Interview with Kelly Sue!
Having worked in comics for over a decade, Kelly Sue DeConnick‘s body of work boasts nearly 50 titles. Most notable of these is Captain Marvel, a series that has garnered a massive and most loyal following.
Her latest series for Image, Pretty Deadly, is a breathtaking blend of beauty and brutality. You can’t know comics and not know the legend that is Kelly Sue and we were very fortunate to have been able score an interview with the legend.
Best/ most rewarding part about being a female comic book writer?
Well… I’ve never been any other kind of comic book writer, so I’ve nothing to compare it to. Making up stories for a living is a pretty sweet gig, but it is work. Alas!
What project are you working on that we don’t yet know about?
I can’t tell you that! I’ll tell you this much though: there’s only one comic book project that you don’t know about. Two other gigs in other mediums.
What’s it like working with Emma Ríos?
Bliss. Love her like a sister. Truly.
(I think. I don’t actually have a sister, so I don’t really know. But I adore everything about her.)
A good fit for me and for the project. Someone who will challenge me to step up my game.
What other illustrators would you like to work with?
Bill Sienkiewicz is kind of my dream date, as far as comics are concerned. But, you know, also intimidating as hell.
Becky Cloonan, Fiona Staples, Zak Smith, Annie Wu, David Aja maybe? Though that last one would feel like wife-swapping a bit.
How much of you is in your characters?
Oh, I don’t know. Probably not as much as people think. Depends on the character, too. And the day. I’m smarter than Carol is, but not as brave or self-possessed. We share a short temper, though. I’m not at all like the protagonist of Bitch Planet, but I identify with all the main characters in that book, nonetheless.
It’s all just empathy.
How much of their experiences were inspired by your own? Example?
Tracy’s battle with cancer was inspired by my Aunt’s cancer battle, which she lost in February of this year. Tracy’s especially important to me for that reason.
As a writer of comic books, do you collect them as well?
A little? But not much. I used to collect Lois Lane toys and such, but it quickly got out of hand. I’ve grown more averse to clutter in my old age.
What’s your prized possession?
I have MS. MARVEL (1977) signed by Gerry Conway and two copies of the same issue of MIGHTY THOR signed by Walter Simonson — one “to Lois” and one “to Kelly Sue.”
Have you and Matt merged your collections? (Mikhal S., Press Any Key )
Yep. And BANK ACCOUNTS. And genetic material.
Kelly, Do you feel the market is getting better for the independent publisher or is Marvel and DC still the place to be? ( Steve Scott, illustrator)
Image is closing in on 10% market share now. Things are changing.
What have you always wanted to be asked, that’s never occurred to an interviewer to bring up?
Oh, goodness. I don’t want to be asked anything! I’m sort of sick of the sound of my own voice, honestly. That feels like a shitty answer, though, so here’s a good one —
I was at a party after C2E2 a few years ago and I was chatting with Paul Azaceta and he asked, “what are you working on?” I started to answer with the list of projects and he cut me off —
“No, I mean, what SKILLS are you developing?”
Best question anyone in comics has ever asked me, bar none. We sat down and talked for an hour or so after that about pacing and plot structure.
Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter is one of my favorite interviewers. There was a guy who interviewed me at Image Expo this past January for the LA Times, I think? He was really good too, but I can’t come up with his name for some reason. It’s early. Not enough coffee.
Brunch drink of choice?
Coffee. (I’m 14 years in recovery; no booze for me, alas.)
Thank you again. Here’s hoping you’ll actually be able to join us for brunch some day!