The PREVIEWS Party: What is Scratch9 all about?
Rob Worley: Scratch9 is about a cat named Scratch who gets mixed up in some science (the mad variety) and ends up with the power to summon any of his other 8 lives to help him out in his adventures, which in the first miniseries involved rescuing his pet pals from the labs of Dr. Schrodinger of the C.R.U.E.L. Corporation. He's got 6 past lives and 2 future lives, and each of them has a different ability.
The FCBD edition reprints the first issue in which Scratch gains his new ability.
Following that is the new Scratch9: Cat Tails series, which gives each of the nine lives a chance to star in their own solo adventure, which is really fun for me because each of the nine inhabits a different genre and lends itself to a different storytelling style.
The PREVIEWS Party: Who are some of the awesome artists you got to work with?
Rob Worley: The first issue leads off with a story by Shannon Eric Denton, who is one of the best people working in comics and animation today. Fans have seen his work on X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the recent Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes show. He's such a versatile artist and for Cat Tails he's working in a style I've never seen him work in before, and it's beautiful. It's almost like the Little Golden Books that we grew up on. It's a really sweet story about a 17th century French cat named D'Argent, who reveals the formula for good luck.
The first issue also features Justin Castaneda, who I met through some mutual friends in the Detroit comics scene. Justin is an amazing cartoonist and a sweetheart of a guy with a successful kids book series called When I Was Little, and a new picture book called Heart. He takes on our Pharaoh's cat, Bektah, who must use his strange abilities to defeat a demon called Amam.
There's a third story by Mike Roll, who is a staple of the Detroit scene. Fans know him from his book series Apooka: The World's Most Adorable Zombie, which is really great and funny. Mike has such a unique style, it's almost like Japanese brush painting, and he rendered a very spiritual tale about Garogga, our smilodon from the ice age.
And, we close out the first issue with a story drawn by Caanan Grall. Fans know him from his Zuda book Celedore or his Eisner-nominated web series Max Overacts. Again, Caanan's an amazingly versatile illustrator and someone you're going to be seeing a lot more from in the future. And, his story is a brain-twister featuring our future cat, IX, so I suppose that's appropriate.
I can't say enough good things about Joshua Buchanan, who is and amazing new talent I met in Detroit a few years back. He's our cover artist, and he illustrated the intro pages for each story, which are really fun and connect together to form a story of their own.
And, of course, our original artist, Jason T. Kruse, returns to teach kids how to draw Scratch!
And, that's just the first issue. The second issue has story contributions from Armand Villavert, Jr., Shane and Chris Houghton, Joe Foo, John Martin, and Josh again.
The PREVIEWS Party: Why did you want to make Scratch9 an all-ages book?
Rob Worley: Well, I had done some writing for the kids market and I enjoyed it. And, I love animals and am fascinated by them. In particular, I love cats, which I had two while I was developing Scratch9. The book is a love letter to them, really. And, when you have a book about a superhero cat who can summon any of his nine lives, of course it's going to be for all audiences.
The PREVIEWS Party: There will be a Free Comic Book Day Scratch9 book, but then how can fans get more Scratch 9 after the free book?
Rob Worley: Well, the all new Scratch9: Cat Tails book is available for pre-order now in the current Diamond PREVIEWS catalog, so anyone who wants a copy really needs to bug their comics retailer now. Call them up, tell them you want the book, and give them ordering code MAY13 1167. If you don't know a comics retailer close to you, visit FindAComicShop.com.
The PREVIEWS Party: Okay, pitch time! Why should everyone run out and get Scratch9?
Rob Worley: Because Scratch9 saves lives! A portion of the net proceeds from every Scratch9 comic (or other upcoming venture . . . hint-hint) is set aside for donation to the SWAH fund, which helps support animal welfare groups across the country.
Because Scratch9 brings families together! We've been praised as a comic that's entertaining for both parents and the kids they read to, and everyone in between.
Because Scratch9 will put a smile on your face.
The PREVIEWS Party would like to thank Rob Worley for taking the time to answer our questions.
Until next time, keep reading.
- Jason Enright