Interview with Barry Lyga
“I think that the world tends to look down on teens, usually unjustly, and I wanted to write something that would maybe tell a lonely and angry kid, ‘Hey, you’re not the only one. It’s not just you.’ I hope that readers see that it’s possible to rise above your circumstances and to find a path to some kind of happiness, even if it’s not necessarily the happiness you were looking for in the first place.”
— Barry Lyga
What is your favorite comic book?
When I was growing up, my favorite comic book was Legion of Super-Heroes, a big, sprawling sci-fi space opera set in the far-flung 30th century, with a cast of more than two dozen super-powered teenagers patrolling the galaxy to fight evil. It was mind-blowing at that age. That will always be my favorite comic book. :)
Who are some authors who have inspired you?
Comic book authors like Alan Moore and Paul Levitz. Genre writers like Joe Haldeman and Stephen King. And classic writers like Poe and Milton.
Do Fanboy’s experiences relate to you at all?
Oh, God, yes! Fanboy is very much like me (or I’m very much like him — both are true!). When I set out to write the book, I wanted to make his life like mine was, only sadder AND funnier at the same time.
Why are all your books based in the same town/school setting?
Well, I’m a comic book geek! And comic books tend to crossover with one another in a sort of “share universe” setting. Plus, I was influenced by the way William Faulkner did the same thing, with background characters moving from one book to another, sometimes taking center stage, sometimes fading into the scenery. It just seems like a fun way to build a little world, and for readers who read all of my books, they get little bonus in-jokes.
What is your favorite Disney movie?
Believe it or not, probably TRON, from way back in ancient days (i.e., the 1980s).
Are you for or against Disney buying Marvel comics?
I’m neutral on the subject. I don’t think it’s going to have much of an impact on the comics. You’ll probably see Marvel merchandise popping up at Disney stores and such, but other than that, it’s not a big deal, I don’t think. I could be wrong, of course, but for now I don’t think about it much at all.
Why did you choose “Fanboy” and “Gothgirl” as names for your main characters, instead of giving them more typical names?
Well, “Goth Girl” is a nickname that’s only used a couple of times — she’s “Kyra” most of the time. For Fanboy… Well, I like that it’s a snarky name that Kyra uses, and since Fanboy hates the sound of his own name, it makes sense that he wouldn’t use it in the book. So he ends up being identified by this nickname that Kyra uses out of a very aggressive sort of affection.
Also By Barry Lyga
Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever