Learn more about the female graphic novel artist Teri S. Wood

Wandering Star has a home at Dover Books

The 1980s and 90s sci-fi story now available for all lovers of comics.

Written years before its time and destined to be timeless, Dover is pleased to offer pioneering comic Wandering Star in one volume. Fans old and new will be thrilled with the collection. Reviewers like Win Wiacek and Lenny Schwartz at Forces of Geek are already thrilled, as is Terry Moore, creator of Strangers in Paradise and Rachel Rising.

We were able to talk to author Teresa Challender, who published Wandering Star under the name Teri S. Wood. What follows are her answers from an e-mail interview.

Dover: How have things changed for graphic novel/comic book writers and artists since you got your start?

Teresa Challender: The main thing that strikes me is how well comics are received by the general public these days. Back in the 90s, comics were strictly for kids. Few people over age 16 would admit to reading them, and it was a “dirty little secret” if you did.

Now there is a new comics-inspired movie/television series out practically every season. And everyone shares their favorite web comics on Facebook. Comic books are in!

I find this incredibly strange. When I was creating Wandering Star, trying to explain what I did for a living, that I was writing a comic that was not for kids, led to all kinds of problems. The most common was the assumption that if it was not for kids then it had to be XXX/Adult. No one seemed to be able to imagine anything else. And … after a while, I just told people that I worked in a deli.

D: How has your perception of your own work changed? Do you notice things now in Wandering Star that you weren’t aware of when you first published?

TC: The biggest surprise was the discovery of how much of my own life is mirrored there. It hadn’t been my intention, and I was oblivious. But now, when I look back, I can see it clearly, and it’s a bit startling. I suspect it happens to all writers, as stories grow from one’s experiences, but I hadn’t realized how true that was for my own work until I began re-reading Wandering Star.

D: What were your favorite books when you were a kid?

TC: The first book that jumps to mind is A Wrinkle in Time. Then The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And I absorbed any Star Trek book I could find. I think they all left a fingerprint on Wandering Star.

D: This reissue of Wandering Star will make your fans happy as well as bring in new readers. What would you like readers, both old and new, to take away from your work?

TC: The message I hope readers take away from Wandering Star is that no matter what happens in your life, it is possible to survive it. Do Not Lose Hope. The key, as Jared Padalecki from the series “Supernatural” says, is to “Always Keep Fighting.”

D: Can you share information about current and future projects?

TC: What I’d like to tell readers is to stop by my website at teriwood.com. I have a whole section designed to be a supplement to the Dover Omnibus, filled with things that just couldn’t fit — because, good golly, it’s already a huge, brick of a book! On the site, they’ll find a historical section and issue number two of the 1988 small press book, plus various comic strips and art I’ve done over the last decade. And hopefully, one day soon, news of another large comic book project.