INTERVIEW: Kate Cook, Creator of ‘Gronk’

We take a look at webcomic Gronk and chat to its creator Katie Cook. This self-titled webcomic follows the story of little spunky monster Gronk: the just-too-loveable-to-be-scary creature who leaves the other monsters behind and sets out to find her place in the world. Gronk is taken in by Dale, her sloppy Newfoundland Harli and moody cat Kitty.

The strips are mostly self contained mini stories; a comfortable mix of hilarious and heart-warming (it’s likely some of these strips will make you sniffle), the artwork is adorable AND it’s updated weekly, so you don’t have to wait too long for your fix!

Gronk is drawn by the incredible artist Katie Cook, who has worked on licences for Star Wars, Fraggle Rock, Marvel, DC, Lord of the Rings and lots more. Kate was kind enough to give us an insight into the origins of Gronk, fans’ takes on the monster and the possibility of a My Little Pony crossover.

GS: What gave you the idea for Gronk? And was it always going to be a webcomic?

KC: Gronk started off as a doodle in my sketchbooks during college; she was a little taller and leaner then. Then I was given an assignment for class to do a self portrait! I adjusted Gronk into a monster version of me and did a series of small illustrations with her.

Originally, I always thought I’d use Gronk to start a series of children’s books – maybe that could still happen one day.

For now, I just had the character sitting around for almost 10 years, so I decided to do a webcomic with her!

GS: Your art style is very distinctive. How would you describe it?

KC: I really pride myself that my style is pretty unique. I guess it’s a crazy combination of my early influences: Sergio Aragones, Stan Sakai, Disney and Dr. Seuss?

GS: We love the strip where Dale talks to Gronk to explain that the outside will judge her on how she looks because people are uneducated jerks. Will we ever see Gronk venture out in to the big wide world to take on the bigots?

KC: One day, Gronk may wander into the big, wide world, for now I’m having fun letting her learn all about the world.

Gronk loves everyone and is tolerant of everyone. Gronk, like me, thinks that everyone deserves to love and be loved by whoever they’d like!

GS: You’ve started putting the strips together in books and we’ve just got the second one. Will we get a Gronk volume 3?

KC: Of course! As long as I’m drawing the comics, I’ll keep putting out books :)

GS: You seem to get lots of Gronk fan art. Do you have a favourite piece?

KC: Every piece is a favourite… because it makes me so happy that people like the characters enough to dedicate some of their time and creative energy to draw them.

GS: Can you tell us some of your favourite webcomics?

KC: One that I constantly trip over myself to read every day is Girls With Slingshots. It’s contemporary, it’s edgy, it’s fun and totally addictive. Danielle Corsetto is a talent.

GS: And finally: could there ever be a Gronk/Star Wars/My Little Pony crossover?

KC: HA! I may be writing the My Little Pony comic and have Star Wars work coming out the wazoo… but I don’t think Hasbro is ready to let this mash-up happen ;)

Start reading Gronk here www.gronkcomic.com, and you can learn more about Katie’s work at www.katiecandraw.com as well as buy prints and the collected editions of Gronk at her online store should you feel so inclined.

GS Reporter: Sara Westrop

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