Ever since Nate Cosby left his editorial position at Marvel, it seems he's popping up everywhere. He is editing for Archaia, he's co-writing PIGS with Ben McCool at Image, and now he has a project coming up for Dark Horse in their anthology Dark Horse Presents.Buddy Cops teams Cosby with artist Evan "Doc" Shaner on what is sure to be a goofy story. Appearing in "at least 3 issues" of the anthology, the story embraces action, comedy, and may be an idea that stemmed from one big joke.
We spoke with Cosby exclusively to announce the project and show off the first artwork.
Newsarama: So, Nate… Just what the hell IS Buddy Cops? Who are these characters?
Nate Cosby: It's very simple. A galactic policeman named Uranus is demoted to the NYPD after drinking in space. He's paired with T.A.Z.E.R., a 1970s robot that was supposed to be the prototype for a non-human police force, but his inventor lost all the funding on a horse race. Now they're partners. And they hate each other.Nrama: That… that sounds…familiar, for followers of your twitter stream.
From the preview art, it looks like this is full-on Science Fiction, with Aliens and futuristic weaponry. Why merge a "buddy cop" story with the outrageous like that?
Cosby: I like smushing genres together. Buddy Cops is sort of a love letter to both sci-fi and cop dramas. And the idea of this jerk space cop with a jetpack and huge sword (The Blade Of Uranus) that's gotta deal with monsters and parking tickets tickled me. And nothing pisses off a jerk more than a by-the-book stick-in-the-mud, so there's T.A.Z.E.R. All T.A.Z.E.R. understands is how the perfect cop would act in 1976. So all I've gotta do is put these two guys together and the dialogue writes itself.
Nrama: You seem to really be jumping across many genres creatively, both in your writing and your editing. What makes you cover such various ground all at once? What is it about each genre that drives your creativity differently?
Cosby: My stupid mind doesn't hold still. I've gotta write at least 2 or 3 different kinds of stories at a time. It's a weird process of getting something new done via procrastination on projects that already exist. So if I'm supposed to be writing an adult conspiracy thriller, my mind suddenly starts thinking all-ages Western, before hopping to fantasy, then sci-fi, then romantic comedy, then...whatever.
Nrama: Evan Shaner has a real old-school, pulp style to his art. What made that the right fit for you?
Cosby: Highest compliment I could give Evan is that a lot of his art reminds me of Kevin Maguire on Justice League. His art's super-expressive, and there's a joy that radiates from his faces and movements. I wanted Buddy Cops to be drawn by an artist that wouldn't over-modernize the technology. Even though there's plenty of fantastic elements going on in the story, Evan knows how to keep everything grounded in his version of reality. It's a blast every time he turns in designs and pages.
Nrama: In addition to spreading out across many genres, you've been spreading out across many publishers. Why Dark Horse? What's appealing about the anthology format of Dark Horse Presents?
Cosby: Anthology equals low commitment, which means easy for me to write, easy for Evan to draw, easy for Rus Wooton to letter. Evan was actually the one that brought me into Dark Horse. He introduced me to editor John Schork, I threw out a pitch, Evan did amazing work on the character designs, and BAM, a weird comic was born. It's really an honor to contribute to Dark Horse, especially Dark Horse Presents. I in no way measure up to the ridiculously talented creators that've been in the book so far, but it's been great to play over in the tiny little corner of the sandbox they've allowed me to sit in.
Nrama: If this story takes off in Dark Horse Presents, is it something you'd like to expand on later into a full mini-series?
Cosby: No doubt. Writing these guys is a blast. Uranus is essentially just a younger version of me (loves hip-hop, doesn't listen to his superiors, loves beer, etc), so I can easily see making more adventures outside of the three chapters coming up in Dark Horse Presents. Monsters are always gonna invade New York, and somebody's always gonna have to sloppily beat the crap outta them. That's all the Buddy Cops know how to do.
Nrama: Nate, take us out with one line of dialogue from the first issue of Buddy Cops that encapsulates the tone or story.
Cosby: "Pardon me. I am Officer Dennis. You can call me Uranus, or The Galactic Panty Dropper. You threw me into two buildings and almost killed my beer buzz. For that, I stab you with my glowing space sword thing."