Canto, written by David M Booher, drawn by Drew Zurker with colors by Vittorio Astone and lettered by Derron Bennett from IDW Publications is an amazing fairy tale about a robot Canto whose people are enslaved by an evil force and their hearts are replaced with clocks. Canto’s people can’t have emotions, can’t have names but Canto is an exception. This is his journey to save this robot girl’s heart that is beyond repair.
Canto is really an amazing comic that made many end-year lists including ours!! Here’s is our special interview with the writer of Canto, David M Booher, where he tells us more about Canto, his experience of working on this book and his future plans.
SHJ: So can you tell us behind the story how Canto, who touched everyone’s heart came into existence?
David: “CANTO is a total team effort. Drew and I met on social media a few years ago. I always admired his art and I loved his last book The House. He sent me the concept art of a little tin man who would become Canto, and I knew within about four seconds that I wanted to tell this character’s story. Drew had a darker take on what the story would be, and I wanted to lean into an all-ages fairy tale about hope.”
With inspiration from Dante’s Inferno and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, CANTO was born.”
SHJ: I loved Drew Zuker’s pencils and Astone’s colors. Tell me about your experience of working with these two.
David: “Drew and Vittorio are a dream team. Drew is a workhorse. I love the fact that he and I talk daily, whether it’s about pages or anything else. With Vittorio, we send him pages and they come back nearly perfect. Drew would often tell me that he’s never worked with a colorist like Vittorio who turns in pages that need zero changes. I’m so happy to see Drew and Vittorio pop up on the best of 2019 lists. They both deserve it.”
SHJ: If you are given the chance, do you want to expand the universe around Canto or would you instead leave it to a single story?
David: “Yes! And we’re going to get that chance. In CANTO II coming this July, Canto’s search for his people’s hearts will continue as a new threat appears, forcing him and some new friends on a quest to find the source of the Shrouded Man’s magic.”
SHJ: What, as a fan, should we expect from Canto & Clockwork Fairies?
David: “We always believed Canto’s world was expansive. With Canto & the Clockwork Fairies, we get to tell a stand-alone story exploring one small corner. Canto will meet some sweet fairies and find himself in a fight with a fearsome foe. I’m excited that we get the opportunity to tell these kinds of spin-off stories alongside Canto’s main quest. We hope to tell more of them in the future.”
SHJ: Instead of another 6 issue mini-series why we are having Canto one shot and then followed by the 5 issue mini-series?
David: “We always knew there were lots of different stories to tell in Canto’s world. The one-shot gave us the chance to share a stand-alone adventure with Canto and his Malorex. At the same time, the mini-series continues Canto’s main adventure with his people, his Malorex, and the Shrouded Man.”
SHJ: Are you working on anything other than Canto?
“Always! 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year. We’ve got Canto’s new story arc and I’m working on two new projects I’ll be talking about soon. Both are personal and fun. One is a spooky original graphic novel series for middle schoolers inspired by my Midwestern childhood. The other is an LGBTQ comic with an all-LGBTQ creative team. In the midst of all that, I’m writing a feature and pitching some television ideas. As a writer, you can’t ever take your foot off the gas.”
SHJ: Are you interested in superhero comics? If yes which book are you currently enjoying and which character would you love to write?
“I don’t read many superhero comics, and I haven’t really found any recent ones that really engaged me. If I could write one character, it would definitely be Nightcrawler from X-Men. I have an artist and story in mind—an out of continuity tale about what it means to be an outsider.”
Is there any comic creator you want to work with at least once in your life?
“There are loads of great artists out there, so it’s difficult to choose just one. My favorite comic of all time is Locke & Key, so I’ll say artist Gabriel Rodriguez. His art is magical, so it would be an honor to work with him.”
What was the most favorite moment from Canto that you won’t forget for life?
“My favorite moment in CANTO would have to be at the end, when Canto kneels over his beloved’s grave. In that moment, he knows he has failed in one quest but has succeeded in another. A bittersweet victory. But stay tuned… his adventure isn’t over yet.”
Canto one-shot: Canto and Clockwork Fairies will be in April while another 5 issue mini in May. We hope that these books rock the same way as Canto.
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