Posted by Anika
This Friday’s Fangirl is a guest correspondent at iFanboy and has even stepped in to help out here at Fantastic Fangirls. She’s one of the voices behind the Invisible Jetcast Wonder Woman Podcast and has an entirely healthy and upstanding obsession with Shirtless James Marsden. Fantastic fans, meet Ali!
Name: Ali Colluccio
Where do you live? Brooklyn, NY
What is your job? Education? I graduated with a Communications degree (yeah, I know) from La Salle University in Philadephia with an unofficial minor in English. I have survived 14 years of Catholic schooling.
For my day job, I work in the Marketing Communications group at a bond rating agency (sadly we do not rate James Bonds. Seriously though, how awesome would that job be. “Our extensive research shows that Daniel Craig is on par with Sean Connery.”). Basically I write (and edit) a LOT of copy that attempts to make the patterns of credit default swap spreads sound important.
Tell me about your family: I grew up in the suburb that is New Jersey with my mom, dad, and little brother Dan – Dan is 6’1”. I’m 4’11 ¾”. I have lots of very loud and wonderful Italian-American relatives from Brooklyn and Long Island. My “urban family” consists of Minerva the Wondercat and my awesome in real life roommate Jenn.
How long have you been reading comics? 3 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days.
OK, technically it’s a bit earlier than that. But that’s how long it’s been since I first walked into a comic shop to buy issues. But in the weeks leading up to that, I had already devoured The Walking Dead, a couple trades of Powers and Y: The Last Man, Wonder Woman #1-8 (and sadly Amazons Attack) and the trade of Civil War. The first comic I bought was Amazing Spider-Man #546.
Who’s your favorite character? I kind of have to go with Wonder Woman here, don’t I? Honestly, she is my favorite. She’s the only one I get all fangirl ragey over. For me, she’s the paradigm for superheroes.
Can you say a little more about why she’s your favorite and why you sometimes rage? Wonder Woman’s the original female superhero. My mom read Wonder Woman comics when she was a kid. She has a legacy about her; I think there’s a little bit of Wonder Woman in all the other strong female characters we have now. I love that Diana’s incredibly smart and powerful and inspiring. I think I get ragey because I want everyone to hold her in as high a regard as I do. I feel like her book should be really good and her character should be treated with the utmost respect. My expectations are a bit unattainable so, like most fanboys or fangirls, I get angry when they’re not met.
Are you excited for the new series? I’m trying to stay as open-minded as I can about it. Sure, I’m excited about the prospect of Wonder Woman being back on television. And I’m really to Wonder Woman being used outside of comics. I also thinks it’s about damn time we get some strong female superheroes into main stream media, and this show is definitely a step in that direction. I think that’s what I’m most excited about. But I’m not a fan of David E. Kelley’s past shows, and the stuff I’ve read doesn’t exactly instill me with confidence. Like I said, trying to stay open-minded because it really is a great thing to have Wonder Woman on TV.
But I also adore Spider-Man, Stephanie Brown Batgirl, Power Girl, Superman (when he’s actually Superman), Lois Lane (when you actually see her), Robot Lois Lane, My Boyfriend Thor, Kitty Pride, Captain America (Cap-Cap), Damien Wayne, Batwoman, and I really love hating Emma Frost.
Do you have a favorite comic of all time? Favorite comic of all time is tough because it changes depending on my mood or where I am. Right now, I’d say Phonogram: Rue Britannia. I know a lot of people get hung up on the music/magic thing. But it’s a great story about dealing with your past and finding out who you are. And as far as creative teams go, it doesn’t get much better than Gillen and McKelvie.
I feel like I gush about them all the time, but Batgirl (the current Bryan Q. Miller run), Thor: The Mighty Avenger (by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee), and Power Girl (the Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Amanda Conner run) are favorites. They’re books I go back and re-read because I just love them that much. Scott Pilgrim, too.
I’ve most recently fallen in love with Walt Simonson’s Thor. I’m a bit behind, but I still love The Walking Dead. I’m re-reading DC: New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke with is just fantastic and gorgeous. The Geoff Johns/Gary Frank run on Action Comics and Superman: Secret Origin – I know he’s all busy making Green Lantern the new poster boy for DC, but Geoff Johns writing Superman is one of my favorite things in comics. Paul Cornell’s Captain Britain and MI:13 is also very dear to me and I miss it to pieces, but his DC work has been fantastic. I’m sure I’m missing a bunch too. Oh! Greg Rucka’s Batwoman run and Queen and Country.
How about favorite creators? Everyone I just mentioned up there. Bendis! Love Brian Michael Bendis. I love his dialogue. People complain about the crazy word balloons or that he’s mimicking David Mamet, but if Bendis is on a book, it’s a safe bet I’ll love it (actually, I really should have Ultimate Spider-Man up there with the favorites). Dan Slott when he’s writing Spider-Man is awesome. Franco and Art Baltazar write some fantastic all ages comics. I honestly buy Tiny Titans more regularly than a grown woman with no children probably should. And I can never say enough good things about Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner. They’re honestly my two favorite creative teams.
I got to meet Chris Samnee at C2E2 (AND I didn’t act like an idiot or embarrass myself in front of him, mostly) and it was pretty much the highlight of the year for me. He’s just a really sweet, genuine guy and such a hard-working artist – you gotta love him. Can’t wait to see him get more work.
