Cats, Garfield, And Buttholes – The CatConLA Interview With Rachel Dukes

Posted by June 11, 2015 Comment

Rachel_Dukes_imageThis past weekend saw the debut of CatConLA, first ever convention for all things cats. Celebrity cats like Lil Bub and Pudge were in attendance, along with cat-themed panels, vendors selling their cat-inspired wares, and artists with cat-centric pieces. One of the artists in attendance was Rachel Dukes, creator of Frankie Comics and Mixtape Comics. Dukes was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of my cat questions at the convention.

Cameron Hatheway: With your own website Mixtape Comics, you try avoiding being a crazy cat-lady, and yet a lot of your more popular works feature your cat. What are a few good tips of blending-in as a normal cat lady?

Rachel Dukes: I think it’s just relatability and being honest. You find more and more that even being a crazy cat-lady, you’re not as crazy as you think you might be. Everybody’s a little crazy for cats.

CH: You’ve been publishing the ongoing adventures of you and your cat Frankie in Frankie Comics since 2013, and now you’re doing a Kickstarter to fund issue 4 and Frankie plush dolls. What’s that process been like?

RD: We just launched the Kickstarter today and it’s been a really good process so far! Blogging, tumbling, getting retweets, all that business, talking about it here at CatConLA. The feedback has been really positive and we’re excited to get the book done and get the dolls made.

CH: Is this your first Kickstarter?

RD: Yes and no. I was recently involved in The Beyond Anthology Kickstarter, which is a queer/sci-fi anthology that’s coming out, and I have a story in there but I didn’t run the Kickstarter. And then technically I ran a Kickstarter years and years and years ago for a book called Octobriana which was written and subsequently published by my friend Steve Orlando, but it wasn’t my project, I was just running the Kickstarter for it. So this is technically my first Kickstarter that I’m running for myself.

Frankie_ComicsCH: You also got to work on Garfield comics. What’s that experience like, and have you gotten to talk with Jim Davis?

RD: I haven’t spoken directly with Jim Davis, but I was emailed his notes which were his words verbatim. Working on Garfield was very fun. I was provided a script which I got to draw in my own style, and the only note that I got back from Jim Davis—I had drawn Garfield with a butthole in one panel…

CH: That’s a no-no!

RD: [Laughter] Yeah! And the one note that I got back was, “Could we remove the sphincter?” And that’s all Jim Davis had to say, which I got a kick out of. It was a very very fun comic to work on.

CH: What famous cats, dead or alive, would you like to share a saucer of milk with?

RD: I mean Frankie, my cat, is always my number one choice. But we got Lil Bub here today, and I kind of want to go give her some kisses. So maybe I’ll bring her a saucer of milk.

CH: Is Frankie pretty chill, or would she be freaking out at a convention like this?

RD: Right now she would hate this! She’s very homebody, very princess, only wants to hang out with us. If there’s other people, she’s like, “Um, no.” Unless she knows you, that’s a totally different story, but she would be very shy today.

Special thanks to Dukes for taking some time to answer my questions. You can follow her on Twitter and visit her website for more information. Don’t forget to check out her Kickstarter as well.

Cameron Hatheway is a reviewer and the host of Cammy’s Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can watch him clean himself on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

(Last Updated June 11, 2015 11:32 am )