Women in Comics Month: Interview with Sierra Hahn
Mar 01, 2018
In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with writer Sierra Hahn!
PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?
Sierra Hahn: BOOM! Studios
PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?
Sierra Hahn: Senior Editor. I manage the Archaia imprint which is predominantly an original graphic novel line, which includes the fantastic Mouse Guard series by David Peterson and The Jim Henson Company titles like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
PREVIEWSworld: Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)
Sierra Hahn: I handle acquisitions, cast creators on to titles, story edit both narratively and visually, and work in tandem with our designers and marketing teams. Essentially, an editor is part of the entire lifespan of a book from inception to on sale.
PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
Sierra Hahn: I simply love working with others. Brainstorming. Sharing ideas. Collaborating. No ego. Just pure jam session. Seeing someone—fellow editor, artist, writer—be their best and level up over time. It’s wildly gratifying to be on the sidelines of someone thriving in their work.
PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?
Sierra Hahn: At Dark Horse Comics I worked on Green River Killer to The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys to Two Brothers. At BOOM!, I recently worked on the graphic novels Jane and Bolivar, but 2018 really showcases the variety and scope of graphic novels Archaia has acquired since I started at BOOM! over two years ago, including A Girl in the Himalayas, Persephone, and About Betty’s Boob to name a few. 2018 is a really big year for us!
PREVIEWSworld: While there are loads of professionals in the comics industry, there are only so many folks who get to do what you do! How did you get started? How did you learn all the skills you needed for your position?
Sierra Hahn: I started working in comics in 2005. I attended a Publishing Course offered through Columbia University’s Journalism School, which led me to my hero of comics — Karen Berger when she was still running Vertigo. Upon meeting her and bonding over a mutual deep love of the medium, she kindly recommended me for a publicity job at DC Comics. That job introduced me to my favorite storytellers in the industry, taught me a huge amount about marketing books, and positioned me to be mentored by some great editors until I found a good fit editorially. I eventually moved to Dark Horse Comics to begin my editing career in 2007.
PREVIEWSworld: Please tell us about the coolest experience you’ve ever had thanks to your job.
Sierra Hahn: I grew up reading comics because my big brother was the cooooolest. I’d accompany him to the comic shop and get my copy of Amethyst (edited by Karen Berger) or ElfQuest. Once I was in college, my brother would send me new titles to check out: Y The Last Man, Fables, 100 Bullets, Hellboy. He took me to my first conventions. So when I found myself working in the comics industry, I wanted to pay my brother back for nurturing my reading habits and eventual career. Getting him, his wife, and kids into San Diego Comic Con, introducing him to Guillermo del Toro, or my nieces to Gerard Way . . . those are pretty profound moments to share with people you love and have fostered your own passions.
PREVIEWSworld: If you had one comics-related wish—no limits—what would it be?
Sierra Hahn: My wish would be that Americans respected the medium of comics and graphic novels with the level of care and intrigue as readers of Manga in Japan and Bandessine in France. Comics are for everyone and are as valuable, insightful, beautiful, and fun as any other form of entertainment.