NS Kane

This time we will do it!!! We missed last week with NS Kane but we’re back, better, faster, stronger and ready to chat with Nicole about her process. How does the mind of the creator of The Hell Courtesan work. Will Peter cut open her head, or opt for asking questions? Tune in to find…


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Peter Wilson (00:12):
Hello everyone. Welcome to Sunday Spotlight, episode five. Sorry we couldn’t see you last week. Drama’s work called Apologies with Me Sizzle. Hello. And our guest, the great Ns Kane.

Nicole Kane (00:29):

Peter Wilson (00:30):
How goes it?

Nicole Kane (00:31):
Yeah, good, good. How are you guys?

Peter Wilson (00:33):
I’m great. Good, thanks.

Nicole Kane (00:35):
That’s good.

Peter Wilson (00:36):
We’re just riding out this heat wave at the moment, but that’s not cool. I

Nicole Kane (00:38):
Know, I was about to say that music was so chill. I feel like I should have a coffee in my hand or something like that, but so hot. I’m like, well, no, no thanks.

Peter Wilson (00:47):
That’s, that’s the vibe we go for here. Just nice, relaxed, nice and chill. Jazz club style. Yeah. Okay, so tell us, what are you famous for? What’s your role?

Nicole Kane (01:00):
Famous. Oh, you’re too sweet. No, basically I’ve just been writing comics for the last seven a bit years. Taken a while to sort of get to this point, but mostly the comic book writer and sort of creator of a bunch of series. Started off as just a writer, but as progressed on, I became sort of more the main creator, marketing director, publisher, everything else that goes with the title of it. But I’ve got series like the Hell Quarter on, which is our big one at the moment with Marco Comics. And then we’ve got few more series, which is stuff like Fox and Hound, and we have Queen B and then we’ve got another one, which is Your Highness. Your Highness, which is coming 2024.

Peter Wilson (01:47):
Very busy. Very cool.

Nicole Kane (01:50):
I need be more busy. Need to be more busy.

Peter Wilson (01:52):
Well, it’s cool for us.

Nicole Kane (01:54):
Oh, thank you,

Peter Wilson (01:55):
<laugh>. Do some quick fire up warmup questions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, favorite color?

Nicole Kane (02:00):

Peter Wilson (02:02):
What are you reading slash collecting at the moment?

Nicole Kane (02:05):
Collecting would be Legend of Zelda stuff as you can probably see in the background.

Peter Wilson (02:10):
Excellent, good. Cool.

Nicole Kane (02:12):
I dunno why I just went on an absolute binge of it again. I don’t know. Probably because the new game’s coming out in May. It just sparked everything and I’m like, oh, I have to get everything again.

Peter Wilson (02:20):
It’s good to let off steam that way. It’s fun. Yeah,

Nicole Kane (02:23):
Yeah, totally. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Now I can go and find it all again.

Peter Wilson (02:27):
<laugh> last song you listened to

Nicole Kane (02:30):
That would be maximized by Anna Matthew.

Peter Wilson (02:34):
Ooh, good choice. Day or night?

Nicole Kane (02:38):
A hundred percent night. I have not a day person. <laugh>

Peter Wilson (02:40):
Summer or winter?

Nicole Kane (02:41):
Winter, a hundred percent Winter. I hate Summer

Peter Wilson (02:45):
<laugh>. Favorite drink?

Nicole Kane (02:47):
Favorite drink would be coffee. Always like a good coffee.

Peter Wilson (02:50):
Very relatable. Favorite or least favorite thing to write for or about

Nicole Kane (02:56):
Romance? That is the one can I unfortunately write it so well and I hate doing it.

Peter Wilson (03:03):

Nicole Kane (03:03):
Can run it or what? I’m just like, God damn it, <laugh>. But when the occasion calls for it, I’ll do it. I’ll do it.

Peter Wilson (03:12):
Well, that’s the sign of a good rider.

Nicole Kane (03:14):
Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. You either work or you don’t work. So

Peter Wilson (03:18):
<laugh>. All right, let’s get into the meat of it. Have you always been creative?

Nicole Kane (03:22):
Yeah, yeah. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been creative, so I liked doing fine arts as a kid, I liked doing painting and all that sort of stuff. Unfortunately when I was in school I wasn’t as good as the other kids, so <laugh>, that kind of way by the wayside. So I started doing photography, which then kind of led me back into fine arts. So I did fine arts when I walked out of school cause I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. And then it always just was in the background. Then I found cosplay, which was sort of art onto itself basically making consumes and whatnot. So I incorporated the artistic skill from paper to actual people. And then from there, after that kind of fell apart, I went, well, what am I going to do? Where is the next step? And accidentally stumbled into comics.

