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Fanbase Press Interviews Lilah Sturges on the Release of the Graphic Novel, ‘The Science of Ghosts,’ with Legendary Comics

The following is an interview with critically acclaimed creator Lilah Sturges regarding the release of the graphic novel, The Science of Ghosts, through Legendary Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Sturges about the shared creative process of working with artist El Garing to bring the world and characters to life on the page, what she hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!


Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of The Science of Ghosts! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise?

Lilah Sturges: The Science of Ghosts is the story a Joy Ravenna, a forensic parapsychologist, who studies ghost behavior and uses it to attempt to solve crimes. (She hasn’t actually succeeded in doing this yet.) When she meets the heiress to a Texas gun company fortune, and that heiress is subsequently murdered, Joy will need all of her ghost communication skills in order to find out what happened, or one of her best friends will go to jail for murder! Oh, and her ex-wife is a police detective who can’t stand her. And she’s trans.

BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with artist El Garing to bring this world and characters to life on the page?

LS: First off, El is even more amazing than you know, because he was brought in to replace Alitha Martinez–who began the book but couldn’t finish–and it’s almost impossible to tell where that artist’s work leaves off and his begins. So, not only did he do an amazing job with the book, but he did it while working in someone else’s style, which is kind of incredible.

When I think about working with El, the word that comes to mind is “generous.” He put so much effort and thought into those pages, and he just killed it page after page, and he always had a fantastic attitude about everything. He’s the kind of person you love to work with because he’s always going to give it his best effort, day in and day out, and never once phone it in.

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Joy’s story may connect with and impact readers?

LS: I think there are two answers to that, depending on who the reader is. For queer and trans people, I want the book to make them feel seen and represented in a very particular way: We need stories that feature us but aren’t necessarily about our struggles. In The Science of Ghosts, Joy is a transgender woman, and her transness influences how she thinks and feels and acts, but the story is most definitely not about her being trans. I want to see trans and queer people as the protagonists of all kinds of stories, and not just dramas about our identities, although those stories are really important, as well.

BD: What makes Legendary Comics the perfect home for this story?

LS: The delightful thing about working with Legendary is that everyone believed in the book from the very beginning. My original editor, Jann Jones, championed the story to Legendary and convinced them that it was viable and worth doing, and they’ve been both supportive and entirely hands-off in terms of storytelling. They trusted me completely to tell the story that I needed to tell, and that’s rare in comics.

BD: Do you foresee expanding the graphic novel into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?

LS: I’d be perfectly happy to write nothing but books about Joy and Cat for the rest of my career if they’d let me, but we’ll have to see how this book does first!

As far as other media, for most of the things I write that are creator-owned, I’m happy for those things to remain as comics. I don’t need to see a movie of Girl Haven. For this story specifically, however, I think it would lend itself really well to being a TV show. Kind of like a less-cheesy queer Ghost Whisperer? Who knows?!

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

LS: Yes! I just got done scripting a hilarious YA graphic novel with my buddy Dave Justus, for Mad Cave’s YA line, Maverick. It’s being drawn by Joe Eisma, and nobody can do comedy like Joe. That book has yet to be announced, but folks should keep an eye out for it.

In other news, Lev Grossman and I are working right now on the first book of The Heavens, which is a multi-volume, big, huge space opera thing. It’s kind of like Succession meets Star Wars, maybe? If anything I work on becomes a huge deal, it will be this!

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Science of Ghosts?

LS: Well, I highly suggest that they read it themselves! But if they want to read the first five pages for free, they can do that here. That link also has an extremely cool book trailer!


Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief

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