Kristen Gudsnuk Talks Inspirations and What Brought Henchgirl To Life

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. I love hidden gems in comics. Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk was a hidden gem that was acquired by Dark Horse earlier this year and has since taken the world by storm. We sat down with the creator of Henchgirl Kristen Gudsnuk at New York Comic Con to discuss Henchgirl, her inspiration for the comic and giggle galore.Insha Fitzpatrick: Thank you for sitting down and talking with me! For our Geek readers, can you tell us a little bit about Henchgirl and how she came to be?Kristen Gudsnuk: Yeah! Sure. So, Henchgirl is kind of a comedy series that was collected in graphic novel form by Dark Horse earlier this year. It’s about a girl who works for a supervillain, just because she can’t get a real job. That’s my tagline. Cause it’s exactly what happens. She’s unemployed, living in a superhero world. It started out as a webcomic, but I’d also print up copies and sell them at local shows here in New York. It kept kind of growing and getting bigger then I got picked up by Dark Horse, and they put out my trade.via Dark HorseInsha: There are a lot of different themes in Henchgirl. Some of them kind of arrange from dealing with parents to her dealing with friendship issues. For example when Henchgirl steals her friend’s card to break into her job because the gang told her to. Did you mean it to be a common (but unusual) coming of age story in the superhero world as well?Kristen: When I was writing it, I think I was putting some of my own feelings into it. I think that’s kind of what comes out automatically. My parents aren’t disappointed in me, but the fear that your parents are disappointed in you is something that really motivates a lot of people. Especially when you’re like in your twenties. So, I tried to heighten that by having her parents be superheroes who are disapproving of the fact that their daughter works for a villain and she’s got a sister whose a hero and stuff. It’s a universal feeling and story that I thought would be fun to explore without there superhero tropes.Insha: What were some of your inspirations? Any movies, music, tv, stuff like that?Kristen: Oh yeah! There are tons…Insha: You can just give me some! [Laughs]via Dark HorseKristen: [Laughs] Okay, like Batman: The Animated Series was a big one, and I had just… I didn’t watch that when I was little. I just… it looked too serious! I like funny cartoons. My boyfriend made me watch it as a grown woman, and I was so, so up for it. But then when I was watching it I was picking up on sort of the main tropes of western superhero comics and superheroes [in general]. I wanted to do my own spin on that, either making fun of that or just playing with how those things would really work out. My whole thing is not having things work out for people. [Laughs] Cause I think its funny!Insha: And it’s more realistic!Kristen: Yeah! In real life you don’t, like, DO THE THING. In movies, the world is going to explode, except someone saves it in the last second. Just like in real life, that wouldn’t have happened, and everyone would die. I like having a more realistic spin on things. With a darkly cynical bend.Insha: I think that’s the best thing! That’s what me and a lot of people like Henchgirl more. All of this stuff does happen to her. It’s so bad but ultimately realistic!Kristen: A lot of fiction lies to you, ya know? They give you anything you want, and obviously, that’s why sometimes we crave fiction so we can live out that version of life where everything is great. At the same time, I always connect with stuff that I feel like “Right! That is how things are!” So, I try to go in the opposite direction from the wish-fulfillment.via Dark HorseInsha: Do you have any other inspirations [for Henchgirl] or is Batman: The Animated the MAIN one?Kristen: Oh there’s like a bajillion! [Laughs] I was watching New Girl, which is totally underrated, very funny show. I was like, yeah! Well, the mashup is like this roommate, sitcom-ey vibe and these ridiculously low-stakes plots happening with them. Artistically a lot of people say my stuff looks like Scott Pilgrim. I see it too probably because I kept those books all the time. Bryan O’Malley draws so simply, but really really well. Almost as if he’s distilling things down to their essence.Insha: Both of you have the same writing style too cause the main focus is always on the characters and their situations. There’s so much happening, but you build on character, and each is important. It’s engaging. That’s something you and Bryan do well too.Kristen: Oh! Well, thank you! [Laughs]Insha: You’re very welcome! [Laughs] Is there anything else you’re doing right now?Kristen: I have some stuff coming out sometime next year. I’ve got some projects that haven’t been announced yet, but I’m working on something with Dark Horse, and I also have something with Graphix. It’s going to be so cool! They’re both going to be really awesome so next year more stuff!Insha: That’s AMAZING. Can you tell our readers where they can find you? Social media, website, etc.?Kristen: I usually just use Instagram and Twitter. I’m @henchgirl_comic on both of them.Henchgirl is out now in trade paperback. You grab your copy here. Hands-On: Monster Energy Supercross is More Exciting Than Soft DrinksCosplay Gallery: New York Comic Con 2017, Part 2 last_img

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