Off Panel #173: Dividing Earths with Faith Erin Hicks

In this week’s episode of Off Panel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks joins to talk her work and latest graphic novel, The Divided Earth. Hicks discusses her 19 years in comics, how her skills have evolved, key influences, the power of silence, The Nameless City trilogy, what she learned from that experience, creating empathy, long-term planning, Jordie Bellaire’s impact, what she gives herself breathers between projects, working with Rainbow Rowell, selling humor, her upcoming schedule, working on Avatar: The Last Airbender, and more. As a note, some details of The Divided Earth are discussed within, so if spoilers are a concern, beware the section between 20 minutes and 35 minutes.

You can find Hicks on her website, on Twitter, and her work in The Divided Earth, the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender, Imbalance Part One, and her upcoming prose novel Comics Will Break Your Heart.

You can download the show directly here on Libsyn.

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Thanks to this episode’s sponsor, AHOY Comics. They’re looking to shake up the publishing industry with a bold new format: comic book magazines! What are those? Comic book magazines will feature traditional, full length comic stories plus extra material, like prose fiction from Grant Morrison, cartoons from Shannon Wheeler, and more! And AHOY is debuting in September with two titles: First is The Wrong Earth, a six-issue mini-series from Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle about parallel earths, heroes and vigilantes, and what happens when they trade places. The other is High Heaven, a five-issue mature readers mini-series from Peyer and Greg Scott about a chronic malcontent who dies and goes to heaven, but he still can’t help but complain about everything. Look for those in comic shops everywhere this month!

Also, thanks to the show’s other sponsor, Radio vs. the Martians! Mike Gillis and Casey Doran host the Radio vs. the Martians! podcast, a show that gathers their funniest, smartest friends once a month for a deep dive into science fiction, video games, horror, comics, movies, and everything in-between. So far, they’ve dissected topics like Superman, Steven Spielberg, Akira, George Lucas, Zombies, Twin Peaks, Hiyao Miyazaki, James Bond, Watchmen, and whether drivers are required to pull over for the Ghostbusters. Find this podcast and its spin-off show, Podcasta la Vista, Baby! a celebration of the films of thespian and statesman Arnold Schwarzenegger, on iTunes, Stitcher and their website.

Thanks to my patrons, including – but not limited to – Ciaran Marcantonio, WMQ Comics, Akylle, Greg Lockard, Kokaachi, Phil White, Ben Becker, Shaun Pinello, Kent Heidelman, Phillip Sevy, Al Ewing, Ryan Alcock, Nick Michelin, David Kelley, Robert Wilson IV, Nick Poleto, Dylan Campbell, Eoin McCready, Brenden Fletcher, Michael Garland, Gary Moloney, Jonathan Nilsson, Matthew Groom, Jason Nassi, Mike Gillis, Adam Bogert, Xavier Files, Maria Schweitzer, Matthew Taylor, Tyler Turner, Dan Gearino, Nick Pitarra, Jacob Sareli, Ford Gilmore, David Baroldy, Evan Blasor, Brian McCray, Ira James Udaskin, Henning Ahlers, Modern Magic Stories, Nick Hall, Bruno Batista, Bobby Angus, Bjorn Basen, Darren Neely, John Hendrick, Steve Anderson, Phil Knall, Ian Maxfield, Cliff Chiang, Benjamin Schipper, Colin McMahon, Chris Palmer, Maxwell Schmidt, Scott McGovern, Nathan Fairbairn, Cat McKenzie, Lou Iovino, Nicholas Keslake, Greg Rucka, Ryan Mayle, Adam Highfill, Nicholas Gardner, Andrew Corrigan, Fiona Staples, Chris Morris, Chris O’Hollaran, Mark Abnett, Mike Murphy, Michael Shirley, Tom Barnett, Jim Demonakos, Norbert, Nick Lowe, James Kaplan, and Mission: Comics and Art in San Francisco. You’re all the best.

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Header image is from the cover of The Divided Earth, with art by Hicks and Jordie Bellaire. Intro and outro music is Vulfpeck’s Outro from their album Vollmilch. Thanks to the band for letting me use the track.