Interview: David M. Booher on IDW’s Canto

Canto #1 Drew Zucker cover

Canto #1 Drew Zucker cover


David M. Booher is the writer of Powerless and the co-writer of Alien Bounty Hunter. Now, he and co-creator Drew Zucker bring you a fantastic tale of love and adventure in Canto from IDW. Booher sits down with Westfield’s Roger Ash to reveal more about this little tin man.

Westfield: What is the genesis of the story?

David M. Booher: Canto started with a single sketch. It was an image of an adorable little tin man from my incredible co-creator and artist Drew Zucker. The second I saw it, I was in love. I also knew right away that his story wasn’t going to be about him doing something for himself; it was going to be about him helping others. As Canto’s adventure took shape, it became about risking himself to find hope for his people where there seemed to be none. We drew on lots of different fantasy influences, from Baum’s Wizard of Oz and Dante’s Inferno, to Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, NeverEnding Story, and the like. As with so many fantasies, if readers take nothing else from Canto’s adventure, we hope they feel that no matter how bleak things might be, there’s always a little bit of light in the dark.

Canto #1 preview page 1

Canto #1 preview page 1


Westfield: What can you tell us about Canto and who are the main characters readers will meet?

Booher: Canto‘s people are little tin slaves in a fantastical world they know nothing about. They once had hearts, but now they have clocks. When their time is up or their clocks are damaged, they’re thrown into the furnaces. They’re not allowed to have names, or tell stories, or have relationships. Canto defies all of that by falling in love with a little tin girl. When her clock gets damaged, he must go on a dangerous quest to bring her heart back to save her. I don’t want to spoil too much about who he meets along the way, but rest assured; his world is big. In each chapter, he’ll face new enemies and new allies…sometimes not knowing which is which. By the end, even what he learns along the way will be turned on its head.

Canto #1 preview page 2

Canto #1 preview page 2


Westfield: From the description, it sounds like the story takes place in a very complex world. How much world building did you do in preparation for the series?

Booher: You’re right—Canto’s world is rich and complex, but we also realize it’s new for readers. We didn’t want to overwhelm them right out of the gate. That’s the beauty of this story—the world is basically all new for Canto, too. So his adventure slowly peels away each new layer, while keeping the focus on Canto’s specific quest to find a heart.

As we planned out the story, Drew and I talked a lot about Canto’s world and the creatures and lands he would encounter. We took inspiration from various parts of Dante’s Inferno and Baum’s Wizard of Oz. The fun was adding our own spin in different (and surprising) ways. Even after Canto’s journey comes to an end, there are lots of corners of his world yet to be explored. We hope readers want to come along and discover what wonders await!

Catno #1 preview page 3

Catno #1 preview page 3


Westfield: What can you say about your collaboration with artist Drew Zucker?

Booher: Other than he’s an amazing talent and a dream collaborator? He’s breathed life into Canto and his world. The story wouldn’t be what it is without him. Same is true for colorist Vittorio Astone and letterer Deron Bennett. And the IDW team has been so supportive of the story we wanted to tell. I’m so thankful to be working with such a great team.

Canto #1 Nick Robles cover

Canto #1 Nick Robles cover


Westfield: Any closing comments?

Booher: Since we’ve been talking so much about hope, I’ll say this…I hope readers feel that same love for Canto I felt when I saw that first sketch. And hope they find his story to be a little bit of light in the dark.

USER COMMENTS

We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!