Ben Hatke on the new volume of ZITA THE SPACEGIRL:
This book covers a lot of issues for Zita, from ego and dealing with fame to identity issues. How did you handle those in terms of the audience and age range Zita attracts?
It’s funny, but I don’t think a lot about the age range for Zita. I try not to think about what’s “age-appropriate” and instead think of Zita as a real character. I try to keep her honest. Zita is a character all her own and I feel like if I keep her an honest character and a “real” kid then her emotional journey will always be accessible to anyone who might pick up the book.
I think issues of identity are central to growing up and, while dealing with fame isn’t something most of us ever have to worry about, I think that being pigeonholed into a role is something we all encounter at some point. Sometimes there’s even some validity to the roles that people set for us, maybe more than we know or think. But at the same time a set role never quite “fits” who we really are.