Comics Features Interviews

“Scarlet’s Field Guide To Cryptids And Other Creatures” Is A Collection Of Lore And Short Stories: In Conversation With Sean Forney

The latest instalment of the Scarlet Huntress series looks to be a perfect introduction to the character’s adventures. An introduction to cryptid lore and other strange creatures; the book showcases the work of no less than 16 artists and a team of writers. We interview artist and co-creator of Scarlet Huntress, Sean Forney. In short, we talk more about Scarlet’s Field Guide to Cryptids and Other Creatures.

A Place To Hang Your Cape: What is Scarlet’s Field Guide to Cryptids and Other Creatures?

Sean Forney: Scarlet’s Field Guide to Cryptids and Other Creatures is a companion book to the Scarlet Huntress comic series. This book is a collection of stories from Scarlet’s point of view. She travels around the world encountering and tracking cryptids and other such creatures including werewolves. She also continues to search for answers on her mother’s death. The book collects stories, eyewitness accounts of 30 cryptids and creatures, and artwork from 16 artists and writers. Moreover, the book is all done through a journal format. It also has beautiful full color illustrations and sketches done in pencil, ink, and other media.

AP2HYC: What prompted you to remake the Field Guide? What changes are there between the first Field Guide and this iteration?

SF: The original Field Guide was short, black and white, and came out in 2011. This remake is more of a revamp. That is to say, we are tweaking every story and creating new art from more artists. The biggest changes are the addition of full color throughout the entire book. We’re almost doubling the size of the book; we’ve added more cryptids, more writers and artists, and tons of new artwork.

AP2HYC: How will this Field Guide expand the Scarlet Huntress’ mythos?

SF: The Scarlet Huntress series goes back to 2004 when Scarlet first appeared in an anthology book. She has gone on to have multiple comic books, a coloring book, and a children’s book. This Field Guide offers a look at Scarlet in a different light, as she travels, trains, hunts, and finds herself as a huntress. She comes into her own after her first werewolf kill in #2. She also recently discovers important clues to her mother’s death, and who is responsible in Scarlet Huntress: Tales Through Time. The Field Guide will offer new insights into the larger cryptid world; the affect of werewolf clans, and teaching Scarlet about the good and bad creatures of this world.

AP2HYC: Will there be any treats for existing fans of Scarlet’s stories?

SF: Yes! There will be some neat treats for existing fans of Scarlet Huntress. Some of the stories will have anecdotal ties to previous stories. This helps give insight into where the main comic line is headed. But that’s all we’re telling you!

AP2HYC: What if you haven’t read Scarlet’s adventures before? Will you still be able to make sense of the Field Guide?

SF: Yes! If you have a love of cryptids, creatures or short stories, you will find Scarlet’s Field Guide a good read. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll want to pick up the rest of the series, which you can do through the Kickstarter!

AP2HYC: I like to ask about the creative team on the book in these interviews. But that’s quite a roster in this case; 3 writers and 16 different artists! What’s it like compiling such a list of creators? What are the benefits of such a diverse list of talent, and how did you go about bringing this together?

SF: The creative team on this book is definitely larger than normal. It came together by simply asking our friends if they would like to help out. We talked with a lot of them and found that they were just as nerdy about cryptids as we were! It became a natural fit to have them work with us on this great book.

The core group is I and Steph Forney, creators and main artists/writer. We brought on a couple other writers when we realized how big the book was going to be. [Especially] with Steph teaching full time. Rodney Fyke is helping write cryptid journal entries with Steph, and Bryan K. Borgman is writing the section of cryptid stories related to international cryptids. Bryan has the license for Scarlet Huntress to be used in his tabletop game Kaiju Kaos. We’ve done crossovers before with Bryan writing for Tales Through Time. Both writers know the Scarlet Huntress mythos very well and are pushing the stories into awesome new territory.

The artists – all 16 of them – are friends, and most are considered family. Most of them have been around since the beginning of the series and have helped us excel in more ways than we can count. They are all artists in their own right, and most of them are indie/self-publishers as well. We are a community and we help build each other up every chance we get.

AP2HYC: Finally, do you have a favorite entry in the Field Guide?

SF: Steph is really excited about the Skin Walker story. I’m really excited about the Beast of Busco.

Want to catch a glimpse of Scarlet’s adventure? You can check the Scarlet’s Field Guide To Cryptids And Other Creatures Kickstarter here for more information. Then sound off in the comments and send us all your thoughts about it on Twitter!

About the author

Matthew Smith