Women in Comics Month: Interview with Lisa Yu-Nung Wu
Mar 02, 2018
In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with Retailer/Fan Relations Manager Lisa Yu-Nung Wu!
PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: AfterShock Comics is my current employer, but they are also my family. I am so lucky that I get to work and joke with these talented people while creating books that we genuinely love, every day. So, when we won the Diamond Gem Award’s Best Publisher Under 3% in our second year of publishing, it just meant that much more that our hard work as a family was recognized by the frontline of our industry, our retailers.
PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: My current position at AfterShock is Retailer/Fan Relations Manager. My key responsibility is to leverage innovative and dynamic marketing strategies to maximize brand awareness and build relationships with our retailers and fans. Recently, I learned that my job title is catching on in the industry, which makes me very proud since I coined it last year after my promotion.
Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)
One retailer calls me the “Comic Book Hype Woman.” But, nothing about AfterShock Comics is hype. We publish comics that we love. Read one, and you will see that love, from the story to the ink that we use. My job is to bring the public the comics we produce by viewing our comics from the perspective of retailers and fans and work with our creators to highlight the treasure trove of awesomeness in their comics. Informing the public and getting people excited about our comics supports our staff, our creators, and the retailers who carry AfterShock, so I take my job very seriously while having a lot of fun. After all, comics are fun, even the creepy ones like BABYTEETH (Donny Cates/Garry Brown) and introspective ones like WORLD READER (Jeff Loveness/Juan Doe).
PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: When I see fellow comic book lovers face-to-face at comic shops, conventions, and even on the street; it is like a reunion because we already have a common bond. But, as the retailer/fan manager, there is nothing like the thrill of turning a new connection into a friend of AfterShock. Comics is all about people, and my job allows me to work directly with people from all walks of life. Give me a person who can appreciate a good story, and I will make them into a comic book fan.
PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: My name is in every AfterShock comic since we started publishing in December 2015. You can see the entire list on our website: http://aftershockcomics.com.
PREVIEWSworld: While there are loads of professionals in the comics industry, there are only so many folks who get to do what you do! How did you get started? How did you learn all the skills you needed for your position?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: Short Answer: Facebook. Long Answer: I started in this industry as a reviewer for God Hates Geeks. After posting a comment on someone’s Facebook post about X-Men, the editor Travis Moody reached out and encouraged me to write comic and movie reviews. He even entrusted me nerve wracking task of interviewing comic book creators and celebrities at San Diego Comic Con. Another comment on a Facebook post opened the door for me to become the Marketing Coordinator of Dave and Busters. This time, my comment was a call to action to get local businesses to help make a little girl happy. Never did I think that my actions were going to land me a job and bring my community together. I began organizing and promoting a lot of events for Dave and Busters, and my accomplishments and social media presence caught the eye of AfterShock Comics Publisher Joe Pruett. He reached out to me over Facebook and said that I was the perfect person to bring AfterShock more visibility. I have since learned from some top creators that Joe has given many creators their first crack at breaking into the comic book industry. I am grateful that he saw something in me and gave me the chance.
PREVIEWSworld: Talk to us about the heroic people in your comics life. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: There are so many people that I have met in the past year that I admire and have inspired me. But, if I had to choose, it would be Garth Ennis. His imagination is unfettered by the laws of logic yet strategic as he explores literary themes of family, politics, love, sex, etc. that are universal to everyone. However, his unique voice isn’t for all, but the great thing is that he doesn’t care. I remember sitting across from him during lunch and thinking “This man oozes integrity,” and I am proud to call him my friend.
PREVIEWSworld: Please tell us about the coolest experience you’ve ever had thanks to your job.
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: Last year at Alamo City Comic Con, I was introduced to Frank Miller and not only did he remember my name, but I made him giggle about my menagerie of pets. A shout out to my dogs, L.T. and Tucker; my kitties, Lady, Mr. Darcy, Emmy, Robin, Bro’dee, and Boopie; and I can’t forget my betta Gizmo—I love you!
PREVIEWSworld: Every industry professional has something they absolutely love about comics. Whether it’s a particular title or format or audience or tradition or something else, we’re all hooked. What’s special about comics for you? Would you be willing to share a treasured memory about it?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: What I love about comics is that it is a collaborative medium. I was a teacher before my exciting life with AfterShock. My fondest memories were of finding a student’s passion and nurturing it through comics. I used to assign an activity incorporating the making of comics. It was a fun and effective way to cover all the cognitive domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy: remembering, comprehending, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating what they have learned as a team with each individual student’s talents highlighted. Students are able to learn from one another and be exposed to different perspectives. But, simply reading a comic is a great way to help students become more comprehensive readers and contemplative thinkers.
PREVIEWSworld: Do you have an online presence we can link to and share with our readers?
Lisa Yu-Nung Wu: See my official AfterShock profile at http://aftershockcomics.com/lisa-y-wu/ , and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thewureport. My #WuAdventure is there along with the inappropriate things that make me laugh.