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Q&A with cartoonist Gisele Lagace

Gisele LagaceGisele Lagace got her start in webcomics in the early 2000s, with Cool Cat Studio. Since then, she’s gone on to create a wide range of webcomics, including Menage a 3, a Three’s Company-esque adult romantic comedy, and Eerie Cuties, about a school for magical teens.

In addition to managing her own ring of webcomic titles, more recently, she’s also left her mark on cartoon characters straight out of your childhood. She drew several issues of Betty Boop and Jem and the Holograms, as well as reimagining the cast of Archie gender swapped.

Issue 1 of her newest title, Exorsisters (script by Ian Boothby), will be released tomorrow by Image Comics. (You can read a sneak peak online).

 

Q: You’ve collaborated quite closely, as a writer, with David Lumsdon and T. Campbell over the years. What do you like about working collaboratively?

I like that it sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone artistically. It’s also nice to be able to rely on another brain to solve a story problem.

Q: Anything you dislike about collaboration?

I guess I dislike it for the same things I like it for. At times, I can be sent outside my comfort zone a little too much, and too many cooks is also an issue sometimes with writing stuff collaboratively.

Q: David Lumsdon has his own titles now that grew out of Ma3, which you created. What’s it like having someone else working solo in a universe you built? Was it hard to let go of creative control?

I don’t have a problem with that. It also helps that I use T Campbell as editor on all properties, so I’m confident he’ll make sure everything works together. Maybe I put too much trust in people at times, but it’s generally the way I roll. Continue reading

New York Comic Con 2018 Roundup

New York Comic Con is one of the biggest events for people who love comics, books, and the people who make them. Fans come from all over to meet the writers, artists, and actors who bring their favorite stories to life. We recapped some of our favorite moments from this year’s Comic Con.

Thursday

From Page to Screen: Owning Your Own Intellectual Property

Left to right: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

On Thursday, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti offered up practical information for creators, from creators who have been in business for years. The duo were tapped to create what is now DC’s wildly successful Harley Quinn comic; they also founded the multimedia entertainment company PaperFilms. Palmiotti offered up his life experience on having his work brought to live action.

The Gist:

“Hang on to your intellectual property, the only power you have in this life is to say no.”

“For protecting your intellectual property the keyword is: tangible.”

On film deals: “Always ask for back end but don’t expect it. You should always try to get as much money as you can upfront, and also executive producer; they give those away like candy.”

Hold out for the best deal possible, don’t feel compelled to say yes. If you’re worried about protecting that property, another key piece of advice was, before shopping or sharing your work, make sure to have something tangible. What they mean by that is to create a website with your character/description of your work on it. Something with a date, a digital paper trail that leads back to your distinct idea, will go a long way in protecting your work.

Both creators agree that you should know how to pick your battles: when a large corporation threatened a lawsuit over the name of Palmiotti’s comic Random Acts of Violence (formerly called splatter man) Palmiotti changed the name shortly before going to press. This is also a good lesson in not getting too attached to your work; it’s always a good idea to be flexible they said.

Their other shared piece of advice was to “be nice, it comes back in spades.” Both agreed that having favors to call in whether it was getting help in making deals or raising funds for their indie film projects it’s worth it to build connections and have friends that will want to help you.

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Q&A with Lezlie Lowe, author of No Place to Go

Recently, while hanging out in Madison Square Park, I needed to pee. There was an APT (Automated Public Toilet) nearby. Unfortunately, it was out of order. No big deal – because of my privilege as a middle class, white person, I was able to use the toilet at a nearby bar instead.

I learned about APTs in In Lezlie Lowe’s new book, No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs. She writes about how crucial public toilets are, especially for those who can’t just walk into a privately-owned business bathroom, such as the homeless. The area around the broken public toilet in Madison Square Park smelled like urine, presumably because others had, lacking a place to go, urinated on the street instead.

Lezlie Lowe, a freelance journalist of over 15 years, has been covering public toilets for a long time. “I described public bathrooms as the itch I could never scratch,” Lowe said. She first became interested when her small children’s bathroom needs changed her relationship to her city. “But over time I kept on it,” Lowe said. “[Toilets are] the one thing I keep coming back to in my journalism practice. … There’s always great stories.”

Toilets also appealed to Lowe because she likes to write about the unnoticed parts of everyday life. “Public bathrooms were a good fit because you can’t find someone who doesn’t have some relationship with public bathrooms,” yet they’re frequently ignored or underappreciated in building design and public spaces.

