Last week we broke the news that Dark Horse will publish a print edition of Faith Erin Hicks’s The Adventures of Superhero Girl. Hicks has always been a very articulate commentator on comics and comics creation, so it seemed like a good opportunity to ask her a few questions about the book and how it evolved.
Robot 6: Tell us a bit about the genesis of Superhero Girl. When did you start drawing it, and what did you have in mind for it at the beginning?
Faith Erin Hicks: I started drawing Superhero Girl at the beginning of 2010. I remember because I was in the midst of moving apartments and trying to scrape out the first comic on a deadline while unpacking all my stuff … I don’t think I even had my drawing desk set up. I’d had the idea of doing a comic about a not terribly successful Superhero Girl for a while, and wanted to do it as a webcomic, but I’d originally imagined it as a story-based comic, as that was what I was used to doing. I’m very attracted to the idea of superheroes, of having powers and ability beyond the usual, and I’d noticed that there weren’t many superhero comics made with me as a reader in mind. I like the idea of Supergirl and Wonder Woman, but I can’t say I’ve enjoyed their comics much. So I decided to make a superhero comic for me.
… that actually seems to be how all my comics get started.
It started with a doodle: One day, Faith Erin Hicks scribbled a silly little cartoon about a superhero girl, and that got her to thinking that maybe a story about a superhero dealing with the hassles of everyday life could be kind of interesting. That morphed into The Adventures of Superhero Girl, which she drew as a comic strip for the weekly paper The Coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she lives. Last year, she compiled some of the comics into a print book, Just the Usual Superpowers, which she self-published and sold at the Toronto Comics Art Festival.
And now, Dark Horse is giving Superhero Girl the full treatment, publishing the comics in February as a hardcover volume priced at $16.99. The originals were in black and white, but Cris Peter is adding the extra dimension of color.
Hicks has made a name for herself over the past few years as the creator of Friends With Boys and the illustrator of Brain Camp, both for First Second. At the same time, she has emerged as a clear-headed chronicler of the financial and practical realities of the creator’s life. She has more books in the works, but this clever little comic is a very nice addition to her oeuvre, and it’s nice to see it get the deluxe treatment.