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Ngozi Ukazu: 2019 National Book Festival

Ngozi Ukazu: 2019 National Book Festival


>>Warren Bernard
: Hello, everybody. My name is Warren Bernard. I’m the Executive Director
of Small Press Expo, proud enough to sponsor Ngozi. Thank you, thank you, everybody. [ Applause ] First I have to get rid
of some boilerplate stuff. Welcome to 19th Annual National
Book Festival brought to you by the Library of Congress. This festival was free of
charge thanks to the generosity of donors, large
and small, like us. If you wish to make
a donation, please, do so at the festival app under the word donate
on the apps homepage. We appreciate your support for this great celebration
of books and reading. For sure, if you’ve never
been and you’re a reader, you really should go to the
Library of Congress when you go to the Madison Building,
the Adams Building, the Jefferson Building, alone,
is just an amazing place to look at the architecture, that
they built a temple to books. The building was completed,
circa 1898, and it’s one of the finest pieces of Beaux-Arts Architecture
in the United States. And so their concept, like I
said, was to build a temple and you really should
visit the temple. Starting this year, the
National Book Festival is going to go ahead and start
doing events year-round, so it’s not going to be a
single event moving forward. So, stay tuned, you know,
look at the website, sign up for email lists, and
things like that and you’ll get to know what are the
things coming along. At the end of Ngozi’s
presentation, she’ll be taking questions. Please, go to the mics
here in the two aisles. Please keep them short
so that we have time for as many questions
as possible. And this is being recorded, so
please, be aware that you go up and, you know,
ask a question, you may wind up in the video. And, of course, please turn
off all the cell phones. Now, this is a special thrill
for me as Executive Director of SPX, she first came to SPX in
2015 and I was walking through, which I always do, and I came
across this table and I looked at it and I go, wow, a
mini comic about hockey. I’ve never seen one before. I’m a hockey fan. So, of course, I bought it. Okay. And I loved it. So, fast forward, when she came
back last year for SPX 2018, you couldn’t get near her table. Right. She — it was swamped. And so in this very
short period of time, a lot of people went ahead
and embraced her amazing work. So, like I said, this is a
thrill for me to see her go from a self-made mini
comic to being part of the largest book festival in the United States
is unbelievable to me. So, I want to welcome
Ngozi Ukazu. [ Applause ] This is such a thrill for me. Okay.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank you. Hello, everybody. How are we doing today? [ Cheers ] How are we doing today? [ Cheers, applause ] Now, everyone shout out
a location or a job. Just kidding. That’s improv joke. That’s an improv joke. [Laughter]. So, I’m here today
because of SPX. But, first, I want to make
sure I’m on the right slide. Fantastic. I’m going to test the
slide really quick. There you go. That’s the slide I selected. Alright. Thank you, guys,
so much for coming out today to National Book Festival. I am — this is my first time,
as well, at the Book Festival and I’m learning so much. This is so exciting. It’s so lovely to
see so many people out here just excited
about storytelling. Today I’m going to do a
really quick presentation to tell you a little bit about
my career and then we’ll open it up to Q and A. I was a
tour guide in college. So, I love answering questions. I can tell you where stuff is. So, first and foremost, I’m
here today because of SPX. SPX is the — whoo-hoo, yes. Make some noise. Who here has been to SPX? Raise your hand. That’s a lot. That’s pretty good. SPX is the small press — it
stands for the Small Press Expo, which is a convention held in
Bethesda, Maryland, every fall. And what I truly love about SPX
is that it gives opportunities to artists big and small. This year SPX is sponsoring,
not only my appearance here at the National Book Festival,
but also Raina Telgemeier and Jim — I can’t
pronounce his — Poviotti?>>Warren Bernard: Ottaviani.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Ottaviani. Poviotti [inaudible]. And so, proof that
SPX is really invested in bringing together
artists big and small, here I am with Gale Galligan. Do you guys know
Gale Galligan’s work? Yes. This is in 2015,
at my first SPX. This was right at the
end of grad school and I was just an
artist starting out. I was really just
starting this comic. I think I started
it really in 2013 and this was the first
time I had books. This was the first time
