Fortune favors the bold, and boldness is certainly a key trait of Dante Basco‘s! One time leader of the Lost Boys and crown prince of the Fire Nation, Dante has a career spanning over two and a half decades. He is a Hollywood actor who has become a cult classic and pioneering figure in Asian American cinema. He was first introduced in Steven Spielberg’s fairytale movie Hook, as “Rufio,” aforementioned leader of the Lost Boys, quickly jumped to leading roles like New Line’s Take the Lead, opposite Antonio Banderas, and The Debut, which became the voice of a Filipino American generation. From breakdancing in the streets of San Francisco to starring in movies on the silver screen, Dante Basco has become one of the most recognizable faces in entertainment. I was lucky enough to score five minutes of his time before he was zoomed off to another interview at Emerald City Comic Con.
L: Hi! I’m Leia and since we have so little time, let’s get started!
DB: Hi, Leia! – Zuko voice- “I’m Dante and I’m talking with Leia!”
L: Haha, oh my God, you did the voice! Um, I was reading a recent interview of yours where you were talking about Asians having a place in film (Dante is Filipino American) and I’m noticing that Hollywood seems to be slowly getting the picture that people of color need to have a place in movies too –
L: – and I wanted to know if you have any projects you wanted to do.
DB: Well, there’s lots.I have a company called Kinetic Films that I’m partner of and we do Asian American/Pacific Islander films out of Hawaii, and we’ve done three so far that I’ve co-written some of, produced with my partner James Sereno, and with KevJumba we did Man Up. Me and Kev did Hang Loose together, we did Paradise Broke when it came out. Those are actually all out online. We’re actually funding a film right now for AJ Rafael called Red Roses! We are part of this movement…I created an Asian American arts collective in downtown LA where it’s all about curating, educating, and inspiring the next generation of content creators and it meets on the 8th of every month.You go to WeOwnThe8th.com and it’s about co-opting the 8th of the month for Asian media in America. I’m that generation now where I’m a “young veteran.”
L: What a bizarre sort of title!
DB: – laughs – The world has changed so it’s about getting into the conversation and really understanding that …Hollywood is recognizing that we need to be a part of the system but also we have to recognize that it’s also on us to create the content. It’s not like “oh, Hollywood needs to put us in their movies.” As much as that goes on, it’s still limited to their point of view of who we are as opposed to us as a community, whether it be Asian American, African American, Latino, going, “no, WE have to make content, WE have to be filmmakers.” It’s on us to represent us. It’s not on us to go and say you have to do this for us. That’s not how it works. How it works is we have to write and make the stories and it might start small. It might be a $10,000 project, maybe a $100,000 project. We’re not coming off the blocks making million dollar films and it’s okay! We have to create the stars and stories from our own experiences and not have the system dictate to us. You know what I’m saying?
L: Absolutely. It’s so important to find our point of views in media, especially for kids. I’m sure you get a lot of kids coming up to you and they’re probably ecstatic to see representation in you.
DB: It’s a LOT of kids!
L: My other question is with big franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, they’re putting more and more Asians into their films. How does that effect you as an actor?
DB: EXCITED! You know, it’s great. There’s so many great franchises that you grew up watching and you were in. Like, we all saw ourselves in them in our minds, but to see it actually happening on screen is just great. To be credited as a pioneer that helped usher in this wave of change is also cool. To be part of a franchise like…Avatar the Last Airbender, which is like a Star Wars for its own generation and being a pivotal piece of that, wow. It’s dream come true kind of stuff. I can’t wait to be a part of this future.
As much as I wanted to continue talking with Dante, his other obligations beckoned and I can successfully mark this interview off my bucket list.
Note: Interviews transcribed from audio are edited for clarity only.
Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian writer and artist. She worked in the animation industry for several years before transitioning into writing and drawing comics full time in 2008. Originally, her webcomics were “for fun” while in college, but eventually published her first work, Zombies Calling (SLG Publishing), in 2007. Since then, she has published a number of other graphic novels, including The War at Ellsmere (SLG), Friends with Boys (First Second Books), and The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Dark Horse Comics), which won her an Eisner in 2014.
Her latest work debuted at Emerald City Comic Con, a story about an unlikely friendship called The Nameless City.
L: The first work of yours I was exposed to was Adventures of Superhero Girl, which was so lighthearted and fun among gritty tales and space westerns from all of the indie publications. Did you have a hard time finding an audience for your work?
