Interview: Chopping Down 'LumberJanes' With Noelle Stevenson

Noelle Stevenson is a comic artist based in L.A. and working on her first comic, Nimona, which will be published by HarperCollins. She has done quite a bit of work with Boom including a new comic, LumberJanes, that she co-wrote! We got a chance to ask Noelle some questions about her upcoming projects. KIMBERLY GIBSON: To begin, can you tell us a little about yourself and what got you into comics?

NOELLE STEVENSON: I loved superheroes and I loved comics as a kid, but not necessarily the two together, and at some point I internalized the message that the comics world wasn't for me. I was into "boy stuff" but I still thought of it as "boy stuff" and I knew I wasn't a boy. Like a lot of other kids I was really into stuff like Cartoon Network's "Teen Titans" and the "Spider-Man" movies and "Smallville," and then you're like, "Ooh, there are comics, too, maybe I can..." and then you see them and you're like, "Haha nope not doing THAT." And it wasn't just superhero comics, I remember talking to someone who ended up being a really good friend of mine, and we were talking about comics and I mentioned I had been reading the Sandman comics because a friend had lent them to me, and he said something like, "Ugh, EVERYONE reads those." And I just shut down, I was like, okay, whatever, I thought they were cool but what do I know.


Then I ended up in a comics class kind of by accident and I really, really liked it. And I started getting more into webcomics, where there were a bunch more female creators and protagonists, and different styles of art, and they were doing cool, different things. And I started actually learning about different comics, and comics history. And for the first time I thought that maybe I COULD be a part of this. Then I interned for BOOM! Studios and then started freelancing for them and I started my own webcomic and I started going to conventions, and I had female mentors and role models and peers, and it felt like exactly the place I belonged.

KG: I've been a big fan of your fandom illustrations for a while now, especially The Broship of the Ring. What was your inspiration for LumberJanes?

NS: LUMBERJANES was Grace [Ellis] and Shannon [Wheeler's] brainchild! Shannon brought me into it first to do the character designs, and then asked if I'd be interested in co-writing it, and I was like, "HECK YEAH." When writing it I draw a lot of inspiration from "Scooby-Doo" and "X-Files."

KG: How did you and Grace Ellis get together and bring this concept into being?

NS: Like I said, it was Grace's concept to begin with, but we have a lot of Skype story meetings, since Grace lives in Ohio. It's really great, just really chill and fun. We throw out a bunch of goofy ideas and go off on weird tangents all the time. It usually goes something like, "I just had an idea but it's waaaay too ridiculous" and then the other person is like, "Actually, I kind of like it" and then the first person is like, "I do, too" and then we end up writing that.

KG: I know you currently have Nimona online, do you have any other projects in store for us?

NS: NIMONA will be wrapping up soon, early this summer, most likely. After that I'll have another comic project with HarperCollins! It hasn't been officially announced yet but it's in the works. It will probably be a webcomic before it's published?? I'm not sure yet. There are a few other things forming, but those haven't been announced either so they're still under wraps.

KG: I will always be a loyal Tumblr follower to gingerhaze, is Tumblr the best way for fans to reach out to you?

NS: Probably? I'm not the easiest person to get in touch with, granted. Nowadays I use Twitter pretty frequently to rant and ramble and interact with anyone who's around, so I'd suggest trying there. That or at conventions, I am always down to meet and hang out at conventions!

KG: Do you have that one special comic that you will always have a soft spot for?

NS: Wow, yes, too many to list, really. Maybe Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side, since those were my first comics. Or Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff or Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton, both of which are webcomics that influenced me a lot when I was just starting out. Anything by Emily Carroll. Craig Thompson's Blankets, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake, since that was the first thing I was published in. Anything with Mystique or a teen girl sidekick. I know for sure I'm forgetting something but I've already listed too many, probably. -- A big thank you to Noelle for taking time to answer some of our questions. Don't forget to check out LumberJanes this spring. You can follow Noelle on her tumblr or twitter for new updates: Tumblr & Twitter