Creator Spotlight: Wake Cook!
Sneak Peek of the pages below!
Hey Wake, the Press knows a bit about you, but the world doesn’t! Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Wake, and I’m a gay transguy telling gay, trans stories (mostly). I graduated from Emily Carr this year with a degree in illustration, and aside from comics I also do character and creature design. Iris is my first graphic novel, and I’m quite proud of it! I learned a lot working on it, and I’m excited to share the book with the world through Wildstar.
Since it’s your very first, anything you’d want to do differently with your graphic novel process? Any tips to others who are thinking about starting their first graphic novel?
Tough question! I’d say consistency was a challenge for me, as well as planning out backgrounds for some of the panels. Being more detailed in the planning phase in regards to character/environment descriptions will definitely be something I’ll do going forward.
This ties into my advice for other first-timers: Make lots of notes! Have a special notebook for your novel and make a mess of it! Thumbnail/storyboard your entire comic first before starting the pencils. This is an essential accompaniment to the script IMO.
What’s your favorite thing about being an artist/comic creator? How did you get into comics and art as a career path?
I grew up stealing my dad’s comics and looking at all the pretty pictures, which (eventually) inspired me to draw and pursue comic work. Comics vibe with my OCD because of the picture-to-text balance, which means I have to do less rereading. Comics force you to do a lot with little space, which I personally find to be a fun challenge. As well, it’s lovely to be able to create the kinds of stories and characters I always wanted to see growing up.
What’s your inspirations? Do you have a certain genre/trope/story you like to tell? (Are you really into found family stories, cyberpunk, slice of life, etc etc)
A: I love telling queer found-family stories, particularly in sci-fi or fantasy settings. My guilty pleasure for writing and illustrating, however, are monster romances.
Can you tell us about your inspiration for Iris? Anything you want to mention about the book and what’s coming?
Being watched is a great personal fear of mine, which inspired the main horror for Iris. The book takes this anxiety and cranks it up to eleven, so readers should be prepared for some eye-based body horror.
Do you have any future projects you're excited about?
I’d love to continue my webcomic Moss and Oz (available to view on Tapas!), but there are some other projects I’m cooking up that are in their infancy at present ;)
Where can we find you and your work?
A: Instagram mainly! @Notaclevernamer shows off my sketches and final pieces, and my main portfolio is at Wake Darrah Cook on Artstation! For past zines that are available for purchase, I’m also Notaclevernamer on Gumroad.
With that being said, a preview into Iris...
Genre: Horror (TW: Eye Horror)