Have you ever thought of approaching another comix publisher with Manya? Is VP Books going to handle bookstore distribution?
DRESEN: Not really. We like being in total control of our product. Sure, VP Books can handle bookstore distribution. If not, we'll find someone who can.
BENKA: We've toyed with the idea of approaching another publisher, but mostly for our other projects. We've enjoyed the creative control and flexible deadlines VP Books provides. We're pretty content, but make us an offer!
How did the Ms. Magazine write-up happen? What other press has Manya received?
BENKA: We were thrilled to be sharing space in such a cool mag with such a bunch of cool comix women. Our appearance in this article was due almost singularly to Kris's social skills.
DRESEN: I think that a friend of the woman who wrote the article, Marjorie Ingall, turned her on to Manya. She contacted us and that was that.
A few years ago we were featured on the Anti-Gravity Room. That was...horrifying. Yow. I don't like being on TV. Even on obscure Canadian cable TV!
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a really neat-o feature article about us a few years ago. There was a short piece in the Progressive about falling. We've gotten your typical short reviews in our local alternative papers. Our names turn up in the Comics Journal every once in a while. Quite a few of the better-known alternative comix folks have been kind enough to mention our stuff. And I find all sorts of mentions and reviews of our stuff all over the Internet. Jen and I are pretty surprised by the amount of press we get with little or no effort on our part. I guess that says something about our books...ya think?
What's next for Manya?
BENKA: A collection of the first several books with some new pieces and editorializing; a longer book, Map to the Moon; a regularly updated website with new pieces and surprises; a paper doll?
DRESEN: Well, Map to the Moon, the long-awaited new Manya book is in the process of being drawn. The book is much longer than the previous Manyas since we're now going with the graphic novel format. Hopefully, if all goes well, the collected Manya book will be out in September or so and Map will follow around the new year. Jen claims to have the next Manya book already conceived in her head. I told her not to tell me about it until I finish Map!
We're also doing single page Manya strips exclusively for the website. After every dozen or so we'll collect them in a short book so you can own and cherish them.
Hmmmm...Y'know, I think Manya boxer shorts would be pretty nifty...