Monday, June 27, 2011

Sarah Litt

"International Woman of Mystery" Sarah Litt is another of Womanthology's secret weapons. As an assistant editor at DC/Vertigo, this self-proclaimed bookworm has edited several titles, including Vixen and The Green Woman.

First thing's first: How did you end up the "International Woman of Mystery"?

HA! I think Will Dennis actually coined that term. I'm not quite sure what I did to earn it, aside from maybe just sitting at my desk quietly. But it's a good title. I think I'll keep it. 

How did comics first enter your life?

I used to read Archie comics when I was younger. Then, in high school, there was Sandman and stuff like that. I stopped reading comics for a while, and then I started working at Vertigo.

You’ve said you always knew you would end up in New York. Why’s that?

My parents grew up in NY; they followed my grandparents when they moved to Florida. So I grew up with what I guess you could call a New York temperament. The kids made fun of me because of the very slight accent I had, because my mother kept her accent. But yeah, I didn't really fit in in Miami, and NY was just a natural fit. I've been here sixteen years. Who knows where I'll end up next.

How would you describe what you do?

My official title is assistant editor. I work on the graphic novels that Vertigo started putting out about three years ago, under the purview of Joan Hilty and Jon Vankin. I oversee a lot of the art, the balloon placements, and of course making sure everything looks and reads the way it's supposed to. I also deal with all of the talent. I've made some very good friends this way.

Why did you get into editing?

I've always loved books and reading. Editing was just sort of a natural fit. It's funny, whenever I run into people who knew me growing up (which happens a LOT), they are never surprised that this is what I do.

Many editors also love writing. Are you one of them?

I used to be one of them. But I had this job as a literary scout, and we would get submissions all the time. And they were bad. Like, a new level of bad. And that's when I realized that maybe being a writer is not for me.

How closely do you work with the writers and artists attached to the titles you edit?

I like to think I work with them closely enough to really get the essence of what they want to do out of them, but still allow them to have their vision. Does that make sense? I call and email and discuss at great lengths various aspects of scripts. I want it to be perfect, but still be a reflection of the creative team. I mean, that's who it's all about. Well, and the readers, but you know what I mean.

Have you ever had to ask for a complete rewrite of a script?

Not a COMPLETE rewrite. But changes. Lots of changes.

How did you hear about Womanthology?

As with most things, I read about it on Twitter. Yay social media. It sounded like an awesome idea. I like awesome ideas. So I volunteered. 

I will only be editing. Unless they want me to draw stick figures. I draw a mean stick figure. 

Womanthology isn’t your first anthology; you also worked on Vertigo’s Strange Adventures. Do you prefer anthologies to standard comic books?

Working as extensively as I have on the graphic novels, I like the break that anthologies give. Plus, it's a challenge for everyone: how do you tell an amazing story in a very limited number of pages.

Finally, what would you say to the aspiring creators trying to break into the comic book industry?

If you're really serious, don't give up. You will hear "no" a LOT. Take time to figure out what your problems are. Have other people read your stuff. Ask questions. But don't give up. It's not easy. But then, nothing worth doing in life ever is. 

In honor of the show that inspired this blog, we'll end with the questionnaire developed by Bernard Pivot:

What is your favorite word?
All of them.

What is your least favorite word?

I don't have problems with any words. I think that is key to being an editor.

What turns you on?


What turns you off?


What sound or noise do you love?

I have to have music playing all the time when I work. So maybe that?

What sound or noise do you hate?

Screeching children.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Baker or pastry chef.

What profession would you not like to do?

My mom always told us money's money. But I'd go with garbageman, due to my fear of rats.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


Can't get enough Sarah Litt? Check out her tumblr page at

Secret Adventures is out in stores now and definitely worth a look! Get to it!

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