FCBD Interview: Georgia Ball & Amy Mebberson Talk About Strawberry Shortcake #0

Strawberry Shortcake returns to comics! It's a berry special re-introduction to Strawberry Shortcake and all her pals and - maybe - a certain not-so-nice purple someone as well?!

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE #0 from IDW Publishing is completely FREE, as it's part of Free Comic Book Day 2016!

Free Comic Book Day: For those who might be new to your comic book, give us a quick rundown of the story.

Georgia Ball: Strawberry Shortcake and her friends live in an idyllic country town with no commute, plenty of sunshine and the whiff of fresh-baked muffins hanging in the air. Everyone owns their own business: Strawberry is a talented baker, Lemon is an artistic hair stylist, Orange is a practical general store manager and Sweet and Sour Grapes own a food truck and Strawberry's cousin Apple Dumpling has a travel blog. They're regular girls who love their cell phones, pizza and mystery novels, but they also love spending time together and supporting each other. Sometimes they cause their own problems and sometimes they have to join forces against a common enemy.

Free Comic Book Day: What has been your favorite part of the book or character to tackle?

Georgia Ball: We've brought the villains back! Not everyone in Berry Bitty City is a good person and not every conflict is a regretful misunderstanding. Strawberry and her friends will have to overcome very real obstacles put in place by unscrupulous people. They'll have to deal with business rivals, ruthless salespeople and even a certain peculiar individual who's always looking for success at Strawberry's expense.

Amy Mebberson:  I relish any opportunity to draw a female cast being kind and loyal and resourceful, but also FUNNY. Strawberry Shortcake was a huge part of my childhood in the 80's and I'm honoured to be able to carry on this adorable cast of characters into their 21st century incarnations.

Free Comic Book Day: What initially got you interested in comics?

Georgia Ball: My parents gave me a stack of Archie and Harvey comics when I was a toddler, and when I was old enough to spend my own money I started buying 80s licensed comics like Care Bears, Barbie, Misty and… Strawberry Shortcake. I stopped reading comics when they left the newstands but renewed my interest in college with indy titles like 'Bone' and 'Strangers in Paradise.'

Amy Mebberson:  When I was little, a book in my parents' bookcase always stuck out for me. The spine read "Krazy Kat". That's odd, little Amy thought, that's not how you spell it. I pulled it out and discovered the surreal dreamy world of a kat, a mouse and a brick, created by George Herriman. From there, my love was the funny pages, especially Peanuts and Garfield. 

Free Comic Book Day: What other titles would you compare to yours? “If a comic reader likes _______ , they should pick up my title"?

Georgia Ball: 'My Little Pony' has a similar focus on friendships between young girls, but there aren't very many comics like this one on the shelves. It has even more in common with domestic manga titles like 'Yakitate!! Japan' which mixes character stories with baking competitions.

Free Comic Book Day: Tell fans why they should pick your book first on Free Comic Book Day!

Georgia Ball: There is no better reason to pick up this book than Amy Mebberson. The colors and adorable character drawings will be the first thing you see, but a closer look reveals Amy’s brilliant character acting. There's no script I could write that would equal how much detail Amy can add to a story, like intricate backgrounds, small gestures of emotion and gags you might not even notice the first time through.

Amy Mebberson:  People should grab Strawberry Shortcake because little girls need to know there are comics for them, too. There is always room for more female-led comics and that should also include cute ones about sweets and how to run a successful business when your town is populated by small bipedal berry-creatures. Georgia's stories are a joy to draw.

Free Comic Book Day: What is your favorite part about Free Comic Book Day?

Georgia Ball: Watching kids who may not frequent comic book stores come in and pick up an issue! I’m a loud advocate for children’s comics on social media, Free Comic Book Day is an important day for reaching out and finding new readers.

Amy Mebberson:  The best thing is seeing families with kids come in and check out comics for the first time. Georgia and I do a lot of licensed work and when a kid enters a new place like a comic shop and is thrilled to find their favourite characters there for them with new stories, then we've done our job.

Free Comic Book Day: Where do you plan to spend Free Comic Book Day?

Georgia Ball: I'll be at Jetpack Comics as a special guest at the Rochester Free Comic Book Day Festival!

Amy Mebberson:  I will be in two SoCal locations on FCBD: 9-11am at Nuclear Comics and Skate (Laguna Niguel), then 11.30am-close at Beach Ball comics (Anaheim).

Find a comic shop near you to celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2016!


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