“Hi, I’m Luz Bianca, I’m a 20 year-old college student from Westchester, New York. You may know me from works such as Palace by the Sea and anthologies such as Who is the Silhouette?. My twitter is @luzbianca417, my website is luzbianca.com and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
What do you do? (Write, draw, edit, publish, promote etc.) How did you get started doing that?
I write, and I honestly have a hard time remembering when I wasn’t writing. Logically I know there was a time when I didn’t, because I can remember a time when I couldn’t write, but it feels like from the dawn of my consciousness I’ve been coming up with stories. At first I’d just narrate them aloud to my parents or whoever was willing to listen, but as I aged my parents and teachers encouraged me to write the stories down. The rest is history, I suppose.
(Luz’s personal zine, available at her Etsy.)
How did you get your start in comics? What was your first project and how did it come about?
I wanted to start writing comics as soon as I started seriously liking and reading comics, which was around 2013 or 2014. I very clearly remember buying an autographed copy of one of Peter David’s scripts for a marvel series at a con, and using that format as a basis for my first comic, Sara. I just wrote down the first story that came to mind. It was eight pages and not very epic in scale at all, but I finished it and paid an artist to illustrate it.
Any current or upcoming projects we can find you on?
Oof, new work from me may take a while. I’m currently working primarily on a 300-ish page graphic novel, so that’ll probably take years to come out. But I’m planning on writing more short scripts once I’m done with this behemoth!
Do you work solo or do you collaborate with others? If so, what are some of your favorite types of collaboration? (People you’ve worked with, style of creators you get along with etc.)
As comics is a visual medium and I can’t draw to any standard I’m happy with, I’m always collaborating when I make a comic. I tend to give a lot of leeway to the artist, both in terms of story and the visuals of the finished project. People who read my scripts comment that my panel descriptions are very bare bones, and that’s on purpose. I don’t know shit about visuals or what comics should look like. I leave it almost entirely up to the artist, because I know they’ll do a better and more informed job than I ever could. That’s my ideal type of collaboration, very much a partnership. I felt this was definitely in play when I collaborated with Mary Anne Mackey and Julie Gravelle for our story “You Can’t Outrun Your Shadows.”
Anyone you’d like to collaborate with some day? Why?
Leslie Hung and Irene Koh are two of my fantasy collaborators, the ones who remain consistent. No idea if I’ll ever get to work with either of them, but hey, a girl can dream.
What are your favorite genres/styles of comics to work in? Are there any you definitely will not do?
I love horror, sci-fi, speculative fiction. Anything with a touch of the unreal, really. As for what I definitely won’t do…erotica, honestly. I don’t feel comfortable writing it ever.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? What is it you hope to accomplish with the works you help foster?
Inspiration’s always tough, because it can come from anywhere, really. You just have to have the drive and know how to turn it into something. Still, I’m currently inspired by a few 19th century novels. Oh, and Sailor Moon. As for what I hope to accomplish, I don’t have any real lofty goals, I just want to tell good stories that empower and represent those who are often left voiceless in our current media landscape.
How do you feel about the current comics industry’s state? What gives you hope for the future of comics?
I think now’s a great time for comics. Social media has created a platform for many to share and create like never before, and it’s really leveled the playing field. That gives me hope, the idea that so many different voices are going to be heard and have their chance to speak.
Who are some of your favorite/most inspirational female characters to read? What about in other media (novels, TV, movies, pop culture)? Why?
This is probably going to come off as cheesy, but Jean Grey from the X-Men really inspires me. She’s been so many things, but at the end of the day she’s always a hero, and it’s always felt authentic to me. Other than that, my favorite female characters tend to be awful people, or at least people who do awful things. Stephen King’s Carrie White and Euripides’s Medea immediately come to mind. Oh, and Ibsen’s Nora Helmer. They’re all so real to me in a very visceral way, I can’t really describe it.
Do you have any advice to aspiring creators?
Writers: pay your artists. Artists: make sure you get paid. Everyone: know your worth.
What do comics mean to you?
They’re just a nice medium to me. I could wax poetic about how culturally, comics are in a fascinating intersection of pop and what we consider literary, but that’s not really specific to the medium, so I won’t.