The blog “Hey, Women! Comics!” has posted an interview with me.
Here’s a bit from the interview; there’s more at the link.
HWC: What sort of woman do you think Hereville best appeals to?
BD: I’m not sure! I’ve noticed that most of Hereville’s reviewers are female, though, so there must be some appeal there.
I intended Hereville to be a feminist book – not in the sense of being over-the-top or preachy, but int he sense of writing a book with a kick-ass but not perfect female protagonist, and with a lot of female characters who actually matter to the story (especially Mirka’s not-at-all-evil stepmother, Fruma.) I often read books to my two honorary nieces, Sydney and Maddox, and they’re always very aware of if a book has girl characters they can relate to or not; without any prompting from me, they’re always asking “is this one a girl?” and pointing to the female characters and saying “I’m her!” So I think it’s important.
I think any reader who likes fun, character-based fantasy stories could enjoy Hereville.
Heidi Estrin — a librarian who knows more about Jewish kids books than pretty much anyone on Earth — interviewed me for her podcast, “The Book of Life.” It was a really fun interview for me (and only the second interview I’ve done face-to-face, rather than via email or phone), and considering the depth of her knowledge, I’m super-flattered that Heidi has been supporting Hereville.
You can listen to the interview here, on Heidi’s website. It’s about 19 minutes long.
Comic Geek Speak, a terrific comics-yak podcast, has posted their newest episode, which includes a lengthy interview with me!
The interview with me begins at about 40 minutes into the podcast. This was a fun interview for me — just a bunch of comic book geeks getting together to discuss, well, me. Topics include fairy tale logic, my word balloons, Pogo, Eleanor Davis’ Secret Science Alliance, getting started as a cartoonist, the thousand pages, Dave Sim’s influence on Hereville, and lots of other stuff.
Here’s my interview on KBOO. Thanks to interviewer, host, and man-about-town SW Conser — I’ve done interviews before, but this was my first live interview, and he made it easy.
Click to hear the interview!
The press release from Words & Pictures, a Portland radio show devoted to comics:
Tomorrow morning (Thursday December 9th) from 11:30am to noon (PDT), Words & Pictures celebrates its seventh anniversary on the air by returning to its local roots. This month’s guest is up-and-coming Portland author Barry Deutsch, who’s just published his first graphic novel Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, the adventures of a troll-fighting eleven-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl.
Words & Pictures airs on KBOO community radio, 90.7fm, Not near a radio? You can listen to the real-time webstream at http://kboo.fm/listen via iTunes or Abacast. And look for the webcast version on KBOO’s home page shortly after the show airs.
More info and links to recent webcasts can be found at http://www.tooningin.com
Jake Richmond, Hereville’s colorist, will be there as well. Should be fun!
A new interview with me, conducted by Leah Cypess (author of the fantasy novel Mistwood), has been posted on The Enchanted Inkpot. Check it out!
I’ve been neglecting the Hereville blogging for the last few weeks, and I have a bunch of articles to link to!
Today, I’ll link to a series of four (!) articles by Christian Lipski in The Portland Examiner. First, there’s Christian’s detailed report of the Premiereville event at Powell’s on Hawthorne. (I posted some photos of the event here.)
Although he got 100 details right, Christian did get one small fact wrong — my friend Jenn Frederick, who read the part of Gittel at Premiereville, isn’t my sister. But Christian’s article has made me realize that when I eventually do a reading in Ithaca, New York, I have got to make my real-life older sister Allison Andersen read the part of Mirka’s older sister Gittel!
The Portland Examiner also published a three-part interview Christian conducted with me. Unlike most interviewers, who interview me by email (thus saving themselves the transcribing work), Christian interviewed me by phone — he says that the results of phone interviews are extra-lively enough to justify the extra work.
Part one of the interview (entitled “An Unfinished End“), in which we discuss how Hereville was sold, can be found here. Part two, about Hereville and sexism, and also about the joy of huge open mouths, can be found here. And part three, about the perils of using photo reference when drawing, and about the next Hereville book, can be found here.
Here’s a little bit from part two:
…in Hasidic culture, the boys and girls are so separated there are so many years where essentially, other than their immediate male family, they’re growing up in an all-girl society. Everyone they socialize with other than their brothers and their father is female. Stephanie Levine, an anthropologist, wrote a book about the lives of teen Hasidic girls, and argues that kind of as a result of this separation they are incredibly spirited and in some ways more free than girls growing up in mainstream society. The point where having a boyfriend becomes important and you’re dressing and acting in a certain way so that the boys like you gets stalled for years in Hasidic culture.
A big thank you for Christian Lipski for all this writing about Hereville!
There are three (!) new interviews with me available online:
* On the Blog of the Association of Jewish Libraries
* On Graphic Novel Reporter
* And on The Portland Examiner (part one of a three-part interview!)
Goodness! Thanks to all three interviewers for talking to me.
Publisher’s Weekly just posted a medium-length interview with me about Hereville. Here’s a sample:
PWCW: Mirka is a very convincing character, especially in her moments of reflection and self-doubt. How were you able to get into the head of an 11-year-old Hasidic girl?
BD: Well, research helps, of course. I’ve read a lot of nonfiction about life in Hasidic communities, the most helpful of which was Stephanie Levine’s Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers. I also read novels written by women who had grown up in Orthodox communities, like Naomi Ragen. I read a lot of websites written by Orthodox Jews, especially websites by girls or women. But the most important thing to know is that people are people. Male writers who worry about “how women think,” as if women are a different species from men, make things needlessly hard. Research is important, but in the end, Mirka’s a person, I’m a person, and so we have a lot in common for me to draw on when I’m writing Mirka.
PWCW: Another thing that struck me was how well the characters deal with the gender roles of a traditional society. They don’t totally conform, but they aren’t all rebels, either. How were you, as an outsider, able to gain insight into that?
BD: Research! There’s a lot of information out there about gender roles in Hasidic communities, if you look for it. My own politics are pretty feminist, and as a kid I was lousy at fulfilling the “boy” gender role. So it’s natural that I’m drawn to a character like Mirka, a girl rebelling against her community’s gender expectations. That’s material I’m always comfortable writing.
But I also wanted to be fair in how I present the setting, and the truth is that most girls in a community like Mirka’s fit in better than Mirka does, and are happy to do so. I wanted to show that in the comic. So we have Rochel, who—to my mind—is one of those people with a talent for happiness, and is mostly comfortable with what the world expects from her. And we have Gittel, who is a more prickly person, and has well-founded worries about her future—but who is sincerely dedicated to her role as a girl, and really wants most of all to be a good mother someday.
My thanks to Brigid Alverson, the interviewer, who did a great job. There’s lots more, so go over there to read the whole thing!
I was interviewed by John Hogan for Graphic Novel Reporter. Check it out here.