Hire This Woman: Writer Heather Nuhfer
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Busy writer Heather Nuhfer has worked on all-ages properties such as Fraggle Rock, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Strawberry Shortcake. She’s also written The Simpsons and Vampire Diaries comics.
ComicsAlliance: What’s your background/training?
Heather Nuhfer: I don’t actually have any professional comic book training! I have a degree in journalism, a life-long love of writing, and no fear of asking for work.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
HN: Hmmm… I think I find most of my creativity while I’m writing. I don’t do a typical page-by-page, like a lot of comic writers do. I work from my pitch, of course, but I write freely until I’m done and then take out the bad stuff. I feel like I can make a story with a lot of layers that way.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
HN: I’ve written for: Fraggle Rock, Strawberry Shortcake, Hawken, My Little Pony, Scooby-Doo, The Vampire Diaries, Monster High, and The Simpsons. I’m currently still working on most of those titles, other original IPs, and some non-comics projects.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to write a 20-page issue?
HN: Well, disclaimer: I’ve been told I write crazy fast. I usually write a whole issue in two sittings, which I know is insane. I’ll write most of it one day, then finish it a couple days later and do a rough edit. Then I ship it off to my editor! I don’t mess around when I’m writing. If I’m really concentrating, I can write five-to-six pages an hour. I think my speed comes from working in journalism and politics. We never had time to wait for a muse.
CA: What is your dream project?
HN: I don’t really have one “dream” project, aside from wanting to write anything for the Muppets! Or Hellboy! My ideal project would be more about who I would be working with than the actual project.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
HN: I’m really digging Matt Fraction [and David Aja's] Hawkeye. I also love Christian Slade’s Korgi – both for the wordless stories and the gorgeous illustrations. Every time I see something Becky Cloonan has done, I lose my mind!
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
HN: Growing up I read a lot of Muppet Babies and Spawn. I think that pretty accurately encapsulates the person I am now.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
HN: Quiet and tidy! I can’t write if there’s any unnatural outside noise. No TV. No music. I usually have my earbuds in with nothing playing! I’m too easily distracted.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
HN: I think all-ages and licensed comics get a bad rap. Especially when other pros say they aren’t “real” comics. I can assure you that we put as much thought and love into our work as anyone else. We are all storytellers and want to put things out there that entertain folks. If anything, we have the extra weight of writing for characters that are already well-loved and have an active fan base behind them. There isn’t much room for error.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
If there is a woman you’d like to recommend or if you’d like to be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Hire This Woman” in the subject line.