Peter Wilson (04:17):
Awesome. Were you a comic reader at all before you stumbled into them

Nicole Kane (04:22):
Or absolutely not? No, not at all. It was a pure accident. So we were looking for something to cosplay and we found Batwoman and she was like, cause we put in the parameters, Reddit black basically, and female. And then started looking into a history and it was an incredible story. And then I just literally grabbed everything I could. That was Bat Woman. And then I found Greg Rucker, and then after that I was just like, this is amazing. And then I looked at his transcripts in one of the back of the books and I thought, hang on, I can do this. I can write this. Yeah, hard. I can do this. So then I started doing a lot of research and looking into different types of script writing and how other writers like Gail Simone and Neil Gaiman and stuff like that, trying to look at what their breakdowns looked like. And everybody was different. Everybody that I looked at was completely different and I thought, well, it’s not really a solid format to go on. So I made my own.

Peter Wilson (05:26):
Awesome. Cool. Well that’s cool. Do you recall the moment where you sort of went from creating just for fun, something to do to thinking, I’ve got a knack for this, I want to develop this project?

Nicole Kane (05:39):
Yeah, yeah. So basically it went from just doing little bits and pieces. So I think the first thing I ever did was Clockwork, which is a little 10 page thing. And I was doing all these little 10 page one shots and I went, okay, this is cute, but it’s not really doing any good. So I moved to the first series I did, which was nothing, man, which is where Fox and Hound came from. But as I started doing nothing, man, I went, you know what? I can actually do this. This is a legitimate thing. And then when I was talking to Nicholas Scott a couple of times, I know her origin story off the top of my head and I thought, you know, can do this. She’s living proof that you can do this. So that’s that moment where I thought, okay, I’m going to continue on with this series. Unfortunately the series fell through and we at me and the artist Split Ways, but out of that came Fox and Hound. And for me, I was much more grateful to have that series and run with that series on my own, then continue on. Because of that, I found Chris, who I work with all the time now. And then we’ve just elevated that even further. And then my first real moment was when the Hell Cor zone got picked up by the Marcos and we were just like, okay, this is real. We are actually doing this for real now.

Peter Wilson (07:06):
Yeah, yeah. That’s always very exciting.

Nicole Kane (07:09):
Oh yeah, the first moment we got nominated for the Ledger awards, we pretty much just, we were just teenagers jumping around the room. So <laugh>

Peter Wilson (07:19):
Great. I plan to do the same one day. Have you got any formal training at all?

Nicole Kane (07:25):
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I was writing novels when I was a kid. I actually found one a couple of years ago while I was sifting through all my stuff. Oh God, it’s terrible. Reading back on it. You’re like, oh no, no, I never want to read this again. This what’s

Peter Wilson (07:41):
That one about?

Nicole Kane (07:43):
Teenage angsty vampires. It was just terrible. And I was like, absolutely not. There were some good moments in it, but you know, can see the crux of, I had the passion to write, I just didn’t have the patience to try and find out the technical and formatting stuff about it. And I think that’s really important. If you’re going to do something, you need to go back and find the background of how to do it instead of just leaping into it and going, oh, I can do this. So

Peter Wilson (08:14):

Nicole Kane (08:15):
Yeah, that was sort of how I did it. And now I’ve been sort of watching a lot of YouTubes. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen to a lot of interviews with a lot of writers. I talk to a lot of writers and I get their opinions and I’m always asking artists to read my scripts and read over my work and see what can be changed or edited or this doesn’t make sense or this doesn’t look right. So it’s all just a process of elimination really at the end of the day,

Peter Wilson (08:44):
Really absorbing as much as you can. It’s definitely something I can relate

Nicole Kane (08:47):
To. And then for sure people, people who do have the training, yes, it’s better, but this is something that you know, do without formal training and still excel at it.

Peter Wilson (09:00):
Absolutely. So if you had to, how would you define creativity or a creative person? Would you say there’s requirements or

Nicole Kane (09:08):
No? What’s the

Peter Wilson (09:09):
Most factor?

