Stu Perrins is the author of the acclaimed graphic novels “Megatomic Battle Rabbit” and “Chrono Cat”, the latter available from Amazon on the 1st February and reviewed here: https://comicscene.org/2022/01/13/comicscene-review-chrono-cat-graphic-novel/
Comicscene stopped him for a quick chat, to see what makes him tick and find out if he dreams of talking animals carrying big guns (he doesn’t)
Comicscene: Chrono Cat follows your well reviewed Megatomic Battle Rabbit. What is it with you and talking animals ?
Haha, it’s not like I ever sat down and thought ‘Oh I know, talking animals, that’s where it’s at’ but I did and have made an effort to try and create fun and exciting stories. The world is neck deep in a pandemic and unemployment and all the rest of it that I think that those that do create have a ‘duty’ , if you like, to steer the world away from the darkness for a few minutes and remind us that it isn’t always doom and gloom, there is good in the world. There’s enough grim and gritty in the real world at the moment, I really don’t want it in my comics. Art wise, it really pops, especially the main character.
Did it take many tries to get him how you wanted?
That was, if memory serves, pretty instant, I don’t recall there ever being a conversation where I said ‘No, try this’ or ‘do that’ I’d given Armando Zanker (the artist) and Ron Gravelle (colours and letters) character bios of the main characters, with some notes on how I imagined they looked and once I got the original sketches for the characters I was like ‘yes, that’s it’ It was one of those moments where it looked liked the sketches had been pulled straight from my head. Seeing those sketches was like a large mug of super strong coffee java for the soul. How do you know your artist and get together for this project?
Oh it was nothing exciting, it was your typical lonely hearts/artist wanted style tweet followed by emailing back and fourth. I instantly took a huge liking to Armando’s art and pitched harder than ever before to get him on board and when he said yes I did a little celebratory moonwalk and then thought ‘right then, let’s write this thing’
One thing that’s been observed is the books suitability for a cartoon show. Was this ever in your mind?
Yeah, a lot of people have said that but I didn’t create it with the intention of it being a cartoon series or a movie. Don’t get me wrong it would be incredible if it ever happened but I just wanted to write a fun kick ass story that kids would like and their parents would equally enjoy and whatever else happens, happens. That said my pitch for the book was always ‘a Saturday morning cartoon put to paper’ so maybe my subconscious was up to something.
Did it take long to write the three issues?
I’m not sure to be honest. I tend to think a lot abut a book before I actually sit down to write the thing so that’s always been hard to measure. I do remember that the second issue took considerably more drafts than issues one and three. How about the art? Was it a lengthy process?
Armando pretty much smashed through the pages in no time at all. Was incredible to see the speed with which he was doing these beautiful looking pages. One of those moments where the first page looked incredible and the rest only ever got better.
Do you find you have to ask for many alterations or are you pretty in sync?
We were pretty much in sync to be honest.. when I collaborate with an artist, it’s a proper collaboration it’s not me being the Mariah Carey of comics and having it all my way, and stamping my foot. When Armando would email me about an idea for the panel sizes and whatnot he’s the guy that’s got to put all down on paper so he knows what visuals might work and what won’t and I find that level of collaboration works perfectly on any book, but especially on something like Chrono-Cat, I mean how can anyone create a fun book if it all moaning and diva tactics behind the scenes.
Given there’s a pattern here, can we expect any more talking animal themed adventures in the future?
There’s no plans at the moment for more taking animal comics BUT there are lots of plans for stories in a similar tone. Writing for an all ages audience really gets your creative juices flowing in a unique way because you have to find something more than an exploding chest or ultra-violence to end a scene, you have to come up with something less vulgar but more interesting and satisfying that works.
Have you ever done much or any stuff aimed at more mature readers primarily?
Megatomic Battle Rabbit and Chrono-Cat are the only things, other than a few one page things, that are aimed at younger readers most of my previous stuff Like Clockwork Inc and Whatever Happened to the Archetype? are for an older audience. Not because they’re massively violent or anything but because they talk about a less innocent world that young kids don’t need to know about just yet.
Have any fans surprised you with a tattoo based on your characters?
Sad to say, no. Although if anyone ever turned up to a con cosplaying as one of my characters I’d would lose my mind and would die a very happy man.
How would you sell Chrono Cat to the curious in one sentence?
Travel space and time with the worlds first feline science superhero. What’s not to love?