Episode 463 – Sophia Glock

Virtual Memories Show 463:
Sophia Glock

“My dad taught me that nobody’s watching you; they’re all thinking about themselves. There’s a lot of freedom in that.”

With her wonderful new YA graphic memoir PASSPORT (Little, Brown Young Readers), Sophia Glock recounts a key moment from her teenage years: the discovery that her parents were intelligence officers for the CIA. We talk about the need to tell her story and that of the lives that touched her in the city of [REDACTED], the choice of writing for a YA audience, and what she learned to show vs. tell. We get into the challenge of maintaining the voice of adolescent Sophia without letting contemporary Sophia intrude, what embarrassed her most about revisiting those years, what it’s like to have created the only comic to be reviewed by the federal government for classified material, how her parents’ secret lives affected her, and how she managed to make the longest book of her career (and the most deeply personal one). We also discuss her love of the X-Men in the mid-90s and how it launched her into comics (and my own history with those Children of the Atom), how she’s balanced art, work, a newborn, & family mid-pandemic, some tradecraft her parents taught her & the other traits they instilled in her, our respective control issues, what it’s like talking to me without a festival table between us, and more! Give it a listen! And go read Passport!

“YA is not an age-group; YA is a tone.”

“Those everyday humiliations that we went through in high school & with our families were committed by other human beings with heir own humiliations and their own pain. I had to remember that the people I was talking about were humans, with their own stories, their own memoirs. Writing this, I discovered how important compassion is.”

“It’s so tempting to list grievances in a memoir. And that is very boring and incredibly indulgent.”


Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Sophia Glock is a cartoonist who currently lives and mislays her pencils in Austin, TX. Her graphic memoir, Passport, is out now from Little Brown Young Readers. She attended The College of William & Mary and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. Sophia’s comics and cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Narratively, MUTHA Magazine, and Time Out New York. Her work has also been featured in various anthologies including, Ink Brick, Suspect Device, Quarter Moon, DIGESTATE, Rabid Rabbit, and Kilgore Quarterly. Her collection of comics Born, Not Raised was selected to be included in The Society of Illustrators Cartoon and Comics Art Annual 2016 and her short comic The Secrets in My Mother’s Nightstand was shortlisted for The Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic of the Year in 2016. In 2008 she was a recipient of a Xeric Foundation Grant for her comic, The Deformitory.

Follow Sophia on Twitter and Instagram.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Sophia by someone else. It’s on my instagram.

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