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We Asked Boston Comic Con 2015: “What Is A Mary Sue?”

We interviewed a ton of comic creators at Boston Comic Con this year about their work, their experiences in the comics industry, and … their definition of the term “Mary Sue.” You can expect many more videos to come featuring more incisive, funny, and educational commentary from these folks on our YouTube channel, but to kick things off, here’s a compilation of a few answers we heard when we asked around about the definition of this fandom-created term.

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In the video above, you’ll hear from Babs Tarr (illustrator for Batgirl), Erica Henderson (illustrator for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Michael Cho (illustrator of Shoplifter), Ming Doyle (illustrator of Constantine: The Hellblazer), Laura Martin (colorist of A-Force) and Adam Jack (illustrator of Skin the Kat).

Below, you can read a video transcript for “What Is A Mary Sue?”


Babs Tar: I think it’s any self-assured, bad-ass lady. Or, someone who’s trying to be.

Erica Henderson: The classic example is always someone who appeared in a fanfic and got to make out with Kirk and Spock.

Michael Cho: I would say — a very delicious drink?

Erica Henderson: I don’t know if that’s where it started. A Kirk/Spock fanfic!

Michael Cho: Or a very, very wholesome pie.

Ming Doyle: It’s just a fangirl. It’s somebody who’s passionate about what she likes. I think it’s a good thing.

Laura Martin: It’s somebody who writes themselves in as a character, and just bases a character completely off of themselves.

Adam Jack: I’m Canadian, I have no clue! No clue at all.

Babs Tarr: I don’t know. They’re awesome ladies!


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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (

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