Behind the Ink: Kim Gaines and Grub Machine Comics
Kim Gaines is one of the passionate masterminds behind the new comics company, Grub Machine Comics. On October 31st, Grub Machine will premiere Eventide, a comic thriller about a group of teens poised to saved the world against war-mongering ghouls. Kim was kind enough to share some amazing insight on Eventide, building the best creative team, and what fuels her creative fire.
Kim: So Grub Machine Comics, is our comic company. And I really mean, collectively, ours. It’s a brand that I’m hoping will resonant will the off beat, the indie, the weird, and the dysfunctional. I always say everyone’s got a little fanbot inside of them. And the only thing you can feed him, the only thing he he’ll accept, is art. Art in every and all forms. And when you give home that art, when you devour what makes you come alive, he turns into fuel, to help drive your own innovations. It’s kind of like an infinity circle. To keep creating, we have to always be hungry to absorb other creations. It’s such a profound process, and I felt like that name really suited what we were trying to do.
K: I always laugh at this question. It kind of feels like I’m still not 100% sure on how to pitch what Eventide is. Which is sad, I know, but here goes. Eventide is a story about 5 kids, who don’t really know each other, and don’t really like each other either. Then, they get sucked into a war against humans by the Yokai. Yokai are night stalking, soul devouring, demonic ghouls. So these kids suddenly have powers, have to figure out a way to like each other, still deal with their families and being teenagers, and suddenly having to save the world. The beauty of it, though, is that they’re not alone in his fight. They end up having ‘partners’ so to speak, to help them figure it all out. So, even beyond all of this, it’s that partnership that comes into play, too.
K: Well, for starters, this one! Haha! I’ve always, always loved a good team story. Ever since 9th grade, when I fell in love with Teen Titans: A Kid’s Game by Geoff Johns. I call that comic my beginning, because I read that trade, and was absolutely blown away. So team stories, are a big thing for me. Watching different people, from different backgrounds, kinda pull it together for the cause. It sounds so corny, but it’s stories like that I crave to write. The urge wakes me out of my sleep sometimes. I’m also super romantic, so maybe one day a cool, action-y love story.
K: I think this comic taught a lot of hard truths about comics. I’ve been a writer my whole life, and not to sound bright, but I’ve always been very good at it. And I’ve wanted to make comics since 10th grade. But the actual task of writing a comic is exceptionally different. It’s like all the issues with regular writing come back with a vengeance. It’s tough. But the work is definitely rewarding. I was lucky enough to have Jon Tsuei, (a comic writer) helping me walk through it, make sense of it, and help me figure out what I wanted to do, and how to best get it done.
K: I think passion and talent. First, you have to have the talent to do it. So, maybe you suck at art, but writing is your thing. Or maybe you’re an okay at writing the physical issue of a comic, but you can see the story as a whole and strategically line out what happens in each issue. You have to find what you’re good at and be a rock star at it. Also, passionate people turn me on (of course, we’re not talking sexually at the moment). They drive me to be better and push myself further, and it’s exciting to be around people like that. So when you have a team that really cares about their product, and really, really loves what they put out, you can’t go wrong.
K: At this very moment, I’m rereading Red Hood and the Outlaws. I actually really enjoyed it. And I was adamantly one of those DC folks who was like, ‘whaaat? no way, that’s gonna be whack’ but it was so well done, I was addicted by the time I finished the first issue.