The B&N Podcast: Marjorie Liu on Making a World of Her Own in “Monstress”

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

Many readers know Marjorie Liu from her New York Times bestsellers in the Hunter Kiss series and the Dirk and Steele urban fantasy series, but she is also a prolific and masterful writer of comics, including X-23, Black Widow and the Star Wars Han Solo miniseries. But it’s with Monstress, created in partnership with the artist Sana Takeda, that Liu has brought her readers into an extraordinary new world, a massive and lush epic fantasy to rival anything in prose, covering topics like slavery, war and race, set against a background of monsters and mythology. She joins B&N’s James Killen in this episode to talk about her award-winning comic and the obsessions behind her magnificent imagination.


The richly imagined world of Monstress is an alternate matriarchal 1900s Asia, with an art deco-infused steampunk aesthetic that’s brimming with arcane dangers. Within it, a teenage girl struggles to overcome the trauma of war, a task that’s made all the more difficult by her mysterious psychic link to an eldritch monster of tremendous power-a connection that will transform them both, and place them in the crosshairs of both human and otherworldly powers.

Creator/writer Marjorie Liu (who made history as the first woman to win an Eisner Award for Best Writer) and creator/artist Sana Takeda present a deluxe, oversized hardcover edition of their beloved breakout comic in MONSTRESS BOOK ONE. Collecting the first 18 issues of the New York Times bestselling series, this massive edition features a striking new cover, as well as special extras, including never-before-seen sketches, script pages, and more for over 500 pages of award-winning content.

2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Writer
2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Continuing Series
2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Publication for Teens
2018 Eisner Award winner, Best Cover Artist
2018 Harvey Award winner, Book of the Year
2018 Hugo Award winner, Best Graphic Story
2018 British Fantasy Award winner, Best Comic/Graphic Novel
2018, 2016, 2015 Entertainment Weekly’s The Best Comic Books of the Year
2018, Newsweek’s Best Comic Books of the Year
2018, The Washington Post’s 10 Best Graphic Novels of the Year
2018, Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year
2018, YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens
2018, Thrillist’s Best Comics & Graphic Novels of the Year
2018, Powell’s Best Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Graphic Novels of the Year

This exclusive Barnes & Noble edition is signed by Marjorie Liu and contains postcards featuring the artwork of series’ artist Sana Takeda!

Explore more comics and graphic novels by Marjorie Liu here.

Explore her fantasy fiction written as Marjorie M. Liu here. Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.