Geek Vibes Interview: Ahoy Comics, ‘Captain Ginger: Dog World’ Writer Stuart Moore

Like so many talented and versatile creators, Stuart Moore has worn many hats. As an Editor he has been an Eisner Award Winner for his work with the DC acclaimed Vertigo Imprint. As a writer he has worked for just about every publisher, including Marvel, DC, Image, and now Ahoy. His recently completed Captain Ginger, Vol. 2: Dog World sees its Trade Paperback release on Tuesday, November 10th. But since Stuart is a busy fellow, he also has the upcoming Second Season of his Second Coming Series on the horizon. With that all in mind, we are proud to welcome writer Stuart Moore to Geek Vibes Interview.

GVL: Thanks for visiting with us a bit Stuart. Since the beginning is always a great place to start, when did you originally take an interest in writing? Was it an early ambition or did you discover that knack later in your growing up?

SM: It was an early thing. This is a bit…confessional?…but I come from a family where creativity was strongly encouraged, but not necessarily as a way you made your living. So it took me a while to take the plunge and decide that, yes, this was the way I wanted to spend my life. And I still do other things, like running Publishing Ops for AHOY.

GVL: Who were your favorite authors? Which one’s made you believe that this was a path you would like to pursue?

SM: I’m always discovering new writers, but here are some new and old favorites, in no particular order: Philip K. Dick, Charles Willeford, Cordwainer Smith, Catherynne Valente, James Tiptree Jr., Charles Bukowski, Rick Moody, Jonathan Lethem, R.A. Lafferty, David Goodis, and a whole lot more than I’m forgetting right now.

GVL: Wow, that is a very diverse list. Not that I am surprised. Many great writers usually have a very extensive favorites list. And speaking of diverse, your work has been extensive and varied. Novels, Comics, and I even stumbled across your blog, “Pensive Mischief.” Among your novelizations, I noticed you did the Zodiac Legacy that was co-written by the late, great Stan Lee. What was that experience like?

SM: In terms of reader reaction, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Kids still come up to me at conventions and ask me about those books, or tell me they’ve read one and want the other volumes. Stan was quite elderly at the time we did these, but he was extremely gracious and his feedback was always spot-on.

GVL: Well you can’t ask for a more impressive entry on your resume. You have worked for many publishers including Marvel, DC, Humanoid, Image, and of course, Ahoy Comics. Is there any specific difference when working for different publishers and do they require different things either as writer or editor?

SM: Publishers are like huge battleships: They can be turned or steered in new directions, but very slowly and with a great deal of effort. Of the Big Two, Marvel has historically been the more agile, the faster one to make changes. DC tends to pour more resources into a project and commit in a bigger way. That’s all shifted a bit, but it’s still largely true. Image was a perfect experience for me in every way except financially. AHOY is great because the editor-in-chief, Tom Peyer, is a decades-old friend of mine, and we’re very good at giving each other room but listening to each other’s feedback. And our publisher, Hart Seely, gives us every tool we need to make the books shine.

GVL: Well that certainly shows in the results. Ahoy books are always high quality. But speaking of the two jobs you have filled, you have been both an award winning editor and writer. Do the skills used in your editing job reflect in your writing or is it the other way around?

SM: I suppose both. I’ve cut back a good deal on my editorial work, so these days it’s more of a one-way street. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with talents like Garth Ennis, Brian Bendis, Grant Morrison…each of them has a different box of tools, and sometimes I find myself borrowing from one or another of them. But for the most part, it’s best to be yourself.

GVL: You have worked on many iconic titles including some of my favorites including Namor and Batman. What is more satisfying, working on established characters or your own characters?

SM: Oh, I like the tradeoff. There’s nothing quite like having your own little universe to play in, but sometimes it’s fun to just cut loose and just write Wolverine for a while.

GVL: It doesn’t hurt when you can do either with aplomb. Speaking of Original Characters, you recently completed volume two of Captain Ginger with Captain Ginger:Dog World which just came out on trade paperback. Congratulations on its success. Since we haven’t discussed it previously, what was the inspiration for the series? It’s a great mix of classic Sci-Fi (Star Trek) and the natural proclivities of what are feline friends do. (The scene in Volume one where the cats are pawing the lights on the screen was particularly funny as was the Dog’s Poker game in Volume 2.)

SM: Thank you. CAPTAIN GINGER was such an obvious combination of elements—cats in space—that I’m shocked I didn’t create it when I was eight years old. June Brigman was a real inspiration, because I knew she’d take the basic premise and just soar with it.

GVL: Speaking of June Brigman (your co-creator and artist extraordinaire) in both volumes. Had you worked together before this?

SM: Yes. June and I worked together off and on for several years on THE 99, a kid-superhero series produced for the overseas market. Her linework is elegant, her storytelling is perfect, and her characters are expressive. She also owns a LOT of cats.

GVL: Well after reading the first two, a third volume is a necessity by now. Those of us who have read Volume Two know this. If they haven’t had a chance to read it, the Trade Paperback is a great way to catch up. With that in mind, how many more volumes do you see? Did you picture this as a trilogy or will it depend on reader response how long it goes?

SM: There will be one more. We’re working out the format and length as I speak. June is busy for a while on another project that will delight (but not surprise) her fans, so we’ll have to see when she can return to GINGER. But it will happen.

GVL: We thank you so much for your time. I close with my required by law hypothetical question. It’s MY law so I cannot break it. You have created a wonderful world in Captain Ginger. It has garnered the attention of both of the big two…Marvel and DC and they have worked out with Ahoy to do a crossover between one of their established titles and Captain Ginger. You are given the choice of which title you would crossover with. Who would you pick? (I have a natural choice in mind, but it’s your call, young man).

SM: I’m calling it: Wolverine / Sergeant Mittens. First the claw the s**t out of each other, then they team up to save some helpless kittens.

GVL: That’s a great choice. I tend to think of Sergeant Mittens like the feline Nick Fury (rough, gruff, and eyepatch included). Thanks again for giving us your time and we look forward to seeing what’s coming next for you and Captain Ginger.

SM: Thank you! Good night and AHOY!

Reminder: If you want to see what you missed in Captain Ginger, Vol. 2: Dog World, the trade paperback hits the stands Tuesday, November 10th.