NYCC 2016!

Thanks to all of you — amazing readers and retailers — this summer was a wonderful one for the Monstress team.  Because of you, Vol. 1 of the trade hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and now we’ve almost arrived at the launch for the second arc: Monstress #7 hits shelves on October 12th!

Before that, however, Sana Takeda and I will be at New York Comic Con!  This week, in fact! From this Thursday to Sunday, Team Monstress will be at table K2 in Artist Alley, signing posters, selling the trade — and we’ll have some other goodies there, as well.  We can’t wait to see you all — familiar faces, and new.

Friday (October 7th):

Signing: Image Booth (1444) (11 – 12 pm)
Sana Takeda and I will be signing the Monstress trade!

Image Comics: Character  (6:30 – 7:30 PM)
Location:  1A24
Description: A high concept for a comic is a great invitation, but great characters are what make you want to stay with the book. Characters that you empathize with or are cooler than cool are captivating. Sana Takeda (MONSTRESS), Steven Seagle (CAMP MIDNIGHT), Rod Reis (Hadrian’s Wall), and Jason Hurley & Jeremy Haun (The Beauty) are going to dig deep into characters, and how it’s not as easy as a cool outfit and a snappy name.

New York Comic Con Invades Greenwich Village!  (7 – 9 pm)
Jefferson Market Library.  425 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY, 10011.  FREE ticketed event—please register.  [The New York Public Library in partnership with First Second and New York Comic Con (NYCC) present two #NYCC2016 events October 7 and 8—a comics panel for adults and one for kids. Author Panel from 7-8 PM; signing to follow. Box Brown (Andre the GiantTetris@boxbrown | Greg Rucka (Wonder WomanStar WarsBatman@ruckawriter | Marjorie Liu (Monstress, X-23, Astonishing X-Men)  @marjoriemliu | Ryan North (Adventure TimeThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl@ryanqnorth

Saturday (October 8th):

Image Comics: Storytelling (12:15 – 1:15 pm)
Room 1A21
You can’t judge a comic solely based on what happens to the characters in it. You have to look at how things happen, what the story looks like, and a bunch of other little tiny things that make comics one of the most vibrant storytelling mediums around. Gabriel Hardman (Invisible Republic), Declan Shalvey (Injection), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Bryan Hill (Romulus) and a couple special guests are some of the best storytellers in the business.

Super Asian America (5:15 – 6:15)
Room 1A02
From Amadeus Cho to Kamala Khan, Asian superheroes are powering their way into our stories – from the page to the stage. But they can’t do it without help from the Asian American heroes behind the scenes. Join’s Mike Le in a no-holds-barred discussion of the state of Super Asian America, with real-life comic greats Greg Pak (The Totally Awesome Hulk), Larry Hama (G.I. Joe), Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), Keith Chow (Secret Identities), Wendy Xu (Angry Girl Comics), and Vishavjit Singh (Sikh Captain America).

Sunday (October 9th):

Signing: Comixology Booth (M3, M4) (11 – 12 pm)
I’ll be signing my exclusive trading card created by Comixology!

Signing: Kinokuniya Booth (1775) (1 – 2 pm)
Sana and I will be signing copies of the Monstress trade!

We Need Diverse Books: #Whitewashedout in Books and Media (2:45 – 3:45)
Room 1A02
Like #WeNeedDiverseBooks, the hashtag #WhiteWashedOut went viral showing many people’s connection to the erasure of Asian American and PoC/Natives in all forms of media, not just film. How is this hurtful for communities effected? And why does this keep happening even when audiences ask for more diversified representation? The creators of #WhitewashedOut and others discuss the need for change, uplift the representations getting it right and relay what else we can do to be heard.

Brooklyn Book Festival

I suppose this is where I apologize for not updating my website in months and promise I’ll be better, but given that I’ll probably just lapse right back into my bad habits, I’ll get to the point.  Which is: EVENTS!  Specifically, I’ll be at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend, September 18th (Sunday), for two events and signings.  I’d love to see you all — and look, what a line up!  Peter Straub AND Joyce Carol Oates?!   Aaaaaaah!!!!



Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium 
(128 Pierrepont Street)

1:00pm Otherworldly: By drawing the out-of-this-world, these comics share essential truths about humanity. Marjorie Liu (Monstress) writes comics about gore, sex, and horror–which reflect deep socio-cultural/historical inspiration. Tyler Cohen (Primahood) blends surrealism and memoir to explore what it means to be a queer person in a straight world (particularly as a parent). Gregory Benton (Smoke) illuminates the struggles of immigrant farm-workers in a graphic novella with ghostly elements. Moderated by award-winning author Ellen Kushner.

4:00pm Hearts of Darkness. A traumatized boy develops a sinister obsession with dolls; a man and his young lover take their fantasies in a chilling direction on the Amazon River; a teenage girl’s psychic link with a powerful monster puts them both in the crosshairs of otherworldly powers. Joyce Carol Oates (The Doll Master and Other Tales of Terror),Peter Straub (Interior Darkness), and Marjorie Liu (Monstress Volume 1: Awakening) discuss their latest genre-bending books that offer masterful glimpses of true horror, including short readings and a Q&A. Moderated by Charles Ardai, publisher, Hard Case Crime.


It’s my great pleasure to be heading back to Wisconsin as a Guest of Honor at Odyssey Con, taking place this weekend in Madison. I’m especially tickled because Brandon Sanderson and Margaret Weis will be there — and listen, if I get all fan-girl on Margaret Weis and start babbling like an idiot, please forgive me.  I can’t help myself.

