I’m a fairly recent recent fan of Steve Sims’ Beast Hunting Battle Badgers but having been blown away by the full six issue first arc I just HAD to find out more about it…..so I talked to the top man himself.
What inspired Beast Hunting Battle Badgers?
After working on a couple of stand alone self published books I really wanted to create my own characters, and feature them in a larger story that could be released as chronological issues. I have always been a big fan of Asterix and loved the idea of two adventurers wandering off in search of some kind of object or quest. Also the idea of trying to move towards a more cartoony approach was really something I had wanted to do for a long time. There were other characters that came and went in my sketchbook but it was the Badger Brothers that stuck and were ultimately perfect for what I was planning to do.
Was this a story you had in mind for a while before getting to work on it?
I had the basic premise of the story arc in my head, and tried to thumbnail out a few approaches in my sketchbook, using some characters i was experimenting with but something wasn’t quite clicking. I think I was trying to force characters into a world they didn’t really belong.
However, when I started drawing the Badger Brothers, it all started to flow much easier and things started to make sense. There was a reason, time and place for all of my other ideas that just seemed to fit with these characters very naturally. From there the story really started to blossom and I had an outline for the six issues pretty quickly.
The detail in the art is amazing but did each issue take you long to finish?
I do thumbnails for each issue on my commute and then work on the actual pages of BHBB one day a week at my home drawing board (Fridays). I usually get out about two pages a day (pencils or inks) so a 22-24 page issue will take me about 3 months of Fridays to pencil, then 3 months of Fridays to ink, then a couple of months for toning and about a month for bubbles and text. So in total it’s usually about 9 months of Fridays for an issue, (including a couple of Fridays on top for Cover paintings back and front and extra intro pages, plus getting it set and ready for print).
Each of the 6 issues seemed to be complete around September of each year ready for the Comic cons on the approach to Christmas. Always enjoy the winter cons, I’m a real sun creature so it’s nice to have something to look forward to when the weather gets gross.
What was it like juggling writing & art on the series?
I find writing very hard, in fact, I didn’t ever see myself writing my own books. It was only when the Badger Brothers came so naturally, that i began to find writing enjoyable. They seemed to come with their own voices and personalities already set, probably because they are based on people I know well and enjoy talking nonsense with haha. I write a loose synopsis of the story, with all of the scenes and interactions mapped out and the reason for the dialogue in each of the scenes.
However the actual words the characters say is usually very loose and will be properly written when the pages are completed. As long as the intention of the dialogue is known then I know how to structure the story. I find it best to have a certain amount of flexibility as to the actual words spoken. So really the actual writing, as in the finished dialogue is something I am always thinking of, but that is not really locked down until much later in the process.
Do you have a favourite character in the book?
It has to be the Badgers themselves (I know that’s kind of cheating haha), but i think when you’re telling a story your favourite character has to be the focal point in order to keep your eye on the project. Otherwise, you would just turn the book into being about the other character you like better haha! Though having said that i do really like The Shriek. Always like a good horned baddie in armour!
Will we see more from these same characters or even another story in the same Universe?
Oh yeah, definitely! I am putting together the collected volume of the first story arc, and dipping my toe into Kickstarter for the distribution of that one, which has taken up quite a bit of my Friday Badger drawing time for the past few months, and will likely do so for a couple after the campaign has ended (gonna be a busy Badger postie for a bit haha). However I already have the seeds and loose structure for the next story arc in my head, and am very much looking forward to putting paper to pencil and letting some of it out and on to paper.
What else are you working on just now?
My work days are filled with various Dynamo creative projects that get sent through from the studio. I am still working on illustrating the Beast Quest series of books, alongside a series called “Monster Attack” and lots of other books and games for various clients. On the Badger side of things, it’s Kickstarter prep all the way until the campaign is done and all the rewards sent out. Then it will be back to the Badger drawing board 🙂
Massive thank you to Steve for taking the time to chat all about his project and you can pick up the book through the campaign link below:
You can also check out more from Steve on the links below too: