What do you do? (Write, draw, edit, publish, promote etc.)
How did you get started doing that?
I write and draw comics, particularly my webcomic Mana. I have been drawing comics in earnest since 2009.
What was your first comic to create? Why that one? First to read?
The first comic I ever made was one in high school about eating curry with my hands. We were reading Persepolis as a class and the final assignment was making an autobio comic. The first comics I read were in Disney Adventures when I was very small. The Hobbit adaptation was another comic I loved, but it wasn’t until I read Fushigi Yuugi at age 12 that I was like: COMICS
Favorite genre to read? To work in? Are there any you won’t work in?
I like reading slice of life comics like Yotsuba&! My favorite genre to work in is probably fantasy, and I’m pretty flexible about what I’ll work in– maybe don’t expect a sports comic from me any time soon.
Have you ever faced adversity/discouragement for being a woman in your field? How did you overcome it?
Only in the general sense that my life experiences have been influenced by my sex. I am pretty guarded and have not yet been in a bad (comics) situation where I thought, “this is because of my gender presentation.” That said, I know it’s taken me a lot longer to get here than it would have if I were a cis dude.
Coolest moment you’ve had as a creator?
Today I got a message from someone who said my comic was one of their favorites from SPX!! I’ve also been honored (if baffled) to have teens come to my table at cons and ask for advice.
How do you think the current comics industry is toward women? What can we do to improve it further and create a safe space?
I have been very lucky to be relatively sequestered in bubbles of safe space. The industry as a whole is toxic and insufferable to women. The way to solve it is to create a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment, not just culturally– companies like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse need to be willing to actually fire creators and editors who have a known track record of assaulting people. Readers can help by being willing to put human lives above their entitlement to the work of their favorite abusive creators.
What do comics mean to you?
They’re the best storytelling medium and the best way to experience art.
Advice to other female creators in the field?
Find other women you can be friends with and stick to them like glue. Build a supportive network by being as supportive as you can be to others. Recommend other women for jobs, spread opportunities you stumble upon. Take care of yourself and don’t be ashamed to set boundaries with anyone, even if you’re unsure of their intentions. You don’t owe anybody shit.