If you were going to cosplay a superhero in the Renegades world, what would you want to wear?
I would love to cosplay as Honey Harper, or Queen Bee. In part because it would be a fun costume to pull together: a black-and-yellow striped sequined cocktail dress, dramatic makeup with dripping mascara, and an assortment of bees and wasps glued to your hair and arms. But mostly, I would love to cosplay her because she has such an over-the-top personality: a little bit vixen, a little bit mother-hen, and a whole lot of melodrama.
Telling superhero stories in prose has often been seen as a difficult task. What do you think is the hardest part of creating a comic book style story without the visuals? And what’s the most fun?
For me, one of the big challenges has been finding ways to describe the various superpowers for the reader to be able to visualize them and understand how they work (particularly in the midst of a big battle scene), without making the powers themselves seem cheesy or implausible. When you can use images to explain things, I think it’s easier to get the reader to suspend their disbelief, but with text, you have to make sure things are explained in a way that the reader is ready to go along with it.
As for the most fun part, I have really enjoyed being able to pay homage to classic superhero tropes and find ways to hint at the comic genre, while at the same time creating my own world and characters. I really want fans of the genre to feel like Renegades fits in naturally with the universes they already love, while also feeling like it’s something they’ve never seen before. That’s a fun challenge for me!
Our festival slogan is “Read Everything.” What one book would you like to see on our official “Read Everything” list for 2018?
“Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang – a fantastic graphic novel that does a great job of drawing inspiration from classic comics, while still managing to give the reader a story not quite like anything else out there.