the web comic was in print. And here is a picture of my last
SPX, last year, same tablecloth. [Laughter]. And this was a few days before
my first book was published. So, truly, if you get the chance
to make it out to Bethesda, it is really worth your time. You’re in for the treat. Because it’s a great space for
finding, not only, you know, more established
artists but artists who are just starting out. It’s in two weeks. I think it’s the 18th and 19th? Fourteenth and 15th. [Laughter]. Not even close. So, I’m really just going to
talk about my career today, tell you a bit about this comic
and my journey into comics and, hopefully, we can have a
nice conversation with our Q and A. My name is Ngozi Ukazu. Hi. Whoo. I see you. Hi guys. I went to
Yale where I majored in computing and the arts. And I graduated from
Yale in 2013. And right out of college I went
to SCAD to study sequential art because — oh, who
are the SCAD people? Oh, there’s — oh, you’re
just happy I went to college. Yes. [Laughter]. That’s very good. Did anybody go to SCAD, though? Okay. [ Inaudible response ] Good enough. Oh boy. Art school tuition. Yes, I went to SCAD
right after college so I could study sequential art because nowadays you can
actually get a degree in comic books, which is great. I always liken it
to clown college. [Laughter]. But it’s very practical,
very practical. I started Check, Please the
summer after I graduated from Yale in 2013 and
right before SCAD. It was kind of this in
between, like, period. I wanted to have
something to practice. I wanted to have practice for the oncoming studies
I was going to do. So, I started Check, Please. And I started Check,
Please on a whim. Let me see what the
next slide is. Okay. I started Check,
Please on a whim. It was totally practice. And I was posting all
of my pages to Tumbler. Actually, even though — well, this book that is now
in bookstores, you can read it in bookstores, you can
actually still read the whole thing online. They don’t want me
to tell you that. [Laughter]. But I’m giving you
the inside scoop. You can still read
the whole thing online because that’s how it started. It started as a web comic. So, I was posting it on Tumbler. You can still find
it at that URL. And it gained a community. It gained an audience. And it was eventually
picked up by a publisher. It actually all started
with Kick Starters. So, when I was in grad school,
I did my first Kick Starter, which is very exciting. Are you guys familiar
with Kick Starter? Crowd funding. By the time that I had,
like, started the web comic and it had been online
for a while, I had like garnered a little bit
of a community and an audience. So, when I did my first Kick
Starter it was really — I did not expect for
it to go so well. I actually was selling zines
[assumed spelling] online for a really long time. I started the comic and I told
people, like, hey I’m going to do a little extra fun comic. And if you guys would like
to order the comic just let me know. And it was the first time that
I ever sold out of anything. And this was just online. And I would go to Office Max,
take all the — like, come home, go to the kitchen table and
just start making zines. And my Dad was like,
what are doing? And I was like, I’m
making money. [Laughter]. I’m paying for my tuition. Right? Exactly. And so, that was the first time. And then by the time I actually
got to do a Kick Starter, I actually got to do
my Kick Starter project as a project in grad school. I got an A. And it was
really the first time that people took notice,
like, people outside of the immediate community
of the comic took notice and it was extremely exciting. So, excuse me, I’ve got
to get my notes together. So, the book that I — well, I should probably explain
the numbers up there. So far, altogether, my crowd
funding has raised nearly a million. We’re not there yet. But over the course of five
years, this is the money that readers have contributed to making my publishing
dreams, like, a reality. These are people putting down however much they feel
is necessary to buy the book and it allows me to
publish on my own. It’s really exciting. So, book one is actually
collects my self-published books into one volume. Check, Please, Hashtag Hockey
came into bookstores last year. It was September 18, 2018, and since then it was
a Morris finalist. It has received star reviews
for the Kirkus booklist and School Library Journal. It’s also been on several lists. And it is currently a nominee
for both comic industry awards. It’s very exciting
to be part of that. Book two, actually, comes
out in April of next year and it is the last
book in the series. It’s called Check,
Please, Sticks and Scones. I hope you guys like
hockey puns. [Laughter]. And really this presentation
