The benefits of having several local conventions a year is that you come across artists and writers that live in your own town that you might not have been made aware. I came across Val Hochberg during Phoenix Comic Con last year, she had such cute prints which my wife ended up buying and now at every convention we stop at Val’s table for prints. Val just doesn’t do prints however, she does a popular web comic series called Mystery Babylon which is going strong so make sure to give it a read! Check out our interview with the Phoenix resident and make sure to stop and say hi at the Arizona Comic Mini Expo in May.
LoS:It’s no secret you’re a huge Star Wars fan, are you excited for the next installments in the franchise?
Val: Oh my gosh, YES! I love Star Wars so much! I’m super-psyched for the new movies. I guess I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was just a teeny bit nervous.
I love J.J. Abrams and I’m pretty sure it would be hard to make a Star Wars movie I didn’t like. I’m just dreading a terrible fate for some of my old favorite characters… I don’t ever want to see Luke Skywalker die! I think that would traumatize me! Regardless, I have high hopes! It’s going to be hard avoiding spoilers online before it comes out.
LoS: You’ve been doing Mystery Babylon for a few years now, do you have fans that wanna be a part of Kick Girl’s adventure and suggest plot points like they would like to see?
Val: Every week I always look forward to the predictions and theories of my readers! Sometimes it’s so hard not to say anything! A lot of times I get theories that make me go “Oh dangit! That would have been cooler if I had done that!” Just now I’m starting to notice people say they are rooting for Kick and Zero to be a romantic couple, or Kick and Judas as a couple. I already have an idea set in my mind for the plot line, but who knows? Maybe the fans could end up influencing how the story goes!
LoS: Describe Kick Girl in 5 words
Val: Kick Girl in 5 words? Angsty, cranky, little demonic sasspot!
LoS: When did you realize you wanted to do comics as a living? Did you have a favorite comic or anything growing up?
Val: In college I majored in a degree called “New Media Design and Imaging” because I didn’t believe it was possible for me to live off of creating comics. So I studied to learn design/animation/website creation/etc, to help me make a living. But at the end of four years of college I just didn’t have the love of design like my fellow classmates. I knew all I wanted to do was draw cartoons! Still, what I learned in college was priceless, and that knowledge helps me get by! So I have no regrets! But here’s hoping that I can make the comic-dream happen!
I always loved to draw and read comics growing up. My parents started me out young with Scrooge McDuck comics! We didn’t have a comic book store by my childhood home in Buffalo, NY… but my mom would always let us get comics at the grocery store. I remember some of my favorites were X-Men and Ninja Turtles.
LoS: You’ve got big convention workload coming up, what’s your favorite part about attending a con?
Val: I’ve got more conventions this year than ever before! I love the road trip experience with my husband and visiting new cities. I get to visit Chicago and Denver this year for the first time!
My favorite part is having a chance to meet people who read the comic in person! I think I fan-girl over them more than they do me! Haha! I always try to bring a little something special for my readers…
I also love having an excuse to eat soft pretzels for lunch every day.
LoS: One last question, do you have a favorite restaurant in Phoenix?
Val: My favorite restaurant in Phoenix is this little Hawaiian Grill place called Rumbi! They have the best rice bowls. I also love Freddy’s Steakburgers too! Yum!
Thanks again to Val Hochberg for her time! You can catch Val locally at ACME, Phoenix Comic Con and Saboten Con this year. If you’re not in Arizona Val will be attending Wondercon, Denver Comic Con, Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con and Wizard World Chicago.