Curtis Clow is best known for his books THE WILD COSMOS, SLIGHTLY EXAGGERATED, and MAJESTIC. Curtis also is a passionate gamer who has worked on the video game Deadtime Defenders that was released on Steam by Ravenous Games and just completed work on Pauldron that is currently in development by Pentajoy. I met Curtis when he was working on SLOW CITY BLUES. He was nice enough to stop by First Comics News to let our readers know all about his current project Beastlands.
First Comics News: What are the Beastlands?
1st: What are the Keepers?
Curtis: Keepers are lifelong companion beasts that some people have in this world. Full grown they’re about the size of a horse and mountable. They’re based on real world animals to give them a realistic feel. But at the same time a mix of things that normally wouldn’t go together to give them an out of this world look. They’re like real pets and can get sick, injured, and even die if you’re not a good companion.
1st: How do you get one?
Curtis: This is a bit of a mystery throughout the world. Some people say you have to go through hardship to get one, others say they only come to the brave and strong. Depends on where your from and what tales you’ve heard.
1st: Why doesn’t everyone have one?
Curtis: Everyone might not want one or might not be a good companion towards one. Not everyone is an animal person, right?
1st: Why do some people think the keepers are dangerous?
Curtis: They’re these big creatures, like the size of a horse, that you can put armor on. Some have horns, sharp teeth, or other dangerous features. Plus they’re animals! Even domesticated animals can be dangerous in the real world, now imagine if those were the size of a horse.
Curtis: King Paxton is the King of the Kingdom of Griff. He also happens to be the big bad of this first story of the series.
1st: Why doesn’t he like the keepers?
Curtis: His young daughter died in a tragic accident with his lifelong Keeper. He has now executed his own Keeper and vows to exterminate all Keepers from his kingdom and the land.
1st: Who is Mac?
Curtis: Mac is the main character of the series. He’s searching for his father but quickly gets distracted and swept into a whole new set of problems with King Paxton. He has a Keeper that’s a blue saber wolf named Renzo.
1st: Who is Ping?
Curtis: Ping is another main character of the series. She goes on the adventure to find Mac’s father with Ava and Mac. She doesn’t have a Keeper. She trained at the Beastlands Academy to care for Keepers.
1st: Who is Ava?
Curtis: Ava is the final main character of the series. She’s a great fighter and warrior. She’s skilled with her bow and practices every day. She has a Keeper named Luna that’s a panther with ram horns and wings.
Curtis: This is a mystery threaded through the series!
1st: The trade paperback ends “to be continued”. When is the next trade paperback planned?
Curtis: We’ve already started Kickstarting volume 2 and have 2 issues finished on it. Once we get issues 6-10 finished self publishing, we’ll be looking to collect those in a trade for volume 2.
1st: What made Jo Mi-Gyeong the right artist for this project?
Curtis: She has the perfect style for this series. Her art has that animated feel and she packs so much detail and originality into every panel.
Curtis: After self-publishing single issues through Kickstarter we were looking for a publisher for the trade to take the series to comic shops, book stores, and the digital version. Dark Horse is a top-tier publisher with a rich history that I think will be a perfect home for the series!
1st: What makes Beastlands, Keepers of the Kingdom so cool no true comic fan should miss it?
Curtis: It’s a beautiful original fantasy world with three angsty teens. I mean, who wouldn’t want a lifelong companion beast that you can ride. Not much cooler than that. It’s also a series with heart that explores the human and pet bond.