is so short, I want to talk to you guys about my comic,
how I discovered the comic and why I’m making it. But I’m going to go ahead
and thank SPX, again, for bringing me here, for
second, for publishing my work, and to all of you for the
great conversation we’re about to have. [Laughter]. Okay. You can clap. [ Applause ] I almost wish I had a free mic
so I could just walk the stage. But I won’t do that. Okay. If you have any questions,
definitely feel free to walk up to any one of
these microphones and we will learn a lot. Actually, I want to maybe ask
you guys a question first. How many people have
read Check, Please? Oh, my God. [Laughter]. I got chills. Really? Weird. Your hand is still — oh, you guys are wearing
Samwell t-shirts. [Laughter]. Some people — that’s so crazy. Oh, that was weird. Oh, my goodness. Okay. So, for those of you who
have not read Check, Please, who are like, what is
this lady talking about? Check, Please — yes,
it’s pretty funny. It’s like why are you here? And someone is wearing a — I’m forgetting the
name of the shirt. But Simon and Baz,
you know, yes. We all know what that is. You know, her book — she has
a new book out this weekend. Yes, you should definitely
check it out. Okay. That was secret
talk for secret fans. So, Check, Please. Check, Please is the story
of a former figure skater who joins a college hockey
team and loves to bake. Eric “Bitty” Bittle is this tiny
little gay kid from Madison, Georgia, who goes to play
college hockey in Massachusetts. He is terrified of being
checked, which is when, you know, you get tackled — you get tackled on
the ice, basically. He’s terrified of it. And this is a really — it’s a LGBTQ romance
with a happy ending. Spoilers. They get together. It’s a story about finding
yourself in college. And it’s also a story
just about kind of finding the found family
experience in college. Again, it’s all online if
you want to check it out. And, yes, if you have any more
questions you can just hop right in line. Let’s start with you.>>Okay. Hi, I would like
to preface my question by saying I appreciate SPX for
allowing you to be here for us.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes.>>To interact with. [Laughs]. And so,
I’m a huge fan. I’ve been reading since
you first started posting on Tumbler. A friend showed me it. And my question to
you is, how do you — as the world in your story
changes, how are you able to give that character
development without breaking the character’s
continuity with the story?>>Ngozi Ukazu: That’s
a really good question. So, it’s — as the story
continues and as the world of the comic changes,
how do I continue to character’s development? Well, it’s pretty
much not set in stone. The way that I write is
that I plan out, like, a very loose plot and then I
address each chapter as I go. So, when I’m really in —
when I’m really in the groove and I’m really feeling
the story, a character will surprise me. I have certain things
that I know about them. But when they’re placed in
certain situation, boom, something might happen. Wow, they made that decision. Oh, they found that truth. That’s actually how
the characters develop. It’s when you’re in the,
like, the zone of writing and you have a character in a
scene the most honest reaction that they have is what
builds their characters. It’s actually how we all as human beings have
our personalities and our characters. It’s when we’re in the moment
and we make a decision. So, it’s not necessarily
about continuity, but it’s being truthful to
the character in the moment.>>Okay. Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank
you for the question. And we’ll go to this side.>>Hi.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Hi.>>I’ve always really admired
how you’ve driven conflict in the story without
making it conflict in between Jack and Bitty. And what has, like, driven
you towards that and fostered that within the story?>>Ngozi Ukazu: That’s
a really good question. So, how have I managed to
bring conflict into the story without making it kind
of a drama between, like, Jack and Bitty, who spoiler
alert, they get together. [Laughter]. I guess I’ve never been a fan of
the on and off again storylines. I don’t — I didn’t
really watch, like, I don’t know, Dawson’s Creek. I don’t even know what
Dawson’s Creek is about. [Laughter]. But it’s like where it’s like
a character, they’re together and then they get mad
and there’s distrust. Because, yes, that does happen
in real life, but I think, you know, successful
relationships are kind of like about communication,
negotiating your needs. And it’s not necessarily, like
you always read the stories where a character is like,
oh, no this person — Bob is mad at me, so let
