Two Junior High School Detectives Investigate the Mystery of a Missing Goat in ‘Cash and Carrie’ [Back Pages]
Here's one for fans of The X-Files. Running on Kickstarter right now, Cash and Carrie follows the junior high school adventures of Dallas Cash and Inez Carrie, two budding investigators who find themselves pulled into a fiendish fiasco with a hint of the supernatural. Somebody has taken their school's mascot, a goat, and they race off (on their vespas, awesomely) to go get it back.
Created by Shawn Pryor, who recently served as President of Action Lab Comics, the book is written by Giulie Speziani and pencilled by Penny Candy, and the whole team were determined to create an all-ages series with real diversity. The term sometimes becomes a meaningless catch-all, but, here's a book that takes the concept seriously and gives it some depth. Inez and Dallas are bright and fun characters to hang out with, as are the creative team. ComicsAlliance spoke to all three about their project.
ComicsAlliance: What’s the basic premise of Cash and Carrie?
Giulie Speziani: It’s about two junior high school detectives who solve mysteries in their hometown.
Shawn Pryor: They’re The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew for a new era. Those who also enjoy cartoons like Gravity Falls, Scooby Doo and Fillmore will dig it as well.
CA: What was the genesis of the project? How long have you wanted to get this comic up and running?
SP: I wanted to bring more diversity to all-ages comic books. There are very few all-ages comics that feature minorities as positive, lead characters, so this book gives us the opportunity to do such a thing in a fun way.
Cash and Carrie is a project that I’ve been wanting to do for five years, but I never had the time to work and collaborate to make it a reality because I decided to put a creative career on hold to become an executive for Action Lab Entertainment.
As much fun and hard work I did in helping build a comic book publisher from the ground up, I became burned out and wanted to get back to what I enjoyed most, which was creating things.
CA: What motivates Dallas and Inez? How do you approach them, as characters and personalities?
GS: They both want to get to the root of the problem to uncover the truth, even though their approaches in solving the case sometimes clash (believer vs skeptic) they always work together. For Dallas Cash, he's smart, resolute and loves his gadgets. For Inez Carrie, she's reasonable, always prepared and can show you a few grappling techniques.
PC: Cash and Carrie is like any great buddy cop story --- the characters are great foils for one another. While Dallas dives in headfirst, Inez is more grounded. Inez is definitely the Scully to Dallas' Mulder, always trying to pull him back to the most reasonable explanation available, though both of them are equally engaged in discovering the truth.
CA: What was it about this story which made you want to tell it?
GS: Personally, I was a fan of The X-Files and Are You Afraid of the Dark? growing up, so coming up with a mystery to solve was the fun part. I remember back in my day rival schools would prank each other and I thought that would be a good premise to start with. As Cash and Carrie dig deeper to find out who stole the school's mascot, they discover things aren't always what they seem.
PC: I'm admittedly a huge fan of stories like this! I've watched every iteration of Scooby-Doo on television, am a long time X-Files nerd, and am very into the kids' spooky comedy cartoon Gravity Falls. When Shawn pitched me his idea for an all-ages mystery comic with a splash of the supernatural, I was hooked from the beginning! Secondly, I was very interested in contributing to a book that actively promotes diversity.
I firmly believe that every kid should grow up seeing people like themselves portrayed (especially in a positive way) in the media they consume.
CA: How did the creative team come together for the comic?
SP: I had followed and enjoyed Giulie’s comic writing for a while. We both followed each other on social media so I reached out to see if she liked the concept of Cash and Carrie and be interested in writing the comic.
I had tabled next to Penny at a few local comics and art shows and thought that her art rivaled with most of the animation that you see on current Cartoon Network shows (Steven Universe, Gumball, etc) and we began to e-mail each other regarding the project and one day she sent a promotional image of C&C that just brought a smile to my face. She nailed the characters' looks with the greatest of ease.
CA: How does the creative process work for you all? How do you manage the collaboration between the three of yourselves on the story?
GS: When Shawn first approached me to write the series about these two characters, I immediately jotted down a few ideas on what the first story could be about. He was really encouraging throughout the process, from outline to first draft and then final draft. Penny was really diligent sending us pages and alternative panel suggestions. Any minor changes we thought of later in the process we discussed through email or Skype. Thankfully, we were all on the same page.
SP: My job was to make sure the train stayed on the track and not meddle like an over-controlling editor. As creator of Cash and Carrie, there was a reason why I wanted to work with Giulie and Penny, and if I wanted to work with them that means that I trust in the story that they want to tell. If I see a possible problem, I bring it up to them and we work out a solution like creators, creatives and adults should. It’s honestly one of the best projects I’ve ever been a part of.
CA: Why take this to Kickstarter?
SP: I wanted to get this comic book in the hands of as many people as possible, and feel that Kickstarter is the best platform at this current time, as opposed to me attempting to print 20 copies at a time and asking the world via social media, “Hey, who wants a copy of Cash and Carrie?” Kickstarter is a great signal boost for comics and other forms of creative ideas.
This comic represents diversity, not only on the page, but also behind the scenes, and Kickstarter has been very receptive to that. They even named our project a “staff pick”, which we were all humbled by.
CA: What stage are you at with the project? How much have you already completed?
PC: Shawn has been handling all the extras for the Kickstarter, and to my knowledge most of the goodies are already prepared and ready for production. Giulie handed me the script for a fun new addition to the original intro book a couple of weeks ago, and I've started thumbnails and early pencils. I think everything is rolling right along! Backers are going to be in for a veritable feast of merch when everything wraps up!
SP: Once Penny completes the bonus comic that’s being added to the book, additional never-before-seen pinups will be added to the comic and sent to the printer. Postcards and other rewards (Commissions, Stretch Goal Rewards, etc) will be printed/acquired during the month of June and July.
CA: If you achieve your goal, what’s your estimated delivery on the final comic?
SP: As of this moment we have achieved our goal and are continuing the mission to get this debut comic in as many hands as possible while the Kickstarter is up and running. Rewards (comics and more) will begin to ship in August of this year.
Cash and Carrie will run on Kickstarter until 10 June 2015, looking for a target of $3600 --- which has already been reached! You're guaranteed the comic if you pledge!