FEH: Honestly, no, and that was the surprising thing. I agree with you that right now there is a focus on realism, especially in superhero comics. The success of Superhero Girl has been astonishing to me. I made it for myself, since it’s basically my take on superheroes and I wanted to have fun with the tropes of the genre. I wanted this character to be…I don’t know, I see myself in her. She has this thing that she really loves. She loves the idea of being a superhero, she wants to be a superhero, but she’s young and inexperienced and struggling to do that well. I ended up putting the comic online and was just shocked by the response online and it was cool that people found it funny. I feel like now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something gritty, but I definitely think there’s an audience and place for this lighter fare, with things out there like Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It’s so much fun! People really like that kind of thing, and they’re hungry for it, so no, no problem finding an audience!
L: I actually use The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl to sell Adventures of Superhero Girl in my store, like if people need something else to read along those veins! When you first started out, was the comics industry alienating at all?
FEH: No, absolutely not! Comics have been really good to me. It’s been incredibly welcoming and now that I’m a published writer, I feel like I have a voice in comics. The Nameless City is my eleventh book, and it’s been a positive experience.
L: And you do comics full-time now, right?
FEH: I’ve been doing them full-time since 2008, so it’s been eight whole years!
L: What kind of schedule do you keep, or is just a matter of getting yourself motivated to write whenever?
FEH: I definitely keep a schedule, where I work six days a week and keep regular hours. I wake up, exercise, and try to be at my desk by a certain hour, take a break for lunch. I had an intense schedule the last eight months or so finishing up the second Nameless City book, and just worked crazy hours. I absolutely recommend to anyone trying to do comics full-time to keep a schedule. It’s important for your well-being and mental health.
L: Did you do everything yourself, from writing to drawing to coloring?
FEH: I didn’t do the coloring myself, because I’m really slow and I would much rather work with someone who actually knows what they’re doing! – laughs-
FEH: I do both actually. I do thumbnails and I do my script by hand. I fill a spiral notebook with thumbnails and very rough dialogue and then I go type it up and give it to my editor. Once it’s approved, I start pencilling and inking.
L: Do you have a project in the future that pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you in a different way?
FEH: The Nameless City is that for me! It’s a fantasy world that’s historically based. It was based on my interest in 13th century China and it’s a story with a lot of challenging themes. There’s this city that’s a place of conflict with strife and racism and I wanted to deal with those issues in a way that was thoughtful and challenging. Hopefully I did! We will see what readers and reviewers say!
L: As far as your work on adaptations, for instance, The Last of Us: American Dreams, did you get to play the game prior to working on the story?
FEH: I did not, because the game was not yet finished! What I was given when I started working with the game’s writer, he basically gave me the script. I got to know the story and the characters, but yeah, it wasn’t quite finished, and what actually happened, he brought in this character that we’d created for the comic into the game’s narrative, which was really wonderful. I definitely got to be privy to NaughtyDog’s creative process. I have since played it and it is super scary though. I’m a total chicken when it comes to horror. It was a rough one to get through, even though my favorite game of all time is Resident Evil 4 for some reason.
L: Do you have a favorite thing to draw, whether it’s something you doodle or otherwise?
FEH: You’re going to laugh at this, but my favorite thing to draw is people having deep emotions. I love the scenes in any of my graphic novels where people are going through a lot of emotions, right? I really like drawing people in the middle of huge emotional breakdowns. For me, the best way to convey emotions is to decompress a scene and give characters time to react and act it out on a page, so it’s like…I have a joke. When I do a graphic novel it’s like 250 pages long and you get 50 pages of plot and 200 pages of people staring at each other. – laughs-
L: Are you ever conscious of inserting yourself into your stories?
FEH: I’ve drawn myself and my friends in the background of a couple of scenes, like in Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong, there’s a crowd scene at a robotics competition and I drew all of my friends in one scene. I do it so I don’t have to come up with designing characters!
L: My last question is what are you currently reading that you would recommend?
FEH: I have con brain at the moment, but I just finished the fourth trade of Ms. Marvel. Oh my gosh, I’m completely blanking! Oh! I’m reading this manga called A Silent Voice, that is so good and will break your heart. I’m really into that series, and I think it’s amazing.
Be sure to check out The Nameless City, which is now in local comic shops everywhere! It’s an amazing story and worth your money!
