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Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Today Faith Erin Hicks steps up to the wheel. You know her from such works as Friends with Boys, Brain Camp, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellesmere, as well as the upcoming The Last of Us and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. Check out her website for more information.
Now let’s get to it …
2. What was the last good book (not comics) that you read?
I’ve read a couple that are worth a mention: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, a dark modern-day fantasy about psychics, class warfare and dead kings buried in Virgina which I absolutely loved. Stiefvater has a great knack for writing very real teenage boy characters, something I admire and strive to do myself. I just finished Tales From Development Hell by David Hughes the other night. A super fun (if very poorly copyedited) nonfic about how various movies do not get made. There’s a whole chapter on various incarnations of Batman, most of which I’m very glad did not see the light of day.
10. What is your favorite band/musical performer, and why are they your favorite?
I am not good with music at all. I had little to no awareness of it growing up, and remain very ignorant even now. I’ve been to exactly one concert in my life (U2, and while I enjoyed it very much, I wouldn’t have gone if a friend hadn’t arranged the whole thing), and I think my album purchases have totaled in the single digits over the last 10 years. I am musically inept. Not from total lack of interest, I like listening to music while I jog, but I’m pretty spectacularly musically unhip. I couldn’t even name a favourite album … will you take an audiobook? I have a deep affection for Tina Fey, and I love the audiobook of her book Bossypants very much. Whenever I’m stressed about a huge pile of work to do or discouraged over attitudes towards women in comics, I listen to a few chapters of Bossypants, which is read by Fey herself. She’s so awesome I can’t help but feel better.
19. What scarred you as a child, as in something like watching The Shining late night on cable when no one was home?
When I was five I saw the part early in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy’s guide gets speared in the head by a booby trap. The house my family lived in had a long hallway to my bedroom, and I remember being absolutely terrified of that hallway, sure some spiky trap was going to pop out and murderize me. There was a long period of my life where I was really oversensitive to anything violent shown onscreen, so that I didn’t actually start going to movies or watching TV until later in my teenage years. I blame it on that early encounter with Indiana Jones.
25. Do you have any pets and if so, what do you have and what are their names?
I have one cat. She is named Starling after Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs. I was very obsessed with that book when I was a teenager; there is something marvelous and assertive about Clarice that is very appealing to an angsty teen girl. I even wanted to be an FBI agent for a while because of her.
33. Who is your favorite comic character?
Oh lord … I have no idea. I like Gra’ma Ben from Bone. I like Maggie and Hopey from Jaime Hernandez’s Locas stories. I like Gesicht from Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto series, and Koyumi from 20th Century Boys (obscure, I know, but she’s hilarious), and I like every single character in Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. I like lots more, too.
36. How old were you when you started reading comics, and who introduced them to you?
I know I started reading because my parents would check out Tintin and Asterix books from the library, and I wanted them read to me, but my parents weren’t always around to do so. So after learning the basics of reading in school, I taught myself the rest on Asterix and Tintin. It’s funny how those comics were such a huge part of my childhood, I was literally obsessed with them for a while, and one Christmas asked my parents for only Asterix and Tintin books, and yet they’re supposedly not well known outside of comic circles in the States. I think they’re more common here in Canada because of the bilingual thing, but it was always such a shock to me to visit my cousins in the States (my parents are American), and they hadn’t heard of Asterix or Tintin. Recently I picked up a couple Asterix books from the library here in Halifax, and they’re still pretty great! Fantastic artwork.