Katie Cook: The Brony.Com Interview
BRONY.COM: Hey Katie! First let me just say “Thank You Very Much” for speaking with us. I know you’re ultra busy, and with 2013 in full swing now, looking back at the last year and everything that happened with the book and that first issue buzz, I was curious to see now that 2012 has come and gone how is 2013 shaping up?
KATIE: Busy… I just moved AND convention season is starting AND I’ve got deadlines. I haven’t had a chance to unpack!
KATIE: Well, we never expected the numbers MLP #1 pulled in… and the only response to that number I really had was “Well, I guess that means someone besides my mother will read it”. Fan response was always a concern. It’s a dedicated fan base with a lot of opinions… I’m a fan as well, so all I could hope for is that folks like what Andy and I were creating.
BRONY.COM: I know you’ve paid tribute to movies like Shaun Of The Dead (2004) and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978) in the books thus far. I was curious to see if there’s been any other nods to any other media that you and Andy [Price] have tried to sneak in there to date, and if so how long do you think it will take the fans to notice it?
KATIE: There are Easter eggs everywhere (movies, books, TV)… Most are noticed by someone right away and posted online. There are no secrets on the internet.
BRONY.COM: Then, could you talk about your relationship with Hasbro for the book? How much input do they have into what you’re doing?
KATIE: They’ve been very positive and supportive of what Andy and I are doing. They have all the power, but they’ve been great about letting us play around in their stables without crushing our creativity.
BRONY.COM: Of course in Issue 5 we see a new story started by Heather Nuhfer. I was curious to see if you could talk about why you yourself didn’t take the reins for that issue? Will you be back for later issues, and what are your plans?
KATIE: Andy and I will be back. We had other pony projects to concentrate on.
BRONY.COM: Any chance of seeing some MLP sketch cards from you in the future?
KATIE: Maybe if I do some for myself… I’m kind of burnt out on sketch cards!
BRONY.COM: What are your thoughts on all of the MLP fan art that’s out there? Why do you think that fans are so fascinated with creating their own art for the show and it’s characters?
KATIE: You get that in every fandom… Why is it different for ponies? I’ve seen some amazing artwork out there for ponies. It’s fun to look through and there’s new art every day.
BRONY.COM: We here have really appreciated the sense of humor you’ve injected into these books, and we’d love to ask you where you thought your sense of humor comes from? And how do you think it’s morphed to include the sensibilities of the My Little Pony universe?
KATIE: I’m a child of the 80’s and the influence of my older brother. I didn’t just watch Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony as a kid… I watched Mel Brooks movies, Monty Python, The Muppets, Star Trek, Are You Being Served?… Television from the BBC, and comedy movies I shouldn’t have watched at that age and nerdery from the past. It’s who I am, so that’s how I write.
BRONY.COM: Of course people at times forget that you’re not just a writer, but also an incredible artist, I was curious to see what you thought about what some could consider an Art vs. Story struggle. Is writing as fun for you as the drawing? Or is one more challenging?
KATIE: Mostly, I’ve just noticed that the writer never gets as much attention as the artist. I apologize to every writer I’ve ever worked with before this. I get it now.
BRONY.COM: When you and Andy [Price] were approaching the first issue, I was curious to see if there were any ideas that you wanted to explore that maybe got lost or were pushed to the wayside as you both were working?
KATIE: Only things we’ve put on a back burner for later.
BRONY.COM: What do you think about the public misconception toward Bronies? Certainly with the documentary, and recently the joke/mention on Saturday Night Live, we’re starting to be understood, but why can’t everyone see the appeal of a show that we both love?
KATIE: I think, like in any fandom, you have the “weird one” that makes the news and THAT is the impression that people not familiar with the fandom are left with. The man who created the blog about his dates with ‘Twilight Sparkle’… The guy who insisted fanart of his “fiance” ‘Twilight’ be taken down… THOSE are the Bronies that are getting attention and therefore are the public association for a very NEW fandom. It’s the Brony communities job to turn that around. The “weird Star Wars fanatics” have become mainstream nowadays and those who costume have become a very respected charity group. Star Wars fandom is a great example of a fandom who has turned a “just a bunch of nerds” perception into something more. (I’m a Star Wars fan through and through!). “Brony” is a very new fandom. Give it time. If people are in it for the long haul, things will calm down.
BRONY.COM: Can we try some free word association? What’s one world that comes to mind instantly when you think of these characters. Let’s start with: Apple Jack?
BRONY.COM: Twilight Sparkle?
BRONY.COM: Rainbow Dash?
BRONY.COM: Princess Luna?
BRONY.COM: Final Questions: What are you expectations for the upcoming Season 4 of the show? And what’s next for your own comic, Gronk?
KATIE: I already have a pretty good idea of what’s happening in season 4…. So I’ll just go on to Gronk. I’m putting out the third book in July!