Since I joined Robot 6 earlier this year, my webcomics and overall sequential art interviews have run there, for the most part, rather than here. But given that Red Plains writer Caryn A. Tate was already interviewed by fellow great Robot Sixer Brigid Alverson recently (go read it, it’s a great interview [thanks to Alverson’s questions and Tate’s answers] as is this one [again, thanks to Tate’s answers]), I opted to give Tate a slot here at my home site to discuss her work at Top Shelf 2.0, Top Shelf’s online comics program. I’m always happy to support a Top Shelf creator, partially as I often say, because I consider the publisher to be my home team (both the publisher and myself are Georgia-based). As detailed in a recent Top Shelf press release: “Written by Red Plains series creator Caryn A. Tate and featuring beautifully and brutally rendered art by Larry Watts, ‘A Nice Place to Raise Your Kids Up’ focuses on the violence, corruption, and crime of the Old West that is seldom deeply explored. While other towns may have tried it, can guns really be outlawed in a place like Red Plains? Sheriff Doles, the recently appointed lawman in Red Plains, may find himself out of a job–if he doesn’t lose his life first. As a new family comes to Red Plains, meet the Escovido clan and find out what role to they have to play in all of this. Who will vie for the favor of the vivacious Lupe, and who will be scarred in the attempt? How many people will be calling on Doc DeGraff–and how many more on the undertaker?” My thanks to Tate for her time. Be sure to go back and visit Top Shelf 2.0 site frequently, as there will be new Red Plains chapters every two weeks.
Tim O’Shea: What attracts you to telling this tale in particular–why as a comic, as opposed to prose?
Caryn A. Tate: The tale of Red Plains is one that’s really dear to me. I grew up and lived in the West on working ranches and farms, being around Western people, and there’s a distinct beauty to the land, its lifestyles, its people. I’ve been passionate about telling our stories for a long time, and Red Plains is the culmination of all of that.
I love comics, and one of the reasons I think the medium is so satisfying as a creator is because the final result manifests faster than prose work. And I’m a very visual writer – I have a visual art background – so I tend to see things very clearly and I have a desire to see that on the page. But, that said, I do love prose too, so who knows?