Natasha Allegri Talks About Kaboom’s Upcoming ‘Bee And Puppycat’ Comic And Why She Loves Garfield [Interview]
It’s not often that you get a piece of comics news that’s completely unsurprising and completely welcome at the same time, but that’s exactly what we got this week when Boom! Studios announced that their Kaboom imprint will be publishing a comic book version of Natasha Allegri’s Bee and Puppycat. The official announcement about Bee and Puppycat joining its fellow Frederator shows, Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors, even included the phrase “Of course we’re doing the comic.”
But like I said, it’s every bit as welcome as it is expected, so to get a little insight on where Bee and Puppycat is coming from, we asked a few questions to Allegri, who took a moment out of her busy schedule to tell us about her influences, the tone of the show, and her love of Garfield.
And it is a busy schedule. Right now, a Kickstarter to fund the production of a Bee and Puppycat animated series that will go beyond the two episodes already produced by Frederator is in its final week, closing in on its initial goal of $600,000. It’s been picking up steam as it heads towards the finish line, getting a big boost from a Reddit AMA, all while Allegri, set to helm the comic as well as the cartoon, has kept up with her duties on Cartoon Network’sAdventure Time.
With 12,000 people already putting their money down for the series, it seems like there’s already an audience in place for the adventures of a Magical Girl temp and her pet of indeterminate species who may or may not be a magical space prince.
There’s a lot of grown-upshojo adventure going on here is what I’m saying.
ComicsAlliance: My first thought when I watched Bee and PuppyCat was that it has this great Sailor Moon influence, just based around a woman in her 20s instead of a high school girl. Was that something you wanted to bring to the forefront?
Natasha Allegri: Yeah. It’s all Sailor Moon, definitely.
CA: Were there other influences that led to how the show was built? Or, along those lines, things that you wanted to avoid?
NA: My main concern was to avoid mean spirited humor… I wanted to try to make something that was nice, with good intentions. But other than that… there’s a lot of early 90’s kid anime influences.
CA: One of the big reasons that’s listed on the Kickstarter for why you went with it for funding was that you didn’t want to have an outside influence on what you were creating. Is that something you’ve had to deal with in other projects that you’ve worked on, or did you just want to make sure that you got to use your creations in the way that you wanted to use them?
NA: I actually didn’t chose to go to Kickstarter, the Kickstarter is completely run by Frederator. My reason for working for Frederator was because they let me have total control over my short, which I’m really happy about… they didn’t let me use swears though! I don’t think Bee and Puppycat really pushes any boundaries regarding, like, Standards & Practices stuff, but I do think the idea of a slow… I don’t know any other phrase than “awkwardly paced” show is not something other studios would have been willing to try out.
CA: Why bring it to comics, as opposed to just staying with animation?
NA: I like comics! I like Boom! and if the animation side doesn’t go too far, I want to still try to tell as much of the story as I can!
CA: The setup of a magical-girl-as-a-temp-job seems like it could have a pretty much endless amount of stories. Are there any coming up that you can tell us about?
NA: A space cat cafe!
CA: How do you decide which stories go in a comic and which get used for animation?
NA: I haven’t decided anything… yet, I don’t think.
CA: Obviously, working on a show like Adventure Time takes up a lot of your time. How do you fit doing other projects, working on comics, doing art for your Tumblr all into your schedule?
NA: When I worked on Adventure Time and the comic and the short at the same time, it was horrible! I did it by not sleeping and begging people for more time.
CA: Finally, I am very curious about your feelings on Garfield.
NA: I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS REGARDING GARFIELD. Haha! Um, a lot of it is just my nostalgia of tricking my father into buying them for me… He’d take me to the bookstore and give me enough money to buy a book. My dad is a huge scholar, and he was trying to get me into reading some classic literature, but I’d get a couple Garfield books. Then one day my dad asked to see the receipt and he was like “WHAT THE F**K IS A FAT PACK”.
A lot of the reasons I like Garfield maybe stem from how mysterious the world was to me at the time. I didn’t like to go out and interact with people when I was young, I avoided it as much as possible. So the world was kind of scary, I didn’t know why people did things. But with Garfield, it was like, I KNEW why he did anything. He was either tired, annoyed, or hungry. And also, like… they stayed in the house so much! They rarely went out! And I felt kinda like that spoke to the young hermit in me… maybe.
Allegri’s Bee and Puppycat comic is slated for release in 2014 from Boom! Studios.