This fall, YA superstar Marissa Meyer (author of the Lunar Chronicles series) concludes her Renegades superhero fantasy series with the third and final installment, Supernova (Nov.). In Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (Sept.), Tamaki imagines the DC Comics character Harleen Quinzel as a 15-year-old teen newly enrolled at Gotham High. Tamaki is also the author of the Supergirl graphic novel Supergirl: Being Super, illus. by Joëlle Jones. We asked them both what it takes to revitalize the superhero genre.
Marissa Meyer: I’m not sure I can take credit for revitalizing anything, but having been a huge fan of the superhero genre since childhood, I have absolutely loved being able to write my own spin on heroes and villains! There are so many different directions one can go with superpowers, and I’ve enjoyed creating my own extraordinary abilities, origin stories, and conflicts involving archenemies and super identities.
Mariko Tamaki: If I have the space with a character to tell a story without having to connect to a character’s existing complex history, I try to focus on the parts of the character I really connect to. I try to bring in things that inspire me that also fit with the character. So for Harley Quinn, I just love her playful spirit, her sense of theater and the ridiculous. So I just took that and ran with it. And I added drag queens.
Meyer's favorite book as a kid: Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Favorite Book as a Teen: I devoured pretty much anything with a dragon on the cover.
Favorite Word: Cake.
Tamaki's favorite book as a kid: Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy.
Favorite Word: Oh, it changes all the time. Right now I like “hectic.”
“The Magic of World Building: Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, N.K. Jemisin, Joe Hill” Tomorrow, 12:45–1:45 p.m. // Room 1E14
“The Great Book Debate” Tomorrow, 2:15–3:15 p.m // Room 1E14
New York Times Best-Selling YA Authors Discuss DC Ink! Today, 12:30–1:15 p.m. // Room 1E10