We Talk Gronk with Katie Cook

gronk002Katie Cook is an accomplished comic book artist, but the project closest to her heart is that of Gronk, her webcomic series which has been collected in volumes by Action Labs.  We got a chance to talk with her about the world of webcomics and about her recently released fourth volume of Gronk’s Tales.
Graphic Policy:  For those unfamiliar with Gronk can you give us a quick introduction to this world?
Katie Cook:  Gronk is a story about a cute monster who has left the monster world for ours! She learns about our current pop culture and tech obsessed world through joining up with her new family.
GP:  Is it hard to come up with the ideas for the short stories that make up Gronk?
KC:  Not since I had kids. Toddlers seem to be an every ready source of inspiration.
GP:  A lot of comic creators can cite some of the all time greats when they describe their inspiration, but Gronk is more like a a newspaper comic than a comic book.  Do you have any influences from that medium that inspired you?
gronk003KC:  A newspaper comic is exactly what I was going for. I grew up wanting to be the next Bill Watterson. I read the comics section of the paper every morning while my mom got ready for work… Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Garfield and Foxtrot were my favorites.
GP:  Gronk is also noteworthy as it is a webcomic.  Do you think that it is easier for people to break into a field like newspaper comics through a webcomic?
KC:  I have seen a few cases of people with webcomics that were picked up by newspapers… but it’s a rarity! The newspaper comic is a dying breed, webcomics seem to be taking over.
GP:  You also have a lot of experience with other more whimsical properties like My Little Pony or Fraggle Rock, but does the experience help when creating Gronk?
KC:  I worked on Gronk way before I was approached for My Little Pony! Really, I think my work on my own comic is what got me some more “mainstream” work.
GP:  Is it hard to have your own distinctive style one place and have to draw in another way elsewhere?  Especially as Gronk is a project that is 100% yours from top to bottom, do other works seem like you are cheating your true nature a bit?
gronk004KC:  Nope! I tend to stick to how I draw with my projects. I haven’t had to “force” my style since my days working in a studio doing licensed work. That was years ago.
GP:  Astronomy shows up often enough in the adventures of Gronk.  Are you a bit of an amateur astronomer yourself?
KC:  I am a fan of just sitting outside and staring up at the night sky while I drink a glass of wine. It’s very technical and scientific.
GP:  Speaking of recurring themes, have you ever tried to take a cat for a walk on a leash?
KC:  I have tried. I do not recommend it.