Author, Story and Script
Kathryn Branden’s edgy and darkly humorous graphic novel Barking Bad! was inspired by her undercover work as a licensed private investigator in Southern California.
Kathryn grew up in the cities and ranches of central Texas. Most of her career, however, has been in California where she worked until recently as a licensed private investigator, operating as a clandestine agent on high profile and dangerous cases with some of the most prominent criminal law and P.I. firms in Los Angeles County.
Her principal mentor was private investigator, Ernie Halcon, a former L.A. County detective, who served as head of security for the elected District Attorney of the City of Los Angeles in the 1990s’. He also was an undercover agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Kathryn worked for years on various domestic stings and criminal investigations, including risky surveillance of the famous and the notorious at work and in amorous, drug-fueled entanglements across the deeply noir Southern California landscape.
Her writing and the scenarios of Barking Bad! are directly informed by her own experiences, personal courage, natural humor and deep understanding of the relationships between the criminal underclasses and law enforcement in the urban and rural underbelly of California and Texas.
Art Direction/Character Design
Shawn Branden, art director and illustrator for Barking Bad! is a respected cartoonist and working animator based in Southern California.
Growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Shawn’s love of Saturday morning cartoons inspired him to develop comics of his own. As Shawn’s drawings became more sophisticated, his stories became more detailed and fanciful. Working in costume as a teenager for several years as Shombo the Party Clown taught him all that he might need to know about the darker and lighter sides of domestic life in Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles.
His teacher, professor and principal mentor was former Lucas Film story board editor Aubry Mintz who heads the animation department at Shawn’s alma mater, California State University Long Beach.
In addition to Aubry Mintz, the principal influences on Shawn’s work have been distinguished illustrators and award-winning animators including John K (Ren & Stimpy), Robert Crumb, Dave McKean (Sandman) and Ralph Steadman, who worked with Hunter S. Thompson at Rolling Stone. He is also inspired by Don Bluth (The Secret of Nim), Richard Williams (The Thief and the Cobbler), and Rebecca Sugar (Steven Universe). Author Scott McCloud (The Sculptor and Understanding Comics) was also an essential read and influence in the development of Shawn’s career.
Shawn Branden’s film experience includes working as a storyboard artist for projects such as Lockheed, directed by Shirley Kim-Ryu and produced by actor James Franco; Rodney Redbottom, directed by Josh Roush of Absolute Value Pictures and Trailor Metal, directed by animator Scott St. Louis were among Shawn’s other storyboard credits.
For more of Shawn’s work, visit his personal website.
SAM ANGUS JACKSON
Young illustrator Sam Angus Jackson is a graduate of the award-winning creative writing and poetry program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and weaned on the illustration comix styles of American comics legends R. Crumb, G. Shelton, Bill Watterson and Rich Corben.
Sam is the son of the famed American cartoonist Jack Jackson, known universally as JAXON, generally accepted to be the founding artist of the mid-century underground comix movement. Jack Jackson was also a founder of the legendary Rip Off Press (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy's Cat etc.) the first underground “comix” publisher in the U.S.
Sam’s own work in Barking Bad! has revamped his childhood love for creating comics and has inspired him to also pursue the creation of his own graphic novel. In the past months, he has been revisiting the work of the greats, such as Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, and is finishing the writing portion of a “graphic novella”.
To view some of Sam’s other visual artwork, you may visit his personal website.