me go off with character X and then her fob and — it
does happen in real life. I know. But I’m not – I just
don’t find it as amusing. Thank you for laughing
at my [laughter]. It just doesn’t interest me. I’d rather them work as a team. That’s a great question. Thank you. I’ll go there. Yes.>>In terms of for web comic
creators, what’s your method of research that you used for
hockey and baking and, like, obviously I think I read
somewhere that you, like, didn’t really know much about
hockey before doing this. So, I was wondering, like, your
research methods were for, like, really making it seem like
you knew what you were talking about.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes. It’s the funnest —
like, I’ve heard stories where librarians will tell me that they’ve had students
read the book who are, like, total hockey kids and
they’re like, no way. No way, miss. She didn’t write this. No. Because, you know, I am
a black woman from Texas. I’m a first-generation
Nigerian woman. And that’s — yes, oh. Are there Nigerian people here? [Laughter]. Yes. Ahhh. That’s it. Okay. Good. [Laughter]. Got to call out my people. But hockey’s not, you know,
Nigeria’s national sport. [Laughter]. It’s also [laughs]. Thank you. It’s true. It’s also, I mean, there
is hockey in Texas. But, you know, people usually from further up north
play hockey. So, I’ll kind of
cycle back to talk about how I did my research. I first got interested in
hockey my senior year at Yale. I was writing a screenplay
on hockey. It’s called — the
screenplay is called, Hardy, it’s about a named
Hardy who falls in love with his best friend,
who is a dude. And Hardy is like,
oh, these emotions. I don’t know what
to do with them. And in order to make
that authentic, I had to really throw
myself into research. So, I was interviewing
hockey players. I was a freshman
counselor at the time and I was interviewing
some of my own students. I was reading — there are
ethnographies about hockey because it’s that
weird of a sport. People are writing
about the culture. I watched so many documentaries. I watched Slap Shot. Do you guys know about
the movie Slap Shot, which came out in the
’70s with Paul Newman? [Cheers] Yes.>>Slap shot.>>Ngozi Ukazu: That
was written by a woman. [ Cheers ] And most people don’t know that. It was Nancy Dowd. She wrote this wonderful, you
know, landmark hockey screenplay and it was because her
brothers were hockey players. And all she did was just follow
them around and researched. And that’s similar to
what I did, as well. I really tried to, like, just totally immerse
myself in hockey culture. I went to so many games. One of my roommate’s boyfriend’s
roommate actually played in the AHL for the longest time and I just asked him
so many questions. At the end of that I had
something that seemed, like, I was fluent in hockey. And I think that comes off as
authentic because I really, really tried to be,
like, very, very truthful to the research I was doing.>>Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank you. Cool. Hi, how are you?>>Good. You?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes. I’m great.>>Piggybacking off that, the
graphic novel side, I got my FMA and BFA and I was too
scared to apply to SCAD. [Laughs]>>Ngozi Ukazu: That’s okay. You should.>>But the — the last real art
piece I did was actually have a hockey team and I found the
modeling absolutely a nightmare.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Which team?>>I made it up. And I made it a Gryffindor team.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Great. [Laughter].>>It was a birthday present
for a Gryffindor friend.>>Ngozi Ukazu: That’s nice.>>But the modeling. How did you do that? Did you just go to games and
gesture draw or did you Google?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Did you
say the modeling of it?>>Yes.>>Ngozi Ukazu: So, like,
the character designs?>>Yes.>>Ngozi Ukazu: That
was a lot — I have a huge reference
folder in my Check, Please folder on my computer. That was me just, like,
collecting images. Like, tons and tons of images. And I did go to games and
I did sketch at games. But I had to learn how to basically find,
like, hockey helmets. I had to find helmets, like,
at all different angles. It was — a lot of my time
was spent just like hunting through Getty’s images
to find it. So, it took a lot
of research but — and then, some imagination
to kind of bring everything
together to — so it felt 3D.>>Thank you, so much.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank you. Apply to SCAD or not, if you
want to but you can do it.>>Someday.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes. How are you?>>I’m good. Which characters in your book
