Nilah Magruder is a writer, artist, and animator. She was awarded the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity for the first chapter of her webcomic, M.F.K, and the first Black woman to write for Marvel Comics in A Year of Marvels, available here. Now, M.F.K. chapters 1-3 are due to be published in a print collection by Insight Comics, arriving in stores in September.
Taking time from her busy schedule, Nilah was kind enough to to answer a few questions for Comicosity on M.F.K, webcomics, and the future.
Kelly Richards: For any new readers, can you tell us a little bit about M.F.K?
Nilah Magruder: M.F.K. is about a 14-year-old girl taking her mother’s ashes back to her homeland, but she gets lost in a sandstorm and a small town takes her in. While there, she discovers that the town is plagued by criminals called rogues who wield superpowers… a trait that she and the rogues have in common.
KR: I’m really enjoying M.F.K. and I cant wait to see where you take it, what would you say were you main influences when writing this story?
NM: I loved action cartoons from a young age. He-Man, She-Ra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men; I was all over that stuff. Then when I got older, I discovered shounen manga: Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Shaman King were huge influences. A lot of action comics and cartoons center on boys, but I knew from the start that I wanted M.F.K. to be about a girl who kicks butt.
KR: Webcomics are certainly having something of a moment at present, especially those which represents people and narratives beyond those that are more readily available in mainstream comics, what are your thoughts on this?
NM: Webcomics benefit from a very low barrier of entry. All you need is a website, a computer, and time. As a creator, you’re not at the mercy of editors and executives, marketing departments, paper costs, or distribution channels. You can put your work online and anyone, anywhere in the world, can access it.
So naturally, there is a wide variety of creators and stories in webcomics, and change there happens much faster than in the bigger comic companies.
KR: What’s next for you, and M.F.K? Any hints for what’s coming up in chapter 4 and beyond?
NM: Abbie’s going to learn a bit about team-building, and get a couple more team members in the process. We haven’t seen the last of that talking cat, either. And soon they will reach the mainland. That’s where the real fun begins! As for me, I’ve got lots of drawing and writing ahead of me. Along with M.F.K., I’m also illustrating Creaky Acres, a middle-grade graphic novel written by Calista Brill. The first book comes out in 2019!
KR: one last question, what does M.F.K. stand for?
NM: I’ll never tell, ohohohohohoho! … Just kidding, I’ll tell eventually, when the time is right…
The collected M.F.K. hits stores September 26, 2017 from Insight Comics and is currently available to pre-order.