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Will Eisner Celebration: Natalie Riess

Lauren Kratz, Children's Librarian, Studio City Branch Library,
Natalie Riess

Natalie Riess is an Austin, Texas-based cartoonist and illustrator. Natalie’s popular graphic novel Space Battle Lunchtime Vol. 1 was her first published comic (in 2016) by Oni Press. Natalie uses digital media and watercolor to create her whimsical and vibrant illustrations. Natalie continues to create her award-winning and amusing stories, including the ongoing Space Battle Lunchtime series, Dungeon Critters with her partner Sara Goetter, and her webcomic Snarlbear. Natalie Riess also loves cats, trees, and the color pink.

How did you get into comics?

I always liked reading Sunday comics pages in the newspaper, but as a young teen I discovered the world of webcomics—there were only a handful at the time, but it was really inspiring to see artists at all skill ranges making and self-publishing basically whatever kinds of stories they wanted, online. As a nerdy, art-loving 12-year-old, I hadn’t really considered you could do big comics that aren't about superheroes, and here were people posting their own extremely cool comics about elves and/or cat people that I could read and follow for free. (Also, my local public library had a pretty good graphic novel collection for me to explore further!) I was hooked. I wanted in...

Who encouraged you the most growing up?

When I was 6 or 7, I wrote a story about a girl dragon rescuing a princess from a knight (nothing about me has changed, I guess). My mom typed it up on her cool 90s freelance magazine editing software and printed out a copy for hand-illustration. My family has always been extremely encouraging about this stuff!

"Drawing with friends is a great motivator - I’ve always loved telling stories with people".

Who do you admire?

My co-creator and partner Sara Goetter is a genius, and the funniest and sweetest person I’ve ever met. We are very powerful together! I know this is a sappy answer but it’s hard to talk about my comic work without mentioning her.

What’s your favorite imaginary creature?

I can’t pick between a unicorn or a theoretically something in the middle of those two.

Books by Natalie Riess

Space Battle Lunchtime: Volume One, Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Riess, Natalie

Space Battle Lunchtime: Volume Two, a Recipe for Disaster
Riess, Natalie

Dungeon Critters
Riess, Natalie