Wayward Sisters: Interview with Stephanie Cooke (”Miss Monster”)

Q. What were your major influences or inspirations for Miss Monster?

A. A while back now, I got obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race and I wanted to write a fun story that capture the essence of that but with monsters. The people, the puns, the pageantry, the cattiness – I wanted to write something that incorporated it all!

I never really watched “real pageants” growing up. I think my first experience with them was probably watching Miss Congeniality (that’s how all pageants are, right??) and then in my teen years, being forced into participating in a pageant to be crowned the queen of my local county fair… which I did not win.

Q. What comics do you enjoy most–did any of these find their way into your story for Wayward Sisters?

A. I read a lot of comics—although admittedly lately, I have not been as on the ball with them. That being said, I love a little bit of everything and some of my favourites include Through the Woods, Runaways, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, Velvet, Bandette, Lumberjanes, Giant Days, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Backstagers.

Light-hearted comics are my favourite, something I can just escape into, but good comics are good comics, and I try to keep up with as much as I can.

I don’t think much seeped into my story for Wayward Sisters but things like Lumberjanes and Giant Days are definitely inspirations that I want to use for projects in the future.

Q. How did you get your start in comics?

A. I started as a podcaster in comics where I would talk about my favourite things with three friends. I did that for several years and started working behind the scenes in comics as an assistant and editor.

I never thought I wanted to be a writer until one day, an artist basically pointed out that if I liked writing and already worked in comics, that I would be a dumb-dumb to not take advantage of that. I sat on it for a while and then realized that I should give it a shot so I started pitching to anthologies and such to practice and hone my craft and build up a proper portfolio.

Q. How has the comics field changed in terms of creator representation since you first got your start?

A. I got started in comics professionally in 2011/2012 or so, and even then, a mere 5-6 years ago, there was a lot of need to be the “cool girl” in the industry. People weren’t calling creators out heavily at that time— but it was pretty close to the start of big changes that really started to pave the way.

I’m incredibly grateful that I didn’t start working as a creator myself until the last couple of years, otherwise I may not have moved forward with my career. Diversity and representation in comics a long way to go, and I think we’re slowly getting there, but it can be discouraging whenever you see an announcement made for some BIG EVENT THAT’LL CHANGE THE UNIVERSE FOREVER and it’s the same old white dudes on the books time and time again. Dudes that can do no wrong despite their politics, their personal opinions, their behaviour and more while women and POCs aren’t being hired solely because they’re not these white dudes.

Honestly, that’s why we need more books like Wayward Sisters. We need to show the world that there are women here. We are working on cool projects. We’re doing things that anyone can read and enjoy and we have cool, fresh angles on things. More stuff like this can only help amplify what we’ve known all along: women make amazing comics.

Q. What is your idea of the perfect monster date? October 31? Because it’s not too hot, not too cold– all you need is a light jacket?

A. Oh man, I think you already stole my answer here, but my perfect monster date… HMMM…

You can’t go wrong with a beautiful dinner on a full moon. The moonlight perfectly lighting up each and every fur as you run through the forest, paw-in-paw (or claw-in-claw!) and howling in unison.

Find Steph on:

Twitter

Instagram

Tumblr

Her Website

Originally posted on the Wayward Sisters’ Tumblr.

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