COMIC BOOK YETI: Thanks for joining us to talk about The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny!
NATE COSBY: Appreciate you having me!
CBY: You have a long career with many credits to your name, from Cow Boy to Spider-Man and the Hulk. How did you decide you wanted to create a comic like The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny?
NC: Cuz of Jennifer L. Meyer. We’ve been friends for years, and I wanted to write something specifically to her tastes. And her tastes…are bunnies. So we banged our heads together and came up with a hyper-precocious and mega-excitable bunny that wants to get into scrapes.
CBY: You aren’t new to creator-owned projects. What are the challenges to self-publishing a book like this one versus the traditional pitch-to-a-publisher route?
NC: Creativity, money and time.
If you self-publish, you need to make it worth everyone’s time to work on the project. The only way I see to do that is to have money for them, so that they don’t have to have other full-time jobs.
And creatively, for both myself and my collaborators…most of us have full-time creative jobs, and we can’t necessarily put that stuff on hold and only focus on creating something totally new with no one motivating us but ourselves. You have to find the time, and have the drive to do it.
CBY: What about The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny excites you the most? And what do you hope readers will get out of this book?
NC: Writing the Fight-Bunny character is the most exciting bit for me, because she is the personification of a part of my personality…the bit that’s always going “Adventure! Fun! Let’s go go go what’re we doing don’t stop cuz there’s tons and tons and tons and tons to do and see and eat and fight!!!!” So I hope the readers will appreciate the enthusiasm and positivity that I’m trying to imbue into both F-B the character, and the world around her.
CBY: Jennifer L. Meyer’s style is so fantastic, it has this wonderful whimsy to it. How was it collaborating? Did she have pretty much a free reign on the style and design? Or was it more of a back-and-forth process?
NC: Working with Jennifer is NOT work. Because you write something for her, and she comes back with gorgeous, adorable art and includes all these little details that were not in the script, because only Jennifer could’ve conceived something so outrageously cute.
Jennifer found a new version of her style that’s a bit looser and more energetic than her “usual” work, which really inspired me to lean into the energy and whimsy that she was bringing. I encouraged her to really follow her muse as she visualized this silly world we’re playing in.
CBY: Ariana Maher is lettering this book. Nate, you’ve called Maher “The MOST PERFECT letterer” (and yes, in caps). Tell us how you decided you wanted to work with her on The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny.
NC: I mean it’s not my opinion. Ariana is the MOST PERFECT letterer. The thought, guile, tact, and creativity she brings to every panel of every page is a delight to behold. She always brings her A-game, she never misses a deadline, she’s a pro’s pro and a creative dynamo in the art of lettering. It would’ve been dumb of me to NOT ask her, and I’m honored that she said yes.
CBY: The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny reminds me of the old Winnie the Pooh illustrated books in capturing that feeling of carefree childhood exploration and imagination. What was the inspiration for this book?
NC: Pooh’s a big touchstone! So is Paddington (books and movies) and Babe. And The Life & Times Of Scrooge McDuck. Jennifer and I have spoken a lot about the vibe of the characters and the story, and we wanted to bring a light, super-fun touch to everything. The goal is to cause a grin every time you look at any page.
CBY: Has the current pandemic affected how you work? Has your relationship with readers and fellow creators changed at all?
NC: It’d be weird if it DIDN’T affect how I work. It’s affected everybody. But despite the oddness of the current circumstances, I feel really fortunate to have formed or deepened friendships with more of my collaborators, that might’ve not been formed if we all didn’t feel a need to (virtually) connect in this time. And what with us all being separated, I’ve been more apt to engaging with readers online, and having some cool conversations. I’d call all those things silver linings.
CBY: Tell us about your publishing company, Linney Inc. Why did you decide to start it? Where does its name come from?
NC: Linney Inc’s more of a production company than a publisher. It’s basically a place where creators can come to collaborate, and produce work that’s personal to them. Sometimes the work gets sent to a publisher, sometimes it’s self-published. But the goal’s to help great creators create great, one-of-a-kind stories.
And Boyd Linney’s the title character of my first creator-owned project, Cow Boy, that I co-created with Chris Eliopoulos. Boyd’s the character that’s the most personal to me, and I wanted my production company to reflect that.
CBY: Why an all-ages book?
NC: It’s my favorite kind of storytelling. It’s the Pixar style…you tell a story that’s totally satisfying to an adult, yet isn’t out of reach to a kid. And you don’t talk down to your audience…maybe you include a word or two in there that a kid doesn’t know yet…which is good! Make them go look it up! Make a book with some “heavy” themes that a kid’s not encountered before, and challenge their new-ish brains! Meanwhile, older people can read the same story and nod knowingly, like “Yep, been there.”
CBY: How does one decide a bunny must fight?
NC: There is no decision; A bunny is born. A world awaits. A fight will come.
CBY: Where can people find this project to show support?
NC: Kickstarter! We’re wrapping up on January 28th, so anybody that wants the book should pledge before then. We’ve got plenty of fun tiers…you can get a digital version of the book, or a hardcover. And we’ve got ADORABLE pins designed by Jennifer L. Meyer, of Fight-Bunny and her best friend, Legend The Hippo!
CBY: Nate, thanks again for chatting with us about The Effervescent Adventures Of Fight-Bunny. Where can people back the Kickstarter? And where can they find you online?
NC: Thank you!
Here’s our campaign page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/linneycomics/fightbunny?ref=creator_nav
…and you can follow me on Twitter: @NateCosby