are your favorites and you like writing about the most?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Well, I don’t
think I really have a favorite character — it’s Chowder. [ Laughter, applause ] Um, I think Chowder is — people
always ask me that question. They’re like, oh, I bet
it’s like pulling teeth. And I’m like, no, it’s Chowder. Chowder is so fun to write because he’s just
instant comedy. I actually wrote a, like,
essay about why Chowder kind of brings conflict by
being like unrelent — like, just, relentlessly
like sunshiny all the time. You’ll — for those of you who
are not familiar with the comic, in the second year when Bitty
becomes a sophomore they get another goalie, whose
name is Chris Chow. He’s from California and he
loves the San Jose Sharks. He loves the San
Jose Sharks so much. He just — he’s always
wearing Shark’s hoodies. He always has Shark’s
merchandise. And, yes, he’s a big fan. And that enthusiasm that he
has for the Sharks translated to just enthusiasm in general. And he’s just so fun to write. I love writing him against
characters who are like, a bit more grumpy, who are just
maybe, like, less authentic. And Chowder just
doesn’t understand. He’s like, why wouldn’t
you be happy all the time about the things you love? [Laughter]. So, that’s a great question. Thank you.>>You’re welcome.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Hello.>>Hello. Okay. So, you’ve previously spoken about how much research
went into this. Because you said, like,
I think, in your letter that it was a love
letter to hockey.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes.>>Which is really cool. So, I was just curious. Did you do any research
on figure skating because Bitty is a
figure skater originally?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes.>>And I’m a figure skater, too. So, I thought it
was pretty cool. And I know we don’t get
a lot of his backstory, like that one picture
in the beginning of him skating, which is cool. But I was wondering,
have you, like, watched any figure
skating or are you a fan?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes. I, like, definitely
went deep into hockey. Figure skating, perhaps,
not as much, even though anytime I draw
Bitty doing a jump, I just watch about four or five
You Tube videos to make sure I get it right. Because it’s so subtle.>>Right.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Like whether
you come off, like, the toe or, like, it’s so, so subtle. So, that’s when I
really do my research because I know the figure
skaters out there, like, can just see it with
an eagle eye.>>Right. Like I
totally appreciate it because it looks
really accurate.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, thank you. [ Laughter ] Thank you, so much.>>No problem.>>Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Hello.>>Hi. So, I was just
wondering did you — I’m completely [inaudible] out. Hold on.>>Ngozi Ukazu: No,
that’s alright. Actually, I’m going
to also go back so I can put — yes,
that’s good. So, we can all look
at the characters. The slide is so [inaudible]. It’s very weird. Here, we’ll just look at this. Yes?>>Is there anything
you wish you knew going into creating a web comic?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, that’s
a really good question. Is there anything I wish I knew
going into creating a web comic? The internet is a
very fun place. And Fandom is a very
interesting place. [Laughter]. I’m speaking very
discreetly and politely because I think we all know
how crazy Fandom can get. I found out the hard way. And I think that if you’re
going into a web comic — going into making a web
comic, the best thing that you could do is set
firm boundaries for yourself, respect the fans and their
space, but, you know, also demand that the fans
respect you, as well. And honestly, it hasn’t really
been that big of an issue. But when I first
started out, I remember, oh my God, I said, ohh there. Oh, God. I’m from Texas. I’m sorry. Okay. But when I
first started out, I remember there was an
incident where someone wrote, very interesting fan fiction
and then I asked them, could you tag that,
so I never see that. And it was like,
the author is dead. How dare you tell us that. And you know, I probably
should have just left it alone. Because, you know, they were
writing what they wanted. And I didn’t have to
really look at it. That’s kind of how
I look at things. So, make sure that you are aware that people can do
what they want and you can do what you want. And it’s okay to just
not have control. You don’t really need it. Just watch yourself.>>Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank you. Hello.>>Hi. So, I’m running into
this issue because I’m trying to convince friends of
