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Interview with Stuart Moore, Writer of Captain Ginger

by Nathan Koffler on October 14, 2018


New publisher AHOY Comics blew us away with The Wrong Earth and not long after, wowed us with Captain Ginger. Captain Ginger is a brand new series written by Stuart Moore about a group of cats that are traveling space together. This series is beautiful, creative, and funny and each issue, like all of AHOY Comics' titles, is full of content beyond the main story. Comics: The Gathering was able to send Stuart Moore some questions about Captain Ginger and about being in charge of operations at AHOY Comics and you can read those questions and his answers below. You should definitely check out everything that AHOY Comics is doing and everything that they have coming in the future and you can do so by visiting www.comicsahoy.com.

How is Captain Ginger different than everything that you’ve written before?

Well, it combines two of my favorite subjects: cats and space travel. It’s one of the smoothest, most joyful writing experiences I’ve ever had. And AHOY is an incredibly supportive publisher.

But the biggest difference is June Brigman. I’ve worked with her before, and I created this series specifically for her—the first time I’ve ever done that with an artist, in fact. She draws cats better than anyone alive, and to my great relief, she jumped at the opportunity to do this. She brings so much character and detail to every page…I don’t know how she does it.

I’ve got to mention the work of Roy Richardson, inker; Veronica Gandini, colorist; and Jimmy Betancourt and Comicraft, who letter the book. It’s a top-flight team at every level. June chose Veronica personally…their work together is beautiful.

What comic books influenced the story of Captain Ginger?

Pacing-wise, I’m very influenced by the work of Howard Chaykin and the late Steve Gerber, with a healthy dose of Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, and of course Alan Moore. Gerber’s original Howard the Duck series was a big inspiration. 

CAPTAIN GINGER itself, however, is much more a descendant of TV series like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and novels like the Gateway series by Frederik Pohl and the work of A.E. Van Vogt and Cordwainer Smith. Smith’s Instrumentality future, in particular, featured servants called “Underpeople” who were evolved from cats and dogs. But it’s the space-travel aspects of those works that form a bigger part of the inspiration.

Captain Ginger #1 has a lot of humor as well as a lot of drama. I personally laughed out loud several times while reading the issue but I appreciated the serious tone that the story kept going back to. Is there a specific genre you were aiming for when writing the story?

That tone is exactly what I was going for! I hope people like the cat gags, and empathize with the various characters. But I also wanted to be stress that the cats’ survival is pretty precarious at all times. The human race’s destruction hangs over them like a big head planted on a stake. 

Who is your favorite character of Captain Ginger?

That’s very hard to say. I have a soft spot for Ramscoop, the cheery engineer who keeps having litters of kittens. In a different way, I like Ecru, keeper of the ship’s Maker. She’s based on a clearly troubled gray cat that my wife and I almost adopted once.

Where did you get the idea to put the cats in space?

I wanted to see what happened if you put these notoriously individualistic creatures in a situation where they had to cooperate in order to survive. That’s where a lot of the drama comes from: How much should the cats strive to act like humans, and how much should they be true to their own nature? After all, the humans didn’t make it in the end—they may not be the best role models to emulate.

How long do you anticipate the Captain Ginger series to run?

The first season runs four issues—the first issue is a full 35 pages of story, so the whole thing adds up almost to five normal-sized issues. We're already at work on the second season. I have Many Ideas.

What do you hope people will take away from Captain Ginger #1?

I hope it’s a satisfying ride that gives you more than your money’s worth and, of course, makes you want to come back and see what happens next. In addition to the lead story, there’s an “Intrepid Files” feature that sheds some light on the series’ backstory, and a mind-blowing text story by Grant Morrison with illustrations by Phil Hester.

How is working with AHOY Comics different from working with other publishers?

I’m involved a bit behind the scenes—on a freelance basis—so I have my hands in the process at a lot of different stages. Tom Peyer, the editor-in-chief, is an old friend, and our skills play off each other nicely. It’s been a lot of work shaping this golem out of clay, but so far it’s been incredibly rewarding.

What do you personally hope AHOY will look like in a year?

I hope we’ll be looking back at a string of books that delivered on their promises. I’ve just seen the final proof of EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR #1, and that’s a very impressive package. 

Also, we should be launching CAPTAIN GINGER Season Two around then, if not before.

Is there anyone in the comic book industry that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?

Yes, of course! But I’d rather not embarrass them by naming them here.

Do you have any specific writing rituals? If so, what are they?

I tend to get up fairly early. I go for walks around Brooklyn and do my plotting and planning, then I like to sit down in a coffee shop and write for a while. I can only do hardcore writing for a few hours a day…that’s about my limit. Then I go home and polish up work, check proofs, do AHOY business, fix stuff around the house, or anything else that needs doing. There’s always plenty.

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