2016 is starting off with two milestones for Non-Fiction by Non-Men! This installment marks the tenth interview in the series and the first interview with a graphic artist and writer. This month, E.B. Bartels speaks with writer, cartoonist, and memoirist Liz Prince.
Liz Prince is the author of many collections of comics, including Delayed Replays (Top Shelf Productions, 2008), Alone Forever (Top Shelf Productions, 2014), and Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed (Top Shelf Productions, 2005), which received the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Debut in 2005 and has since been published in both French and Spanish. Prince’s book Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir (Zest Books, 2014) was named one of Kirkus Review’s best books of 2014. She has also contributed to many anthologies; for a full list, see her website. Prince lives outside of Boston with her cats Wolfman and Dracula.
EB: How did you begin writing and drawing nonfiction? What first attracted you to the genre?
LP: I’ve always loved reading personal stories. I grew up in the punk and D.I.Y. scene, where zines were used to write about things both personal and political, that maybe wouldn’t otherwise be published. The book that really solidified the whole idea for me was Ariel Schrag’s Potential. Ariel is a queer cartoonist from the Bay Area who was writing and drawing autobiographical comics about her experiences in high school while she was still in high school! Reading those books was inspiring because 1) she was one of the only female comic artists I was exposed to at the time, 2) she was only a few years older than me, 3) reading her comics was like reading her diary and seeing the way she viewed the world. It really resonated with me. It was one of the first times I’d seen a comic and really thought, “I can do that.” The comics that I write are pretty different than hers, but it was a revelation nevertheless. Continue reading