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NYCC 2016: Cody Andrew Sousa Interview

Interview conducted by James Ferguson

Cody Andrew Sousa is the writer of Croak, a mini-series from Alterna Comics showing a very dark trip to the woods.  Seriously, why do people go camping?  Anyway, I had a chance to catch up with Cody at Artists Alley at New York Comic Con.

James Ferguson: What's the deal with the frogs?

Cody Andrew Sousa: It's just a little mascot.  It's kind of a joke.  Some frog account kept retweeting us and sending us pictures of frogs, so in issue #2, I asked the artist [Francesco Iaquinta] to put a little frog in there.  

JF: So Croak has nothing to do with frogs?  It's just a sound effect?

CAS: Yeah.  I created these little creatures I called Croaks originally for a short film.  I wanted them to make a sound and that was just the creepy noise I made, so I decided to name them that.  

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JF: Croak also works as a synonym for death, so that works too.

CAS: Exactly. It's everything that the story represents.

JF: Since this started as a short film, was this created in that medium?  Or was the comic adapted from a script?

CAS: I was casting and everything fell through the week we were going to film.  It was three days before we were going to start.  I had spent about $1,000 on equipment.  I didn't want the Croaks to look cheesy or lame.  They needed to look good.  We had a location and everything.  I was devastated, then about two years later I just decided to do it as a comic book, so now it's a three-issue series.

JF: Right now the book is distributed digitally through ComiXology and you're printing up physical copies.  Do you have plans for a Kickstarter for a collection?

CAS: Yes, next year we are.  I think I'm allowed to say that.  We'll be doing a collected edition next year through Kickstarter.  I want to add some extra stuff to it too.  I don't want it to just be all three issues.  It will have some additional content.

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JF: With the setting of the woods, what are some of your favorite horror movies?  Anything set in the woods like that?

CAS: Evil Dead.  I took some inspiration from that.  I didn't want it to be anything like Evil Dead, but tone wise, definitely.  Halloween isn't in the woods, but I'm a huge fan of John Carpenter.  The Fog too.  I just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything like Cabin in the Woods.  The story came about because I got sick and tired of the same old horror movies.  I know a lot of it is copy and paste, so I took the tropes in Croak, but I wanted to show that you can take them and give the audience something new and fresh.  

JF: What's the collaboration like between you and the artist, Francesco Iaquinta? Since it all came from your head in terms of the short film, did you have a very specific vision for the art?

CAS: Occasionally I'd ask for him to change a small thing, but I wanted to give him a lot of freedom as long as it doesn't affect the story.  Same thing with the colorist [Chris O'Halloran]. For example, the creatures are entirely different than what I had envisioned in my head.  He gave them much more bird-like features.  He lives in Italy, so all of our communication is through email.  The first version, which I want to put in the trade paperback, was insane looking.  It had this giant beak and it was bleeding.  It was wicked cool, but it didn't suit what we had.  I kind of want to re-use that idea down the road.   

JF: What's something that scares you today...aside from being trampled at New York Comic Con?

CAS: Donald Trump as President.  That frightens the shit out of me.  Maybe Hillary Clinton too.  

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JF: Anything you want to tease going into the final issue?

CAS: Expect the unexpected.  There is a little cliffhanger in the last issue.  Don't expect an issue #4, but I want to show that there's a whole message to this story that was talked about in issue #1 that I think people might have overlooked.  There's definitely something there that if you look close, there's a continuing theme of one thing I wanted to answer.  I'll say it after issue #3 comes out on December 8th.

Horror DNA would like to thank Cody Andrew Sousa for chatting with us on the floor of New York Comic Con.  Croak is currently available on digitally on ComiXology.  If you run into Cody at a convention, you can buy a physical copy of the book directly from him.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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