Kazu Get Your Gun: Kazu Kibuishi talks "Daisy Kutter"

In recent months you may have seen a number of stories about "Flight," a new anthology coming from Image Comics. The man in charge of that project is writer/artist Kazu Kibuishi, but he's not content with having just one project coming out with his name on it. Coming this August is the first of a four issue mini-series from Viper Comics called "Daisy Kutter." The first two books will be 48-pages and the final two will be 64-pages each. There is a connection to "Flight" with the first three issues of "Daisy Kutter" containing a number of short stories written and drawn by friends who've also contributed to "Flight." Kibuishi spoke with CBR News about "Daisy Kutter" and what you can expect from the series.

"Daisy Kutter began as a silly sketch on my Web site and she sort of took on a life of her own," Kibuishi told CBR News. "People seemed to be very receptive to those drawings in particular, so I just started creating stories for her. While the first issue seems to draw a lot from the film 'The Hustler,' much of the inspiration for the series comes from my love of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. When I think about the visuals, I think I just do a clumsy version of the amazing visuals from films like 'Once Upon A Time in the West' or 'The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.' I also really enjoyed the 'Cowboy Bebop' series. It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of creating self-contained, thought-provoking narrative in such short installments. I think I'm already getting a little long-winded with Daisy, but I sure tried to fit it in a small space at first!

"Daisy is a retired gunfighter. She used to rob trains and banks and such, but has since given that up to run a general store. The problem is, she's just not wired that way, so she ends up right back where she began, and this is the story of her last train heist as a freelancing bandit. I do have ideas for a prequel, but I think I'd rather reveal her past one tiny bit at a time..."

Looking at the preview pages included with this preview you'll notice a mix of the old west, future technology and refereces to a sea in Europe. Based on Kibuishi's comments above, obviously the art is inspired by a number of genres and styles, but where and when exactly does "Daisy Kutter" take place?

"Oh, I actually don't know yet where the town is located geographically. I just know it's a border town where a bunch of different cultures and levels of technology converge," said Kibuishi. "It's pretty reflective of how I see my surroundings when I'm in Los Angeles, or even in Las Vegas. There's so much stuff coming together, and there isn't really a sense of history to it, it's just a whole mishmash of disposable things, and somewhere in the middle of it all, we have to create some kind of culture. I think that's where Daisy lives- in the middle of the storm, trying to make some sense of it all. The references to the sci-fi and western genres, and the locations all around the world, represent the idea of the cultural storm that surrounds her."

"Daisy Kutter" is one of those seemingly rare all-ages books. Kibuishi told CBR News that it wasn't a deliberate decision to make it all-ages, rather his style of art and writing lend themselves to all-ages storytelling. "In the end, I just draw and write for myself, so I am curious to see what types of people respond to it the most," said Kibuishi. Viper publisher Jessie Garza told us the all-ages label has helped generate much interest in the series.

"I think the fact that since 'Daisy Kutter' is for all-ages will help considerably with sales," Viper Publisher Jessie Garza told CBR News. "I believe 'Daisy Kutter' brings a sort of fresh feeling to comics, something different. I've already been getting emails from retailers asking for 'Daisy Kutter' promotional material. Anticipation from fans has already been building."

Garza told CBR News that Viper learned about "Daisy Kutter" via Kibuishi's afore-mentioned Web site.

"Our art director was looking around on the web for future projects and he ran across 'Flight' and from this he found Kazu's Web site. Then after contacting Kazu we began to correspond. Once he got to know us a little better he pitched 'Daisy Kutter' to us and we just couldn't say no. 'Daisy Kutter' was exactly what we were looking for."

Compared to the rest of the product Viper publishes, "Daisy Kutter" is markedly different from the rest of their material, precisely what made the series attractive.

"We want to publish projects that are different, unique," said Garza. "After talking to Kazu and listening to the pitch, we just knew we had to publish the book. And his artwork is just awesome, it's very clean and detailed. If you look at some of the sample pages for 'Daisy Kutter' you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. He tends to bring in an element of design to the artwork that makes it stand out."

Look for the first issue of "Daisy Kutter" at comic shops this August.

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