Sweeney Boo on Captain Marvel and the Importance of Social Media

Sweeney Boo at Fan Expo Canada 2019. Photo by Louis Skye

Sweeney Boo is a young artist who is already on her way to making a name for herself in the world of comics. And with a superhero name like Boo’s, we aren’t even surprised.

Boo’s most recent work is IDW Publishing’s Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, which was published in late-August. We at WWAC absolutely loved it—Captain Marvel and hundreds of cats? What more could we ask for?

We had the chance to catch up with Boo at Fan Expo Canada to talk about the origin of her name, why artists should be using social media, and how Captain Marvel came about.

Tell us about the origin of your superhero name?

Oh my god, I would need to invent a story because it started when I was 16 years old. I started using it in college. I really liked Sweeney Todd at the time, and I was an emo kid. And it just stayed with me. I need to find a better backstory for it, honestly!

You’ve built up a very good following on social media. How important is it for artists and creatives to have an active online presence now?

I think it’s important to have one. I really like my followers—they’re the sweetest people. But I don’t want people who have fewer followers to think that they’re not going to get work or anything. It’s not like that. It’s good to have followers, but it’s also good to be online to show your work. And just to update them all the time. Because the number of followers doesn’t mean anything. That’s what I think. Everyone’s work is valuable without that.

You’ve spoken about your art evolving over the years and how that evolution has been showcased on Instagram. How do you feel when you look back at your older work? And what lessons do you think you’ve learned from it?

It’s really weird when I go back! It’s just amazing to see how, on an everyday basis, you don’t necessarily see the way you improve. But if you go back to your­­­­—like you can look at your own work, and it’s just mind blowing. I kind of cleaned my Instagram a little bit. But it’s still really nice! And it just makes you want to work even more to keep improving and everything.

Did you always have an interest in comics or was that a natural progression as an artist?

I always had an interest, but I’m from France so, I was reading a lot of French comics when I was a kid. And that’s what I was aspiring to. But, when I was 17, my boyfriend was reading an Iron Man comic at the time. I didn’t know anything about it. I read it, and I loved it so much. I started to become a really, really big Marvel nerd. I was just like, this is what I want to do! And that was amazing.

What comics did you enjoy reading growing up?

I loved Sky Doll, which is a French sci-fi comic. Absolutely amazing. And Blacksad, which is also my favourite.

How did Marvel Action: Captain Marvel come about?

I got an email from IDW back in March to do a test for a potential series. So, I did like a cover. About three weeks later, I got an email, and they told me that I got it! It was really amazing. We started working on it right away. I still can’t believe it, honestly.

Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1 Cover. Published by IDW Publishing.

Could you tell us about the process of working on Marvel Action: Captain Marvel? How is it different from doing Kickstarter or freelance work?

Well, of course, it’s licensed work. So, I’m really following the script. And a lot of my focus is on characters and places where the story takes place. It’s pretty much like that. It’s great. I really like it, actually!

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from the Captain Marvel series?

Well, I’m going to tell you that there is going to be even more kitties!

What advice would you have for young artists?

To not be scared of social media. If that’s what they want to do, they need to keep going, they need to draw. Because what’s important is the way it makes you feel, and how happy it can make you. And how great it is.

And finally, what are you working on now and when can we see it?

I’m finishing my graphic novel, which is Eat, and Love Yourself [with co-writer Lylian]. It’s going to be published by Boom! Studios in 2020.

It’s dear to my heart. It’s about a lady, Mindy—she suffers from an eating disorder. It’s kind of a story about what I went through when I was a teenager. And I think it’s important to talk about it. So yeah, it’s a little bit of a sad story about a really, really important matter.

We’re finishing the book now, and it’s going to be great.

Eat, and Love Yourself will be available in stores from April 2020. Visit Boo’s website and see more of Boo’s art on her Instagram and Twitter.

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir