic I’ve been working on in some fashion since I was a kid. It started as a story with crayons and loose leaf paper and it blossomed into this entire world of heroes and villains, and it turned into a story about a man who can’t die but is trapped in prison, on death row. The elevator pitch, the big swing, is “What if Superman was on the Green Mile?” It got eyes on it and it blossomed from a standard superhero story into an incredibly vivid world with real, living breathing characters.
Joan of Arc has been an absolute blast to work on. I met Tom at Planet Comicon last year. We’d been Facebook friends for a little while prior to that and had spoken on a number of occasions. I had been chatting with him, keeping my eyes on their universe and their amazing characters, telling him every so often how much I’d love a chance to work with them and work on any of the characters. When we met in person at Planet Comicon, I handed him a number of my completed comics and scripts, letting him know I meant business. And I did. From there, it blossomed. We spoke a number of times, I heard about the idea that they were doing the book and needed a pitch or two thrown in for it, and I jumped in headfirst. I read and re-read and re-read Joan’s four issue mini. I followed the adventures and paid attention to every detail I could.
And then I did three different pitches for it. Hahaha. The first one, quite honestly, did not hit the mark at all. It was basically all of the broad strokes that I had been given and that was pretty much it. The second one was very superhero influenced and a bit similar to a few other books going on at the time. The third one was just right. It had superhero touches, it had biblical touches, monsters, human drama, mythology, and it was just a blast to write. It was nice to throw in all of the biblical touches people won’t expect and just to see what happens. To get Tom’s response to it was great. I can’t wait to see what the fans think. The zero issue is due out in June (written by Tom Hutchison) and then I take over from issue one on starting in August.
RM: What are some of the projects you have in the future?
Besides Joan of Arc for Big Dog Ink and Solitary for Devil’s Due, I have a number of others that are on the cusp of either getting announced or getting picked up so I can’t talk about them yet. I have one called Stillwater that should be coming out soon once the art gets all finished up and gets solicited. I can’t wait for people to see the beauty of that project. There’s also The Guitarist, my big fun comic that is everything and the kitchen sink all thrown in and just a rocking good time.
RM: Who were some of your creative influences?
Hoo boy. This is one of those questions that just destroys me. Ha. I’ve been reading comics for years and have had countless influences. Mike Allred, Jai Nitz, Dennis Hopeless, Jason Aaron, Dan Jurgens, Abnett and Lanning, Warren Ellis, the list goes on and on and on. There are entirely too many to count. Terry Moore, Bryan O’Malley, Chuck Dixon, Ed Brubaker, and on and on and on again and again. There are so many fantastic comic book writers that have been working consistently since I’ve been reading and before I was reading.
RM: Are there any plans for a signing or convention appearances.
As many as I can! My first appearance this year will be at Kansas City’s Planet Comicon 2014, which starts March 14th and runs until March 16th. It’s going to be a huge party and will hopefully be as much fun as last year’s, if not more fun. After that, I’ve already got plans to appear at Pop Culture Comix in Kansas for Free Comic Book Day in May, and then past that, I have no idea. Hopefully a lot more.
If you’re attending Planet Comic Con this weekend, please be sure to check out some of C.W. Cooke’s work, which you can also find out more about here.