Camilla d’Errico is an urban contemporary painter, illustrator, character creator and comic artist residing in Vancouver, Canada. With roots in comics, Camilla’s work is seen on toys, clothes, accessories and more. She has been published by Random House/Watson Guptill books, Boom! Studios, Image Comics, IDW, Dark Horse Comics and more, with self-publishing roots for her literature-inspired series, Tanpopo. Camilla has distinguished herself as one of the breakthrough artists in Pop Surrealism’s New Figurative movement through her ability to seamlessly weave manga and western styles with surrealist elements, wrapping it together with an extensive emotional palette. Camilla’s unique style bridges cultural and geographical boundaries, working with creative partners Hasbro, Disney, Mattel, Coastal and more, while remaining totally relevant to today’s varied audience. Ever the prolific artist, Camilla lives the double life of comic artist/creator and New Brow painter, while expanding her horizons to include fashion, music, merchandise and designer toys.
I sat down with Camilla during a brief moment of down time during Emerald City Comic Con, literally seated on this gorgeous, vintage looking, re-upholstered chair printed with her art.
L: Wow, this is just…beautiful. These chairs are for sale?
CD: Yeah, I would like to do two a year! I was talking to Rubbish Rehab, a local company that makes them, and this is the first time we’ve had them available at the show. They sold so fast, and we had people ask to do more, and I’d love to bring more vintage chairs, and have them every year from now on.
L: Would you do different styles of chair?
CD: All styles. They did a throne for me, and it was the nicest thing. I wish I had a promotional photo seated in it.
L: All of you art has this sort of wide-eyed doll-like appearance. Is this something you pulled from yourself? Now that I’ve seen you in person, I can see you in these!
CD: Oh, really? That’s so funny. You’re making me blush! No, I’ve had people say that I look like my art, which I think is a huge compliment, cause they’re like, big doe-eyed adorable girls! I do have big eyes, but you know, the only time I realized I had big eyes was when I went to Taipei and the people there would tell me!
L: Do you use yourself as a model?
CD: Noooo, no, no. Not at all. Actually, I try to avoid getting photographed or recorded or even like, mirrors. I’m just not…I just try to see the world around me, I don’t actually look at myself, like for inspiration.
L: I noticed you’ve done some fantasy art, some anime inspired art, is there a favorite genre for you?
CD: I definitely like the melting colors right now. I finished work for my solo show and I melted so many colors into these multiple paintings…I can’t get enough, I can’t stop. I’m completely inspired by seeing different colors blending together, or just in contrast! Seeing color with weight, um, it’s just part of my obsession with wanting to eat color, which you can’t cause it’s toxic, ha ha. It totally looks like candy. These girls are like the fantasy I want, they get to experience and taste melting color.
L: So, you use traditional mediums when painting! I don’t know why I thought you did it all digital. Do you prefer oil, or acrylic?
CD: I use oils AND acrylics. There’s also this brand I use called Holbein Duo and it’s oil paint you can blend with water. It’s unbelievable.
L: How do you determine your color palette? Is it dependable on the subject, or the individual piece?
CD: I’m always going for bright. I try to blend it, so that it’s in contrast. I’ll have my muted colors and then mix the rich and vibrant. If I try to do it all vibrant, it gets lost. You don’t know where to focus the eye, but if you use, like, the Paint Catcher, there’s lots of pinks and reds and her face is really muted. I try to keep it a good balance. I love hearing people’s interpretations of my art.
L: I know you’ve done some comic art for different publishers, but would you be interested in taking on one of the younger heroes from Marvel or DC?
CD: I’ve done SOME superhero stuff, but I haven’t been asked to do any lately. If Marvel was like, “Hey, let’s see your version of Spider-Gwen,” I would be like heck yeah! Spider-Gwen is right up my alley. I would die.
L: What other projects do you have in the works, aside from your upcoming show?
CD: In July, I’m debuting my very first adult coloring book! I’m so excited!!
L: How have your fan experiences been? Are there any particular memorable encounters?
CD: Yeah! People overwhelm me when they bring me presents, or tell me stories of how my art has affected them, and I have these two fans that are just the cutest. They are from Costa Rica and they bring me these chocolates and coffee. I’m always like, “YOU GUYS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!” Two years ago at San Diego Comic Con, we did this Zombie Escape run together. It was amazing and I…I left them behind. Oh my God, I totally left them for dead! – laughs- It was so high intensity. There’s dozens of zombies, and army guys. I had to leave them behind. I felt so bad even though it’s like, the apocalypse.
