If you are not already familiar with Amy Chu, she needs to be on your radar of up and coming comic book creators. Chu is a regular on self-publishing panels at cons and it is easy to see why. In two and a half years, she has self published four comics, contributed to several anthologies, and now she is crowdfunding her fifth project, a third volume of her anthology series Girls Night Out.
A collection of stories written by Chu and drawn by an impressive roster of comic book artists including Craig Yeung and Janet K. Lee, the third volume of Girls Night Out promises to be more of the well-crafted short fiction for which Amy has come to be known. The stories center around the theme of love, are all self contained, and are great for new readers. We recommend backing her project at a higher level, so you can receive the previous two volumes of Girls Night Out as well. Amy Chu may be relatively new to the world of comics, but she is already telling memorable stories worthy of a larger audience. Back her Kickststarter, tell a friend, and maybe we’ll make that happen.
Here’s what Amy had to say about Girls Night Out, self-publishing, and what she’d like to do next:
What inspired you to choose the theme of love for this anthology?
AC: A few things: in real life, I think we talk about love in a very genre focused way and I wanted to expand the definition a little more and explore it. I also wanted to challenge the notion that the stereotypical male comics reader is only interested in T&A type comics – I think we know that’s not true, but we’ll see how the actual sales pan out! And importantly, it fit for where all the storylines are right now with the characters in the Girls Night Out universe. It sounds like I put a lot of thought into it, but honestly it just seemed right for this issue.
Like the previous volumes of Girls Night Out, this anthology contains stories written by you and drawn by a bevy of talented artists. How did you approach your collaborators?
AC: Right? The level of art talent I get to work with is amazing! Referral is very important on both sides, and respect. Comics is by nature a collaborative effort. Most important, I always look for a good fit between artist and story – if I look at their deviantart page I can usually tell what they LIKE to draw or color, and what they GET to draw or color. A lot of times it’s not the same thing. Hopefully I have a story that they LIKE. Craig Yeung is a good example – he’s such a talented artist but he spends so much time inking for Marvel, but his pencils are gorgeous and he renders women in such a nuanced way. So I wait until he has a window in his schedule, and then boom, we get another five pages of Girls Night Out!
Are there certain stories or characters from your Girls Night Out anthologies you would like to expand upon with a larger series?
AC: The title story “Girls Night Out”, “Bob & Ted”, and “Saving Abby” are all ongoing series. “Girls Night Out” wasn’t originally, but the reaction was so positive (who knew? It’s set in a nursing home) as long as there’s a story there I’ll write it.
Have you considered pitching any of these stories to a publisher or would you rather continue the self-publishing model through Alpha Girl Comics?
AC: If it’s a good fit and the right terms, sure, I would consider it. But self-publishing affords a lot of freedom. I’m not so sure a publisher would take a chance on a storyline about an old woman with dementia, you know.
Has your self-published work lead you to more opportunities to write for publishers?
AC: Absolutely! I’ve been asked to pitch by a number of publishers, and I’m one of the writers for in the DC/Vertigo anthology CMYK out April 30. Some big names in there – Jock, Fabio Moon… I’m reeling.
Besides backing Girls Night Out, where else can our readers find your next comic?
AC: At conventions – I’m a guest at Emerald City Con, Awesome Con in DC, and hopefully more. Also, I’m in about a dozen stores in North America and internationally. Working on expanding, so if someone thinks their local store would like to carry Girls Night Out I can reach out to them. I’ve just started doing Ladies Nights at stores- Comic Book Shop in Delaware just hosted one and it was a riot! Such a good vibe. I’ve been slow on digital – I’m only one woman! Books will be up on Comixology soon…. I just need a good kick in the butt and an all nighter.