He’s been writing intense works such as Hollow Girl, Figments, and been involved with a number of other projects over the years. And now, Luke Cooper is bringing to the world AloneNotLonely, a tale of a young introvert named Alex living in a Post Apocalyptic world. With that said, I had the opportunity to sit down with Luke and ask a few questions!
1. Hello there and welcome to the Mind Meld here at IndieComiX! For those who may not be aware of you and your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I suppose I’m best known for Hollow Girl, an action/horror comic series that has been floating around for a while, but I’ve also done A Glimpse Of Hell, Figments and a bunch of short stories. As an artist, I’ve worked on GoodCopBadCop, The Samurai and Wolf Country with Jim Alexander for Planet Jimbot and Burlap: Death Waits for No One with Jesse Baer for Covenant Comics.
2. You’ve long been hard at work bringing to life Hollow Girl over the years, which is currently at 5 graphic novels and now has a home with the publisher Markosia, how has this journey with the character been for you on a personal level?
Journey is the right word! Hollow Girl has been published by various publishers and there have been numerous different versions of the books. One publisher experience was so bad that I nearly gave up on comics altogether! Markosia looks to be the home that suits Hollow Girl best and we are in the process of re-releasing the entire series as it was meant to be seen – as a series of beautifully presented graphic novels. The first five books are indeed available now with another seven waiting in the wings. I am currently working on the thirteenth. It’s a series that I can never quite let go of. The basic premise – a medium who loans out her body to vengeful spirits – allows me to write pretty much any story I can think of. It hits my sweet spot of Punisher-style action and James Wan influenced supernatural horror.
3. AloneNotLonely is your latest project that’s coming soon, what can you tell us about this new project of yours? And will it be related to Hollow Girl?
No, this one doesn’t connect to Hollow Girl. If anything, I would say it is most closely linked to Figments, a psychological horror one-shot about a girl trapped in her own subconscious, forced to relive a traumatic event over and over. AloneNotLonely is not exactly like that, but the purgatorial world the character inhabits can be said to be a similar personal hell. The two things I wanted to do with AloneNotLonely was have an introvert whose antisocial inclination could be an advantage in an apparently post-apocalyptic world in which everyone is a potential monster, and to have the readers question the reality of what they are reading. Like Figments, this could all be in the protagonist’s head, but I intentionally keep it ambiguous.
AloneNotLonely is peopled with creatures that could be said to be Lovecraftian – certainly the ‘demons’ in the story are tentacle heavy – but I try to do something a little different. I wanted the horror to be psychological as much as about scary monsters and gore.
4. As you mentioned Figments, would readers need to have read it prior to reading AloneNotLonely? Or can readers go into it without needing to do so?
No. It’s more just of a spiritual sequel. They share themes and ideas, but not plot or character. That said, I would never try to dissuade people from buying Figments. It may not be required reading, but it is a comic that I am immensely proud of.
(Here are a couple of links to purchase Figments copies:)
5. Being proud of your work is always a good thing! You mentioned that the lead character for AloneNotLonely is an Introvert. One who is surviving in a post apocalyptic world, what inspired you to go with something like that? Especially as I can’t ever recall of someone being introverted in a post apocalyptic setting.
I made her inability to trust others her main character arc and then realised that I was trying to make her learn a lesson that I didn’t agree with. Why should she learn to trust people? I don’t.
That sent the whole thing off in an interesting direction, causing me to rewrite the script to strengthen the symbols – demons representing the ugliness we hide inside and angels representing the feeling of being judged. That also led to the intentionally ambiguous and frustrating ending, which I’ll say no more about here.
6. Is AloneNotLonely a one-shot only? Or will it be a series? As I’m sure readers are gonna want more after reading the first story and getting definitive answers to what is and isn’t real in this particular world.
It ends the way it does because I want the nature of reality to be questioned. There are no clear answers because she’s not ready to face them yet. Whether what’s happening to her is real, some kind of purgatory or just in her head is irrelevant because it is real to her.
I have, however, already written a plot for a second book, which I shared with the model who poses for Alex, the main character. She sent me an emotional voice message telling me that it made her cry and that it was a ‘masterpiece’. I’d take that with a pinch of salt – she is an actor, after all, and so prone to hyperbole – but it’s certainly made me excited about writing the sequel, and I do think of it as a sequel rather than a continuation. I like that the first book is about someone not able to move past her flaws, and whatever has caused them. The second book will indeed explain everything, and will do so in a way that should hit very hard.
7. I think its safe to say that the blue and red color pattern for AloneNotLonely definitely works in its favor. Will it be something you’ll use again in the future?
I wanted to work in colour, but Figments showed me that my style is made for monochrome and so looks wrong to me when coloured in a standard way. The red and blue was something I’d played with at university – the blue creating a cold atmosphere and the red bringing attention to disturbing details.
Yes, I am definitely going to try it again. The next book I intend to work on is a modern fairy tale and will be green with stabs of yellow. The green is intended to tie the world of Faery (Titled affectionally as Pumpernickel!) to nature. The plan is to make the human world black and white so it looks bland in comparison to the landscape and peoples of Faery.
8. How soon will we be seeing Pumpernickel out in the world for folks to read and enjoy?
Pumpernickel will be the next book I work on, but it’ll take time to do because I’m trying something a bit different with it. I’ll post work-in-progress art on Instagram and Facebook so people can keep track of how it’s going, though.
9. What’s the word on a big or little screen adaptation for Hollow Girl?
The move to a new publisher means that the rights are available again. No word on whether there’s any interest yet, however. If I had my way, it’d star Olivia Wilde and be directed by Marcus Nispel. I can dream…
10. When will AloneNotLonely be available to purchase? And will there be print/digital options?
AloneNotLonely is available now from Markosia from the following link. The usual way they work is print first with digital options to follow in a month or so.
11. As for my final question, is there any pieces of wisdom you’d like to share that you feel would benefit others?
I’m not sure if I’m well known enough to offer advice, but I will say that the best reason to get into making comics is because you love it. If it’s just about the money then it’ll suck the soul right out of you.
Also, don’t let anyone tell you that there are rules to it. Experiment. Have fun. If there’s an audience for what you’re doing, it’ll find you.
Editor’s Note: Huge appreciation to Luke for agreeing to take part in this interview! And if you’re interested in checking out all things Hollow Girl, head here!