Aug 29, 2014
On this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, Derek is pleased to have as a guest Anya Ulinich, the author of the new graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel (Penguin Books). They begin by discussing Anya’s transition from writing more traditional prose fiction — her first novel, Petropolis, was released in 2007 — to comics narrative. Along the way Anya talks about her art background, the genesis behind the new book, and the challenges of writing within two different media formats. As she points out, the character of Lena Finkle is loosely based on Anya’s own life experiences, but this is strictly a work of fiction. Yet at the same time, this is a deeply personal story, brought out most notably through the art — at times cartoony, at times more realistic — the layout, and the hand lettering. Much of Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel has the feel of a personal journal, as if we are reading illustrations and stories from Ulinich’s sketchbook. The result is an intimate reading experience where we’re able to get inside of the protagonist and understand her complexities and contradictions as best we can.