First Second is delighted to welcome our new Editorial Assistant, Kiara Valdez!
Kiara is a graduate of Williams College, and she’s interned at Crown, Penguin Random House, and Kodansha. Kiara speaks Japanese, enjoys a broad range of comics and is already bringing her strengths to First Second.
What was the first comic you remember reading?
I vaguely remember reading the 1st volume of Scott Pilgrim at the library when I was in 5th grade.
What about comics inspires you?
I love that comics are very versatile. It astounds me in what ways certain art styles in conjunction with a certain way of story telling can produce so many varied effects. Is it an adult graphic novel with cute, simple art but witty, jaded humor? Is it a YA graphic novel with intricate art and serious, engaging dialogue? Is it neither? There are so many combinations, and I think that is what allows graphic novels to have such a wide reach. There is always something for someone.
What are some of your favorite graphic novels?
Many of the “No Fear Shakespeare  Graphic Novels” (because I just love Shakespeare that much), Yang’s American Born Chinese, Thompson’s Blankets, and recently MK Reed, Greg Means, and Joe Flood’s The Cute Girl Network.
What are some things that you’re working on now at First Second that you’re excited about?
This is not an official task, but I am working on reading as much of of :01’s back titles as I can. I’m looking forward to being able to refer to books of :01’s past and get an understanding of what kind of vibe we are looking for when publishing books in the future.
What do you have to say to the world about comics?
Comics are for life. Once they grab hold of you, they will never let you go. And I’m very grateful for that since they’ve been one of my main sources of comfort and consolation whenever I was having a hard time. If you haven’t gotten into them yet, I recommend you do!