Who doesn’t love a thrilling romp of cat burglary starring glamorous thieves and ostentatious ne’er-do-wells? If your idea of a good time is to settle in with a film like To Catch a Thief or Entrapment, then Cat Fight is a comic that’ll assuredly be in your wheelhouse. Debuting next month from IDW Publishing, Cat Fight centers on Felix Lamaar, a charming, debonair cat thief that finds his high life on the verge of crashing down after he’s been framed for murder. The book will pique the interest of any fan of comics in the tradition of movies such as Gambit or Topaki and is definitely worth a read.
Two of the series’ wonderful talents–writer Andrew Wheeler (Sins of the Black Flamingo) and Ilias Kyriazis (Collapser)—spoke with us recently about the idea behind Cat Fight, the inspirations behind this tale of glamor and thievery, the collaboration with the creative team, and why this is the book for you if your idea of heaven is globetrotting.
FreakSugar: For folks who are checking this out, what is the conceit of Cat Fight?
Andrew Wheeler: Sexy, glamorous thief must flee for his life when he’s framed for murder and targeted for revenge by a group of similarly sexy, glamorous thieves! A globetrotting tale about how we choose to make our way in the world!
FS: What can you tell us about the cast we’ll meet in the miniseries?
AW: Our dashing leading man is Felix Lamarr, a slick, suave, charming cat burglar who loves the high life and doesn’t ever want to come down. His grandmother Kitty is a grande dame of crime, surrounded by colorful cat-themed thieves who will do anything she asks. You’ll get to meet them when Felix does!
FS: The world is firmly set in the world of crime, theft, and espionage. What are some of the influences that impacted the telling of this tale?
AW: The setting is present day, but the vibe is very 60s chic. Melina Mercouri in Topkapi, Eartha Kitt in Batman, Diana Rigg in The Assassination Bureau! We’re taking the reader to beautiful locations and inviting them to watch beautiful people kick each other in the face!
Ilias Kyriaziz: No specific influences but I went for fun, sexy and kinetic. I wanted the comic to be jumping with energy.
FS: Following up on that, were there beats and characters that came fully formed when creating the story?
IK: I don’t know what I’m allowed to share but I was given a TON of material about the world of this comic. I’m pretty sure Andrew might secretly be an international jewel thief.
AW: I should exercise my right to protect myself from self-incrimination! I will say that I do seem to spend a shocking amount of time planning heists for someone who buys all his clothing in thrift stores. I love to provide artists with a lot of reference to use or ignore as they see fit, and in this case that meant providing pages and pages of possible locations and elegant fashions for Ilias to choose from! In that sense, nothing is fully formed because everything is a collaboration!
FS: IDW has a reputation for housing a variety of comic narratives. What made IDW a perfect home for Cat Fight?
IK: All other publishers hate cats. You didn’t hear it from me [laughs]
AW: Shocking if true. Cannot confirm. IDW feels like a really exciting place to be. Their line of originals are truly original and their approach seems really fearless to me. They saw the potential in Cat Fight immediately and they ran with it!
FS: You both are solid, talented professionals in comics. What has the collaboration process been like with you and the creative team?
IK: I couldn’t be happier. Andrew has been wonderful, providing tons of detailed information about the characters and locations while allowing me to do my own thing, Auguste and Dennis [Yatras] really transformed my pencils and I can’t wait to collaborate with them again and Hassan [Otsmane-Elhaou] is a letterer I wanted to work with for ages.
AW: It’s a wonderful experience to have collaborators who you can trust completely to push the story to new heights! Every time the pages come in from Ilias, from Auguste, from Dennis, I’m thrilled! These are fantastic storytellers who take incredible risks and keep landing on their feet!
FS: Do you have any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to talk about?
IK: I’m close to finishing a very personal graphic novel. It’s been a while since I wrote and drew something myself so I’m very excited about it.
AW: I’m also working on a very personal graphic novel with another great artistic collaborator, but we’re fairly early in the process, so you’ll have to wait and see! Readers who enjoy Cat Fight may also want to check out my other crime story Sins of the Black Flamingo with Travis Moore.
FS: Do you have other stories percolating in the Cat Fight world beyond this miniseries?
IK: An adventure of Kitty in her youth wouldn’t be a bad idea…
AW: It’s been talked about! There’s a whole world of possible stories to tell about these characters. If the audience enjoys what we’re doing, we’ll keep doing it.
FS: If you had one last pitch to potential readers, what would it be?
AW: If you want to travel the world with glamorous rascals from the comfort of your own chaise longue, this is the book for you.
IK: There’s sexy people running and jumping and hitting each other and beautiful cats that aren’t bothered by any of it.
Cat Fight #1 debuts Wednesday, May 31st, from IDW Publishing.
From the official issue description:
Caught up in the glamor and excessive lifestyle of an international career criminal, Felix Lamarr lives only for the thrill of the next big score. Suddenly contacted by his estranged and wealthy grandmother, he is shocked to learn that she is a storied career criminal herself—the lithe and legendary burglar Kitty Midnight—and that she wants him to partner with her cat-themed associates on a lucrative upcoming heist. Unaccustomed to collaboration, Felix declines Kitty’s offer…but a shocking incident sends his life into a sudden, chaotic tailspin. Framed for murder and on the run from a mysterious syndicate, he leaps at full-throttle from one international hot spot to the next in a deadly game of cat and mouse!