Kickstarter is all about connecting artists to their dreams, and Don Hudson has a dream. He’s the mind behind Gunpowder Girl and The Outlaw Squaw, a classic western comic with two strong female characters. Don’s no newcomer to comics. He’s had a long career working in comic art, and Kickstarter is helping Don to bring some of his favorite characters to life in comics form. I think you can read Don’s passion in every word of this interview.
Jason Sacks for Comics Bulletin: Okay, then let’s start with the obvious. Tell me about Gunpowder Girl and The Outlaw Squaw.
Don Hudson: GGOS is about two women from opposite ends in the old west, who need each other for a common purpose. One is Native American, the other a poor farmer’s daughter who just happens to be amazing with a pistol. They originally started out as a trio, but when the other gal is killed, they have to find a way to relate to and work with each other. That was the first book; the new book follows their new adventure. They have different personalities and that’s the neat conflict.
CB: How do these two women get together when they’re such different people?
Hudson: It’s the common goal of making money! Gunpowder Girl (Jill) may not be a genius, but she is the best gun in the West, man or woman. Anuteh is older and wiser and needs Jill’s talent. It’s an Odd Couple relationship, but they know they are better together than apart.
The third person from the first book (Molly) brought them both together. Now they are the gang, just the two of them.
In the Kickstarter campaign I offer the first book in one of the rewards. It’s a neat bonus to have the backstory.
CB: Is the backstory necessary or can readers enjoy the story from book two by itself?
Hudson: The back story is not necessary because I introduce the characters again in the new book. You understand who the players are in the first 5 pages of the book and you want to enjoy the ride, so to speak. This is a standalone adventure.
CB: And it sounds from your description of book two that it’s a real classic Old West adventure, right?
Hudson: I love classic Old West adventures! I won’t spoil the story for you, but you will see characters that you may recognize from film and fiction. The lawman character, the soldier, the gunfighter type. I just mix in two strong female protagonists.
I should point out that I really love the Western comic book genre.
CB: So you’re getting to explore a genre that you love but which I’d imagine you haven’t been able to work in much during your career.
Hudson: Yes! I love the characters. I’ve penciled and inked tons of superhero books, and lately I’ve done advertising. I have not seen anything like my book on the book shelves. If it’s a female character, it’s usually highly sexualized or it’s a western that’s gone very grim and gory. I could talk your ear off talking about Western films. Or today’s Western comics.
CB: I noticed your love for western comics on your blog, too.
Hudson: I have been focused on it because of the Kickstarter campaign. I have been working on the graphic novel in my spare time and in between jobs. When I sketch, I do up a horseman or something like that. The blog has art that I’ve done through the years. Random thoughts too, of course.
CB: For my readers who might not know your name, they definitely have seen your work over the years. Give people an idea of some of the books that you’ve worked on.
Hudson: I’ve worked on Web of Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, Daredevil, and more. I’ve worked for Marvel, DC, Valiant, and in animation as well. I also did a lot of inking over some the most talented pencilers in the industry. It helped my own artwork.
CB: And now you’re working for yourself with the Kickstarter project. It sounds like Gunpowder Girl is the culmination of a longstanding dream for you.
Hudson: I have had my own independent books published before. This is the first Kickstarter funded book! It’s exciting to know that someone, perhaps a stranger, will support you! I am so happy and grateful for that! My dream is to publish my own books independently on a regular basis. I am not sure if I will be able to do it through Kickstarter, but the experience is an excellent one.
CB: That seems like a great statement to wrap this up, so let me ask if you have any final words that you’d like to share with Comics Bulletin’s readers about the project.
Hudson: Yes! My OGN Gunpowder Girl and the Outlaw Squaw is a well-drawn, entertaining book and a fun read! 96 pages of art, unpublished sketches and two characters that you will want to learn more about. I think that if you check the website you will agree!