L: You did what you had to do. It was a people eat people world!! Let’s talk about about the expansion of your art into various other merchandise. You mentioned elsewhere that your dream is to make clothes, and it looks like you’ve brought that dream to fruition!
CD: Goldbubble and Nuvango carry my stuff!! I would love to do a lolita dress. I would do the coolest lolita dress!! I would just love to do high fashion too, THAT’s my real dream project. The scarves we just put out are just beautiful. Every year I try to branch out and do something different, so I don’t know. Maybe next year I will actually get to do runway dresses. How cool would that be?
L: It sounds like it’d be pretty cool! I just noticed you did a Sailor Moon piece, and I’m curious as to what you enjoy or gravitate towards personally.
CD: In my personal life, oh man, I am super obsessed with anything supernatural, especially vampires. I wish I was vampire, and like if you ever meet a vampire, let me know. I would so turn to the dark side, which would go against my color palette, but you know, whatever! I love all of that. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts…all of it. I would turn my husband because we said, “Til death do us part.”
L: That is hilarious! Since we are out of time, how do you get yourself in the mood to draw? Do you find yourself inspired and immediately go to put it on paper?
CD: Well, it depends. Usually if I’m on a deadline, I put on audiobooks, like Harry Potter, or Driving Mr. Dead, an awesome vampire book by the way, and I’ll get my latte going. I’ll just start drawing and create.
Rainbow Children and Pop Painting are the latest books of art from Camilla, and are both now available on her website! If you’re local to Los Angeles, her solo show at Corey Helford Gallery opens April 23rd!
Continuing our theme of Togetherness this November, our next staff interview pair is Kaitlyn and Kimmie. Read on to find out how Kaitlyn feels about her work on Game of Theories and how she became known as “The Red Pen Of Justice.”
Start us off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, what’s your job class, and why don’t you remember the nickname I gave you?
Clearly I’m Kaitlyn, Content Editor lvl 10 hailing from the lowlands of New York. It’s Kait or Kaitlyn, The Un-Nicknameable. I don’t remember this moniker because you never gave me one. That or I’m a replicant.
You’ve been with us, in your words, just short of from the beginning. How and why did you end up joining?
In your “Meet Kimmie” feature, you mentioned how the site started as a reaction to some shenanigans over at a fledgling blog. Like most things, I believe I was bugged into applying to that site by Leia. By the time I had written a sample piece, the site had imploded and you two started what would become Sub-Cultured. By this point I had developed an immunity to Leia’s bugging, so it took her a few months of evolved tactics for her to convince me to apply to your team, which led to years of fun and new levels of Leia poking me to get my shit together. Hope I was worth it.
What is it that you do for Sub-Cultured?
A few months ago, I was crowned content editor and vassal lord. Basically, while still contributing reviews, opinions, interviews etc, I’m also the main editor for the team. Proudly, I also can say that I’ve written some episodes of Game of Theories and contributed and edited others. Also, when fans ask us content questions or offer critique on the youtube pages, it’s generally me responding to them (thus the mask of anonymity is cast off) Basically, if Kimmie’s tongue is twisting around ridiculous alliteration, I wrote it.
You’ve referred to yourself as “The Red Pen Of Justice.” How did that name come about and how has it applied to Sub-Cultured?
Arrogance, it came about from arrogance. But actually, the process of writing and researching for the Game of Theories’ scripts is something I find really interesting and I’d love to do a behind the scenes feature in the future because we’ve really developed a great system. I started calling myself that because I claimed red Google doc ink as my note color because A) red is brutal and B) I used to work at a college and did a lot of proofing and editing of papers for students. “Justice”…well from years of experience both with others’ work and my own, I think it can be clear when something is unclear and rushed through, so often my comments or notes are just “vague” or snarkily “wat,” because often writers know when they just shrugged and ended an incomplete thought with a period just to move on with their day. Not on my watch. I speak for the trees… err words. Of course, I will often argue substituting one word for another for an entire essay long-rant that no one asked for, but even Batman’s unquenchable pursuit of justice must annoy the League once and awhile.
