Diamond is the single largest (very nearly the only) distributor serving comic book stores in the USA and Canada, so I was very pleased when Diamond Bookshelf interviewed me about Hereville.
There don’t seem to be a lot of books out there devoted to troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girls. What was the inspiration for Hereville?
Deadline pressure, of course! The website girlamatic.com — a webcomics site with “girl-friendly” comics — put out a call for submissions. So I needed something right away.
I had already been wondering why traditional heroic tales never seemed to be about Jews. What if the barrier was that historically, Jews in Europe weren’t allowed to own swords? And to put yet another barrier in the way I thought the hero should be a woman.
But I also remembered Liz Harris’ wonderful book Holy Days, which tells great stories about daily life in a Hasidic family. What a great setting for a comic book!
So these various elements mixed together in my mind, and what popped out was a story about an 11 year old girl’s quest for a sword.
Why did you decide to expand the story from the Web comic? Had you originally intended to do this?
When I began creating Hereville, I had no idea what I intended! I just made up the first two pages and submitted them to Girlamatic. And after Girlamatic accepted Hereville, I was simultaneously producing new pages, making up the story, and researching the lives of Hasidic girls. And the more I researched, the more I realized that I wanted to expand and redo the story, so that I could incorporate all I was learning about Mirka’s world into Hereville.
And remember, information about purchasing Hereville online can be found here. Or you can get it at your local bookstore. If they’re not carrying it, please ask them to!