An Interview With Comic Book Artist and Writer Katie Cook!

Image: Action Lab Comics/Katie Cook

I recently had a chance to interview Katie Cook! Who is Katie Cook? Well, she is a comic book writer and artist, and has done licensed work for tiny franchises such as DC Comics, Marvel, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She also frequents conventions and paints the most adorable little images, from video game characters to Star Wars to Harry Potter—and she takes requests! In a couple weeks, her webcomic, Gronk: A Monster’s Story, is going to be released into print by Action Lab Comics. I asked her a few questions about life around her corner of the nerdiverse.

GeekMom Mel: Hi Katie Cook! Welcome to GeekMom and thanks for doing this interview!

Katie Cook: Thanks for interviewing me!

GMM: How did you decide to become an artist? And did you always want to do comics, or did that come along later?

KC: I don’t know if I “decided” it… I’ve just never really wanted to be anything else! I really wanted to draw a newspaper comic strip… drawing longer form comics just kind of came from that (and I loved reading comics anyway… natural fit!).

GMM: I met you at Boston Comic Con, where I could barely get close to your table because of little geeklings (including mine!) crowding around to see your work. What’s that like for you? What’s it like by the end of the con?

KC: I LOVE kids. LOVE THEM. I have 2 of my own… knowing that my work is something that kids enjoy reading is amazing to me. And spending a convention weekend interacting with kid after kid after kid is just hysterical. I have the best conversations and I’m just beaming by the end of Sunday.

GMM: What is the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at a con? Has anyone ever asked you to draw something particularly strange?

KC: I have many stories… many, many bizarre stories. I have an entire panel discussion at Emerald City Comic Con just to tell stories from my 10 years in the comic convention trenches. I can’t even begin to poke that iceberg now.

Image: Action Lab Comics/Katie Cook

GMM: I received Gronk: A Monster’s Story from Action Lab for review, and it is so utterly adorable and funny (“But this is the KITTY bath!”). Could you tell our readers a little about your process in making Gronk? What was the inspiration behind him?

KC: Gronk began as a character I designed back in college (so, so long ago, siiiiiiigh). She was actually a project about what *I* would look like as a monster! Since beginning the comic, I’ve since had kids. Gronk has evolved into the embodiment of my oldest daughter. (Fitting, no?)

GMM: You have many projects, from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to F*ck You, Box (and other observations of my cat’s inner dialogue) to cute sketch cards and banners of movies and characters done in your own style. Do you have a favorite thing to work on?

KC: I like to draw cats. Caaaaaaaats! And Star Wars. If Star Wars cats were a comic, I’d want to work on it.

GMM: Rebels or Empire? Or…something else?

KC: Jedi! I can’t be the bad guy… my family roots are tied too closely with Canada.

GMM: How has parenthood changed your experience being a geek?

KC: I guess it’s made it more exciting? I have a whole flurry of things I can’t wait to share with my kids when they are old enough.

GMM: I’ll assume you, like many of us, had geeky leanings since your youth, and you remember what it was like growing up. What do you think is the best way a non-geeky parent can support their young nerdlings?

KC: Don’t discourage it! IF your kids likes comics… buy them comics (it’s reading!). If your kid likes Star Wars, don’t tell them it’s silly! I’ve seen parents tell their kids that it’s “ridiculous” to like superheroes and whatnot. What if you just turned who COULD have been the next George Lucas into an accountant with those words?!

GMM: What is your favorite part about being a mom?

KC: The absolute adoring look in my daughter’s eyes when they see me… they haven’t figured out what a dork I am yet.

Thank you so much for doing this interview, Katie! And you, people out there, be sure to check out Katie’s website where you can see all kinds of goodies as well as find out more about her new comic Gronk: A Monster’s Story, coming out March 24! You can also hear her chat about all manner of geekiness on episode 59 of the Once and Future Podcast (you might want to block the kids’ ears a bit for that one, though). I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do!

Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy and science fiction stories where heroes don’t always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She’s been known to befriend wandering garden gnomes, do battle with metal-eating squirrels, and has been called a superhero on more than one occasion. Her work has been published in Circle Magazine, The Wheel, and Prick of the Spindle, and she was a finalist in the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Science Fiction Contest. Melanie is also a freelance author publicist and publicity/marketing coordinator for both Ragnarok Publications and Mechanical Muse. She blogs regularly for GeekMom and The Once and Future Podcast. Her short story “A Whole-Hearted Halfling” is in the anthology Champions of Aetaltis, available April 12, 2016.