Michelle Nguyen's first published work appeared in the Misadventures of Grumpy Cat (and Pokey!). Now that Dynamite has started up a second Grumpy Cat series it was only natural that the talented artist returned. Byron Brewer talked with her about the project. Cover art by Steve Uy and Tony Fleecs.
MICHELLE NGUYEN: My relationship with comics began at a young age, when my mom and my older brothers would take me to comic shops and buy me issues. I started my first panel-comic in fifth grade, and have been drawing them ever since. The stories in The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat are my first official published comics.
BB: So what did you think about doing a Grumpy Cat story?
MN: It was such an exciting prospect, I couldn't believe that I had a chance to work on a comic featuring my favorite misanthropic feline! When Rich [Young, editor] told me I would be illustrating stories in each of the first three issues, I was over the moon. It has been a wild and crazy ride, and I am always amazed at how much fun I have with their adventures!
BB: In your story, "Pokey's First Crush," you get to concentrate on that character. In your mind, as characters what separates Pokey from Grumpy Cat aside from the obvious?
MN: Pokey is a goofy, loving, often silly, and sometimes a not-so-bright character. He is the perfect contrast against Grumpy's perpetual bad attitude, and is constantly looking at the bright side. Working on "Pokey's First Crush" has been a real treat, as I get to see him explore the ups and downs of falling for someone for the first time.
BB: Have you worked with any comic books or strips similar in nature to Grumpy Cat?
MN: Nope, no comic books or strips revolving around cats. However, I think I'm hooked now — it feels almost unnatural to draw anything but these awesome little cats!
BB: How was it working with Royal McGraw?
MN: Royal is such a great writer, and really makes sure that I understand what the characters are feeling panel by panel. Having a first crush is exciting, exhausting and confusing, and Royal conveyed those emotions perfectly for poor Pokey. He also wrote a lot of Grumpy's feelings into the script — though she is very good at hiding her caring side, she obviously cares for her brother and will help him however she can.
For more on Grumpy Cat and Pokey #2, click here.