EXCLUSIVE: Frank Gibson Opens Up the "Capture Creatures" Menagerie

Thu, August 21st, 2014 at 6:58am PDT

Comic Books
TJ Dietsch, Staff Writer

Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt are ready to open up the gates for "Capture Creatures." The team behind the webcomic "Tiny Kitten Teeth," as well as their own individual comic efforts, is bringing a variety of animals ranging from Bon Bon Fire to Cramster to BOOM! Studios' all-ages KaBOOM! imprint where the November-launching series will kick off as an ongoing.

"Capture Creatures" began life as an art project that became public thanks to a website chronicling all 151 animals designed by Dreistadt with backstories developed by Gibson. From there, the duo created an art book published by TopatoCo and B9, but now it's time to expand even further on the idea with an ongoing comic book from BOOM!

Unlike something along the lines of "Pokémon," Gibson and Dreistadt will bring these beings to Earth suddenly and then send off a pair of mysterious teens to investigate the new arrivals. At this point, many of the finer details are under wraps, but Gibson did speak to CBR exclusively about the upcoming series. He discussed the possible comparisons to "Pokémon," the huge cast of characters and the "Capture Creatures" journey from art project to comic book.

CBR News: "Capture Creatures" began life on the website of the same name. What was the process like of taking those characters and designs and turning them into a comic?

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"Capture Creatures" #1 covers by Becky Dreistadt (L) and Joy Ang

Frank Gibson: There has always been a story for "Capture Creatures," we've just held it a little closer than most. It started years ago when Becky painted a few pictures of Victorian creature trainers, then a couple of years later we came up with a children's book that would have featured one of the cat-like creatures. Last year the project began to crystalize and BOOM! came in just at the right time.

One thing we haven't revealed is our human cast yet. I think people will be pleasantly surprised!

We know that the series features a pair of kids trying to figure out what's going on with these new animals. Can you tell us anything about them?

I can tell you we're really excited about the protagonist of the series! So many secrets right now!

RELATED: Frank Gibson Chews on "The Amazing World of Gumball"

Back to the animals, the book boasts more than one hundred creatures. What was it like developing them? Who are some of the more prominent ones that readers will get to know?

The creatures were developed over two years for the original "Capture Creatures" book, a hardcover compendium of 151 critters, which is available from TopatoCo and B9. This earlier phase of the project began as a painting exercise, inspired by the watercolor art of Ken Sugimori. Becky would often start from an animal and then develop the character from there, then I'd come in and make up a little story about them, as well as how they fit in with the creature eco-system.

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"Capture Creatures" #1 variants by Missy Pena (L) and Amanda Visell

As for creatures, you'll find out a lot about Bon Bon Fire. Can't say much more right now!

The book seems comparable to something like "Pokémon" because of the appearance of so many new animals, but would you say the overall tone is similar? 

Not really. "Pokémon" has always had a wonderful universe but there was great unfulfilled promise in the first season of "Pokémon." Every Pokémon and character they met seemed to be leading towards something, but there was never any real character or plot development. It simply returned to stasis over and over again. With all these wonderful creatures around the world, shouldn't things actually change? Shouldn't these sweeping, cataclysmic events have some kind of lasting effect on the world and the characters?

In saying that, I love "Pokémon," I came to it a bit later, Becky grew up with it, we both really enjoy the games.

What's your collaborative process like? How do you tackle an issue together?

Becky often comes up with some art and designs first, which dictates how I'm going to write the story. Becky always has a voice in the writing process, but I script it, she draws it. This time we're going to have some additional help, which I'm looking forward to talking more about in the next few weeks.

"Capture Creatures"#1 from Frank Gibson, Becky Dreistadt and BOOM! Studios hits stores on Nov. 12.

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"Capture Creature" character sketches

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TAGS:  boom! studios, capture creatures, frank gibson, becky dreistadt

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