One of the first AHOY titles is CAPTAIN GINGER, the tale of a shipful of cats struggling to survive in a hostile universe, created by Stuart Moore and June Brigman. AHOY reached out to a few prominent comics-industry people for some advance comments, and one of them wrote us a lovely long epistle: Walter Simonson, the legendary writer/artist/creator of Ragnarok, Manhunter, and much, much more, including the still-definitive run on Marvel's Thor. Here's what he had to say...thanks, Walter!
Cats and Feeders…
A million years ago, I watched a TV critic reviewing a Broadway play that was really a comic book on stage. I’d seen it; I’d loved it. The critic (I’ve forgotten who it was or I’d pin his ass to the stage even now) started off by saying how he hated comic books, and then, to my utter non-surprise, proceeded to trash the play.
I’m not quite in the same position regarding cats as that critic was with comics, but I’m definitely a dog person. I think cats are okay but there’s something about being scratched by one that elicits in me a reaction far beyond any reasonable response to the event itself. I had a little cat companion back in college for a time—Nicodemus—and he was a sweet black kitten-sized cat who liked to sleep between my legs at night. So maybe I like cats more than I think I do, although it was, of course, his decision.
However that may be, I approached Captain Ginger with some trepidation as I wasn’t sure that a book centered around a cast of cats was quite the book for me, despite its SF milieu.
I was wrong.
The book is steeped in cat lore, cat behavior, and cat knowledge in a way that I’m guessing only true cat lovers could manage. And it’s carried by that love of cats. The best books usually transport me into a world with which I am largely unfamiliar and reveal its mysteries to me, whether it's the mean streets of a great urban metroplex, a small village lying somewhere on a distant steppe in central Asia, or a starship full of individualist cats trying to keep it together long enough to survive. And there is some question about that in the present narrative.
Captain Ginger is a great example of what the expression ‘herding cats’ is all about!
And to be honest, these may very well be the characters that June was born to draw and Stuart was born to write!
-Walter (not quite a cat person yet, but I’m thinking about it) Simonson