We were at Dragon Con last weekend and got the opportunity to speak to the wonderful Erica Henderson for a little bit. Henderson is most popular for her art in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, a series that now defines the character. She most recently worked with Kyle Starks on Assassin Nation, a well-received mini-series published by Image Comics.
“I worked on Gilded Age for a year and a half while I was doing my regular job in video games which was also art-related,” recalls Henderson. Henderson started visiting conventions to meet other creators as she was realizing that drawing was what she wanted to do. “After a while, I was laid off of my job because, in video games, you get laid off all the time. I was like ‘Well, what if I just stayed laid off?’ At that point, I started meeting people which let me do more work, and about two years after that I started doing Squirrel Girl.”
Since Squirrel Girl, Henderson’s life has been changed by the unbeatable hero. Henderson recalls one Halloween where a child showed up at her home dressed as Squirrel Girl. “I didn’t say anything, but I thought it was cool. Here is this thing that is based on my work and it’s just out there. It’s crazy because it’s a corporate character but, it stemmed out of our version,” says Henderson. At the end of last year, my fiance and I were cat-sitting for Jamie McKelvie and we were walking around and this girl was like “Are you Erica Henderson.”
Since she is an artist, I wanted to know how involved Henderson is in the comics she draws. I assumed that her relationship to Assassin Nation‘s story would be more involved than it was in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Turns out I was wrong. “I was more involved in Squirrel GIrl’s story than Assassin Nation. Every time there was a new story arc Ryan and I would get on the phone and say ‘What should we do next?'” I was surprised to hear that Henderson was more involved in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl‘s story than Assassin Nation‘s. The most involved in the story Henderson had was helping Ryan North decide what can be cut from the overall story. “With Squirrel Girl there was so much more of it. We needed to come up with the next story and the next story and the next story.”
I asked Erica if there are any characters that she wants to work with. Henderson would like to work with Ralph and Sue Diply. Another one she would like to do is Jubliee. “I love her as a character but I haven’t actually read a lot of Jubilee. It’s one of the characters that I embraced since I was a kid. I’d just love to do something with her and I think those are characters that I think about a lot. Sue because she got messed up hard and Jubilee just because I want her to have her own moment. She is always part of other people’s stuff but she doesn’t have anything of her own going.
“Right now I’ve got a bunch of stuff in either the pitch or development phase. There’s almost too much going on. Greg Pak and I talked about doing something food-related together. You know how Miyazaki stuff is kind of about food but not. We both are half Asian and come from these experiences where food is a major connection to a background that we are only tangentially connected to. That would be really fun to work on.
I think it would be cool to see a version of Snot Girl on the screen. It would be cool to see what actors they pull out, and the clothes they pick. How they get that snot-colored hair. We already have one BLM thing that looks kind of perfect.
“I’m super excited about indie books right now. I’ve been picking up a lot of foreign books.” Henderson expressed her joy in seeing more foreign comic books appear in the stands in the United States. “I’ve been really following a lot of French comics,” Henderson added. She recommended titles by
The future is exciting, and there’s no doubt that Henderson will have plenty of other great works soon. I’m personally hoping that we will get that food book or even a Jubilee title one day.