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!