We talked to Lezlie Lowe about toilets, feminism, and the process of working with a small press.

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Q&A with Marina Shifrin, author of 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s, and You Can Too

One night in her twenties, Marina Shifrin penned a list of 30 goals to complete before she turned 30. Funny and full of heart, 30 Before 30 tells the story of what happened as she set out to achieve each one. (Read our review here.)

We asked Marina a few questions about her book, and what she’s doing now.

Q: How do you think approaching life with a 20-something mindset can help even people who have passed that part of their lives?

Your twenties are this magical time for debauchery and experimentation, a time when mistakes can be molded into lessons instead of life-altering set-backs. Wisdom comes with age, sure, but we begin to lose a little bit of our tolerance for risk-taking. I think everyone, regardless of age, should approach life with enthusiastic resilience—you don’t need to be in your twenties to continue to learn and evolve as a person (these important practices are simply easier when your younger, and you have fewer responsibilities).  

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In Conversation with novel translator Tina Kover

As a translator, Tina Kover bridges gaps between cultures. For over ten years, she has been translating novels from French into English, so that they can be read and appreciated by a wider audience. This year alone, Kover has translated two wildly different books: Disoriental by Negar Djavadi (read our review here) and The Beauty of the Death Cap by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, forthcoming this fall from Snuggly Books.

This year, Kover even helped to bridge the gap between a married couple. “[Catherine’s husband] doesn’t speak French, so he actually couldn’t read her book until I translated it, which is quite funny.”

When asked if he liked the book, Kover laughed. “He loved it,” she said. “But [Catherine] said she was a little frustrated because as he was reading it, he kept saying more about how much he liked the translation than the book itself.” Continue reading

BookCon 2018 Recap

Left to right: Marie Lu, Nicola Yoon, Nic Stone, Kiersten White, M.J. Franklin

Sad you missed BookCon? Here are some more highlights! Check out more of our coverage here.

Fierce and Fabulous

“#1 asking for permission and #2 apologizing for taking up space. I’m not apologizing for taking up space anymore. My main fear for writing the two girls in this book is that I would make them too soft. I don’t want them to apologize for taking up space, I don’t want to subconsciously write female characters who are shy, who are soft, just because I’ve been taught that’s what women are supposed to be.” Nic Stone

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Prose to Panel: How the Writing Pros at Marvel Create a Comic

BookCon 2018

Left to Right: Lorraine Cink, Charles Soule, Brandon T. Snider, Rainbow Rowell

On Sunday at Book Con Marvel Writers Rainbow Rowell (Runaways), Charles Soule (Daredevil, Hunt for Wolverine) and Brandon T. Snider (Grow Up, Ant-Man!) joined in conversation with moderator and author Lorraine Cink (Powers of a Girl) to discuss their work and creative processes.

Rainbow Rowell is author of notable YA books like Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. As a fangirl herself, she says making the switch from novels to comics was easy:

“It’s been a real delight for me. I’m a longtime comics reader, if you’ve read my books you know that comics often show up in my books because it’s been an important part of my reading life and Runways was my all time favorite Marvel comic.” Continue reading

Book to Screen: Talking the Darkest Minds Adaptation at Book Con 2018

On Saturday June 2, author Alexandra Bracken and actor Amandla Stenberg joined in conversation at Book Con 2018 to talk about the upcoming film adaptation of the Darkest Minds.

In a spate of sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster movies (online reviewers have commented on the seeming similarity between this film and X-Men), The Darkest Minds is unique in that it has a largely female-led creative team. Based on a book by Alexandra Bracken and starring a young girl named Ruby (played by Stenberg), the adaptation is also directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

“[Nelson is] one of three women directing a major motion picture this year which is very sobering,” Bracken noted. Continue reading

#Fearlesswomen in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Book Con 2018

Sci fi/fantasy authors S.L. Huang, V.E. Schwab, Charlie Jane Anders and Seth Dickinson joined in conversation with Kaila Stern of the Mary Sue at Book Con 2018. They talked about strong female characters, odious sexist tropes, and what’s needed to change the power dynamic in the entertainment world. Read highlights from their conversation below:

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Famous married funny people Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman have a new book coming out: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Megan Mullally (currently starring in Will & Grace again) and Nick Offerman (former Parks and Recreation star) may joke about just being people with funny social media accounts but they’re actually that and also married actors who wrote a book together. Continue reading

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