This week, we’re joined by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock: the dynamic duo responsible for Compass South and Knife’s Edge, which really should be on your reading list if they’re not already. Larson’s previous books include Chiggers, Mercury, Salamander Dream, A Wrinkle in Time, and the current Batgirl run for DC Comics. Mock is an established illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time, and lots of other (really impressive) places.
Their Four Points graphic novel series is about 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra Dodge, and if those aren’t names immediately evocative of an old-fashioned 1930s high adventure, I don’t know what is. The story takes place in 1860, and Alex and Cleo have spent much of their lives on their own. Orphaned by their mother while still babies, they joined the Black Hook Gang after their father mysteriously disappeared. A series of circumstances forces Cleo to impersonate a boy, and their adventures take them around the globe. It’s an amazingly fun story that recalls some of the best serials from the early days of radio and pulp fiction—yet it still feels fresh and completely relevant.
On this episode, we talk about the books, their creative fears and strengths, diving headlong into such a big project (Compass South was Mock’s first book), writing a major superhero for DC, and backpacking around Asia.