Who else? Gabrial Ba and Fabio Moon have such an amazing art style. Francis Manapul too. And John Romita, Jr who is making me love the Avengers book. Speaking of Avengers, I totally dig Stuart Immonen. Ryan Kelly is pretty amazing. I’m forgetting a ton of people… oh, Matt Wilson and Paul Mounts – yes, I have favorite colorists.
What comics are you currently reading? Ongoings are Avengers, New Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Generation Hope, Uncanny X-Men, Sixth Gun, Chew, Scarlet, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, Batman Inc., Flash, Action Comics, and Wonder Woman. I usually pick up X-Factor, Invincible Ironman, American Vampire, and Tiny Titans when I remember. I recently got on board with Infinite Vacation and Journey into Mystery. And then I’m reading Casanova, Cinderella: Fables are Forever, New York Five, and the recently ended Knight and Squire – as far as mini-series go. Oh, and then there’s New Frontier that I’m rereading for Invisible Jetcast homework, plus trades of Walt Simonson’s Thor and finally getting around to Alias.
Wow, I’m tired just reading that list. Where do you keep them all? I know, right?! I’ve got like six short boxes that are in varying degrees of full, but for the most part my comics are just lying around the apartment. I have all my trades in their own bookcase, but the issues are just all over the place. I’ve got stacks on the coffee table, the kitchen table, the foot of my bed. I try to at least dump them in one of two giant piles on a bookshelf. I’m lucky to have a very tolerant roommate.
Is there a title you could recommend to new readers? I really like Batgirl for new readers. A lot of the issues are one-and-dones, or maybe they run over two issues. But it’s pretty low on continuity – both in it’s own title and the larger Bat-verse/DCU continuity. It’s something you could give to someone who’s never read a comic and not have to worry.
Power Girl was like that. So was Thor: The Mighty Avenger. Jonah Hex. People get so wrapped up in “waiting for the trade” or “the events of this book matter” that I think the single issue has become a lost art almost. I really feel that every issue should be a good jumping on point. The Sixth Gun is actually really good with that. They have a brief recap to get you up to speed if you need it, but each issues is contained enough that it helps build the larger story. I like my comics to be episodic, not just serialized. Books like that are extremely important because, ultimately they’re going to determine the future of comics. Say what you will about the digital debate, but until the comics industry makes comics consumable for people who aren’t currently reading, they’re not going to survive.
There are all these amazing comic book movies coming out this summer. And people, most of them kids probably, are going to walk into a comic shop (or, god forbid, a mega chain bookstore) and ask for the latest copy of Thor, or Captain America, or Green Lantern. How the hell does DC expect someone to just jump on to Green Lantern at this point? I mean, I gave up on it and it was my favorite book for a while there. Thor: The Mighty Avenger would have been the perfect comic to be sitting on shelves in May for the movie. Not a year ahead of the movie. And it’s really sad that the trades will be sitting in a bookstore for some kid to pick up and then he or she has no where to go if that’s what they like. I mean, they could read Fraction’s Thor on-going but it’s not the same and will be really weighed down by Fear Itself at that point. I just read this fantastic one-shot (that was initially supposed to be a series, and then mini-series) called Captain America: The Fighting Avenger and it was a blast! So much fun, great for all ages, and perfect for the movie. It’s Cap’s first mission in the field, and you get to see the “origin” of the Red Skull and I kept thinking this would be PERFECT for new readership.
That was probably more of an answer than you were looking for.
What kind of fangirl activities do you do? Like, other than comics? I… um… well there’s… yeah, I got nothing.
I’m pretty much a Twitter addict at this point. Although I use it as an outlet to talk about comics mostly, I’ve really been able to bond with people over Twitter. Some of my best friends right now are people I only know because of a ridiculously named microblogging site. But that’s the fantastic thing about the internet, right? These strong connections we make, these communities we build. It’s fascinating and I just totally dig it.
Then there are conventions, which I pretty much use as an excuse to travel and meet my Twitter friends. The main reason I went to C2E2 was to meet my tweeps from St. Louis and Ohio. I’ve also organized and been to a couple Tweet-ups, which is another great way to put faces to the avatars and Twitter handles. It’s just really cool!
I know, I always want to go to the Tweet-ups! We need to have one where people come to me. I’m (mostly) kidding, but I do envy the traveling. What conventions are you planning this year? I’ve done C2E2 and WonderCon already this year. Next up is San Diego for THE Comic-Con. I’m actually really nervous about that one. And of course there’s NYCC in October, which is my hometown con. I almost feel like a host for that one since there are so many people coming into town. That’s one of the great things about living in a city like New York, too. It’s a such a destination, that everyone ends up visiting here sooner or later.
What’s your favorite thing about comics? Why do you read them? Honestly, I love superheroes. I know a lot of people think the capes and tights thing is for kids, but I adore it. That, I think, is really what pulled me in to comics. But once I got here, so to speak, I really fell in love with the medium. I like the serialized storytelling. I love the way a story unfolds throughout the panels. I love the way that layout controls pacing and mood and tension in such a way that it gives you a completely different experience than what you’d get from reading a book or watching a movie.
I like my Wednesday ritual too. Going to the shop, picking out my books from everything on the rack. I purposely don’t have a pull list because I like to browse and a HATE reading solicits. There’s just something very comforting about going to the comic shop after work and reading my books on the subway home.
I also love the communities there are around comics. Comic fans tend to truly be great people. There are, for sure, a few prickly pears and a fair share of trolls. But at the end of the day, everyone’s in it because they love comics. And it’s fantastic being part of that.
Thanks so much, Ali! I’d put you in charge of new-readership.
Posted by Anika