Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reading Rainbow: The Musical

So, I was five years old when Reading Rainbow first started airing, waaaay back in 1983, and it instantly became my favorite thing ever.  I loved everything about that show — from the books to LeVar Burton (who, along with Mister Rogers and Big Bird, was one of the central figures of my childhood).  I am 100% certain I’m a writer because of Reading Rainbow, and the love of reading that it instilled in me.  It feels especially poignant now.

Anyway, my aunt found an audio file from 1983 when I was five years old.  My grandfather is on there, too, but it’s a recording of me singing the Reading Rainbow theme song — AND I  LITERALLY KNOW NONE OF THE WORDS. The only thing I get right is ‘Reading Rainbow’. Everything else I’m saying is a complete mystery (who are Chris and Noah?  I want to meet them!), but I sure am enthusiastic and I’m singing it with LOVE.

MarjorieAt5ReadingRainbow

 

 

SDCC Schedule!

I’ve been slow posting this, mostly because of the tour — and navigating a tour with a broken foot.  I have, however, been outfitted with my own scooter here at SDCC. I won’t lie, I’m having a blast driving this thing around.  Just watch out for your toes.

I’ve listed signing times below for our booth — we might add more times, but that depends on demand and our schedules.

Also of note: MERCHANDISE. Sana brought some real goodies from Japan this time — mini-towels, memo pads, postcard sets — and then we’ve got an extra surprise in the form of limited edition CREATOR VARIANTS for Monstress Vol 1 and Vol 2.  There’s also a hardcover edition being sold through Image!

Hardcover exclusive, available at the Image Booth.
Vol 2 Creator Variant, available only at Booth #2201.

Wednesday (PREVIEW NIGHT):

Doors open and Sana Takeda, me, and Anne Elizabeth will be hanging out at the booth and signing (with some breaks to rest our hands) until 8 pm.  And then we gotta run.

Thursday:

10 – 11:30 (or noonish):  #2201 Booth Signing

1-2 PM: Signing at the Marvel Booth
5:00 – 6 :00 PM
SDCC PANEL:  World Building
Room 9
This panel will include Marguerite Bennett, Roxane Gay, Marjorie Liu, Dustin Nguyen, and Liz Suburbia. Panel will be moderated by Vince Hernandez (Aspen).


Friday:

10:00 – 11:00 AM
SDCC SPOTLIGHT:  Spotlight on Marjorie Liu
Room 29AB
Moderated by David Brothers, we’ll be talking about my career, and Monstress!

11:00 – 12 Noon
IMAGE PANEL:  “Image Comics: Excellence in Storytelling”
Room: 23ABC
Nick Dragotta (East of West), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Dustin Nguyen (Descender), Marc Bernardin (Genius), Amy Reeder (Rocket Girl), and Greg Hinkle (Black Cloud).

3 – 5 pm:  #2201 Booth Signing

Saturday:

10 – 11:30 (or noonish):  #2201 Booth Signing

4-5 PM – signing at the Image Booth

TCAF

There’s been so much happening in my life, both good and — alas, unfortunate — that I’ve been totally remiss in mentioning that I’m going to be at TCAF this weekend!  Toronto, one of my favorite cities in the world — oh, how I love you.  And so many of my favorite comic book peeps are going to be there today and tomorrow — including Sana Takeda!  You got that — Sana is going to be in Toronto!  Woooooooo!!!

Here’s my schedule — all my events are at the Masonic Temple, 888 Yonge St.

SATURDAY

[NOTE:  I’m flying in this morning, so there’s a slim chance I won’t make the 12:15 panel]

  • 12:15 PM – Who Are Your Heroes: Comics and Representation – A look into the classic North-American white picket fence archetypes from the perspective of the storytellers growing just outside that fence. A talk about identity and voices as the world grows and shifts but media struggles against reflecting it. What kind of stories do you tell when you’re the “other” in your own environment? Panelists: Ivan Brandon, Marjorie Liu, Valentine De Landro, Ramón Pérez
  • 04:00 PM – Image 25th: Glitterbomb x Monstress – Few things are as horrific as real horror! Few things are as felt as true feelings! So how do you convey both of those things in comics? Join the teams behind the terrific and terrifying Monstress (Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda) and Glitterbomb (Jim Zub and Djibril Morrissette-Phan) on how they go about imbuing their stories and characters with real emotion, while also scaring your pants off.

SUNDAY

  • 12:00 PM – Image 25th: Finding a Balance – Day jobs. Everybody’s got one. But how do you go about paying the bills while creating hit creator-owned comics? How do you make sure you have enough creative energy for both? Marjorie Liu, Jim Zub, Ivan Brandon, and Jason Latour are no strangers to balancing projects they do for others and projects the do for themselves. Come and hear how they try to make it work!

Reader Q&A: Trainers, Valentine’s, and Sana!

Since yesterday I’ve been asked by several people who my trainer is.  His name is Bash (here’s his instagram feed), and it’s not an exaggeration to say that he really turned my health around.  I talked yesterday about being intimidated by exercise, but let me elaborate:  I wasn’t just intimidated, I was overwhelmed.  Walking into a gym meant confronting every body issue, every childhood instance of being bullied, a lifetime of being told and believing that I wasn’t capable of being physically strong.  And yeah, when I was a kid, I had terrible knees, and that didn’t help.  PE class hurt, and not in that “oooo, my muscles are burning so good” sort of way.

