Boston Comic Con 2015: Interview with Michael Cho, Shoplifter Creator
We spoke to Michael Cho at Boston Comic Con about his latest graphic novel, Shoplifter, his thoughts on writing well-rounded characters, and his belief in prioritizing constructive critique from his peers rather than trying to please everybody. You can check out all of our video interviews with comics creators on the show floor via our Boston Comic Con 2015 tag.
Read the transcription of what Michael Cho had to say below.
My name is Michael Cho, and my most recent project was a graphic novel called Shoplifter, and it came out through Pantheon/Random House.
What’s my opinion of anti-heroines? I don’t actually think of things in that way. I’m always trying to write complex, complete characters, and so anybody that is believable or complete contains contradictions. Just like real people. They’re not easily pigeonholed into a couple of sentences. They’re living, breathing, walking contradictions. So, I’m always thinking of that when I do characters. It’s a similar thing when I write male or female characters, I don’t write them from a “male” voice or a “female” voice; I just try to write complete characters. As long as I’m doing that, I feel like I’m successful.
Good or bad, I often don’t read any reviews, because like most artists I try to be true to myself, and if I am then I’m satisfied. The only review that I actually ever take seriously is ones from my peers. Right? For me, it’s always been — as an artist, if I have the respect of other people I respect, then I feel good. I don’t need to hear somebody else’s opinion about it, good or bad. It’s not necessarily about it being negative, or whatnot. As an artist, as long as I’m doing what I love and I can stand behind it — and I feel that I can — then if other people that I respect like it, that’s all that matters.
I always wanted to do a comic adaptation of Hamlet. There’s a new Hamlet adaptation or Shakespeare adaptation every few years, so I keep waiting for the proper time to do it right. It would probably be about 700 pages long, or something. I once thumb-nailed it and sort of broke down a scene, and it was like 35 pages. So, looking through the entire play, I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is going to be 500 pages.” So, it’s not something I want to do right now, because it’s a huge endeavor, but it’s something I think about wanting to do later.
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