Cat ladies get a bad rap. We are often portrayed as atypical “crazy” loner spinsters who have somehow become victimized by shunned hetero male attention, thus leading us to the sad fate of gathering acceptance from the most fickle of beasts. But as most of you know, being a cat lady is amazing, and frankly, cats are like the best partner I’ve ever had. I’m not alone in this either: Yasmine Surovec, creator of the comic strip Cat Versus Human, is making a case for it as well. Cat Versus Human? Oh, yes. It’s only one of the best comic strips that dares to delve into adventures that cat ladies are bound to have and Surovec makes sure it’s all captured, from sleepless nights in a cat fiesta to the rapturous emotions that can overcome those of us who love cats so much. Instead of yakking any longer, I’ll let her do the talking from now on. Persephone Magazine please welcome Cat Versus Human’s Yasmine Surovec!
Persephone Magazine: How did you get started making comics? Has it always been something you knew you wanted to do? What changed the game for you in doing it professionally?
Yasmine Surovec: I’ve been doing comics since I was in high school, and I’d often sell my ‘zines and mini comics at school. We’ve always had LOTS of comics and art books at home because my parents, relatives and family friends were animators, architects, photographers and designers. I’ve also had high school teachers who were very much into comics. I’ve read a lot of Vertigo titles like Sandman, Swamp Thing, Death, Transmetropolitan, Marvel titles such as Uncanny X-Men and Amazing Spiderman, and I’ve always loved Love and Rockets, works by R.Crumb and the like. I’ve wanted to do comics, but I fell into industrial design and fashion after college. I’ve designed toys, women’s and children’s fashion accessories, apparel, and textile. That’s pretty much where I thought my career was, and I loved it. It wasn’t ’til I’d posted my comics online that it had gotten attention. I absolutely LOVE cats and comics. The amount of joy I get drawing my cats was more than enough a reason to change careers.
PM: Your comics are mostly autobiographical, concentrating mostly on the adventures of being a cat lover. What are the benefits of sourcing your personal life? The fallbacks?
YS: I’ve always had cats. I don’t remember a time when I haven’t had any in my life, so talking about them and about living with them is rather easy. Fortunately, many can relate. It’s very nice to see lots of people who love their cats so much. I have a Facebook page and group that I’m quite fond of, mostly because my readers are very enthusiastic about sharing their cat photos and stories. It definitely makes my day. Feeling down? Watch your cat playing in a cardboard box or batting her little fuzzy ball around. They’re so awesome.
PM: How does a strip come to be? What is your process like?
YS: I have a small notepad where I jot down ideas. I flesh them out on the computer using Illustrator and Photoshop, then post them in my blogs. It’s a pretty simple process.
PM: What do you hope to accomplish with Cat Versus Human in the long run? You have a book out now, but what other projects are
you hoping for?
YS: I’d love to keep doing Cat Versus Human in blog and book form for as long as I can. I also have another comic called Lemonade Swimming Pool, which is a comic about growing up. I also have a couple other comics in the works.
PM: So here’s the million dollar question, from one cat lady to another: why cats?
YS: They’ve always been a part of my life growing up. They keep me sane. They’re funny and they don’t know it. They can be a challenge and I love that. And every time I’m down or unhappy, they’re always there.
PM: What great work can we look forward from you in the not-too-distant future?
YS: I have a few more projects related to CvsH comic up and I’m also working on Lemonade Swimming Pool. And as mentioned, I have a couple more comics in the works–one is cat-related and the other is more a fantasy. I’m totally excited about these projects so I’ll definitely be busy within the next few months.