Nicole Kane (09:10):
I think the most important aspect is you’re passionate about the work. If you’re not passionate about it and you don’t want to put the time and effort into it, it’s not going to work. So I have a full-time job, I’m tired and exhausted from the full-time job, but I still try to find time to do this. And it’s not a chore of, oh my God, I have to do this every day, or something like that. It is, I want to do this. I will spend my free time where I could be watching a movie or sitting on a couch playing games. No, I want to do this. So I think that’s the drive you have to have to be a creative person because it’s a really hard field to get into and then stay into because for the first, at least five to 10 years, you’re not making any money. So if you are doing this for the money, you’re in the wrong field.

Peter Wilson (10:05):

Nicole Kane (10:06):
I think that’s really important that people should really love it and be in it for the characters and seeing the creation come to life at the end of the day more than the dollar figures.

Peter Wilson (10:17):
Yeah, I have spoken to people who say they’re aspiring writers, but feel slighted that they can’t do any writing because they haven’t got a new laptop. And the first thing I think every time is you’re not a writer. You want to seem like a writer.

Nicole Kane (10:32):
Yeah. You can hand write it and then go to the library and type it up and print it out.

Peter Wilson (10:37):
Yeah, a lot of options about it. Phone didn’t say, well, I guess I can’t be a writer. Then

Nicole Kane (10:43):
<laugh> like people use their phones to write stuff down now. I think that’s a billion notes in my phone.

Peter Wilson (10:51):
So we touched on it before with Greg Rucker and Neil Gaiman. Are they your main influences or

Nicole Kane (10:56):
Look Greg Ruck? Yeah, he’s probably my fave. I do have a couple of other ones like Michael Nielsen who did the Hext books. I call these my Bibles and I will always go back to them when I’m doing work and I will always reference them his work and then Dan Moore’s artwork that compliments it is just perfection. And it’s the same with the series in Lowe. Unfortunately, I can’t pronounce the artist and the writer’s names, but I think it’s Greg Teri. I probably saying it wrong, but their work is just such a standard that I aspire to keep my standard to, even though I’m not famous or anything like that, and I’m not with DC or Image, it is good to sort of go, okay, this is what I want for my work in every way and in every title. No, doesn’t just mean my big graphic novels, this could mean my smaller pieces or an anthology piece or anything like that.

So they’re definitely my big faves. And then of course Nicola Scott she’s just a legend in every sense, and not only with just her art, but the way she takes a script and can see the page is incredible. And it’s not just I’m going to draw a panel by panel, like an artwork of itself. So yeah, I do aspire to be more like them, but I think my work is interesting enough on its own that hopefully one day it will be its own little genre or bubble that people Oh, that’s a keen work. That’s a keen work.

Peter Wilson (12:38):
I have every faith at will. So when you are writing, do you start with just stream of consciousness? Is it a bunch of notes or do you start quite structured?

Nicole Kane (12:50):
Oh no. So usually I’ll be sitting there at two o’clock in the morning and I’ll get this idea that’s just popped into my head. So I had one the other day where I was watching some YouTubes on a five grade Wagyu beef because that seems to be the thing that everybody wants to cook with nowadays. And I don’t see the point in it because I just think it’s fatty meat, but that’s my opinion. I’m the person who orders their stake. Well done. So I can’t comment here, but I was looking at these videos and I thought, oh my God, this is the process of how they make it and then prepare it and everything like that is just insane. And I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if a serial killer sort of did the same thing? And then I just went, ah, crap, it’s two o’clock in the morning, I got to get this idea out of my head.

Otherwise it’s, it’s going to stay there. So I’m writing it in my phone and then it’ll be like a couple of plot points, maybe some dialogue sentences, and then I’ll put it away and I’ll come back to it and I’ll go, oh, I had that brilliant idea. Then what I’ll do is I’ll do a bit of my research. So I’ll just, I don’t know, type in whatever I think is pertinent to the idea. And then I’ll sort of go down this rabbit hole, which is what happened with Queen Bee. I was watching beekeeping videos on online and it was removing a queen bee from a hive. And I just, for some reason the French revolution just popped into my head and I thought, well, wouldn’t that be an interesting smash to remove a queen from her royal position the same way that you would remove the bee basically.

And then the same effect would happen that the pheromones would go and that you’d need to replace it, otherwise the hive would die. And then I started researching bees, I started researching the French Revolution, and then I started to get my notes together. And then I do a weird little plot point structure so I can move things. So if something’s a really good idea and I like it, I highlight it. But it might not sit at the beginning of the novel. It might sit towards the end or the middle somewhere. So I’ll go, okay, I like that point, but I feel like it’s too early to divulge that information. Let’s move it down here. And then I’ll play with that sort of skeleton for a while until I’m happy with it. Then I’ll put what I call the muscles in which is the dialogue, and then I’ll transfer it into the actual script format and mess with it again. So really cool. Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours, sometimes it’ll take me months, just depends on how quickly the project will come to me.

