Zoe Coughlin Spurs on ‘The Last Cowboy’ to Kickstarter [Back Pages]
Following three women whose lives revolve around a strange alien planet, Zoe Coughlin's webcomic The Last Cowboy headed to Kickstarter just last week, looking to fund a print edition. A project that jumps out at you, its lush colors race across each page of the series, creating a distinct and vibrant world for her characters to inherit. The series takes place following humanity's first contact with alien species that, somewhat inevitably, contracted the human race with a disease that now leads them towards extinction.
As the Kickstarter picks up steam, ComicsAlliance spoke to Zoe about how the project came about, why she wanted to tell this story, and her intense love for drawing weird aliens.
ComicsAlliance: What’s The Last Cowboy about?
Zoe Coughlin: The Last Cowboy is about three women whose lives are linked by the discovery of a mysterious alien planet. One lives on it, one studies it, and one is using it to hide their dark secrets. The main characters are Eve, a little girl who was raised by aliens; Adsila, a former activist who now works as a researcher and is dealing with a lot of her own baggage; and Luna, a successful robotics tycoon raising her daughter on earth.
In this world, humans are all infected with a disease that makes reproduction nearly impossible, and their species is slowly dying… and that influences all three of them in different and unexpected ways.
CA: What was the genesis of the project? How long have you wanted to get this comic up and running?
ZC: I first came up with the story just before my senior year at the Savannah College of Art and Design. At the time I was anxious about graduating and returning home, and even though I knew my work was good I was certain that the story I wanted to tell was not one that mainstream publishers would be interested in. So I decided to just do it on my own.
Originally it was more of an adventure story focused on Adsila, but I wanted it to be different from your standard sci-fi action thriller. Even though the focus ended up being small, I wanted to build a world around the story that seemed big and diverse. I put a lot of thought into the backgrounds of all the aliens and the ways their cultures would differ from ours.
CA: What was it about this story which made you want to tell it?
ZC: A few years ago I made a pact to myself that I will never write a story about another straight white boy. We have plenty of those. The Last Cowboy is about women of color, for women of color. It also deals a lot with reproductive rights, and feminist issues in general --- subjects which I am very passionate about. It’s a story I’ve always wanted to read myself, so I made it myself.
Also, I like drawing aliens.
CA: Why take this to Kickstarter?
ZC: A lot of artists I admire have taken their work to Kickstarter. It’s a wonderful system, and I’ve pledged to several projects before, so I knew when the time came to print a book I would go there. Campaigns by their very nature also serve as great promotion tools. Even if I fall short of the goal, I’ll be happy just getting some new readers.
CA: What stage are you at with the project? How much have you already completed?
ZC: The first book includes the first five chapters, which have already been completed and posted on my website. Currently, I’m working on chapter 8, which is around the halfway point in the story. I’ve already scripted the rest, and it’s a total of 14 chapters long!
CA: If you achieve your goal, what’s your estimated delivery on the final comic?
ZC: Hopefully, late June/early July. I want to get the books in by early June so I can bring a few to the first annual New South Fest. Here’s hoping everything goes smoothly!
The Last Cowboy is running on Kickstarter until 3 May 2015, and has a goal of $10100. You can also find the webcomic right here!