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Je Pense

Today on the site, Alex Dueben interviews Miss Lasko-Gross. Here's how their talk begins:

How do you describe [your new book] Henni?

The adventures of a dangerously curious young girl/cat, who's desire for truth exposes some truly unsavory secrets. Henni is forced to flee her insular village to avoid death by stoning and venture out into an unknown and hostile world. It's a bit of a fairy tale as well as an allegory about the dangers of fundamentalism.

I was inspired by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel to consider what life would be like in a world with an extreme paucity of natural resources. What direction would social evolution take with no domesticated animals, extremely limited metal and communication options. It's a very post modern fantasy, instead of adding magical or romantic elements, I've subtracted many of the casual miracles which have driven our history.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I was working on a pretty grim piece of non-fiction–about a friend of mine who was injured in an explosion–and started Henni as a side project for the House of Twelve Comixology app. I had only meant to do the bare minimum for the app, but as I worked the story began flowing and expanding into a complete book.

Graphic novels take years to complete, and there isn't much sustainable money in it, so there's really no reason to labor on anything you're not passionate about. Henni is the kind of story I've always loved as a reader, kinetic, strange and full of juicy little surprises. So, basically, I abandoned the other project and threw myself into Henni with no regrets.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Funnies. Alison Bechdel has drawn and published online a "coda" to Fun Home, just as the Broadway adaptation is about to premiere.

—Interviews & Profiles. NJ.com talks to Kitchen Sink Press founder Denis Kitchen. Inkstuds talks to Lale Westvind.

—Reviews & Commentary. While accepting the George Polk Career Award, Garry Trudeau delivered a speech criticizing Charlie Hebdo.

For Artforum, Kaelin Wilson-Goldie has a long, somewhat complicated take on satire, caricature, and censorship in the cartooning cultures of both France and the Middle East.

Domingos Isabelinho was disappointed by Jan Baetens & Hugo Frey's new The Graphic Novel: An Introduction, from Cambridge University Press.

For The Guardian, Rachel Cooke reviews Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie's Pablo. At Broken Frontier, Tom Murphy looks at the first two issues of Ley Lines (featuring Annie Mok and Warren Craghead).

—News. Richard McGuire and Winston Rowntree have won the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize.


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