“Grits” with Slingshots, an interview with Danielle Corsetto

Gritskrieg and the talented Danielle Corsetto, author and artist of Girls With Slingshots

Gritskrieg and the talented Danielle Corsetto, author and artist of Girls With Slingshots

Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots fame was gracious enough to take time from her busy day at Staple! to sit down with me for another interview.  Yes, that’s right, I said, and stress, *another* interview.  A freak tape recorder incident last year and I’m short one GWS creator story.  Fortunately, she was our booth neighbor so it was really easy to sit and stare at her until she relented to being asked some questions.  I call it “the creepy” method.  Not so good for getting dates but great when you want to get some questions answered.

Danielle tells us about McPedro’s origins, “falling” for Seth Green, and how at least one of her characters is deathly afraid of meat.

BG Gritskrieg: Looking at your itinerary on your site, you’ve been pretty busy since the beginning of the year. Are you busier this year as opposed to last year?
Danielle Corsetto: Travel-wise, definitely. I started doing signing tours in January and they’ve gone so well, I’ve decided to do more of them and that means I’m not in the house as much. So it’s been a lot of extra work but it’s worth it. I get to meet a lot more people and travel to wacky places. That’s always good.

BG Gritskrieg: What’s been your favorite stop this year?
Danielle Corsetto: That’s a hard choice. I’m in love with Toronto so any time I get to go there it’s always a good time. I love Austin though, I mean the weather alone might make it unfair for me to judge because it’s been so freakin’ cold back east so it’s a welcome change. I like Austin an awful lot, I don’t know if that really counts as an answer.
(ed. note: You read it, folks. She likes Austin, Texas the best so “neener” to the other states!)

Jamie of GWS sporting a BG Tee and representing the Old School Gamin'

Jamie of GWS sporting a BG Tee and representing the Old School Gamin'

BG Gritskrieg: Which event has been your favorite so far?
Danielle Corsetto: Wow, that’s a tough one. New York Comic Con was not my favorite. *laughing* Driving to New York sucks. I guess this one (Staple!). I really haven’t done a lot of other events this year other than the signings. I guess I could say the signing in Toronto was awesome.
(ed. note: We’ll forgive that last bit because she said Staple! first which is in Austin, Texas… so “neener” to the other states!)

BG Gritskrieg: This is probably something you get asked a lot but where did you come up with the idea for McPedro, the talking cactus in your strip?
Danielle Corsetto: *chuckling* That’s actually a good question. It started when I was approached by a company that wanted to make plushies of the characters from my strips. I thought about it and figured there would be some perverts out there tearing out the crotches of the dolls and… Well, it freaked me out a little  and I thought I would never let that happen to my “girls”. But they were looking for something that could be turned into a plushie and so being the snarky asshole that I am I said, “How about a cactus? That’s really cushie. It’s a plant, you can squeeze it.”  And so he just turned into one of the characters. I’m glad he did because the strip needed some sort of weird anthropomorphic character in there. He was good comic relief. Some people really hate him which I understand and appreciate but a lot of people really dig him. So that’s where he came from. Poor guy.

BG Gritskrieg: So where did the idea for McPedro and his Mustache to be two seperate entities come from?
Danielle Corsetto: My ass. *laughing* I don’t even know. Maybe a drunken night, I’m not really sure. But I was really glad it came to me because it was one of the most fun story arcs I got to write. I needed something more “fantastical” because I had been doing a lot of serious stories. So I thought, “I’ll throw something ridiculous in here. How about his mustache runs away?” But the first thing I actually thought of was the end of it where his Mustache turns out to be totally gay and now that it’s back on his face, he’s very uncomfortable with it. And it’s French and McPedro’s Mexican with an Irish brogue… So see, I’m ethnically diverse.

BG Gritskrieg: I told you a little bit about my meeting with Marc Silvestri and how I almost passed out from hyperventilating. Has there been anyone you’ve met in your travels that has had an effect on you?
Danielle Corsetto: Well, this isn’t someone I adore on a professional level but I met Rosario Dawson a while back and I thought, “This will be really cool, she’s really cool” and I came up and just started giggling like a nervous schoolgirl. I probably looked like an idiot meeting her. And there was someone else I met… Oh, God, Seth Green. This is embarrassing. When I was with the company that was going to do plushies of my characters, they had me over for a meet and greet at a convention in Philly and I’m looking around and thinking to myself how everyone there is really old. There’s all these old people and I really have no interest in being there when I see out of the corner of my eye that this cute red head is checking me out. It took me a while to realize it was Seth Green. So we’re about to leave and I walk over to meet him and he jumps out of his chair and tells me hi and shakes my hand. And I say, “I’m Danielle…” and then not a word beyond that. It’s this awkward silence so I tell him how I just wanted to meet him and turn around to walk off and trip over a chair. *laughing*

BG Gritskrieg: So is there any character that you wish you could work into the strip more often?
Danielle Corsetto: That’s a really good question. Well, I can tell you I want to bring Maya in more, that’s Thea’s sister who has breast cancer and I really want her to come back in and I think I’m going to be focusing in on her pretty soon, I just don’t know when. Beyond that, I really want to do a little more about Maureen but that is going to come in soon. I’ve already planned that and I think it’s going to be really fun.

BG Gritskrieg: Second part of the question: Why do you want to work her in more?
Danielle Corsetto: Maureen’s not totally one dimensional but she’s the blog girl and she’s shy and I want to do more with her than that. You know, she’s a vegetarian and I want to go into that and why she’s just really damn scared of meat. I think there’s more to her than what I’ve shown and I want to bring that in a little bit. Her and Jameson both, they’re kind of a package deal. I feel like I’m being kind of sexist by only focusing on the female characters.


Danielle's piece from the after party event and auction at Red 7

Danielle's piece from the after party event and auction at Red 7

BG Gritskrieg: Which is your favorite character to write for or draw?
Danielle Corsetto: Good question. I like writing for Hazel because she’s just such a snarky bitch. And who doesn’t like writing for the snarky bitch? Jamie is probably the easiest even though I seem to screw up on her face an awful lot… And that always bums me out because I feel like I’m trying to make her cute without being too cute and I just need to go ahead and let her be too cute because she is too cute. Yeah, I think Hazel is the most fun to write. Of course, McPedro’s accent is really damn fun to write, too.

BG Gritskrieg: What’s in the future of GWS?
Danielle Corsetto: Oh, *I* know but I can’t tell you guys all that. Maya’s going to become a more prominent character and there’s going to be some really big changes coming in this year. At least one that I know of is going to happen very, very soon. Something I’ve never tackled before, something I’ve never written about before, it’s going to be fun. I’m being so cryptic… “There’s things that are going to happen… and stuff”. As far as the business goes, I’m going to be doing a lot more. The business end is kind of exciting for me right now. I’ve never really liked the business end because it takes away from my drawing time. But I’m finally starting to make a real website. I’m focusing more on the redesign for the website. I see Scott (Kurtz) from PvP changing his stuff all the time and it looks freakin’ gorgeous every time and I’m going to try to be more like that and change up the site, add more merchandise. People have been coming by today and giving the greatest ideas for new merchandise so I’m going to go ahead and do some of that. There’s going to be a lot more fun stuff, t-shirts, things that are going to be non t-shirt items that people will not have. I’m looking forward to it.

Be sure to visit Danielle’s site if you’ve never been. It’s well worth a look-see and you’re sure to be amused… or mildly offended.  Or both if you’re lucky. Thanks again for the great interview, Danielle.  We look forward to seeing what happens with Girls With Slingshots and to seeing you at Staple! next year!

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