Hey, though, my knees still hurt — the difference now is that I push through because I know I can, because I know that my limits, and my ability to grow, have not been maxed out.  And having had a taste of what I can achieve with my body, I want to keep pushing myself for more.  It feels like magic sometimes.

But if I’d started out with a coach who wasn’t quite the right fit, it would have taken me a lot longer to get to this point.  I got lucky with Bash.  He recognized that I was not advanced in…shall we say, the ways of the Force (my athletic midichlorian levels were almost nonexistent), and so, like a good Jedi, he started out small, but persistently kept pushing me to do more.  Like a Ben Kenobi, as opposed to being trained by Darth Sidious.

It’s the little wins, guys.  I can’t run worth shit, and my plank positions still look more like trembling triangles than sturdy flat lines, but hey!  Progress!

***

In the comments of an earlier blog post, James asked: I’ve just received Monstress, Issue #8 and devoured it–sorta like the Monster, I suppose. The story and artwork simply never get old. I wanted to inquire as to how the artwork’s done. Is it done traditionally, paper/pencil/ink–maybe Chinese stick ink? Or is it done digitally?

I’ve sat beside Sana while she sketches with pen and paper — and it’s honest-to-god a thing of beauty, watching her pencil.  She’s so effortlessly amazing.  But Monstress is completely digital.

Here’s a sketch she made while we were on tour after SDCC.

Beautiful, right?  Wait until you see #10, out in a couple weeks.  My author copies just arrived.

 

***

Finally, Happy Valentine’s Day!   Every day is Valentine’s Day, if we’re talking about celebrating each other, and being grateful for love.  Love and friendship and family, and the blessings of all of these things.

I saw this image…I thought at first it was a hoax, but I researched, and it seems to be real.  It’s a photo from a 1972 excavation in Iran.  The 2800 year old couple, male and female, were likely asphyxiated during a fire (the hole in the skull came from the dig), and yes, it looks like they’re kissing.  Or at least, holding each other, right to the end.

Waaaaaah.

Coping mechanisms

For the last couple years I’ve been making a concerted effort to exercise more, for the simple reason that I sit all day on a couch or desk, hunched over a laptop, and after years and years of doing that without much of a break, my body started to hurt.  Neck, back, shoulders — everything.  If I had a deadline, like clockwork I’d wake up some morning unable to turn my head — my jaw tight, pain radiating up and down my back into my skull.  Tension, bad posture, muscle weakness, you name it.  I’d take a bunch of Motrin, then keep working while resting in bed, propped up on pillows.

Now, you have to understand, I was that kid who hated gym, who always came in last in all the physical tests, never got picked for the team, blah, blah, blah.  Running a mile was a death sentence (still kind of is), a sit-up was out of the question, climbing stairs from the basement to the first floor made my legs burn with a serious hell no.  I liked to sit and eat and read and take easy (very easy) walks.  If you’d asked me then, or ten years ago, five years ago, if I could ever see myself regularly working out, I would have laughed in your face.

But…but…something had to change.  My health sucked.  I didn’t like being in pain.  Also, I’m getting older.  That mattered, too.

I decided to work with a trainer (because I didn’t know what to do, how to begin, how to even use a machine at the gym).  I started walking more, taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  I was always afraid, stupidly, that exercise would make the pain worse — when, in fact, just the opposite happened.  Movement was the best medicine of all.

It’s been almost three years of focused, regular, work — but I’m almost never in pain anymore (unless you count my aging knees), my neck doesn’t lock up, my back feels strong.  It’s a good feeling.  Great, even. And it startles me, sometimes, how much better I feel — even compared to my twenty-year old self.

It’s also incredibly useful, in times of stress, to focus on the body instead of the mind.  That’s something I never thought much about — how exercise has a calming effect.  Folks would say that to me, but it didn’t make sense — until I started working out.  And now, more than ever, I need distractions, I need calm.  Not, for once, because of my writing — but because of everything happening in our country.

Coping mechanisms.  Which leads me to this morning.  There’s a place down the street where you can take spinning classes.  I had no clue what that was, I thought it meant actual spinning (hahaha). And then I found out that spinning refers to stationary bike-riding.  But with loud music.  I was like, “Cool, I’ll try something new.  I got this.”  So this morning I signed up for a 7 am class.

Yoooooooooo what.  WHAT.

First of all, there was no whining, crying, or quitting — but damn.  WTF is this?  What is this arcane fusion of shadowy neon dance club and stationary biking?  Biking where you’re never supposed to actually sit down?!  And why did everyone act so happy to be there?!

Let’s just say that if my goal was to get fit AND be distracted, spinning was A++.  But beyond that, the best part of those 45 minutes-going-on-eternity was our coach screaming, over and over, “YOU’RE A BADASS BITCH! BADASS BITCHES RIDE HARD! RIIIDE!”

I confess that being called a badass bitch did not actually make me ride harder. But I did start laughing and my feet slipped off the pedals and I almost fell off my bike into the woman next to me.

Yes, stay smooth.

This isn’t meant to be some infomercial on why folks should stay active.  More like, making changes in our lives, even ones that are intimidating, can have real benefits.  I was super intimidated by exercise.  I still kind of am.  I lived my whole life being told, and believing, that I wasn’t that person.

But I was also told that writing wasn’t a real job, that readers wouldn’t buy romance novels written by Chinese writers, that women don’t read comics, or write them…and I shrugged and just kept plugging along.  Being able to climb a flight of stairs without feeling like a walking heart attack is simply part of that larger journey.

Also, don’t forget, a good distraction.