Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: This December will see the trade paperback release of Kaptara, your latest series from Image Comics. What inspired you to take readers to space and beyond with this series?
Chip Zdarsky: Honestly? It was the chance to work with Kagan! We’ve been friends for a long time, and his artwork and creativity are so crazy inspiring that our book needed to be in a place where he could just go wild with it. Kaptara is basically an open invitation to him to create weird creatures and landscapes that I can write words around. He’s a genius.
BD: With a heavy focus on character development and myriad of bizarre life forms, Kaptara successfully weaves its way through a variety of genres while also telling an engaging story.Why do you feel that readers most connect with the protagonist, Keith, and what do you hope that they take away from his journey?
CZ: I kind of cheated by making him the only normal person on the planet! You HAVE to relate to him by default!
Keith is scared, a little selfless, and a little short on introspection when we meet him, like me! Kaptara is his journey towards becoming a better person, unlike me.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in working with artist Kagan McLeod, and how does his artwork challenge you as a storyteller?
CZ: Well, like I said, we’ve been friends for a long time, so collaborating’s been super easy. We talk through the story and, when I write the script up, I leave tons of room for Kagan to interpret characters and settings. With comics, the job of a writer is to know when to get out of the way of the artist a lot of the time. So, the challenge really is to give Kagan the right amount of input.
BD: What are your plans for Kaptara beyond the upcoming trade paperback, and are there any details that you are able to share regarding the upcoming storyline?
CZ: We’ll be back in the new year! The next arc we really cut loose with major battles and death and kissing. At the end of the current arc, Kagan created, like, 70 new characters, so we have a lot to play with now.
BD: If you could adapt the series into any other medium of entertainment, what would it be and why?
CZ: You know, the most obvious answer would be “animated series” since we’re riffing off of Saturday morning-style fare, but I kind of want to see an open-world video game filled with these visuals. Motivational Orb could be the character in-game giving you hints wrapped in motivational sayings.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
CZ: Um, that aren’t known? Nope! Besides Kaptara, I’m writing Jughead, Howard the Duck, and art-ing up Sex Criminals. It’s morrrrre than enough for now.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Kaptara?
CZ: The primary goal for the book was for Kagan and I to have fun and make each other laugh. We’re just hoping that spills over to the reader as well! Also, we priced the first trade at $9.98, making it the cheapest Image trade on the market! How can you resist trying it out?