Witch and Familiar? But which is witch?

The first book that really inspired me to create for myself was Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. I admired how his characters–kids, like me–were able to create such amazing comics and even rudimentary animation using little more than paper, pencils and a stapler. I thought: if George and Harold could make comics, then so can I! So, after a few failed attempts drawing Bowser and Yoshi, I decided to create my first original, the superhero Aqua Guy. Aqua Guy wore swim trunks and a beach towel cape, could communicate with fish and was an excellent swimmer. That was about it, and yet through preposterous circumstances his powers are always crucial to saving the day (and the beach he life-guarded).

Whenever I write, I try to hold to the spirit that moved through me when I scribbled my first Aqua Guy: creation with reckless abandon, wild and exciting. My plots have gotten more elaborate, and there’s a lot more romance in my books now, but there is something about Aqua Guy’s simplicity that attracts me to this day, and I doubt I’ll ever match his iconic fit.

These days I write stories about the inescapable gravity of our bodies, and the orbits they fall into. I am fascinated by the mundane, yet can’t help but think fantastically. I prefer protagonists with rough edges and villains who are a little sexy. If you choose to read one of my books, I hope that you’ll find something to delight in it, and something that reminds you you are human. And, should one of my books spurn you to create for yourself, I hope you will do so with reckless abandon.


-Emily Riesbeck (they/them, she/her)

Emily Riesbeck is a monster, a haunted doll and an author all in one convenient package. They were born and raised in McHenry, Illinois and live in Chicago with their polycule and cat. They believe in ghosts, aliens and, despite everything, love. When not writing, Emily loves to do silly voices in tabletop roleplaying games. Please ask them about their tabletop OCs.

Some of their favorite novels include Slaughterhouse V, The Bone Ships and The Fifth Season. Their favorite comics include Bone, Starstruck and Hunter x Hunter.

The logo i drew on the back of my comics, generated by me on the school computer, lovingly saved, signed and framed by my mother.