Stephen Kok is the creative genius behind “Tabby“, and several other successful graphic novels, and has another on the way! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Stephen and find out a little more of what he does and what his graphic novels are all about!
Stephen is a creator and writer of many graphic novels, and it’s a real treat to read through his website about what he is working on next, which is a graphic novel called “Blue“. I can’t wait for this one!
“Tabby” has been accepted into over 100 library catalogues (no pun intended!) across Australia and New Zealand.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Stephen Kok and I’m a Sydney based graphic novel creator. I currently have finished up 3 graphic novels – Tabby, Tabby Sketchbook and 5 Seconds. My first graphic novel Tabby was launched for crowdfunding back in Dec 2014 and was completed in early 2015. Since then, Tabby has added to over 150+ public libraries across Australia and New Zealand. It’s an amazing experience to see your book is out of loan!
- What is Tabby about?
Tabby was a challenge to write as I wanted to tell a story where the main characters (the cats!) don’t speak. This meant everything had to be told in the artwork. Tabby is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with cats but don’t worry unlike the Shakespearean tragedy, everyone survives at the end!
- What is 5 Seconds about?
5 Seconds is a concept that I had rattling in my head for years! I like the idea that someone had precognition of 5 Seconds that wasn’t enough to change the world but twist it slightly. It’s like saying something and then regretting it immediately. Unlike Tabby, I really focused on the dialogue between the 2 main leads, trying to make it as fun as possible.
- Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy the writing process and telling stories! I also love when I know people are reading my works. I did an author talk at Stanton (North Sydney) library and there were around 40 children there discussing Tabby. It was a surreal feeling when all these people are so interested in something you created.
- What work do you most enjoy doing?
There’s so many components to creating a graphic novel but I think the planning part is the most fun. Trying to figure what happens at the end, what happens with different characters. During one of these sessions, my editor got very annoyed at me when I proposed killing off a character. It’s so cool seeing other people get emotionally involved with your characters.
- What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One girl enjoyed Tabby so much, she convinced her parents to take her to meet me. I was at an author event over an hour away. After the talk, her coming and talking to me about the graphic novel was amazing.
- What is your dream project?
I would absolutely love to translate one of my works into an animated series or movie. I know it’s a lot of work but moving it off the paper to the screen is definitely my dream project.
- What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
If you want to achieve or do something, it’s best just to get started. Everyone tends to procrastinate and sometimes things just get away from you. There is definitely a boldness in taking a first step and “doing” rather than waiting.
Stephen is currently working on another graphic novel called “Blue”. You can find out more information here on how to support the project when it launches very soon!
Tabby and Tabby Sketchbook are available from Booktopia and Book Depository. Click on the images above to purchase your own copy.
5 Seconds is available from Impact Comics located in the ACT. You can find their store by clicking on the image above.