mine, who are hockey fans, or people who went to New England liberal
arts schools to read this. To read your comic,
which I love. But the thing I’m
running into is I’m trying to describe what Samwell — what college Samwell
was really based on.>>Ngozi Ukazu: So, Samwell is
Wellesley, Harvard, and Yale.>>Okay. [ Laughter ]>>Ngozi Ukazu: Simple.>>Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: [Laughter]
Thank you. Hello.>>Hi. I feel really tiny.>>Ngozi Ukazu: No, you’re tall.>>My question is
how hard was it? What was the easiest
part of writing and what was the hardest
part of writing the book?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, that’s good. The easiest part of
writing for me is usually when I get to write jokes. Like, that’s what I love
doing, being a little silly. So, when I get to write
— like, draw, like, Ransom and Holster being idiots. It comes naturally. [ Laughter ] That’s the weird to say. But it comes naturally. I think the hardest part, I
mean, the hardest boring part for me is proof reading. I’m really bad it. Details, what are those? But I think the other hardest
part is when I have to write, like, a scary scene, which
is like when Bitty is hurt, or when Bitty is, you know, talking about some
pain he’s feeling. It’s really hard to make
sure that I’m being authentic and being true to the character. Because you really have to
be in tune to exactly what that character wants to tell.>>Thank you.>>Ngozi Ukazu: You’re welcome. Cool.>>Hi. Oh, my God,
I’m really nervous.>>Ngozi Ukazu: No, you’re good. Where are you from?>>I’m from Morristown,
New Jersey.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh,
good, awesome. From Texas.>>Thank you. So, my question — I have
two but they’re really quick. My one question is how did you,
like, make up these characters? Because they all have,
like, Jack, for instance, has a really complicated story. [Inaudible]. So, like, how did you
come up with that story?>>Ngozi Ukazu: So, we’ll tackle that first question
really quickly. I based them off real people. [Laughter]. Real people that I know and then
real people that I don’t know. Usually when it’s real people
that I know, I have a friend who has red hair
and is from Maine. So, I was like, cool,
that’s — you’re now Dex. And when it’s real people that
I don’t know, it’s like, oh wow. Like, I really like this Olympic
athlete who is super tall. Okay. Hilary Knight. You are now George Martin. So, what’s your second question?>>My second question is who
did you decide to be Bitty’s, spoiler alert, boyfriends? Like, out of all the
characters, did you have, like [laughter] like, did
you have like Shitty planned to be his boyfriend
or like somebody else? I’m just saying.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, my goodness. [ Laughter ] So, I’m not –>>Sorry. It’s just –>>Ngozi Ukazu: I’m not sure
I went in thinking, like, I didn’t arrange cast and
then, like, choose so to say. Oh my God but what
if I tagged on that? [Laughter]. That would have been a lot
more interesting to be honest. I think, I usually
start off with — usually, when I’m telling
a story I start off with two characters,
one character or two. And then build the
cast around them. So, I knew that Jack and
Bitty should be together. And then — so they were
destined from the get-go.>>Right. That makes sense.>>Ngozi Ukazu: I know
some people who are, like, Shitty conspiracy theorists. Conspiracy theory is for — there’s a character’s
named, oh my God. [ Laughter ]>>I’m sorry if this question
is [inaudible] anything.>>Ngozi Ukazu: No,
you’re great. It’s just that — I just sound like I insulted a
bunch of people. [Laughter]. You can forget about it. I think I answered
your question. Maybe?>>Yes.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Thank you.>>You did a great
job, just saying.>>Ngozi Ukazu: You, too. [Laughter]. Yes? And I think we
have time for maybe one or two more questions. Okay.>>Okay. I, like, one
is kind of nuanced and then one is really short. So, I really appreciate
your portrayal of Jack and his mental illness and
sort of the panic attacks and everything that
comes with it. And sort of, how you sort
of devled into that and sort of a slightly lesser
degree with Bitty, because he seems a little
bit more functional.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes.>>So, I just, kind of,
wanted to know what your — was there any sort of research
or was it based on, like, because you know you
said you based this on people you either know
in real life or you don’t. And so, I guess, just sort
of the process behind a, deciding that you were going to
have this character [inaudible, two speakers] and being able
to do things and then sort of, what you did to go
