If you head into your local comic shop, it’s likely that one of the first things you’ll notice is that there is no lack of Superhero comics and memorabilia. In fact, the Superhero genre has infiltrated pretty much every medium in recent years – TV, Movies, you name it. However, it’s not often we see the other side of the Superhero landscape – what goes on behind the scenes?
N.S. Kane is a comic writer from Sydney, Australia who two years ago, switched from writing novels to writing comics after discovering Batwoman (whom she regularly cosplays). Kane recently launched her first Kickstarter to help fund Seamstress; her comic that dives into the behind-the-scenes world of Superheroes and Villains.
I had the opportunity to interview N.S. Kane about Seamstress, you can check out my interview with her below.
What can readers expect from Seamstress?
Something totally outside the box, the series is set from a different perspective inside a very well-known genre so my idea was to give readers a look at the other side of the coin, so to speak. Polli and Cassi are two Seamstresses who work secretly to create outfits for both heroes and villains, though when exposed the two become illuminated to both sides and the war to see whose outfit conquers all begins. I also wanted to bring forth so many aspects of this underground world that people would never see, hairdressers, tattooists, cobblers and milliners all working round the clock to make extraordinary outfits for extraordinary characters.
I’m a huge advocate for strong female characters and diversity in comics, and I know a lot of my readers are as well. Is that something readers will get from Seamstress?
God yes! Diversity is a huge role in comics in this era and I feel that it brings that added hint of kick to one’s story so I have definitely added my share. There are loads of little things scattered throughout the comic and I don’t put limits on anything, my characters tell me who they are not the other way around. I chose female leads as I tend to write them more naturally but also showing that the girls can play just as hard as the boys. I also chose to be more liberal with my supporting characters and not limit fields as I have mixed up both male and female for all of the enterprises that Polli and Cassi will stumble upon. I believe in an equal field for the story and that’s what makes everything richer in the end.
What inspired you to write comics? Why do you like comics as a story-telling medium?
Long story short, after having dropped out of competitive cosplay I was looking to bring back the fun in my life. My partner and I were looking for characters to have some fun with and she wanted someone black and red, that’s where Batwoman enters the picture. We began gobbling up as much of her story as we could and I was instantly hooked on comics. It wasn’t until she pointed out what a [script] format looked like in the back of a book that I thought to myself ‘I could do that’ and so I began my research into what a comic book writer really was. I find writing comic scripts is much more challenging than a novel since you have to convey the images you see in your head in only a few lines but still have an impact. It’s been the best thing I have ever done and I’m never looking back!
What has your experience been like as a female creator in the comics industry?
Actually it’s been really supportive, as a beginner I’m still learning so much each day but everyone I have spoken to has been willing to pull up a sleeve and help from just general chatting to helping with questions. It’s a really loving field and I know I would be happy working in comics ’till the day I die.
Do you have an all-time favourite superhero costume? Why do you love it?
Batwoman hands down! I love everything about her and the fact that she’s a bat is just the icing on the cake. She doesn’t have to have powers to kick some butt and the fact that everything upon her outfit, at first glance, looks stock standard, you see the intricate details and advanced technology behind each piece she wears. I fell in love with the complexity of not only the character but her alter ego as well.
What inspired Seamstress?
Well my partner one day brought up the most interesting idea, Power Girl constantly rips her outfits almost every issue, it ends in shreds, and then she pops up in a pristine new one the very next page. Where the hell did you get that from? It was with that we started to question, who really is behind the curtain as the big heroes and villains play on stage? Polli and Cassi were born from this question and from one very funny afternoon when a friend of mine was watching my partner run back and forth from the kitchen to the studio with an endless supply of coffee. He then remarked how she was a human sewing machine that ran on coffee beans and from that moment I bolted to my laptop and the creative juices began flowing.
Do you enjoy writing Cassi or Polli more, and why?
Oh lord the wife will kill me for this one haha! She is more of a Polli fan, but I like both. Polli has some cracking one liners that really make me smile but I love Cassi’s heart and I think having the two different personalities allows me to really open up and explore both sides of human emotions. I’m very lucky I get double the fun when I write Seamstress and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If given the chance, is there a series or character that you would really love to write?
Batwoman and by the way, you’re going to hear this name a lot from me. Nicola Scott once said in a panel “steer your ship” and those words have never left me. This all began with Batwoman and after the downfall of her story after volume 3 of the 52 run, I have dreamed of injecting a new breath of life into her and her story. DC is where I’m steering my ship and it would be an honour to be able to write Batwoman as I myself am a lesbian female, so I really do identify with the character and feel she should be a beckon of diversity for people who read comics nowadays. I began this journey with Batwoman and my journey will end with her one way or another.
I write a lot of comic recommendations posts on my site, what’s one comic you think everyone needs to read?
I think we know where this is going haha, Batwoman again is amazing but I do have to mention some others people should grab. Black Magick from Image by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott is a masterpiece of this era. If you haven’t read a comic ever you will be instantly hooked on them through this! Also Michael Alan Nelson and Dan Mora’s work Hexed by Boom! is another comic creation that had me running to the comic store. I soaked up every moment of the 12 issue run and just wished it hadn’t ended so quickly.
Finally, what can you tell us about the rest of the creative team involved with Seamstress?
Without my boys, these girls wouldn’t be alive. My team Federico Zumel, Cristian Docolomansky, Bryan Arfel Magnaye and Taylor Esposito have been beyond amazing as I’m still new to creating comics. These veterans have stepped up to the plate and gone above and beyond to help make this dream possible. Each of these guys has had a long standing career with comics and comic companies across the world including; DC, Zenescope and Red Anvil. Their combined talents surpassed anything my brain could pluck out and I thank every day that I have them beside me working on the girls as I know they all love them just as much as I do. I could not have made it this far without their continuing support and transformation of my words into something so much more real.
Want to learn more about Seamstress and help support an awesome female comic creator? Head on over to the Kickstarter page here.