Dave Cook, writer of Bust comic takes some time out of his busy schedule and Kickstarter promotion to chat with little old me at the BGCP!
Bust was a successfully funded and well received kickstarter campaign that saw Dave take a brave leap head first into the indie comics scene.
His story sees an apocalyptic world where our main protagonist is a fallen conman… battling his way through gladiator-like arenas until he becomes a symbol for something new. But now he has sparked revolution, where will his place be in the new order?
Cook’s first foray into the unknown was such a success that Bust 2: Wasteland Ronin hit its target within just 2 days. With the kickstarter still live and only £160 shy of unlocking more tasty treats there is even still time to get in on it – but not long so get looking!
Here is what Dave has to say about cannonballing into the comics scene!
Elmoos – Why Comics?
Cook – I’ve been a journalist for just over ten years now, and while you can get creative with article angles, interviews and cool features, the press has a really short shelf life. Online news coverage moves so fast that you’re forgotten about almost over night, so I wanted to write something that was still creative but that lasts. Comics felt like a great, potentially timeless way to do that. It’s also way more creative than journalism, hands down.
Elmoos – Have you always read comics? What is the first comic you remember reading?
Cook – Not that regularly as a kid actually. it was something I definitely grew into (video games were my childhood obsession!) I used to read X-Men back in the mid to late 90s but that was about it. I then really got into Transmetropolitan while studying journalism at uni – it’s all about journalism of course! – and then started getting into graphic novels more than single issue comics. Since realising I wanted to get into comics I’m reading regularly now. I subscribe to several Marvel reboot properties such as Spider-verse, Secret Wars and Old Man Logan, while also reading lots of Image works like The Wicked and the Divine, Low, Drifter, Wytches and 100 Bullets. I really, really dig Image. I’d love to work with them one day!
Elmoos – Was it daunting to start your own comic?
Cook – Very yeah. I had no real idea of what to expect, how to format a script or work with an artist, but I just sort of did it – spoke with artists online and met with other creators at Scottish comic conventions and fairs. Everyone I’ve met in this scene is mega supportive and happy to help newcomers, so once I started to get a feel for how everything should be, it all fell into place. If in doubt, ask those in the know.
I’d also add that there are guides online and helpful communities where you can get information and advice.
Elmoos – As a super successful kickstarter funded project, what advice would you give to others looking to launch their own?
Cook – I’d say that simply launching a Kickstarter then getting the word out isn’t enough. You have to hype it up before hand so people are expecting it. Let comic sites, communities and blogs know about your project and that a Kickstarter is coming. Post about it on Twitter, instagram and Facebook – Reddit is good too! Make sure you have sensible rewards that people will actually want, get a professional looking pitch video (or as pro as you can), really sell yourself and your talent in the mission statement and show that you can deliver the project you want funded. Once live, make sure you keep backers updated, get the word out there and have stretch goals in mind in case you hit your target early. Don’t be afraid of getting the word out there – you may only have one shot after all!
Elmoos – You have quite a few new projects lined up too, what does the future hold for Dave Cook?
Cook – This really has opened up new collaborations and contacts. I’ve got a three page horror short coming out as part of James McCulloch’s anthology The Grime, which was also funded on Kickstarter, and I should be revealing pages from my next series Vessels soon, which is inspired by my love of the Dark Souls game series. Beyond that I’m working on a series set here in Scotland called The Faceless – which is a love letter to Transmetropolitan with a Scottish twist, and another series I can’t talk about just yet, but is really interesting. Phew!
Elmoos – Tantalising! (Dave told me secrets here which I am not sharing! ooh!)
So your overall experience has been a positive one?
Cook – Yeah absolutely, from meeting wonderful comic creators at shows and being welcomed into the community, to meeting the readers at conventions and comic fairs, it’s a genuinely rewarding and exciting scene to be a part with. I absolutely consider myself a comic writer now.
And proud of it!
Elmoos – Thanks man, anything you want to add about your current Kickstarter?
Cook – I just want to say thanks to everyone who backed issue #1 and #2 on Kickstarter, it’s still an amazing thing to see your support and feedback. Thanks also to everyone who took time to come say hi at Big Glasgow Comic Fair and MCM Scotland. It’s seriously amazing to meet you all.
Dave is one to watch out for folks, with talent and friendliness he has it in the bag!