INTERVIEW: Conner Bartel Talks Grimwood Crossing

Grimwood Crossing panel featuring werewolf art

Grimwood Crossing by Conner Bartel and Atagun Ilhan is a Supernatural Western comic series about the Sheriff of Grimwood Crossing, “the biggest town in the grim old west.” Packed full of zombies, werewolves and even vampires, Grimwood Crossing is unlike most of the other gun-slinging comics out there. We chatted with writer Conner Bartel about the soon-releasing second volume of the series, which has a Kickstarter campaign beginning on January 15th.

The first volume of Grimwood was well-received by fans and critics alike, and so my first question was to ask Bartel about what we can expect from volume two: “You can expect more action but also much more emotion, ” he said, causing me to fear for the safety of my favourite characters, “the biggest thing to expect is a satisfying conclusion as this is the end of the story.”

Kickstarter is one of the most well-known crowdfunding platforms available on the web, one which sees thousands of comics-based campiagns achieve their funding each year. I asked Barterl why he chose Kickstarter as a platform for funding both volumes of Grimwood Crossing: “Not only is Kickstarter a place to get funding but it’s also a great place to gain an audience,” he explained, “while the funding is necessary, our main goal is to get eyes on our work because we think we are creating something worth reading. The best advice [for others] is to have the product done before planning your Kickstarter. Easier said than done, sure, but this will make you more trustworthy. It also allows you to focus more on the campaign and set an early delivery date which looks great to backers.”

Grimwood Crossing black and white logo

Grimwood Crossing is not a solo affair, with Bartel focusing on the story while artist Atagun Ilhan provides the visuals. I asked Bartel how this collaboration affected the books’ stories, and what it was like creating a comic book with another person: “I’m not the first one to say this, but collaborating with someone on a comic is like dating. You have to find the right partner, and you have to be open to their input even if you disagree with it. But if you have a partner that understands you and your vision, and vice versa, you can create something amazing. I had the script done before I met Atagun, but he still had a lot of input on the book. He often comes to me after reading the scripts with suggestions on how to make something play out in a way that allows him to make more interesting and dynamic art. Collaborating with Atagun has been an amazing experience.”

The Kickstarter for volume 2 of Grimwood Crossing launches on January 15th, and you can follow updates on the Kickstarter campaign here.