and develop that.>>Ngozi Ukazu: So, the process
in deciding — it wasn’t like — I feel like it came
about organically. It’s not necessarily that
I created a character and was just like, oh, let
me give them this identity. It was, kind of, like, as I
was developing the character and feeling them out, certain
things popped up and I was like, well, maybe what I’m seeing here
I can interpret as, you know, this very real problem
that people have. And this is me drawing
from instances in my life, where I’ve experienced,
like, lots of anxiety. But I actually did literally
call a therapist to talk about generalized anxiety, making sure that
I was getting — because everyone has
different experiences. My experiences may
not be different, maybe different from others. And I wanted to make sure that,
you know, I was getting kind of like the symptoms
and approaches correct. And you said you had
another quick question.>>Are we ever going to name — are we ever going to learn
the name of Mr. Knight? [ Laughter ]>>Ngozi Ukazu: Alright, you
hear it here first, guys. In this book coming out in
April you find out his name.>>Awesome. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Ngozi Ukazu: Cool. [Laughter]. Alright.>>Hi. I was wondering
because I’m like trying to make my own web comic. So, I was wondering, like, what was your schedule
for, like, each page? And how long did each
page take and, like, how much time did you spend
before, like, the issue, like, thumbnailing and planning?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Well, that’s — you know, you’re really
ahead of the game. [Laughter]. I, actually, didn’t
have a, like, update schedule until,
like, a month ago. [ Laughter ] What you can do, you can
learn from my mistakes. [Laughter]. I would say, first do
a very small project. I’m talking about
like 10 pages or less. And it can be something to
help you explore a character for your longer project. So, 10 pages, 5 pages. See how long it takes
for you to do that. Like, put a — mark
it on your calendar. Mark it when you finish. And then from there,
you can extrapolate. Because what you don’t want
to do is learn on the go. I had no idea. I was just making it. I wasn’t timing myself. And if you, kind of, test it out
it will help you in the future. So, I didn’t really answer your
question because I don’t know. [Laughter]. You can find out for yourself.>>Yes, but, like, how much
planning did you do before each page?>>Ngozi Ukazu: So, I started
Check, Please in the summer and it was supposed to
be five chapters long. [Laughter]. And now I’m here
talking about it. So, — the best advice I’ve
got on planning a web comic is to make sure you have
an ending in mind. And also, I would say, try
to do it for maybe no longer than like three years. Because inevitably it
will take you like 10. So, just start small. Start very small. Please, promise me. [Laughter].>>Sure.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Okay, you
don’t have to do that. alright. I think we can
take one more question. And we are actually ending on
someone with a Samwell jersey. Cool digs.>>So, first I want to say
hello to my brother-in-law. He’s home with a newborn. But I didn’t know he was
into the series until I asked for a hockey stick for cosplay. He was like, please tell
me you’re doing Bitty and [laughter]. My sister walked out
of the room pissed. But, I want to know if there’s
ever a chance that we’re going to get a [inaudible]
to point at spinoff. Because I miss the hard —
the cold group hardcore.>>Ngozi Ukazu: I’m sorry. Could you –>>Are we ever going to
get a house 2.0 spinoff?>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, man. If –>>I miss the boys.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Oh, I don’t
want to end on a bummer. Because I’ve already got
another story I’m planning. But like a house 2.0
spinoff would be great about, you know, Shitty and Lardo.>>Down the road.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Yes,
down the road.>>Sometime down the road.>>Ngozi Ukazu: Like,
it’ll be 2047. I’m like, guess what’s back? [Laughter]. Check, Please. Check, Please. I forgot the bill. [ Laughter ] Yikes. So, I won’t say, no. But I am doing a very
small project, actually, like this fall where I get to do
a throwback Thursday, basically. Where I take all of Bitty’s
tweets, I combine them together and I illustrate some of them. So, that sounds like fun. Yes, check it out. Thank you so much
for your question. And thank you guys so
much for coming to this. This was so lovely. [ Applause ] Oh, my goodness. And I will be signing — I
will be signing at a time. Three-thirty. And I hope to see
you guys there. Thank you. [ Applause ]

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