UPDATED: “This is some of the best stuff I’ve read!” Chris Eliopoulos and Nate Cosby talk about the success of Cow Boy

We’ve gone Cow Boy crazy here on Pipedream Comics this month. With its brilliant mix of true grit and dryer than sasperilla wit, its been one of the most original books we’ve read in ages, and what’s even better is its all digital! Despite there only being a handful of pages posted on cowboycomic.net, it earned a spot on our Pipedream Pull List for last week and so I got in touch with artist Chris Eliopoulos and writer Nate Cosby to find out just how people are reacting to the adventures of Boyd the Bounty Hunter and what is next for the Boy and his Horse!

How are you finding the response to Cow Boy has been so far? Are you getting positive feedback from readers and how are they enjoying the experience of reading the book online via a ‘drip feed’ rather than getting it all in one go!
Chris: Everyone that has read the book or seen the samples online have had nothing by positive things to say. The fact that readers get a chance to have a book rolled out free online, even in little chunks, helps people see what they’ll be getting when they buy the book!

Nate: The installments were broken up after the entire book was done, it was just a matter of finding logical breaks in the chapters.

It’s INCREDIBLY hard to not put it all up at once. I’ve had the impulse several times to just throw the whole story up there. But I think there’s a fun in giving the audience just enough to entice them to come back for more the next week. We’re releasing pages every Tuesday and Thursday, leading up to the release of the book in early April.

Do you think readers are used to this kind of approach with your Misery Loves Sherman strips and how are finding this sort of schedule compared to a more traditional monthly schedule
Chris: These days, more and more people are used to getting content online for free and supporting creators by purchasing products for them. I believe so strongly in this book, I think once people see it, they’re want that book on their shelf.

Nate: I wrote it in chapters and gave them to Chris one at a time, so it wasn’t all that different from doing single issues.

How far ahead of the stuff released online are you currently working? Do you have enough to fill the print edition yet for example
Chris: The book is done. It’ll be out in March or April, I believe, from Archaia. The story is 80-something pages.

Nate: The entire book was fully finished before we put any pages on  cowboycomic.net. I believe Chris finished the last page before Thanksgiving. He’s a fast son-of-a-gun.

When you’re writing and drawing the story do you have in mind how much you plan to release in each installment or is it more of an organic process and you just include the amount that feels right – do you have to stop yourself from releasing it all in one go and saving some back for the next installment?
Chris: We are releasing it online to show people what they will be getting in the book. It’s a new product and we want to really allow people to see what this is and we feel that it’s so good, that even when we put it online for free, they’re gonna want to buy this book. But we thought the best way to release it online is over the next couple months leading up to the release of the book.

Nate: The installments were broken up after the entire book was done, it was just a matter of finding logical breaks in the chapters.

It’s INCREDIBLY hard to not put it all up at once. I’ve had the impulse several times to just throw the whole story up there. But I think there’s a fun in giving the audience just enough to entice them to come back for more the next week. We’re releasing pages every Tuesday and Thursday, leading up to the release of the book in early April.

What’s been your highlight of working on the book so far? A certain character, panel, or storyline you’ve particularly enjoyed? And can you reveal any secrets about where the story is heading?
Chris: I’ve enjoyed pushing myself to try new things. Having Nate throw down a gauntlet in the art and trying to surpass his expectations. I tried so many new things on this book and the pride I feel when I show this book is a highlight. Another big thing is watching my former editor become a writer and really loving the work he does. This is some of the best stuff I’ve read.

Nate: It’s been an absolute joy to watch Chris’ pages come in. I wrote Cow Boy with only his style in mind. He met and exceeded all of my expectations. Watching him expand and challenge himself artistically has been the highlight of the book.

Story-wise, Chapter 3 of Cow Boy is my favorite thing I’ve ever written. It spewed out of me in one day, everything just clicked in and I got really emotional while writing it. Chris handled every panel in that chapter beautifully.

The only secret I can reveal is that Boyd’s adventures aren’t over with this first book. The Old West is a big, mysterious place, and Boyd has plenty of kin to round up.

You can check out new pages of Cow Boy at cowboycomic.net or follow Chris and Nate on twitter @chriseliopoulos and @natecosBOOM