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Taking a 'Stand': Caitlin Kittredge Talks Writing Comics, Novels, and More

Comic Books

Taking a ‘Stand’: Caitlin Kittredge Talks Writing Comics, Novels, and More

Fans of Sons of Anarchy should prick up their ears when they hear of Lucas Stand, a new series co-written by its series creator and released by BOOM! Studios. It has been an extremely enjoyable experience through its first three issues (we’ve rated it highly!). Not only is series creator Kurt Sutter co-writing the series, but Lucas Stand feels like a great TV show in its own right. Call it a lost show you must see and you wouldn’t be far off.

If the preview for issue #4 is any indication the drama is only going to ramp up. We recently spoke with series co-writer Caitlin Kittredge about Lucas Stand, her craft as a writer, writing novels compared to comics, her new series at Image Comics, and more!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

AiPT!: How did Lucas Stand come to fruition? Was this a collaboration with Kurt Sutter from the start?

Taking a 'Stand': Caitlin Kittredge Talks Writing Comics, Novels, and More

Caitlin Kittredge: I got a call from our editor at BOOM!, Dafna Pleban. We’d been trying to find a project to collaborate on for a while and this one seemed perfect. Kurt brought the pitch to BOOM! and Dafna invited me on board as the script writer. It was absolutely a collaboration and one I was pretty thrilled to be part of.

AiPT!: Could you tell us about your creative process? For writers out there do you do it differently (like write outdoors or with a typewriter etc)?

Kittredge: I’ll just tell you—in comics, ain’t nobody got time to write scripts on a typewriter. The way it goes for Lucas Stand is I turn in a one-page outline of each script, we do a round of notes, I go back and write the full script, more notes, and it goes on to the artist. For my personal process, I usually write on my sofa on my laptop with something like Forensic Files playing in the background. Sorry to shatter any images you had of me making my art, but 99% of the time coffee and yoga pants are also involved.

AiPT!: Issue #3 has Lucas enter the wild west and I was curious if you’ve ever been interested in writing a Western outside of this title?

Kittredge: I had a lot of fun writing Deadwood, 1879 but if I were to do a Western I think I’d probably have to make it weird, or throw some sci-fi or alternate history into the mix. Like there were a series of axe murders committed in Austin, Texas in the 1890s… America’s first serial killer. I’d love to do something with an event like that. Technically a Western, but not really.

I’d also really like to write about a group or several groups that tend to get overlooked in traditional Western fare—indigenous tribes, African-American figures, women, Chinese immigrants/pioneers. There are a few fantastic books out there covering at least one of those, but I always tend to look for the untold story in whatever time period I’m writing about, so that appeals to me far more than your standard gunfighter-comes-to-town story.

Taking a 'Stand': Caitlin Kittredge Talks Writing Comics, Novels, and More

AiPT!: Was the process of moving from writing novels to comics difficult in any surprising ways?

Kittredge: Speed. Novels take forever—like up to 18 months lead time. Comics are a monthly cycle and I didn’t realize how quick things move once a book goes into production. But I love it. It keeps me on my toes, and it keeps my enthusiasm for a project high.

AiPT!: I really enjoyed Throwaways and the first issue really blew me away (I gave it a perfect 10). Both Throwaways and Lucas Stand involve characters in the military and I was curious if you have any special interest in the military or how a character with a backstory involving the military changes the story?

Kittredge: First off, thanks for the perfect 10! Throwaways is my baby and I’m always happy to hear from folks who read and loved it. Honestly, it was a bit of a coincidence that both Lucas from Lucas Stand and Abby Palmer from Throwaways were both conceived as troubled combat vets, but I think it’s a relevant, of-the-moment subject to write about right now. The way veterans with PTSD or other issues are treated by our government and the way our society views mental illness in general are both pretty shameful, and anything I can do to normalize and shine a light on a real-world problem with my stories is a gift, as far as I’m concerned. The boots-on-the-ground humans who get ground up in the military industrial complex are my actual interest, as far as military stuff goes.

Lucas is very much a product of my outrage about America’s many dirty wars and the toll it takes in human life and sanity. I’ve also been closely following the journey of the female Army Rangers who were the first to be tabbed pretty recently, and Abby is definitely partially a response to all the regressive vitriol that surrounds the question of women in combat. Not to say I write with an agenda, but I’m a person with strong opinions and I don’t divorce those from my fiction.

Taking a 'Stand': Caitlin Kittredge Talks Writing Comics, Novels, and More

AiPT!: Ok, some fun ones! What’s your favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

Kittredge: Internet. Reality TV. Coffee.

AiPT!: What talent or superpower would you like to have (not including flight or invisibility)?

Kittredge: Asking for a superpower is always trouble, so I’m going to say I’d have the ability to always find a parking space no matter where I am. Especially in LA!

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