I love writing and I think that crafting an argument and presenting information is equal parts art and logic, and I love editing because it requires a split mind between writer and reader, which is a challenge. For Game of Theories, for instance, once the massive amount of research is completed, the information has to be presented in an interesting and effective way, so the execution of writing a script is like a puzzle. It’s fun, and through editing I know I’ve become a better writer. I hope the team feels the same way and has improved with my feedback.
What is it like to work with a team that is mostly virtual? How do Wildlings get internet signals North of The Wall?
World Wide Weirwood Network, Duh. But honestly, spearwives are busy, yo. Balancing school, work, occasional bullshit time would render working on SC stuff pretty impossible if we didn’t have a really great system for working collaboratively on projects. Kimmie and Leia are like masters at the long form post for updates and are incredibly amazing at asking for and taking in feedback. They are the headmistresses, but Sub-Cultured is a team machine, and is really only possible because everyone is enthusiastic and supportive of each other. Collaboration isn’t about live and real-time work, it’s about respecting and working with different people and opinions, which also means working with different schedules and real life stuff.
You’ve mentioned before that you’re “going dark” for Star Wars. What does that entail and how have you been handling it?
Well I wrote a whole post about it but simply, I’m not an anti-spoiler fanatic, but I often avoid trailers for movies that I want to see. Speculation just really isn’t my jam.
In the case of Star Wars, which sits pretty high on my list of things that I care about, I have full faith in the franchise and where it is heading, and I want to sit in that theater and be completely surprised, and I just don’t think that is possible with a head full of internet leaks and images. I cried when I saw that first trailer, they don’t need to advertise to me any more than that.
Old Gods, Faith of the Seven, or Red God?
Ha, well despite my wildling nature, I love the Faith of the Seven in the novels. The depiction Maiden, Mother, and Crone (besides being an awesome name for an all-female metal band) is beautiful to me, and I love the similar depictions of the Fates in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
I’ve mentioned to you before that I think you’re a Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. Dry and no-nonsense, but with a loveable streak. If you could describe yourself with a fictional character, who would come the closest?
Ha, well once you told me that and I finally watched all of Parks and Rec, I just don’t think I can shake the similarities. I would watch an episode and just shake my head because, I mean, I’m Ben Wyatt.
There have been a couple of questions alluding to Game of Thrones, so let’s just real talk for a second – Tell me what it is about A Song of Ice and Fire that drew you in and your work on Sub Cultured’s “Game of Theories” webseries.
I think I first read the series when I was 15. I used to sneak my copy of A Game of Thrones behind my religion book (I went to an all-girls Catholic school) and read in class. I’m fairly certain I had just finished The Dark Tower, and was looking for a new book to get into, so my mom handed me her copy and told me to prepare myself for a new obsession. My mother was also the one that started me on The Dark Tower, so obviously I was raised by awesomeness.
Which is your favorite thing that you’ve done for Sub-Cultured thus far?
It has to be Game of Theories, without any runners up. I learned so much from that project and working with Kimmie and Leia. Kimmie taught me about video editing, I learned so much about content sharing and how YouTube works. I learned where my strengths are and aren’t. I learned to get mad and talk it out, as well as when to check myself. Besides that, I know a FUCK TON MORE about A Song of Ice and Fire than I did before.
What kind of things are lurking in your To Do list for 2016?
I have some big editing projects coming up, but I’d also like to create some lasting and frequently updated columns for Sub-Cultured. Also Star Wars tattoo? Possibly possibly.
Continuing our theme of Togetherness this November, our next interview pair is Jen and Colby. Read on to find out how Colby feels about his cheesy namesake, and why he cried a bunch in Disney World. (It’s okay–Jen might have cried, too.)
JS: Start us off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, what’s your job class?
CS: I’m Colby! I’ve lived all over Texas, but currently, I’ve put down roots in Austin. I’m currently working as a software engineer for a company that does social media marketing for local businesses called Main Street Hub.
JS: What is it you do for/contribute to Sub Cultured?
CS: I’ve done video content in the past (and perhaps in the future WINKYFACE), but at the moment, I do monthly articles, cover video game conventions, and stream weekly on our Twitch channel.
JS: Were you always comfortable with who you are, geek wise?
