Author and artist of "Anya's Ghost" Vera Brosgol talked to us about her experience working in the comics industry as well as some of her favorite books this year.
Charlie Chang: “Anya’s Ghost” has received such critical acclaim and positive responses from readers this year, what’s been the most enjoyable experience so far since the release of the graphic novel?
Vera Brosgol: Gosh, I think getting to go to conventions and actually having something to give people has been the most fun. I used to always go as a consumer and it’s nice to have a product. Getting handwritten emails from kids has been amazing, meeting librarians, when you only do internet comics you never get to interact with them. It’s such a shut in thing to do because you’re just locked in your room working and it’s cool when you get to venture out and interact with your audience.
CC: How much time would say you spend drawing?
VB: Well, eight hours a day to start and then if I have anything left when I get home maybe another hour or two. When I get home I mostly focus on writing, I read books and watch movies and try to figure out my own stuff. Try to educate myself a little bit.
CC: As a writer and an artist where do you get a lot of your inspiration for your art style?
VB: I read a lot Calvin and Hobbes, that was the first comic that I was exposed to because it would show up at our house for free all the time. Then I read X-Men at the supermarket when my mom would just abandon me in that aisle while she did the actual shopping. I got into manga as a teen, there wasn’t as much of it available then as there is now but totally sat on the floor in Barnes and Noble and read as much Sailor Moon as I possibly could. Rumiko Takahashi was a really big influence, the Ranma ½ series in particular. I think one of my biggest influences is animation because that’s what I studied and what I do for a living so I think that’s what comes across the most in my artwork.
CC: Are you still reading a lot of manga now, any recommendations for other readers?
VB: I still need to buy all of Ranma ½ because I have a feeling it holds up really well. I read 20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa which was a really cool series. I think it’s just finished in the States but I haven’t read the last volume.
CC: What are you reading now and what do you think have been some of your favorites from this past year?
VB: Well recently I read “Relish” by Lucy Knisley, that was a really great book. It’s a food memoir so it’s just her autobiography told through all the meals she eaten because both her parents are into food. Another one I read was “My Dirty Dumb Eyes” by Lisa Hanawalt and that’s out by D&Q (Drawn and Quarterly) and that’s just a collection of her shorts which are hilarious, kind of foul. My friend Meredith Gran has “The Marceline and the Scream Queens”, everything from First Second is awesome. Faith Erin Hicks has an awesome book called “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong”.