The first time I became fully aware of Katie was through a random tweet from Geek With Curves about a ridiculously whimsical take on Batman. Needless to say, those random tweeting thoughts (ha, see what I did there?) need to become a reality. Every time I talk to someone from DC Comics, I bring up Katie Cook’s Batman. Right about now, I’m expecting some of you to be thinking, “Who the hell is Katie Cook?”, and you know what? She is amazing.
A self described nerd, artist, cat enthusiast, and mommy, Katie Cook is a BAMF in the world of comics and illustration. Her list of credits include licensed work for DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Heroes, Lord of the Rings, and has a weird obsession with toy collecting and robots.
As I wish Katie a belated Happy Birthday, our conversation turned to her current work.
L: Let’s jump right in and talk about Gronk, one of the cutest monsters on the internet. How did you get the idea to do a web comic about her?
K: I’ve been doing little doodles of Gronk since 2000 back when I was in college! She came about during a project where we had to do a self-portrait… I drew myself as a monster! I had notebooks full of little stories, drawings, and her mythos. I figured it was time i did something with all of it. A webcomic is something I figured would be a great start to the lil’ gal.
L: I work in a comic shop as my day job and I honestly had zero idea that you were involved with a run on the Fraggle Rock comic series. It was only when I was face to face with a hardcover collection that I saw your name and said, “Holy hell, I love this girl!” that I realized it! Was Fraggle Rock something you were familiar with or did you have to sit and watch numerous episodes in order to channel the characters?
K: HA. You have no idea. Seriously. You don’t. Anything and everything Jim Henson is my nerd passion. More that Star Wars, more than comics, more than cats… I love the Muppets. I love Fraggles. I love Sesame Street. I love Jim’s world. There were times *I* was giving the Jim Henson approval folks a run for their Fraggle knowledge. Fraggle Rock is a world I’m very in love with; I’m thrilled I got to be a part of it.
L: One of our favorite people to talk to is Ashley Eckstein of HerUniverse and when we last spoke at Star Wars Fan Days here in Dallas, she was carrying around the Halloween bag you designed for her! It’s ridiculously cute but unfortunately all sold out before I had a chance to snag one. From what I understand, you’ve also designed a shirt for her as well, correct?
K: I did a Leia/Darth Vader shirt that says “Daddy’s little girl.” I have more coming up with her! Nothing i can say anything about… but Ashley is a great person and she’s doing something REALLY great for female sci-fi fans.
L: We agree. What medium do you prefer to use for your illustrations?
K: I’d love to do some Muppet and Sesame Street children’s books (writing and drawing). I’d also really love to tackle anything Harry Potter if J.K. ever decides to expand her universe to kid’s books or comics (which, I highly doubt… but still! I can dream).
L: On your katiecandraw.com site, I noticed that you did a really fantastic piece of art in order to raise money for a boy named Aiden. I think it’s so important and so nice of you to do something for a great cause. Is there a particular reason you reached out to help him?
K: That project was put together by Christine Mignola! Several wonderful artists donated to the auction. Time willing, I’m always up for donating a piece of artwork to a worthy cause… if something I drew can help someone out, that’s an amazing reward.
L: Next question! If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what position would you want? I know I’d crap my pants.
K: So I get anything I desire AND a position amongst an alien government? Crikey. Well… I’d ask to just be a foreign diplomat…. diplomatic immunity means I could get away with a LOT.
L: Katie, are you influenced by any artists out there or is there anyone you’ve met who has left you star struck?
K: I think one of my biggest influences is Sergio Aragones… I was slightly breathless and starstruck when I met him, mostly because his mustache is pretty awe-inspiring.
L: I don’t have any kids of my own so I have to ask: is it difficult for you to switch gears from being a mom to your adorable child to being a sweet ass illustrator?
L: Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with me, Katie. I thoroughly enjoy everything you’ve put out. Katie Cook’s webcomic ,”Gronk, A Monster’s Story”, can be here and is updated weekly! Katie also regularly tweets, Facebooks, AND updates her sketchblog regularly.