Peter Wilson (15:25):
Wow, that’s really interesting.

Nicole Kane (15:27):
Yeah, it’s an interesting process and I do enjoy it because sometimes you’ll be working on something and you’ll feel like it’s not quite right and then you can go, okay, I’m going to come back to that later. And you’ve still got all your information there and you can just fiddle with it again and you’re not moving an entire script, which is really difficult to do. Once it’s in script form, it’s harder to move.

Peter Wilson (15:50):
It is. Makes sense. Is that when most of your ideas come to you in the middle of the night? We get that a lot. Yeah,

Nicole Kane (15:57):
Unfortunately. But I’ll have an idea wherever I’ll, I’ll be sitting out to dinner with friends or something like that and somebody will say something and I’m like, hang on, say that again. I have to write that down so

Peter Wilson (16:09):
That ping goes off.

Nicole Kane (16:11):
So I’m something

Peter Wilson (16:12):

Nicole Kane (16:13):
My phone so I can refer back to it later. And basically I can just pull those id, I’ve got an idea sheet on my computer that I update regularly with just plot points and I, I’ll go, can be expanded on or maybe need some work or something like that just so I’ve got notes for myself. And then I’ve got other projects which I’ve sort of done the skeleton for and just left because it’s not the right time that I should be working on that project. You feel like something’s missing or you need to do some more research or something like that? Yeah,

Peter Wilson (16:50):
But it’s always good to have that kernel sort of away, locked away.

Nicole Kane (16:54):
And if artists approached me for work or something like that, I can go, oh, this is what I’ve got sitting here ready to go have a read of it and see what you think. You know, that way that, yeah, they’ve got a bit of a choice. It’s not just, ah, this is my next project here. You get this.

Peter Wilson (17:13):
So tell me about your workspace. Are we seeing it now? Do you do your writing sort of anywhere, everywhere,

Nicole Kane (17:18):
Or? I try and do it at a desk, but mostly I’m just sitting on the couch because I’m lazy and I need comfortable stuff. I need my back to be supported, otherwise I’m going to be sitting there hunch over a desk for the next six hours and be like, oh God, my back is killing me. This is just the display that we’ve got set up in the house at the moment. Next to that is my actual work station because I work from home. So yeah, normal desk is there and then the pretty much goes everywhere with me. That’s the beauty of having one, is that I don’t get tied down to anywhere. I can write in my bedroom, I can write in the lounge room, I could write the dining table pretty much wherever. So

Peter Wilson (18:02):
That’s cool.

Nicole Kane (18:03):
Cool. Yeah, it’s really good. I think it’s easier that way. And I just changed over my hard drive recently because it was every time I plugged it in it would unplug itself, which is super annoying. So exactly annoying. Now I’ve got a bit of more heavy duty one, thank God. So

Peter Wilson (18:22):
When you’re sitting down for a writing session, is there, seems like you’re sort of ready to go riding at any time, but you have a struggle to get into that creative space. Do you have little tips or little habits to get into the flow?

Nicole Kane (18:36):
I think if you’re going to sit down and do it, you have to know what you’re going to be working on. So you have to have been thinking about it for a while. You can’t just sort of go, oh, I need to finish this today. You’re not there. Also, I use music. Music’s a huge influence on me. Generally. I have something smashing away in the headphones just to block out literally everything so I can’t hear anything while I’m doing this. And then I can get into that zone because stuff like Fox and Hound, you have to be in the right mood to ride it. If you are having a bad day or you’re not feeling up for it, you’re not going to get those witty little nuances that they make. You’re going to be sitting there and you’re going to be like, oh, I feel like crap. This doesn’t sound right. And I usually have the Bayonetta soundtrack when I’m riding them because I don’t know, it just puts me in that mood where that sassy kind of way that they talk. So most pieces do have their own soundtracks that I listen to. That’s really

Peter Wilson (19:40):
Cool. That’s cool. You should post them. That’d be nice to see.

Nicole Kane (19:44):
Oh look, yeah, that’s not a bad idea actually. Yeah, it’s not a bad idea. I’ve got some more melancholy ones for the darker works and then I’ve got the Pumpy upbeat ones and then I was writing a cyberpunk piece for a little anthology, so I had synth stuff on and just trying to get my head in that space.

