This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Kurtis Wiebe (KW), the writer behind popular titles Rat Queens and Peter Panzerfaust as well as the upcoming Bounty. Rat Queens happens to be one of those comics that if you aren’t reading it, your friends are and you should be. He’s a unique voice in today’s comics who manages to bridge fun and excitement in ways entire publishers just can’t seem to figure out. Here we discuss the success what is Bounty and how it came to be.
BiC: First and foremost, how did the idea of Bounty come about?
KW: I’d been dabbling in a quasi-cyberpunk world for awhile with a homebrew RPG I’d made several years ago. It was inspired by shows like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop but also a dash of the technological ideas in Neuromancer. I’ve always enjoyed the cyberpunk genre, but I wanted to do something weirdly bright and colorful with a lighter tone.
BiC: How is working with Mindy and Leonardo?
KW: I think it’s clear once you see the final product that artistically Mindy and Leonardo gel. Co-creating Bounty with Mindy has been an excellent experience. The world of Bounty, from the people who live in it and the world itself, has come from her mind. One of the aspects of Mindy’s style I’ve loved is her sense of fantastic design. If you follow her Tumblr, it’s absolutely crammed with insane costume concepts and eccentric characters. I always looked forward to seeing her new posts because I was continually inspired by her work.
To have her take my ideas and realize them in such incredible details… it makes my job much easier.
Leonardo also understands what Bounty looks like. A bright, colorful fun world. I think it would be easy to take it to a darker, dystopian future, but he’s masterfully crafted the bright neon world Mindy laid out.
BiC: I love your use of female protagonists, why is it important to have strong female characters in today’s comics?
KW: There’s been such a huge wave of comics that appeal to a much wider audience than even five years ago, especially in the more mainstream titles. I believe it’s always been important. And there have always been comics that find their specific audience, but it’s refreshing to see the bigger publishers out there facilitating experimental and progressive stories.
BiC: What are some of your biggest inspirations, both in general and specifically for Bounty?
KW: Life experiences. Friends and family. The people I know and love always find their way into my stories and characters, in some small way. I don’t know how anyone could be a writer without the influence of others in their lives. It gives you a new pair of eyes to see the world, if you can try to view it from another person’s perspective. And you can learn a lot by doing so.
BiC: What lessons have you brought over to Bounty from your other titles?
KW: I’m continually trying to make the dialogue I write feel natural. I’ve always liked a bit of banter, which appears in most of my titles, but as time has gone on I try to make it feel right by the character, not by the scene.
BiC: And lastly, what are you currently reading?
KW: I just picked up Volume 1 and 2 of Preacher. I read the first TPB ages ago but figured it might be nice to revisit. Also pick up Island, I like the idea of experimental stories written and illustrated by artists. There’s been some genuinely fascinating ideas explored in the series so far. I’ve also got a backlog of Saga to read.
Speaking of… might be time to rectify that.
Special thanks to Kurtis for answering some questions for us, as well as a huge thank you for Megan Connor at Dark Horse. Look for my review of Bounty soon and look for it to hit the shelves on July 6th.