I’m supposed to sign on Saturday, but really, I’m happy to sign anything you’ve got, whenever you can find me.  I’ve posted a cliff notes version of my panels below, but you can see the full schedule here, along with locations of the panels.

Hope you see you soon in Madison!

Friday 4 PM: Comics Panel/Writing for Comics
Marjorie Liu, Jennifer Margaret Smith (Monstress)

Friday: 11 PM
Urban Fantasy: World Retooling?
Matt Winchell (M), Erin Burke, Randy McCullick, Marjorie Liu, Alex Bledsoe

Saturday: 11:30 – 1 PM
Marjorie Liu Interview

Saturday: 2:30 – 4:00PM

Sunday: 10:00 – 11:30AM
Medical technology and Medical Ethics.
Lee Schneider (M), Dick Smith, Marjorie Liu

Sunday: 11:30 – 1:00PM
Will Comics Ever Be Respectable?
Richard Russell (M), Marjorie Liu, Jennifer Margaret Smith

Information Love

Things I had to look up today (so far — the day is still young) for writing-related research:

1. loincloths (for women)
2.  kopi luwak (cat poop coffee; processed in the bowls of the civet and harvested from their feces)
3.  bears

This is all very, very tame.  I think most writers probably earn a spot on some government watch-list for our online searches; mine have included everything from making bombs to assembling guns, disposing of bodies, bull-riding, giving birth in the wilderness by yourself (I discovered there’s an actual reality show about just this thing, which is a little too much nature, thank you), how much sperm a dragon might produce, setting broken legs, determining how long it would take to starve on the open sea, various infectious diseases (such as lycanthropy), how many mice would it take to make a fur hat, mermaid sex, spontaneous combustion —  you know, normal stuff.

Google is magnificent for this sort of thing.  So are libraries and librarians, but some questions are more embarrassing than others.  From the list above, I think you can probably guess which ones I’d rather not discuss out loud.

All of which matters only because, as writers — and, hopefully, for non-writers as well — there’s no such thing as too little curiosity.  In fact, the more curiosity, and the weirder it is, the better.  You never know what’s going to be useful. And don’t wait until you have an idea, either. I love used bookstores (well, any bookstore), and prowling the non-fiction sections — history, science, etc — for all the fascinating and incredibly specific subjects that some lovely individual(s) researched the hell out of.  Whether it’s the history of salt or the class politics of shopping malls in Latin America, fill your head with information.  Read the newspaper.  Watch documentaries.

Research can spark inspiration, just as much as inspiration necessitates research.  It’s part of the fun of creating worlds and characters, and stories!



Staying organized (and nostalgic)

I used to blog a lot more than I do now — I blame Twitter, of course.  It’s easy to jot down a quick message in 140 characters, and then I hate to repeat myself here:  it’s a bit redundant.  But today I was flipping through my first blog, Web Petals, which I started writing waaaay back in 2003.  Remember Livejournal?  I mean, Livejournal still exists and plenty of folks use it, but it’s been a while for me — and I’d forgotten some of the features I loved.  Like those fun icons that would go with my posts.  Here are some of my favorites that were always showing up at the blog.  Some of them I made, others I picked up from sites where designers posted icons for public use.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.11.16 PM


Anyway, so there I am feeling nostalgic, and I stumble upon an old post of mine, back from 2009 — a New Year’s resolution. To get more organized.  It made me laugh.

My own organizational skills are notoriously bad. Dreadful. Pathetic. Crummy. Maybe sad. I do, however, have a yearly planner, because there’s too much going on not to make an effort. I make a list of all the things I have to write for the year, and then go through and mark the dates. I’m good at marking dates and making lists. I love lists! So much fun. I feel very productive. Especially when I get to cross something off. Give me a gold star for effort, baby.  Seriously, though — I need whatever structure I can give myself. I write a lot.

Not much has changed. I still love lists.  The difference after all these years, however, is that I’ve learned how not to be overwhelmed by my lists.  You can see above — I’d make lists for THE WHOLE YEAR.  I’d set deadlines for myself that I wouldn’t meet, and then get disheartened.  It was all with good intentions, but it wasn’t actually productive.

Now?  I make teeny bite-sized lists that are all about the present, the immediate future, no more than a week or two out — and it’s all part of a conscious effort to not feel overwhelmed.

This is my calendar (see below).  I’m not showing a page with actual lists because there would be way too many spoilers on it (sorry), but what I love about this calendar (a Lena Corwin Deskpad) is that it allows me to see the full week,  every day, all at once — and the columns aren’t big enough for me to go crazy with too much work.  I keep it small, I keep it essential.  Monday?  Maybe there’s a dentist appointment, an interview, and a certain number of pages I need to write.  Tuesday?  Could be more pages, plus a few emails I need to address.  You get the drift.  A little bit each day.

Some people have digital calendars — that’s cool.  I like writing things down.  Whatever works is fine, but keep it simple, especially if you’re someone who gets overwhelmed (like I do — and it doesn’t take much, trust me).  The hardest part about this job is that as writers we have to stay self-motivated — all the time.  Especially when deadlines are always around the corner.  Organization is part of that process, knowing what needs to be done, and when; trying to manage all the moving parts of being a writer.  I don’t always do a great job with it, but I keep trying to improve — and this calendar and my little teeny manageable lists are part of that.