Peter Wilson (20:03):
That’s cool. I do something similar when I’m writing foes. If I’m riding for each of the, I’ll have heavy metal and then I’ll have something orchestral and moody to get the two characters, the dichotomy going

Nicole Kane (20:15):
Between the two. It really helps. It really does help that

Peter Wilson (20:18):
Juxtaposition. It really does. And just the practicalness of drowning out the background as well.

Nicole Kane (20:23):
Yeah, it really important. I had the TV on at one point and it was too distracting. Yeah, it just didn’t work. So yeah, ended up switching to music and it’s been pretty good.

Peter Wilson (20:36):
I’m always telling friends they can’t recommend me new shows if I’m in a drawing space cause I can’t draw and have a new show on.

Nicole Kane (20:42):

Peter Wilson (20:42):
Nope, your show can ignore or

Nicole Kane (20:45):
Nothing. That’s it. That’s it. If you’ve got something that you’ve watched a bazillion times in the background and you just need it for noise, fair enough. But if you’re going to get distracted by that, you got to turn it off.

Peter Wilson (20:56):
That’s good. It’s not just me. Excellent. So how would you describe your style of riding to people?

Nicole Kane (21:03):
Okay, so I prefer horror. I’m a big horror fan. Haven’t got the chance to really edge out into that yet, which is annoying, but we’ll get there. But my style is more or less taking sort of an old story or a folk tale and bringing it into the forefront of this age. So with Corson we did that. We took a really old story that a lot of people didn’t know about and we reformatted it for this modern era with the comic. So it still had that authentic feel to it, but we just gave it a bit of a new life in the graphic novel format. And then we are doing the same sort of thing with your Highness Your Highness, which is a really old folk tale that people don’t really know about. When I say it to people, they’re like, what the hell’s that? And I’m bringing it into that modern perspective. So that’s what I like doing that. It just very cool.

Gives me a chance to play with something that I’ve loved, especially so Jo Highness. Jo Highness is based on the diamonds and toad’s story and I’ve loved that sort of little folk tale since I was a kid. I actually have the original book of it since I was a kid. My mom actually found it a couple of years ago. And I thought giving this a new lease and a new basically sort of storyline that I can then fabricate is really interesting and I can manipulate this to what I want. It doesn’t have to be the same story. You can tell the story of Beauty and the Beast a thousand times, but if you put your spin on it, it’s still different.

Peter Wilson (22:52):
That’s cool. I like that.

Nicole Kane (22:54):
Yeah, it’s something a little bit different. And I do have original works and whatnot that I’ve made up completely from scratch and stuff like that, but I really enjoy these ones and I think it gives these old stories a new breath of life.

Peter Wilson (23:09):
So how do you go about finding your character’s voice when writing it? Do you read it back to yourself? Do you have maybe a famous voice that you sort of compare it to or

Nicole Kane (23:21):
Sometimes I kind of imagine who would play them in real life or I would think about who would play them, but I mostly try and find what the core of the character is, who they are on the inside and what they project on the outside. So example was Jing Goku, there’s not a lot known about her. There’s a lot of artworks, stuff like that, but there’s not a lot of written script. So when I started researching it, I thought, okay, this woman was obviously seduced by the devil. She’s very vain, she’s very jealous, envious of other people. So I kind of gave her that projection and she’s very almost cruel and strong at the same time, but it comes off wrong. And then of course when she softens up in the book, you have to change that but still keep what she would say in her voice. So that’s how I sort of go about finding the characters.

Some of the characters that I’ve got coming up, some of them are really mean and tough and have that sassy exterior, but some of them are really quiet. I’ve got one character that doesn’t speak at all, so her facial expressions have to tell her story and I have to be very expressive when I write the facial expressions. So you actually understand that subtle frown is not I’m sad. It is. I’m scared. So cool. Yeah, I like playing with them and I giving them a bit more of darker personality than necessary, which is the opposite of Vox and Hound where they’re just saucy and cheeky, but that’s their characters. So

Peter Wilson (25:12):
Do you find you have to adjust your script writing style for different artists?

Nicole Kane (25:17):
Yes. Some artists need a lot more dialogue, especially in the sort of explaining at the panels, some of them alike when I tell them where the panels should be and in what order they should be in. Like oh, this is the top left or this is the bottom, something like that. Some artists don’t really mind and they just sort of do it themselves. And then we’ve got ones that I can pretty much just write almost nothing in and they make the page up the way that they feel it should be and then we check it over and whatnot after that. But most people I write with are always different and you have to tailor that too.

