Kris Carter just got his new Kickstarter underway for Bruce Outback and I got the chance to warm up my desk lamp, shine it in his face and grill the shit out of him…….nah…..I just asked him a few questions……and here’s what he had to say!
What can we expect from Bruce Outback?
Time-Travel! Comedy! Koalas! Victorian orphanages being torched to the ground! It’s basically going to be a mostly funny, sometimes silly, occasionally dramatic time-travelley detective story that leaves no Australian cliche unturned! Basically, if you’ve liked ‘Lou Scannon’, you’ll like this. If you liked ‘Druid Investigations’, you’ll like this. It’s Quantum Leap meets Crocodile Dundee through the skewed eyes of a bunch of immature animation graduates.
What came first…..comic or animation??
Er…. they both sorta happened at the same time… kinda. A drunken night out in 2013 led to me, Dan Harris, Jim Bampfield and Kirsty Winskill having a ‘back-of-taxi’ based discussion about the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Dan, with his finger firmly on the pulse of current affairs, was pondering how the Australian police were going to nail Oscar. Obviously, we all ruthlessly started mocking him because the trial was set in South Africa rather than Down Under. We drunkenly imagined an Aussie police officer sent to Africa to sort out the trial with trademark bravado and bluster, and then somehow it just snowballed into this guy taking on other cases, then solving other cases throughout history. We were quite drunk. The Koala emerged from Jim’s subconscious I think. I don’t know where the spacesuit & Henry Kissinger glasses came from. Have I mentioned we were drunk? Anyway, with the permission of Dan, Jim and Kirsty, I developed Bruce as an animation project for my Animation Masters Degree. So I wrote the first story for that animated film, but it became apparent that I wouldn’t have time to fully do it justice, so I ended up doing a two minute trailer as an animation (it’s mostly at the start of the Kickstarter vid if you’re curious), and I drew up the story itself as a comic instead (which in a slightly altered and expanded form, is what is being Kickstartered!). But at the same time, Jim had written a comic version too (which we’re using for issue 2), and he’d also written a five-pager for the CICE Comic Anthology in 2015. So the animation and the comic versions sort of co-existed and sprung into existence together.
Is this a story you’ve always wanted to do?
Not until 2013. Dan didn’t think it would work too well as a sustainable comic, but we all just hammered at the concept until we won him over. And now we’re got spreadsheets with characters and timelines and I think I may have a mild addiction to headache tablets.
You’re tackling writing & art duties – how has that been?
It’s gone alright! Luckily, I think my colouring saves a lot of my under-detailed artwork, but I’m getting better at both. And to be fair, the writing of the story was mostly me to start with on this issue, but Jim came in to really expand and improve it for the Kickstarter final version, along with some other odds n sods from Dan and Kirsty over the development of the story..
Do you have long-term plans for Bruce Outback?
We do – we’ve got the first six books planned.Each story can broadly stand-alone as a sole read, but the six will combine to form a larger overall arc. In fact issues 5 & 6 will be less stand-alone. The trickiest bit is the time travel. We’re having to reference and draw stuff in issue 1 that people won’t really spot as being important until issues 5 & 6, but it still has to make sense as an easily-graspable narrative and – *uggghh* pass the headache tablets.
It’s your first Kickstarter – so what’s that process been like?
Hardest part is overcoming my horrid British guilt about annoying people on social media asking for funding! Otherwise, it’s been a lot of prep and hard work trying to pitch everything right, and getting the video done, and trying to get all the ducks in a line to spread the word. Hopefully people will be energised enough by the concept to chip in, and people will already be familiar enough with Scannon and Druid to know what they’re getting into!
What else are you working on just now?
Finishing up the amends to Bruce Outback, doing some illustration work for a few small companies, anthologies and illustrating a children’s book for the NHS. Jim and I are also in the midst of re-colouring the early issues of Lou Scannon for a nice lovely colour-filled trade collection of the first 6 issues, and we’re gearing up to start colouring Lou Scannon issue 8 when Dan starts filtering the finished pages to Jim and myself. We’re also feverishly wracking our brains for fun content to update the Attic Studio’s website with on Friday’s.
You can jump on-board the time-travelling release over on the Bruce Outback Kickstarter…..and watch the whole release video (it’s a doozy) ;). You can also check out all the Attic Studios titles over on the website and keep up to date with what Kris is up to on his blog.