This October, a group of cats are boldly going where no feline has gone before.
Captain Ginger is a new series by Stuart Moore and June Brigman, with the titular space captain based on one of Brigman's own cats ... except for the whole spaceship and anthromorphication.
Captain Ginger #1 debuts October 17 as part of the newly-launched Ahoy Comics, part of an eclectic batch of creator-owned comic books overseen by two former Vertigo editors. Newsarama spoke with Brigman about Captain Ginger, being a self-professed cat lady, and how these cats got into space in the first place.
Newsarama: June, this October you're jumping back into monthly comics with Ahoy Comics' Captain Ginger. What led to you working with them, and Stuart Moore in particular?
June Brigman: Stuart and I have history. We first worked together for a company called Teshkeel, a Kuwaiti company that published comics in the middle east. It wasn't easy to come up with entertaining superhero stories that wouldn't offend some very different cultural sensibilities. But Stuart was always good at walking that line. He's a great writer with an excellent visual sense that makes working from his scripts a breeze. And Ahoy came along just in time. Stuart and I were considering kickstarting Captain Ginger when Ahoy stepped in and expressed interest in the project. They're a great company that's been really supportive of the Captain.
Nrama: Cats in space - I have two cats, so I can see the appeal. Do you have cats? What's the appeal for you in this?
Brigman: OMG, do I have cats. Yes, I have ten cats. Seriously. I'm officially a crazy cat lady. The appeal is a tax write-off for all the cat litter.
Nrama: [Laughs] Let’s get back to the comic: who is Captain Ginger?
Brigman: Captain Ginger is the personification, or catification, of my cat Bruno, god rest his soul. Bruno was a ginger tom cat that came with the house when we moved to Atlanta. The neighbors called him "Killer.” He was hell on the squirrels and chipmunks. And whoa to the stray who wondered into his territory.
But he was also a sweetie who charmed our house cats and loved a warm lap. While Captain Ginger is much more civilized than Bruno, he also never backs down from a fight. No one's ever going to call him a wussy.
Nrama: What is Captain Ginger and his starship crew up against here?
Brigman: Survival. They're trying to escape from a mysterious alien race who've wiped out humanity and is now out to get their progeny. And if that's not enough, the Captain and his crew have to deal with an aging spaceship built by humans that's falling apart. And on top of that, there's the issue of over population in the limited space and resources of the ship. There are kittens and feral, un-evolved cats everywhere. It's a furball of a problem.
Nrama: A potential catastrophe.
Coloring would appear to be an integral part in this - more so than usual comics - due to the coloring of cats. Who is doing the coloring for this, and how are you two working together to get on the same page?
Brigman: We are so lucky to have the amazing Veronica Gandini coloring our work. We worked together on a Convergence book for DC a few years ago. I loved her color choices and textures. When she agreed to come on board for Captain Ginger, I sent her some sample pages I had colored. But I let her know that I totally respected whatever decisions or changes she wanted to make. I really just leave her alone and let her do her wonderful thing.
Nrama: So if humans died out, cats took over and you were reincarnated into a feline - what type do you think you'd be?
Brigman: I think I'd be a fat, spoiled, lap cat who sleeps thirteen hours a day.
Nrama: Big picture - what are your goals for this?
Brigman: My goal is to keep telling stories about Captain Ginger, Sergeant Mittens, Science Cat, Ramscoop, Ecru, and Deena. When you have characters this good, you don't want to stop. It's almost like they keep purring in your ear, telling you tales of kibble and rayguns, catnip and atomic piles, litter box duty and spaceships.