Peter Wilson (25:57):
Yeah, makes sense.

Nicole Kane (26:00):
Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. And artists will tell you too, they’re just like, I don’t understand what you mean by this point. I don’t understand where this should be. Or maybe this panel should be below this one and this one should be above. And that’s all part of their creating process too, which is great.

Peter Wilson (26:16):
And it’s a great way to open up that back and forth too. You know, can share more ideas, collaborate a bit more, and

Nicole Kane (26:22):
If they’re not looking at your work as strongly as you are, then they’re not really passionate about the project either. They don’t want to see it do the best that it can do. Yeah, so that’s true. It’s better that way. It’s not a criticism just helping.

Peter Wilson (26:38):
Absolutely. So what do you find hinders you the most when it comes to writing

Nicole Kane (26:46):
Dialogue? I get really stuck on dialogue really quickly. Sometimes it just comes out and

Peter Wilson (26:52):
Some that’s surprising cause way very naturally your dialogue.

Nicole Kane (26:54):
No, I will go back over dialogue about twice as much as I will go over the panels because I just want to get it right. And sometimes when they say something it doesn’t make sense and I’m like, okay, I know what they’re saying. Yeah, because I’m the person who created this, but the writer, the reader. So I have to make sure that I get that point across and I’m not being too vague reading between the lines sort of thing, but I don’t want to be too obvious either. So it’s getting that really nice balance where you can help the reader understand what the character is saying too. And then there are times where they’re just flat out blunt, there’s no bidding around the bush what they just said. So yeah, it does test me especially when I’ve got a really important scene. Something like where there’s a secret being shared or something’s being hidden that’s going to come up later. I don’t want to give it away, but I want to give them enough that they’re going to understand what I’m trying to say. So yeah, I really try and make sure that the dialogue is spot on because that’s what you’re reading at the end of the day. You’re not reading the images, you’re reading the dialogue, the images are just complimenting what you are reading.

Peter Wilson (28:09):
Yeah, that’s very true. Do you have any little rituals or superstitions before you write? Some people have to clean down their desk, some people have to have their pencils lined up.

Nicole Kane (28:22):
The one thing that I would mostly do is have a coffee. That would be the big one. Caffeine? Yes, I’m

Peter Wilson (28:31):
With that one.

Nicole Kane (28:32):
Yeah, it’s it mostly it’s just preparing to write, wanting to sit down and actually do the work and not get distracted by everything else. I think that’s the really important thing when I actually sit down to do it, because I just get procrastinated really quickly and I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. But I usually try and print out the work so I’ve got it in front of me. It’s actually tangible and I’m usually going through that. Even if it’s just the plot points, I usually go through that, highlight that, write scribble notes all over it first. And I’ll do that for about a week and a half before I actually even sit down to really write anything.

Peter Wilson (29:16):
Oh wow, okay.

Nicole Kane (29:18):
A bit of an old school sort of have to print it out person. Sometimes

Peter Wilson (29:22):
I’m the same. I get to a point where I need it printed before I can really go on

Nicole Kane (29:26):
And then I’m just stuck with a pile of paper and I’m like, oh, where’d this pile of paper go? Now I have to shred it. This is annoying.

Peter Wilson (29:35):
So you mentioned your laptop. Are there any other must have tools you carry with you in

Nicole Kane (29:40):
Your little? Definitely headphones mouse. I can’t keep scrolling over the pad. It just annoys me. I’ve always got a hard drive plugged in because sometimes I’ll reference a picture or something like that and it’s all saved on the hard drive. So it’s like my database really of everything. And then like I said, I’ve usually got one of my Bibles books sitting next to me just as a reminder if I need to flick through or if I’m stuck at a particular point. It’s like what did they do at this point? Where was the story at this point? Because I think that’s one of the hard things to do as well is if you’re writing something quite long, you need to remember what the core of the story is. You can’t just keep waffling as it goes along. There has to be a purpose to this whole arc basically. So yeah, I like to keep them next to me to go, we’re at issue five, where were they at issue five, have they revealed this much of the story, have they not? And then I can sort of gauge where my story is at.

Peter Wilson (30:52):
That’s really cool. I like that. That is cool.

Nicole Kane (30:54):
Yeah, I try to keep them with me at all time and I’ve got them sitting on the shelf in that order as well, so I just pick up the chunk and walk off with it.

