Q&A with Resident Gabby Cosco

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To whatever extent you’re comfortable, can you share about your project?

City of Sirens is a comic book series. It is a crime noir drama mixed with mythology, adventure, romance and a bit of horror.

The story follows Elizabeth Carver, a 27 year old, vigilante serial killer hunter and the estranged daughter of the re-known serial killer, Lilith Carver, the Crimson Rose Killer. El has been on the run for the last seven years trying to escape the past that haunts her and the dark legacy that awaits her. Until she is called back to where it all started, her home town, New Port City, the City of Sirens.

What do you find alluring about your medium? What capacities does it offer that complements your project?

I love the combination of art/illustration and storytelling in comics.

With a comic you can really take in a scene when you are looking at the artwork on a page. It’s like getting a really in-depth version of a movie or TV show storyboard.

I also love that you can create a world, or an entire city such as a Gotham, a Metropolis, a Sin City or a City of Sirens and it carries a sense of realness that wouldn’t necessarily work if you were writing a novel.

In what ways do you hope/expect 212 will help to develop your work?

I hope to learn as much as I can about my medium and field, that will set me on the path to writing and creating the full story/vision of the City of Sirens. As well as, marketing and time lining a project, collaborating with mentors, other professionals and artists and taking in feedback and applying it.


Part of the 212 program is that you are assigned a mentor who will help guide you as you develop your project. What excites you about working with a mentor? Do you have any anxieties about it? How do you imagine it will affect your process?

I am excited about getting some different perspectives, ideas and concepts for the story and marketing it through social media and such. As well as, having someone to hold me accountable to deadlines and timelines.

It’s always a bit nerve racking to let people see the ideas that have been rolling around in your head in a very unedited way, like just viewing your notes and such.

I imagine it will have me incorporating working on this project in an everyday kind of way. I hope it will bring me to the next level of professionalism and pushing the project forward, making it a real tangible book I can hold in my hands.


The City of Sirens mixes mythology and crime drama in a modern-day setting. Can you speak some about your influences from mythology? From the crime genre? What is the process like bringing those influences together?

I have always been drawn to tales, stories, movies and TV shows that centre around the idea of light versus dark, good versus evil. I find crime noir and crime dramas dive into the theme in a gritty, realistic, smaller story kind of way. Representing that battle as more a struggle within an individual person and the choices they make and the circumstances that drive them to make those choices, rather than an actual fight between say dark orcs and white wizards on a battlefield. Books such as, White Oleander, Silence of the Lambs and Heart Sick were my inspiration in terms of the crime aspect of the tale. Also, comics such as Batman: Year One, The Joker, Catwoman: When in Rome, Black Widow: Homecoming, Frank Miller’s Sin City and TV shows like Arrow, Criminal Minds, Law and Order and CSI.

When I started idea forming, knew very little other than that I wanted to tell a story about a female private eye type character and I wanted to create with that story a scene between the private eye character and the serial killer who has information that needs to be revealed to solve the crime. I thought it would be a great dynamic if those characters were also mother and daughter and the whole story started rolling from there. I came up with the concept for El, as our protagonist and then Lilith, her serial killing mother, as the antagonistic force. Reilly was created to create a rift between El and Lilith and to give El something to fight for. El could also act as a CI to Reilly instead of a private eye.

The mythology part was inspired by my love of mythology which I got from Wonder Woman comics and books like Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces and American Gods and TV shows shows like Supernatural. I also love the urban fantasy genre and books like Bitten, Dead until Dark, The Harry Dresden tales, which combine fantasy with a bit of sleuthing. I did, however, want to keep it as grounded and based in reality as possible. I didn’t want it to be all lightning bolts and glowy eyes. I wanted it to be subtle but evident. So I used the mythology in the City of Sirens to give it that something extra that made it different from other crime noir dramas. I gave New Port City, a rich, dark history that incorporated it’s corrupt nature with the mythology of the story and I gave El a dark destiny to fight against and a dark legacy to try and rise above which became an integral part of her character arc. It also gave Lilith her motives for doing what she does. It just all seemed to fall into place and work together into a story I wanted to tell and write.