Ten Speed ​​Graphic released the first print volume of cartoonist Katie Cook’s beloved fantasy Webtoon series, Nothing Special, in early March. Hot on her heels, The Beat can exclusively announce that the second print volume will hit stores in October, collecting the first 25 chapters of Season 2 of the webcomic.

In an interview with Cook, she revealed that converting the webcomic’s “waterfall” format for print to maintain the “page-turner” effect is a massive undertaking—one that, for years, she said would be “future Katie’s problem.” Instead, designer Nathan Pride you have taken over the layout process, and Cook, Pride, and editor Vedika Khanna are essentially creating an entirely new reading experience for Nothing Special in print.

“It takes us months to format everything in the back and forth after Nate finishes a page. And I actually hop on a Teams call where I share my screen and we go over everything and I start drawing in all of my weird little background stuff,” Cook said. “I love Sergio Aragonés-like gags and he’s an idol of mine. And it was like, oh my God, I have all of this white space as we reform, so why would I not go in there and spend an hour and a half drawing this one little thing?”

In regards to reading the comic in print versus on the web, she added, “The books have more backup content. I’ve even gone in and redrawn stuff and I add extra background gags. There’s back bonus content with how I make the book in the first book. The [back matter in the] second one has a little bit more world-building. It’s from the desk of the characters, what their desks look like, and all the stuff that they kind have out and about where they live, especially Lasser’s romance novels, which are such a huge part of book two.”

After being forced to kill her wood nymph mother in Nothing Special Vol. 1: Through the Elder Woods, magic user Callie wants life to return to normal—but now that she knows the full truth of who she is and where she comes from, “normal” has a new definition. Instead of spending time with Ella’s fairy boyfriend, Declan, teasing their demon friend Lasser about his obsession with human romance novels, and helping out her Ella’s daemon dad at his magical antique shop, Callie has to go on yet another surprising quest.

This time, she, Declan, Lesser, and Radish the very brave (and very tiny) spirit must track down a fairy healer to help Declan’s ongoing pain from his broken wings. Along the way, the group discovers Declan has a very particular role in fairy society that could change everything.

Check out the cover for Nothing Special Vol. 2: Concerning Wings below.

Nothing Special Volume 2 cover art by Katie Cook
(Ten Speed ​​Graphic)

Cook said Nothing Special will likely end after four story arcs, although the number of print books will depend on how much of each arc can fit without a ridiculous page count. “We found a good cliffhanger point for the second volume. So that one’s split up into two books,” she said. “And I can easily see the third season—depending on how we do it—being three books. “I mean, that’d be ridiculous.”

She will also continue publishing the story for free on Webtoon, even as the print books are released. Plus, the end of Nothing Special It doesn’t spell the end of the world Cook has created for it.

“I have other ideas. It’s a vast, magical world with a link to the human realm. Other areas can be explored there that I can tie telling into the stories I’m already,” Cook revealed. “So it can go on for a little bit with one group and then it can go on forever exploring Draken and the different magical areas.”

Prior to creating Nothing SpecialCook built his reputation as a comics writer with the IDW Publishing my little Pony comics. When former Webtoon editor Tom Akel approached her about creating a world that was all her own, Cook had to warm up to the idea.

Nothing Special Volume 1 cover art by Katie CookNothing Special Volume 1 cover art by Katie Cook
(Ten Speed ​​Graphic)

“I was like, no, I got a good thing going with the licensed work. I’m doing all this, and what if I do something that’s all mine and everybody hates it? It would hurt my feelings,” Cook said. “But eventually it was like, no, I have a story to tell. I have stories to tell. I want to write something that’s all ages with a teen layer, an adult layer, and a younger kid layer, something that everyone is going to get something out of, which is how I approached all of the my little Pony stuff. I didn’t approach it as a kids’ comic. “I did it as an all-ages comic, which I think is why it was so successful.”

Ultimately, Cook is creating Nothing Special for the adolescent version of herself who grew up reading Archie Comics and the comics section of the Detroit Free Press.

“I want something that has adventure and has a touch of romance and is just funny. I like to write things that are funny. I want you to chuckle along with the things that hurt. There’s matricide [in Nothing Special Vol. 1] and it’s funny,” she explained. “One of my favorite writers is Neil Gaiman, and a lot of his books have the idea that just between the cracks of our world is a world that we don’t think of. I love the idea that between the cracks of our universe, there’s something more.

“I live out in Michigan and I love the idea that if I see a dilapidated old barn and it looks like the doors are falling off the hinges and it just looks gross, it’s like, ‘I wonder if I go in there, if it’s going to take me somewhere else,’” Cook continued. “I love that sense of imagination, that sense of wonder. I really try and instill it in my own kids too. I went to college in Detroit. Detroit could be magic. We have lots of shitty buildings. So yeah, [Nothing Special] “It was the opportunity to do the thing I want to read.”

Readers of all ages have deeply connected with Nothing Special. At conventions, Cook said kids will walk past her booth and see the series banner and get giddy, which is very special for her. “There’s a connection to the story and I want people to connect with the characters and this world they live in. And by that, it’s technically a connection to me because so much of me is in the Nothing Special stories: the awkwardness of youth combined with coming-of-age, combined with a love of books and nerdery and magic. That’s the connection that you make with people through your work.”

At the end of our call, Cook provided one last tidbit of information: each of the print covers for Nothing Special are connected by the vines running along the top and bottom of the art, so it’s possible to lay them out and see a cohesive representation of the story.

Nothing Special Vol. 2: Concerning Wings will be available wherever books are sold on October 29 from Ten Speed ​​Graphic. Pre-orders are available now.



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