Peter Wilson (31:04):
I do something, I tend to do a lot of writing at the library if I get stuck here because my room’s too distracting. All my cool stuff’s here. But if I go to the library, there’s always one or two comics that I know they’ve got that I have to have just near me. A weird little pet almost.

Nicole Kane (31:20):
Yeah, yeah. Well that’s

Peter Wilson (31:22):
Why they won’t go well, they wouldn’t stop. Keep writing,

Nicole Kane (31:24):
That’s it. Well the other thing too is a lot of people writing cafes and stuff like that where they don’t have that distraction of their stuff around that. It’s just other people coming and going and the constant supply of caffeine. But I’ve written in a cafe a few times, I’ve just been sitting there and I’m like, okay, I’m going to sit here for the day and just order myself a nice lunch and do some work because it’s just too distracting. I’m hoping to have a really nice balcony where I can just sit outside where it gets a bit cooler and just Oh

Peter Wilson (32:00):

Nicole Kane (32:01):
With a cup of tea and just ignore everything really.

Peter Wilson (32:07):
Environment is definitely important.

Nicole Kane (32:09):
It really is. It really is. I think if you’ve got too many distracting things with you, and that can be sometimes the problem with the laptop, if you’ve got Facebook on another tab or something like that, you’re just like, oh, I’ll just sit there and scroll on that for a while. It’s like, no, you can’t do that. So

Peter Wilson (32:27):
Who would be the dream team for you to work with? Do you have really high aspirations? Who would you love to work with?

Nicole Kane (32:35):
Oh look, I would like getting into Image is where the boat is headed. Cool. That’s the end goal. DC would be cherry on the cake, but the ultimate dream dream is to write Bat Woman at some point. Cool cool. Dunno if it’s ever going to happen, but it would be an absolute honor and a privilege and I would probably say to them, you don’t even have to pay me, I’ll do it for free. I just want to write this story. But yeah, image would be the dream at the moment. Working with Nicola would just be incredible. I think that would just be again a, you don’t even have to pay me. I’ll write you whatever you want sort of thing. Yeah, I would love to work with Dan Mora. I would love to also work with what’s his name now. These artists are going to kill me later when they talk to me.

Nicole Kane (33:35):

Nicole Kane (33:38):
The guy who did black murder. Mondays the, I’ll have to Google it for you in a second. He’s the artist from that one. Babe, can you Google the Black Motor? Oh, just give me the book in my room. <laugh>. Just hand me the phone. Here we go. This is why I do Google. But definitely Dan Mora his work is phenomenal. Black Murder Mondays, if you guys haven’t read this book, just go read it immediately. It’s Will Do. One of the best comics that I’ve ever read. Oh, cool. Tom k Croker. Thank you. Thank you. Awesome. His artwork is all black and white and it’s so detailed for black and white. It’s crazy. I love it. I just absolutely loved it when I first read it. Also, the Artist for Lowe was one of my all-time favorites as well. Again, I’ll probably pronounce his name wrong Greg Tochi Toti to just go read the comic book Low and you’ll see his artwork and it’s absolutely stellar. It’s not even a comic book, it’s just every art,

Nicole Kane (35:01):

Nicole Kane (35:02):
Is just incredible. And I showed Chris once the artwork and what he’s done with his artwork now is on that par. It’s so good. And I think that’s where artists should be looking now, that comic books are not just, here’s a panel, here’s a panel, here’s a panel, here’s a panel, here’s a splash page. It has to be art now. Yeah. It’s so visually conceptual and especially what Image does with their books, they’re all visually conceptual, which is incredible. It’s not just a normal comic book anymore. And even with DC like look, if you look at the black label series, the way that they did the artwork for the black label series was mind blowing for dc.

Peter Wilson (35:46):
Some really great stuff there.

Nicole Kane (35:48):
Exactly. So I think that artists are now thinking in a different direction. I think they’re thinking that comic books can be a bit more so yeah, it’s amazing.

Peter Wilson (36:01):
Hello? Hey is Veggie. So what advice do you give to any aspiring writers who are watching?

Nicole Kane (36:11):
When people approach me at the conventions and things like that, I generally tell them to stick with it. If you are really passionate about this and you love it, again, don’t expect to be paid in the next however many years because it’s not happening. You’re going to pretty much be sinking money into this before you get paid. But do it for the love of it because you want to bring these characters to life. I feel like I literally breathe air into their souls when I create these characters and they become children to me basically because I’ve created them and they exist now. It’s not a physical assistance, it’s on a page, but they still exist. So definitely just keep sticking to it, keep learning things. Don’t ever stop learning things, talk to people. I find that the more you talk to people, the more you’re going to learn and just never let that spot go out. Because a lot of creators, they get defeated by not getting recognized or not being able to find somebody to work with or something like that. It, it’s fine, it happens, but don’t let that spot go out. Yes. Keep writing in the background, keep doing your work, keep improving on your work. And then finally somebody will go, Hey, I want to work with you.

