Each week, an accomplished published author takes over the YEM Twitter account for Thursday’s Twitter Takeover. During the takeover, the YA author will answer questions, tell stories, and give advice on our social media. This week author Sam Maggs will be taking over our Twitter account. Sam Maggs is a bestselling author of books, comics, and video games. She’s the author of many YA and middle-grade books like The Unstoppable Wasp, Con Quest!, Tell No Tales, and The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy. Sam Maggs is also a comics writer for beloved titles like Marvel Action: Captain Marvel, My Little Pony, and Transformers. She is also an on-air host for networks like Nerdist. Read YEM’s interview with Sam Maggs below!
Young Entertainment Mag: You’re very well-known in the Comic-Con scene. What first piqued your interest in the world of comics and graphic novels?
Sam Maggs: My parents were always big geeks and my dad loves Silver Age comics, so I grew up with it! I was into video games and sci-fi/fantasy as a kid. But comics in the ‘90s didn’t seem super welcoming to me as a teen girl. When I got to college, I discovered Marvel’s Runaways and Vertigo’s Y: The Last Man and seeing characters that looked and talked and acted like me and my friends—that’s what really got me hooked on comics.
YEM: During the pandemic, what have you been up to? Writing, reading, or watching any fandom movies?
Sam: I’ve actually found it really hard to consume a lot of new media during the pandemic so, like a lot of folks, I’ve been turning to old favorites. I’ve watched Twilight and Josie and the Pussycats more than once. I also play a lot of Apex: Legends. Such great characters!
YEM: How have you been connecting with the community during the pandemic since lots of conventions have been cancelled or taking place virtually?
Sam: Social media has been a mixed bag; it helps me stay connected with folks but also makes me doomscroll for hours on end. I’m finding Zoom nights with friends to be the best thing for me right now—trivia nights, movie watching, chatting over dinner, that kind of thing. The face-to-face element seems to make a big difference.
YEM: You’ve participated in several convention panels over the years. What is that experience like?
Sam: It’s a blast. I feel like I always learn so much from my fellow panelists, so I get all the benefits of being in the audience at a panel—except I get to interject my own thoughts here and there, as well. I’ve always had great experiences with Q&As, too—so many thoughtful questions from the crowd, regardless of the subject matter. The smaller and sillier the panel, the more fun they tend to be (which is a great con tip for when you’re making your next schedule.)
YEM: Is there a certain topic you haven’t gotten to discuss yet at conventions that you would love to have a panel on in the future?
Sam: I would love to see fewer “Women in _____” panels and instead replace those with panels about art and craft that just feature a group of marginalized creators. That’s my current goal when pitching panels to conventions.
YEM: You’ve written several books in the Marvel Universe. Do you have a favorite Marvel superhero?
Sam: Carol Danvers has always been my favorite Marvel hero! I grew up with her as Ms. Marvel, but the rebrand into Captain Marvel is fantastic. She’s smart, bad-ass, sassy, kind of dorky, loves cats… what’s not to like?
YEM: Or at the very least, which Marvel superhero are you most like?
Sam: Wolverine. Short, Canadian, and grumpy. Haha.
YEM: A lot of people know you from “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Universe.” What do you love most about the Fangirl community?
Sam: The passion! Fangirls love hard and they’re not ashamed of it. I absolutely love that. We should all hope to be as open-hearted and brilliant as the fangirls out there.
YEM: Your books are also very visual and beautiful. Does that imagery help when writing?
Sam: I feel so incredibly fortunate to have worked with so many talented artists, illustrators, colorists, and designers during my time in publishing. I actually have very little say over the design of the books and comics (thank goodness for that), so most of this comes after my writing is done and elevates it to a whole new level. I am very grateful.
YEM: Do you have any advice for people who want to take their favorite forms of art and make a career out of it?
Sam: I would say a) be aware that you have to treat it like a job—writing even when you don’t want to, creating art even if it’s not subject matter you’re passionate about, etc. And therefore b) be aware that it’s going to feel like a job and maybe not be so fun anymore. There’s nothing wrong with your art being a fun hobby! We all need that and your art is no less valuable to society if you don’t monetize it. But if you do want to, start things, finish them, and make a portfolio! That’s your best place to start: show people what you have to bring to the table.
To follow along with this week’s Twitter takeover, follow our Twitter account @YoungEntmag and follow the hashtag #YAAUTHORTAKEOVER.