CS: I spent most of my childhood growing up in a farming community, and there wasn’t a lot of nerdiness around, so I wasn’t quite sure that’s what I was? Everyone I knew played video games and watched Dragon Ball Z. That was just the thing you did. When high school rolled around, people started partying and I went in to theater, so I never really felt out of place with my interests. As a result I think I’ve always been comfortable, but only due to luck, and eventually flagrant disregard of strangers’ opinions.
JS: Everyone seems to have a ‘geeky’ property, like Star Wars or Firefly, that they hold near and dear to them. What’s yours and why?
CS: There’s a few anime I refuse to let out of my heart like Toradora, Gurren Lagann, and Kill la Kill, but the one IP that’s been around since I was a kid and I enjoy immensely is Final Fantasy. My all time favorite is Final Fantasy VI (III in America), but recently, I’ve been watching speedruns of Final Fantasy VII and really remembering how great it was.
JS: Between your FF love and your consistent game streaming, what’s your all time favorite video game?
CS: I’m lucky in that I haven’t experienced depression to the depths that most of the people I associate with have, so I actually have a couple of things that I can do to shake off a bad day. I’ll usually induce crying, either by watching the season finale of House season 4 or some choice moments in Gurren Lagann. Beyond that, a good nap or dinner with someone I can talk to are also pretty helpful.
JS: Is there a superpower you wish you had? Any particular reason why?
CS: My current boss actually asked me this in my job interview and was surprised that I had such a detailed answer. I want to be able to teleport anywhere instantly that I can see. This includes through transparent glass, clear water, etc. With that, I can simulate flight and get anywhere I need to incredibly quickly, but I like that there are limitations. So if a super villain were to kidnap me, they’d really only need to blindfold me. I like the idea of really strong superpowers that are easily disabled if you’re not careful.
Also if you’re not paying attention, you could teleport to the sun. And wow, no.
JS: Are there people in the geek community that inspire you, be it a celebrity or a scientist? If you’ve met them, how was the experience?
CS: I actually really like this guy on Twitch named Vinny. He’s a streamer and musician that plays a pretty wide swath of games on his channel. He’s just a chill dude that seems incredibly genuine, tells stories well, and knows how to wrangle a chat. I met him very briefly at PAX East earlier this year and It’s one of the few times in my life I was suddenly and violently aware of how uncool I am in comparison to the person I’m talking to. Pretty sure I had no chill.
JS: If people were inclined to find you on the internet, where can they look?
CS: I knock about on Sub Cultured with an article here and there and you can always watch me stream on our Twitch channel. Outside of that, I made an app called Canvas Clash that’s out on iTunes and Android right now and also wrote a short book on how to get in to mobile app development called Getting Started With Apps, which is out on Amazon.
Thanks for reading about Colby, check out his interview with Jen later this week!
All through November, we will be covering the best ways to be spend time together, whether it’s playing a board game rife with betrayal, or cooking up something delicious. With that in mind, a lot of us work at Sub Cultured, but don’t know much about each other since we are spread out across the United States, so we devised a fun way to learn about one another!
Our first “Meet the Staff” features one of the founding members Sub Cultured, Leia Calderon, interviewed by myself, Jeremy Harris.
JH: Start us off with some basic stats! Who are you, where are you from, what’s your job class, what do you want to be doing?
LC: I’m a regular person living in Dallas, Texas for the foreseeable future. I’m in love with my day job of managing a comic store, but when I play video games with job classes, I always choose the mage!! Or the girl character, which is usually the same thing, haha. In tabletops, I tend to choose healing classes like clerics, or things I can do funny things with like bards! As far as what I want to be doing…I’m pretty content being in the comics industry, so I would like to definitely do that in some shape, way, or form, be it behind the counter, or maybe penning my own in the future.
JH: Favorite comic?
LC: Right now? Comics come out every Wednesday, so I always have a new favorite. Um, I’m really digging Jason Aaron’s take on Doctor Strange, I LOVE Patrick Gleason’s Robin: Son of Batman, and basically anything James Tynion IV writes for DC. Indie stuff, there’s so much! Obviously big stuff like Saga and Sex Criminals, and I’m dying for everyone to read Monstress from Marjorie Liu! If you mean, like, books I can’t live without type of favorites, um, Locke & Key, Maus, or the manga NANA and Boys Over Flowers. SO MANY!!!
JH: What is it you do for/contribute to Sub Cultured?
LC: I do a lot of back end type stuff, like handling some of our social media, editing articles, and I am a co-writer on our YouTube series, Game of Theories. When I can, I write about stuff in the comics industry.
