I’m always on the lookout for a great webcomic to add to my watchlist, so I was super excited when someone told me about The Blue Valkyrie. So far, issue one and the first page of issue two have been released, but it’s scheduled to post new pages biweekly. The story so far is about Chloe, a young transwoman who lives with her politically active girlfriend and is a superhero. So far, it’s awesome. Topics in the story have ranged from gentrification to harassment to gender. The first issue introduces the beginning of the hero’s powers and a believable villain (or two).
Recently, I got to chat with the creator and writer Emily Riesbeck about this awesome project.
I am the writer, David Mitchell is the artist, and Tina Vasquez is the editor. Corianne Wells colored pages two and three for us, but unfortunately we did not have the money for more pages to be colored, so David colored the cover and pages one, four, and five.
What was the first moment you knew you wanted to get into making comics?
How long have you been working on The Blue Valkyrie?
How much revision do you do before publishing/uploading?
I think you’ve created something absolutely amazing and important. When did the idea for TBV come to you? How did you come up with the title/Chloe’s superhero name?
Are you planning on eventually printing the comic?
That’s a bit complicated. We’d love to eventually do a print run of issue one, and subsequent issues if people express interest. Most likely, we will have print copies of the first issue (and potentially issue two) next year as we try to do some festivals/conventions. Originally we planned to do the whole thing in print but publishing online was just more feasible.
Who are the artists you most admire?
As far as writers go, I am a h-u-g-e Gail Simone fan, as well as Annie Mok (her art as well is fabulous). For art, I adore Leila del Duca. Also: Gerard Way, Hayao Miyazaki, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Imogen Binnie, Alice Walker, and Stephen King.
I am also a huge Simone fan, and a super loyal King fan. What webcomics do you read?
Right now, I regularly read Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl, The Dream Argument, To Catch A Dream Eater, and a few others. I don’t read as many anymore, although at a time I would check ten different comics a day for updates.
I used to be a big fan of Order of the Stick, which was funny because back when I was really into it I had never even played Dungeons and Dragons, although now that I DO play DnD, yet I don’t read OOTS anymore. I also liked Sister Claire a lot, but haven’t kept up with it.
What’s Chloe’s favorite drink?
Non-alcoholic: Root beer. Alcoholic: 7&7.
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into writing comics?
The most important thing I had to learn myself was that my writing doesn’t have to be “important” and that I didn’t have to be the next James Joyce for my writing to be valuable. Write what you love. If what you love is high art then that’s great. If what you love is trashy lesbian werewolves kissing then that’s also great, as long as it’s something you care about (I’m gonna write a comic about lesbian werewolves kissing sometime, just so you know).
Lesbian werewolves is all I want. Can you give me any spoilers for TBV? I’m dying to know what happens next!
Chloe and Alice walk around Dublin in great detail and there’s a chapter about farts.
I look forward to some excellent fart jokes. What’s the best way fans can support you?
We are working on getting a Patreon set up for people who want to monetarily support us. [Editor’s Note: The Patreon is now available here.] We would love to be able to do The Blue Valkyrie as our job, but obviously that’s a long ways away. Aside from that, the best thing people can do is telling other people to read it. We’ve relied entirely on word-of-mouth so far and will continue to do so! We really appreciate all the nice things people have said so far and every reader counts! We love y’all!