Peter Wilson (37:31):

Nicole Kane (37:34):
Also anthologies work on anthologies.

Peter Wilson (37:37):
<laugh>. Good evening Gary. Hello. Well everyone’s coming on now. Yeah. Yes, yes. Where were you people? I mean, thank you for <laugh>. Well, we’re nearly at an end here, so one last question for you.

Nicole Kane (37:53):

Peter Wilson (37:54):
What is the best criticism or best piece of encouragement you’ve ever gotten?

Nicole Kane (38:00):
Best criticism would be from Chris. He wonderfully criticizes my work in the best of ways because it’s not a criticism where it’s mean, it’s a criticism that I wouldn’t have picked it up. And I can tell you as somebody who’s reread their scripts like 1,001 times, by this point, you’re going to not notice stuff and you need that second pair of eyes to look at it and go, oh my God, you have made a giant mistake there. Especially when we were doing the hell quarter on all the Japanese stuff. I stuffed up so many times and Chris was there first one picking it up going, ah, that’s not right. So yeah, it’s probably the best criticism I’ve ever received. <laugh> because it’s actually helped. And then of course the best thing we’ve, like encouragement we’ve received was getting that ledger nomination because getting to that point makes you want to go further. It goes right, I’ve been recognized, yes, Chris is a national treasure. We is

Peter Wilson (39:11):
Crispy Inks, I believe is his. Yes.

Nicole Kane (39:13):
Crispy. Yeah. When we got that, it just felt like we had really achieved something and we’d been noticed for the first time and this was before we got the publication and everything like that. It was like that first sort of step in the doorway to go right. People have seen it, they liked it, they want more. So yeah, it’s, it’s been a long journey, but we are pretty happy with how it’s going. And even though it’s slow doesn’t mean you’re not going to get there in the end.

Peter Wilson (39:48):
Very true. That’s fantastic. Anything you want to plug?

Nicole Kane (39:54):
What have I got coming up? I’m trying to think. <laugh> we’ve got the next issue of Fox and Hound going to be coming up soon. Oh cool. Chris is actually working on that right now. I delivered script five to him not long ago and I’ve got script six in the works, so we’re hoping to get that finished maybe this year get the whole thing done. That’s going to be a huge shebang when we sort of finish this arc and close up this sort of first trade. So we’ll be putting all six issues into the trade, hopefully by the end of the year, maybe beginning of 2024. And then we’ll be moving on to the next arc of that story. So this story is definitely continuing, Chris and I love doing it, so we’re happy to be on board with that. I have got a few more things in the works with him. We’ve been discussing some stuff. So hopefully we’ll get to announce that in the next few months when he’s finished moving into his new place. And hopefully next year’s going to be pretty big. Hopefully I’ll get down to Melbourne this time maybe up to the Gold Coast. I’m not a hundred percent sure yet. Definitely doing all the Sydney shows, so I’ll be there as usual, but sweet. Yeah, hopefully to get a bit more around Australia now that everything’s sort of calmed down with Covid and everything. Hoping to do those interstate conventions again.

Peter Wilson (41:12):
That’s great. That’s really exciting.

Nicole Kane (41:14):
Thank you.

Peter Wilson (41:15):
Well thank you for coming on. Thank you for having a chat. It’s been very enlightening.

Nicole Kane (41:19):
Oh, thank you for having me. This was absolutely wonderful.

Peter Wilson (41:22):
Absolute pleasure. And we’d like to end with a quote here at Sunday Spotlight. I can’t remember the quote. So this will be interesting for everyone. <laugh> ordinary life is pretty complex stuff. Harvey Pico of American Slen fame. Yeah, very true, very true. Dismiss the little things. That’s it. Well thanks everyone for watching. Thanks for your guys comments and we’ll catch you all next week. We’re not sure who we’re going to have on yet, but we’ll be here. Don’t worry. Yeah, we’ll be here. And just remember, like, and subscribe. Yes, please. Yes. Thank you. Everyone have good night. Thanks. Thanks.

Voice Over (42:13):
This show is sponsored by the Comics shop.

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