WonderCon 2024: Interview with TransCat Creator Knave Murdok

a young trans woman with brown hair and glasses, wearing a purple shirt. One hand has a TransCat comic in it and the other hand is making the peace sign.
Knave Murdok with a TransCat graphic novel. Photo by Angie Fiedler Sutton.

Trans superheroes may be a new thing to some people, but to Knave Murdok it’s been a way of life for over ten years. Murdok is the creator of the comic TransCat.

Murdok was on the panel on trans creators and comics I mentioned in an earlier article, and I managed to find the time to sit down and talk with her at WonderCon.

For those unfamiliar with the comic, I asked Murdok to give the elevator pitch as to the story. “She is a transgender superhero who fights the police and isn’t afraid of anything,” she said. “She is a high schooler at the start of the story, but very quickly transitioned into college. She is doing her best to do well in school, have a romantic life, and use her powers to fight evil. Most often she is hilariously fumbling at all three.”

Normally, I don’t ask authors where they get their ideas, as I know ideas come from all over the place. However, the idea of a trans superhero teen is pretty specific. So I asked. “I wanted to write an autobiography, but my life isn’t that exciting,” Murdok said with a laugh. “So I started writing an autobiography with a lot more jokes and action.”

We next talked about her art style. “The art style is pretty simple,” she said. “I developed it pretty thoroughly over the course of a few years between 2010 and 2013. I kind of figured out what these characters are going to look like and what this world is going to look like. It’s very simple to draw, very easy to consistently draw over and over again. And the story was kind of the same: like I said, it is kind of autobiographical, but with a lot more jokes and a lot more fistfights.”

Murdok has been doing the comic since 2014, but it had been in development for quite a while prior to that. “The story kind of has existed in my brain for a long time before I even set pencil to page for the first time. The character went through a lot of name changes and design changes. But some time in 2013, I kind of nailed down what I wanted this all to look like and started drawing issues one through four all together. And round about May of 2014, it was finished and pressed and out. I took it to my first convention. It was a roaring success, and I knew then that I had to keep going.”

a TransCat comic
Late Late Nite with TransCat. Photo from Knave Murdok’s Facebook page.

With it being ten years since that first comic, I asked what has changed. “So the biggest change is that my main character has finished high school and is going to start college very soon,” Murdok said. “There’s going to be a whole new cast of characters that are introduced when that happens. I’ve bene sketching and theorizing and developing them a lot, and I can’t wait to actually start showing them to people.”

As for the plot, she said, “Things are getting more serious. The first several issues were about her having fun with this secret identity and fighting bad guys. And now she’s thinking about things like, ‘Who do I tell about my secret life? Who can I trust with this information?'”

I asked her how she put together the comic and whether she had a routine. Murdok said, “Usually my routine is I try my best to get everything down in pencil first. Any script revisions that I feel need to be done usually happen after that time, before I start inking. Then I ink and scan and start editing everything in Photoshop. And once I feel like I have a cohesive-looking book that is about 28 pages long, I will send it to press.”

Since the panel Murdok was on talked about trans creators and their influences, I asked her about her influences. “Wendy Carlos was a huge inspiration to me,” she said. “I’m not a musician – she is – but just like the idea of her existing, and the idea that she was a person who was so prominent in the motion picture scene that I grew up loving was very interesting and intriguing to me. It kind of got me on this mode of thinking of, ‘Wow: these things aren’t impossible, are they?'”

Carlos transitioned in the late ’70s, and that had an impact on Murdok as well. “It was like before people really knew anything about anything. Trans culture was very on the down low, it was very underground. And the fact that she was able to live that life and be who she was and prominently work on such high profile motion pictures with high profile directors and actors and be who she was was intriguing and inspiring to me.”

As for what she can tease, Murdok’s issue 13 of TransCat is about to come out. She’s also about to develop the second of the graphic novels, which will be issues 7 through 12. She also mentioned that she has another graphic novel in mind “that is a lot of the side stories that I put out in between issues.”

To learn more about Knave Murdok and TransCat, visit Murdok’s LinkTree.

Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton

Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.

She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at angiefsutton.com.

Help support independent journalism. Subscribe to our Patreon.

Copyright © The Geekiary

Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. If you are reading this anywhere besides TheGeekiary.com, it has been stolen.
Read our policies before commenting. Be kind to each other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.