On this episode of The Comics Alternative‘s interview series, Paul and Derek are pleased to talk with Sophie Goldstein. Her new book, House of Women, was recently published by Fantagraphics, and she talks with the Two Guys about her four-year process of creating her narrative. As Sophie describes it, this is a psycho-sexual sci-fi drama about a group of female missionaries who travel to a distant planet to help educate — and colonize — the local population. Complications ensue when an earlier missionary, Jael Dean, goes native and becomes the focus of rival affections. During their insightful conversation, Goldstein discusses the genesis of the project, how it springs from her love of the film Black Narcissus and how it began as a thesis while she was at the Center for Cartoon Studies. She also reveals her strategies for composing her protagonists, the evolution of the storyline, and the history of originally self-publishing her work in three parts.
Be sure to check out Sophie Goldstein’s Patreon page, as well as her previous times on the podcast:
As listeners of The Comics Alternative know, Andy oversees the annual Sumter Comic Arts Symposium every spring, and this year is no different. And this time, not only has he organized the entire event, but he also took time out of his duties to interview several of the creators who appeared at the symposium. First, he speaks with Sophie Goldstein and Carl Antonowicz at the local Waffle House — the sound quality isn’t ideal, but the breakfast ambience is palpable — and then he conducts an interview with Jeremy Whitley, talking primarily about his recent work with Marvel Comics.
On this episode, Derek is happy to have as his guest Sophie Goldstein. Her latest book, House of Women, Part II, came out in September, and her other book from this year, The Oven, was just listed by Publisher Weeklyas one of the five best comics of the year. Indeed, 2015 has been fruitful time for the young red-headed creator. Regular listeners of the podcast will know that this isn’t the first time that Sophie has been on the show. She spoke with Derek twice before at two different events, while at HeroesCon back in June and more recently at the Small Press Expo. This time, however, there isn’t the hubbub and distractions of the crowd, and the two have a more focused and leisurely conversation. Derek asks Sophie about all of the attention that her work has been getting — in addition to the Publishers Weekly selection, she’s won three Ignatz Awards over the past two years, and her story “The Good Wife” was included in Best American Comics 2013 — and if this recognition has brought any new challenges. She shares how her work has evolved since graduating from the Center for Cartoon Studies in 2013 and the opportunities available for independent, free-lancing artists. But most of the conversation is devoted to Sophie’s actual work, including The Oven (published by AdHouse), her recent contribution to Chris Duffy’s Fable Comics (First Second), the webcomic Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell (coauthored with Jenn Jordan), and the first two volumes of her self-published longer narrative, House of Women. Indeed, Derek asks Sophie not only about the composition of the latter, but also about her hand-crafted books as art objects. They also discuss her contributions to a variety of anthologies and collections, including The Pitchfork Review, Maple Key Comics, Irene, Symbolia, The Nib, Dog City, and Sleep of Reason.
Find out more about Sophie’s work by visiting her website, Red Ink Radio!