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Boston Comic Con 2015: Interview with Ming Doyle, Constantine Illustrator & Co-Writer

Ming Doyle, comics illustrator and co-writer for Constantine: The Hellblazer, spoke with us at Boston Comic Con about her creative process, her dream projects (e.g. a Cthulhu-inspired Namor story), her tips for navigating the “weird world” of social media, and her dislike of reductionist tropes for women characters.

Watch our collection of Boston Comic Con interviews here, and read our transcript of Ming Doyle’s interview below.

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I’m Ming Doyle, and right now, I’m co-writing Constantine: The Hellblazer over at DC, with James Tynion IV!

Well, I’m a freelancer, so my typical day is rolling out of bed at 10 am. You know? And having about four or five cups of coffee. Then, making the long commute to my home office, checking up with the email, then depending on if I’m writing or drawing, it’s really just tricking myself into getting the work done. Usually, that requires a lot of Netflix on in the background. It’s grueling work. Very grueling. And, uh, bedtime by a very reasonable 3 or 4 am.

A dream, dream project would be to adapt Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in my own style, both handling the writing adaptation and doing the art as well. I would do it kind of dream journal-y. I would also probably do it in natural media with watercolor and — I have a lot of thoughts. I would also do it from Louis de Pointe du Lac’s point of view, not Lestat’s. Screw Lestat. All Louis. So, that’s one. [laughs] I mean, I’ve thought about it a lot.

A second one: I love Gambit. I totally love Gambit, and I’ve heard enough about people saying that he’s not a good character and that he has no backstory. Assassin’s Guild? Yeah, I want to get in there. Let’s do it!

Also, Namor. I would love to do a super-deep sea, super-scary, Cthulhu-based, monstrous, the ocean as the depths of outer space kind of Namor. Like, a horror thing.

All my friends and peers are always telling me, “Never look online. Never Google yourself.” And I really do try not to. But what bothers me the most, sometimes, is when people tweet directly at you, with your name in the mention, and they’re like: “@MingDoyle is the worst at writing and art that I’ve ever heard of!” That’s just unnecessarily rude.

I just hate that you can wake up and get on the internet and hear what everyone’s opinion about every little thing that you do is. And not even just your art or your writing, but also what your hair was like. [shakes her head] Social media. It’s a weird world we’re in now.

So, I just try to not going on the internet that often, usually. I mean, you have to be on Twitter and Tumblr these days in order to have your presence really be fully recognized. It’s unfair, and it’s selfish, but I try to use it more as just a broadcast tool, than something that I engage in fully.

[On anti-heroines] Why not? I mean, if an anti-heroine  obviously, yes, if you’re gonna have anti-heroes, you can’t not have anti-heroines. Otherwise, all women fall into the “Madonna” or the “Whore” kind of complex. You can’t just have the extremes. You have to cover the entire spectrum of humanity. And even to imply that women can’t fulfill every role out there, or that it’s somehow ground-breaking that some of us might be kind of shitty people with some redeeming qualities? [Laughs] It’s ridiculous.

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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 (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).