JH: Were you always comfortable with who you are, geek wise?
LC: NO! I was always called a bookworm like it was a bad thing, and for some reason, perhaps because I was teased at school for my name and looks, I never talked about the video games I played until I was a teenager. After the age of 16, all of my fucks went out the window and I embraced who I was fully.
JH: Snape, good guy or bad guy, why?
LC: I think Snape had the potential to be a good guy, but he was a selfish bully with only his own interests at heart, so ultimately, while I do think his heart might have had good bits in it…I would definitely have to put him in the bad guy territory with Dumbledore.
JH: What is your favorite kind of mythical creature from any mythology?
LC: Dragons. There’s so much lore about them, and the thought that they COULD be telepathic, and in a range of jewel tones or earthy tones, depending on the book, and their eggs being beautiful or burning your hands, they’re just the best. Plus, they FLY, and if it’s able to grow big enough you get to ride it, and be partners with it. How could you not love the thought of dragons?
LC: Not as many as you might think. My experiences are mostly annoyance at my name being mispronounced, and the occasional high five at its geeky nature!
JH: In the whole world of geeky culture if you could only ever watch, read, enjoy one one property what would it be and why? This doesn’t have to be your favorite.
LC: Oh, it’s either Star Wars (pre-EU erasure), or Orson Scott Card’s Ender Verse. Both are so rich in detail, and while Star Wars has much more in its backlog, the Ender Saga made such a profound impact on my life, it’s kind of hard to imagine life before it, even if the author is a bigot of the highest degree. It’s really difficult to choose just one, but I mean, OBVIOUSLY STAR WARS, if I only have to choose one. It has my namesake, so I gotta be biased.
JH: Without spoilers what are your hopes for Episode VII?
LC: I just want to see Star Wars made with love. I want to feel magic in my blood, tingles down my spine, tears in my eyes from pure, unadulterated joy. If the trailers are anything to go by, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
JH: Is there a superpower you wish you had? Any particular reason why?
LC: Telekinesis. Although my love for her has waned in recent years, Jean Grey was my favorite X-Men character, and while I disliked so much of her storyline, her mastery of the power made quite the impression on me in my formative years. I’ve no doubt I would use it to mess with people from time to time, but I’m pretty sure I’d utilize it in the laziest of ways like flipping the pages of a book when I’m not attempting to save people.
JH: How do you find it being a woman in the pretty typically male dominated and sexist geek culture?
LC: It’s gotten SO MUCH BETTER. I think as recently as five years ago, it was still very misogynistic, including my work place. There was a lot of challenging sort of exchanges from men to prove myself, but I don’t have to prove myself to anyone, and I truly believe comics and video games and stuff are for everyone. Overall, it’s only getting better, and more accepting.
JH: How would you use your experiences to help other women in and with the culture?
LC: I do what I can by trying to provide a safe space for us. I guess, as long as it’s obvious we can band together and face what adversity there is, we can help change things for the better. No one has to be alone, you guys!
JH: What’s the most personal thing you’re willing to divulge in this very public interview?
LC: Um, I am utterly terrified of severe thunderstorms. The mere mention or hint of possible tornadic activity just sends my anxiety into overdrive and I panic, haha.
JH: What alternate universe would you prefer to live in?
LC: Middle Earth. Anything could happen there.
JH: What’s the “best” fictional language?
LC: QUENYA! It’s the speech of the Valar, and the elves that answered the summons of Oromë in Silmarillion. Quenya was, like, Middle Earth’s version of Latin in that it wasn’t spoken as much and a lot of the more familiar dialects of Elvish, like Sindarin, were derived from it. Fun fact, Elvenkind is referred to as Quendi, haha! Aw, and I just…I remember reading it as a teen and loving the idea that it was spoken both through word and through gesture. I don’t know, I guess I always felt it was kind of romantic, a language of the angelic like Valar.
JH: Have you been to a Wawa? If not get on that. Fly to one if you have to.
LC: What the HELL is a Wawa?? Is it….a person?!
JH: If people were inclined to find you on the internet, where can they look?
LC: I am everywhere as ladyvader99. Like, for real, I’d be very surprised if you stumbled across a ladyvader99 that was not me.
Thanks for reading, and keep an eye on the site for our other interviews…I’m next!