Cartoonist Liana Finck, who has a comic-based advice column at The New Yorker and a new graphic memoir out called Passing for Human, is interviewed on one of the only podcasts I regularly listen to. On the Longform Podcast, Finck talked about Passing for Human, which took her six years to produce before she looked for an editor. It began as a comics adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s The Real Life of Sebastian Knight before it became clear that it should be a memoir:
By the time I heard from Nabokov’s estate that I wasn’t allowed to do that, I was maybe very five hard-worked pages in, so I slowly started changing that into fiction that was just based on The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. It turned the two brothers…one is a brilliant writer who has died and the other one is telling his story; it takes place in, I don’t know, 1930 or something…and I changed those to two sisters who were growing up in the 80s, and I set it in my childhood house. And that’s how it became a memoir.
Listen to the whole episode here, and see a recent comic from Finck at Catapult.
Note: I love the Longform Podcast. The interviews, which are usually conducted with a writer of nonfiction—such as a contracted magazine writer or a reporter—about the path to said writing job, the way that she/he tells a story, etc., can be really riveting.