|"Confessions of a Blabbermouth," released this September|
If you were a fifteen your old girl and your single mother brought home a creepy boyfriend, wouldn't you just want to scream out loud? However, if you're Tasha, star of the upcoming Minx graphic novel "Confessions of a Blabbermouth," you make it the scream heard round the world, by simply venting your frustrations on the world wide web. Back in April we spoke with scribe Mike Carey about his Minx projects and today we turn our attention to his 15 year old daughter Louise, who co-wrote "Blabbermouth" with her father and is ready to make an impact on the comic book industry. While the young scribe has been interviewed with her father previously, CBR News is proud to present Louise Carey's first solo interview.
"Confessions Of A Blabbermouth" deals with a young girl named Tasha, whose mother finds a new, self-assured novelist boyfriend intent on being the father figure Tasha never had - whether she likes it or not. Retaliating with scathing words about his actions on her blog, entitled Blabbermouth, Tasha's mother takes the family on vacation to Las Vegas, where this new man may be even worse than Tasha imagined. The graphic novel was brainstormed by both Careys and Louise explained how she was able to score such a high profile debut.
|"Confessions of a Blabbermouth," page 6|
Working with one's father on anything is full of complicated emotional situations, but for the Careys, they found a way to make sure there were lots of laughs. "Oh, there are plenty of funny stories, but I'm not sure he'd let me tell you all of them," laughed Louise. "At first, dad was a bit overbearing, and he liked to read over and edit all of my work. This almost led to some nasty arguments, but it was kind of natural that he'd want to edit me, as my writing style was quite bumpy initially, and I didn't know how to do the art directions. It improved a lot after the first few pages, however, and soon it was me editing him in places (I found three typos on one page, what a disgrace!) Overall, it's been really great working with my dad. We both felt the same way about the comic and where it was going, and we've had fun writing together.
It's hard to imagine the daughter of a comic book fan like Mike Carey not being a life long fan, but Louise Carey readily admits her newness to the medium. "I used to read nothing but books and even when my dad started writing comics I wasn't particularly interested, as 'Lucifer' was much too old for me. However, as I got older, I used to find lettering drafts of 'Lucifer' lying around. It was very careless of dad really, as he knows what a voracious reader I am. He walked in on me one afternoon engrossed in issue #50, Lilith, and by that point it was too late: I was hooked. I read all the 'Lucifer' books, and then other comics that came in the DC comp box. Last year, dad gave me 'V for Vendetta,' which I finished in three days (three days during which I was dead to the world). Recently, I have been very into manga, and am reading the ' Fruits Basket' series by Natsuki Takaya. I will read pretty much anything, though."
At age 15, Carey is one of the youngest writers in the industry, if not the youngest. Whereas many writers - of any age - would be intimidated by the prospect of entering such a competitive industry, Louise Carey is one writer without fear. "I've always wanted to be a writer, so I find it more exciting than intimidating to have got into comics so young," she explained. "I hope that everyone already knows what feats of achievement teenagers are capable of- after all, there are many young authors around (though not so many young comics writers). I think that people might expect a teenager to only write for their own age range, but I am quite interested in writing adult novels and comics too. I don't feel that there are any prejudices against teenage writers; however, if I do meet any misconceptions, I'll challenge them!"
As Louise Carey is the target audience for the Minx titles, it seemed natural to ask her about the line and why so many girls don't read comics. "I think it probably has a lot to do with misconceptions about comics in general," she replied. "Since I started 'Blabbermouth,' I've discussed comics with many people, and their image of what a comic is like is often very stereotyped. I've spoken to some people who believe that comics are only for little kids, because they've only ever come across the Beano and the Dandy, and some who see them as the domain of dirty old men, with lots of sex and nudity. When we were discussing books in class, and I told my teacher that I was reading a graphic novel, she looked mildly shocked, and said: 'aren't they full of sex and violence?' I guess that since comics are not very mainstream in England, people have a narrow-minded view of their appeal. The idea of comics for teenage girls is taking a while to sink in, as there are many people that see comics as a niche market. As people's preconceptions about comics are refuted, I think they will become more mainstream, and then girls my age will start to take notice."
"Confessions Of A Blabbermouth" is, if all works out well, just the start of a comic book writing career for Louise Carey. " As I said, I like writing in many genres, and am keen to try out new things. At the moment, my dad and I have pitched an idea for another Minx book called 'Confessions of a Bottle-Rocket,' and I would absolutely love to have that approved and be able to get back to writing with my dad again. Now I've finished Blabbermouth, I feel kind of like there's something missing from my life. I hope that I can write more comics soon, before I go into withdrawal!"
NOTE: This interview was conducted by Arune Singh in March, 2007, prior to Arune taking a position with Marvel Comics in April, 2007.
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