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The Mary Sue Interviews Rocket Girl Artist Amy Reeder


Rocket Girl, the second Image Comic collaboration between artist Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare, will give readers a look at the future as we imagined it in the 80s. Reeder took a moment from her busy SDCC schedule to give us a quick preview of Rocket Girl and the process of creating different kinds of sexy female characters.

TMS: Tell us a little about Rocket Girl.

AR: Rocket Girl is a teen cop from the future who goes back in time to the 80s to stop something from happening. … She’s from 2013, it’s like this alternate future. It’s basically like the future we thought would happen in the 80s, so it’s a period piece mostly set in the 80s. It’s a lot about growing up and there’s a lot of action. … It’s a lot of things that are reminiscent of the things a lot of us liked as kids in the 80s.

TMS: So this is the future we fell in love with in the 80s and bringing it to life?

AR: It’s inspired by Blade Runner, Back to the Future 2 and even a little bit of inspiration from Fifth Element, which I know is later. … Everybody is wondering what happened to this future and a lot of these movies, the time of the future is 2015 or 2019, so it’s coming up, so I thought it was really relevant. When I’m drawing it, I’m constantly wondering why did we not arrive at this yet? And what does this say about us as human beings? And that’s really captured also in the story.

TMS: What are some key features or artistic elements in this book that are going to stand out for people?

AR: Everything you see is going to be very deliberate. It’s all me, so it’s going to feel very personal to people. It’s definitely a very colorful comic and it’s going to have a very cool tone to it. … And DaYoung, who’s the cop, the Rocket Girl, she’s got a real chip on her shoulder. She’s too mature for her age, she’s a cop with an attitude and she’s very matter of fact. I think it’s kind of cool to watch somebody like that, but deep down, she’s a kid.

TMS: How did you approach drawing one location in two points of time?

AR: Since they’re both taking place in the same place, it’s kind of cool because then you can actually have some direct comparisons. It’s 1980s New York and then this supposed futuristic 2013 New York, so we actually do some real side by side comparisons to divide it up a little bit. But they are very obviously different. In 80s New York, it was a very grimy period, it was very dangerous, there were corrupt police. With the whole future scene, it’s more utopian and there’s the whole corruption underneath it all. The mood is super different. There’s flying cars in the future and of course, rocket packs. Both ends have their own version of outrageous fashion.

TMS: Any favorite elements of Rocket Girl?

AR: There’s a character, Annie, that I’m really excited about. She’s kind of like the main other character, the supporting character and she’s a scientist and she’s older than DaYoung, who is Rocket Girl, but yeah, they become friends and they have a very complex relationship on whether they should trust each other all the time. I just really like how it’s developing. I also think they have different body types, DaYoung is so young and skinny, but Annie is more voluptuous and kind of accidental in her sexiness, which I think is way cooler than what is typically portrayed. And yeah, she’s just got a big attitude. I think it’s really fun to see those guys interact.

TMS: Tell us a little about what inspirations you use to draw really honest representations of  women?

AR: First of all, it’s way easier for me to draw women than it is to draw men, so I guess that is kind of my emphasis. But it’s really important for me to draw people that we can all identify with. And I think that’s kind of part of my character. It’s a little harder for me to do something that is “gritty,” because to me that means something that you revere more than something you can identify with. For me, that’s kind of been my life story. I want to make art that makes people feel like they have part in it and they’re not excluded and I guess that comes across when I’m drawing women. … The biggest thing is making women [sic] diverse. … Women can have different poses than just super arched backs and they can look sexy while doing it, it doesn’t undo sexiness.

The book is set to be released on October 9th. You can check out The Mary Sue’s exclusive preview from earlier this year, here.

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