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How a Star Wars writer partnered with his daughter to create an all-ages horror comic in A Haunted Girl

Naomi Sacks brought a youthful influence and personal experience while working on A Haunted Girl with her dad, Ethan Sacks.

Cover for A Haunted Girl by Naomi Sacks and Ethan Sacks.
Image credit: Image Comics

When it comes to comics, Ethan Sacks could tackle the worlds of Marvel and Star Wars alongside his fellow collaborators. However, when he began developing A Haunted Girl from Image Comics, he realized he needed to bring in outside help to make a more authentic story. That help came in the form of his daughter, Naomi. At the ALA Annual Conference, the pair discussed how the series came together.

The main protagonist is a 16-year-old girl named Cleo who suffers from anxiety and depression. For five years, Ethan and artist Marco Lorenzana, worked on A Haunted Girl, and during that time, Ethan always worried he was out of touch with how teens spoke and acted. He pictured himself as Steve Buscemi in the “How do you do, fellow kids'' meme. His daughter, Naomi came onboard and Ethan admitted, “[b]asically every line of dialog, personalities, everything for any character under the age of 40 came from her.”

Naomi provided more than a youthful influence, playing a significant role in shaping the therapist, Marcie. Through the character, she wanted to remove the intimidating stigma of therapy. Naomi said, “My priority for Marcie is her being funny and her being warm.” She drew inspiration from her own therapist who makes jokes and has fun.

At least there can be some light in A Haunted Girl. It wrestles with heavy and dark themes of mental health through a horror lens. Maybe it helps keep you grounded while writing in that space if you're working with a loved one.

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About ALA Annual 2024




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United States

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