Anime Boston 2019: From Anime To Androgyny – A Conversation With Ru Xu

by Tito W. James

At Anime Boston 2019 I had the pleasure of chatting with artist Ru Xu.

Tito W. James: What got you interested in drawing and then drawing professionally?

Ru Xu: Well, I’ve always loved drawing while I was growing up. I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design, which is an art school in Georgia. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in comics.

TWJ: What attracted you to comics? What were some of your favorite comics?

RX: I really liked strip comics growing up like Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield. But what really influenced my decision to draw comics was anime and manga. One of my earliest influences was Sailor Moon and Yu Gi Oh. And everything grew from there.

TWJ: Tell me about some of your current work.

RX: I just wrapped up my graphic novel series Newsprints. It’s about a girl who while disguised as a newsboy uncovers a government secret. The book is published by Scholastic’s graphix imprint.

TWJ: What attracted you to the “girl disguised as boy” archetype?

RX: I’ve always felt drawn to anything that challenges gender roles. I liked the fact that I could have a story about a girl who becomes the first “news girl” in her city.

TWJ: Do you have any advice to aspiring artists and creators?

RX: Yeah, draw what you love to draw.

TWJ: What do you love to draw?

RX: I like drawing characters who are androgynous. I did a centerfold for a book called Valor. It’s a reimagining of classic fairy tales but with a feminist or LGBTQ+ twist.

I also have a webcomic called Saint For Rent which is about an Inn for time travelers. The story is semi-animated with Gifs.

I’d like to thank Ru Xu for taking the time for this interview. You can find her work at saintforrent.com.

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