Meredith Finch isn’t yet one of the most well-known name in comics, but she’s shown she at least has good taste in comic artists, she even married one. The wife of David Finch hasn’t been working as long in the industry as her husband, but she’s already established herself as an author that can take on comics’ biggest names with the skill and ease of a seasoned pro. Coming up, she’s got Catwoman: Election Night, but during a press availability at Fan Expo Canada we asked Finch about her tenure with husband/artist David on Wonder Woman. What was it like to work on a book with her husband, to work on such an iconic character like Wonder Woman, and whether it takes a woman to write a female superhero.
So what was it like to go from husband and wife to artist and writer while working on Wonder Woman?
“Working on Wonder Woman together was very seamless, I think that’s because we had already established a business relationship on top of our personal relationship. I’ve been running Dave’s website, doing sales, and managing the conventions, and we have two different strengths, so we have a “you do what you do best, and I do what I do best” dynamic, and we never step on each other’s toes. So it worked really well on Wonder Woman because he’s been in the business for 20 years so I am not going to step on his toes from an artistic point of view. He’s the expert, and he gave me the room and freedom to tell the story that I wanted to tell with Wonder Woman because he’s the one that pushed me into writing to begin with saying, ‘I fell like you’re a really good writer, you should get into the industry,’ and he’s the one that pushed me to take that leap. Everybody can thank Dave, and if they didn’t like it, they can blame Dave.” (Laughs)
What was her reaction to being asked to work on Wonder Woman?
“My first response was ‘No way’ because I was such a new writer at the time. How do I go from working on books that were very small to the most iconic female character and then follow up a run that was so critically acclaimed? And then I thought to myself, ‘If I say no, I might never ever get a chance to write this character again, and I would rather fall flat on my face trying.’”
Did Finch ever second guess herself while working on Wonder Woman? Was she influenced by fan reaction?
“I feel really fortunate because we had started the story six months before the first issue came out, so by the time November came we already had three issues done and that train was rolling down the hill and there was no derailing it. I think as a new writer, on that character, I would have been heavily influenced by fan reaction in terms of who they thought that character was and there were definitely moments where I was on the book second guessing myself. But you really have to have faith in yourself, and your vision for the character, and maybe there are people who are long time Wonder Woman fans who don’t necessarily agree with what you’re doing, but there maybe other people that are reading Wonder Woman for the first time and you’re bringing them in. It’s really a balancing act because you can’t please everyone, and you have to be aware that what you’re putting out there at the end of the day is the best you can do and it will stand for what it is.”
On Catwoman: Election Night, and how she came up with the story.
“I had the amazing opportunity to take one of Scott Snyder’s writing classes because I do feel that as a new writer I want to take and learn all that I can. I didn’t go to school to be a writer, I went to school to be a scientist so I maybe don’t have the same craft background that other writers do, and that maybe put me at a disadvantage. As part of that class you have to write several scripts, and as I was writing this Catwoman script I was like, ‘I kind of really enjoy this character.’ It’s kind of fun that a Canadian is writing an American election story, so I think it lends me a kind of impartiality to poke fun in a way that an American tied up in the race right now might not. Penguin’s in there, and I’ll let you guess what candidate he might be for.”
And finally, does it take a female comic book writer to do a female superhero justice on the page?
“I have to be honest because I think that writing Wonder Woman, as a woman, I did have a different take. I looked at her as juggling all these things the same way that I do as a mom: balancing being Queen of the Amazons, a member of the Justice League, being God of War, that’s my life except I’m a mom and I write and I deal with so many things. I have to deal with this guy [points to husband David Finch] and keep him on schedule. Everyday his editor’s phoning me… So as much as we want equality, men and women don’t think the same way and I wanted to bring a female perspective to her. I wanted her to cry. Men don’t want to write about woman crying because it’s perceived as a sign of weakness, but women don’t cry because we’re weak, it gives us emotional strength to be able to let that out, pick yourself up and move on. At the same time though, I would never want anyone to say to me that I can’t write a male character because you’re a woman and there’s nothing you can add to it. So at the end of the day I always want the best person. I always want to look for that, because if you don’t do that you’re not being fair to the characters.”