Lois Lane is the ultimate journalist. Her characterization changes a lot based on who’s writing her (and how that person feels about feminism), but the one thing that’s been true since the very beginning is her job at The Daily Planet.

I thought of Lois Lane when I was in journalism school. I wanted to be a writer, and in a misguided attempt to be practical, I thought journalism was the way to make it happen. I quickly learned not only what it takes to be a reporter, but also that I absolutely did not have what it takes to be a reporter. The people who can handle the churn of the news cycle as a career might as well be superhuman, which is as saccharine as it is true.

And so I turned to Lois, looking for a pop culture lodestar. Whip-smart, tenacious to a fault, never misses a deadline, something that anyone can aspire to. A human woman so incredible that she’s Superman’s hero. Honestly, what’s not to love?

Years later, when DC asked me if there was a character I wanted to adapt for a middle-grade graphic novel, I didn’t even have to think about it. The idea of exploring not only who Lois was as a kid but who Lois is without the distraction of Clark is the dream.