Hey, hey, hey! I’m back again with another blog post for the Supergirl: Being Super blog tour.
Yes, I loved it that much! Earlier this month I posted my review (with a giveaway!) Today I have an interview with the writer, Mariko Tamaki!
About the Book:
She’s super-strong. She can fly. She crash-landed on Earth in a rocket ship. But for Kara Danvers, winning the next track meet, celebrating her 16th birthday and surviving her latest mega-zit are her top concerns. And with the help of her best friends and her kinda-infuriating-but-totally-loving adoptive parents, she just might be able to put her troubling dreams–shattered glimpses of another world–behind her.
Until an earthquake shatters her small town of Midvale…and uncovers secrets about her past she thought would always stay buried.
Now Kara’s incredible powers are kicking into high gear, and people she trusted are revealing creepy ulterior motives. The time has come for her to choose between the world where she was born and the only world she’s ever known. Will she find a way to save her town and be super, or will she crash and burn?
Caldecott Honor and Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer) combine forces for this incredible coming-of-age tale! This is the Girl of Steel as you’ve never seen her before.
Collects the limited series Supergirl: Being Super #1-4.
What drew you to say yes to writing Supergirl?
It was kind of a no-brainer. I am a sucker for a superhero, and they told me I could write whatever storyline I wanted (within reason), and that sounded fun.
How is the process of writing Supergirl (or any existing characters) different than writing stories with your own original characters?
You’re writing into an existing universe, so you need to understand that universe, mostly to be inspired by it. Other than that, I guess your editors are experts on a range of topics (Krypton) that my other editors are not (that I know of).
Were there any changes to Supergirl's story/world you knew you wanted to make when you joined the project? Or things you knew you wanted to include in the storyline?
I wanted to write a Supergirl that didn’t have any sense of her history with Krypton, I wanted her to discover her identity rather than have a mission from the start. So we changed that element of the story.
As the writer, do you have any input on the artwork? For example, how the characters look?
I gave the artist, Joëlle Jones, a basic character sketch, and a sense of the relative styles of all the characters, but the design is all Jones.
In Supergirl: Being Super Kara is, in many ways, a regular teenage girl. Of course she has this very big secret that even she doesn’t fully understand. I really love how you blended Kara’s “regular” teenage girl issues with her “secret powers from an unknown source” issues. How do you keep the balance between relatable human and superhero when telling the story?
I think you have to be specific. As long as you keep a character in a moment, and focus on what’s happening to that character in that moment, then, I think especially with superheroes, that Super and Normal stuff tends to balance out. I try to think about what my characters are thinking about at all times, and that also helps keep me grounded in reality, even when the characters are doing really cool stuff like flying.
Did you read comics as a teen? If so, which did you read?
I mostly read Archies, later, in university, stuff like Tank Girl. And then eventually graphic novels like Persepolis became my obsession. Mostly though as a teen I was more Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findley, because I was (am) a Can Lit nerd.
What would you like to see more of in books/comics/media for and about teens?
I would like to see more stories about a variety of experiences. I would love to see more comics about immigration, about gender identities and sexualities we don’t see in mainstream media, stories about mental health. I would love to see more comics by a greater diversity of writers coming from a greater diversity of experiences.
What are some comics you would recommend to readers (like myself) who are fairly new to reading comics?
Oh it’s so subjective. For superhero stuff, I’d recommend Gene Yang’s New Superman, Hope Larson’s work on Batgirl, and G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel. I just finished Vera Brosgol’s Be Prepared, which is an amazing YA graphic novel. I’m also a huge fan of Jillian Tamaki’s Super Mutant Magic Academy. And anything by Eleanor Davis.
Thank you so much to Mariko Tamaki for answering my questions! I highly suggest you check Supergirl: Being Super out! It’s such a great comic!