Posted by Anika
This Friday’s Fangirl is ME. Introductions to me are posted here at Fantastic Fangirls, here at Red Carpet Superhero, on my blog, and my tumblr. Or you could read the interview! Fantastic Fans, meet Anika:
Name: Anika Milik
Where do you live? Middletown, Connecticut, USA
What is your job? Education? I majored in Dance (within the Theatre Arts program) at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Currently, I am an admin for the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department at Wesleyan University for which I get a paycheck. I’m also a Mommy, a blogger, an author, a songwriter, still a dancer, a fangirl and more, for which I sometimes get a paycheck and sometimes wouldn’t call a job.
Tell me about your family: I have a husband, two daughters, and three brothers. And my wonderful Balinese cat. My husband, Christian, is also my personal stylist and costumer and did the art for this weblog. His favorite superhero is the Flash (Barry Allen). My older daughter, Kiki, doesn’t like me to talk about her online but her favorite superheroes are The Powerpuff Girls. Her sister, Aeris, however, loves it when I talk about her and her favorite superhero is currently Thor. My brothers are all younger: John, the artist, who likes Supergirl; Fred, the English Studies graduate student, who likes Johnny Storm; and Hendrik, the law student, who likes Batman. My cat’s full name is Ketut Lucy-Cat, I got her in Bali, Indonesia, almost 20 years ago and her favorite superhero is obviously Hepzibah (which, by the way, is actually the name of my childhood pet cat).
How long have you been reading comics? I definitely read Tintin when I was around 9 years old. And I read X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Batman throughout high school. And also Star Trek and TNG comics. Then I went through the requisite “Sandman Phase” in college. And finally, I got sucked back into my superhero roots by way of Heroclix about seven years ago.
Tell me about Heroclix. How did you get into it, and how did it rekindle your interest in the comics? Heroclix is a strategy game played with little figures of superheroes on battle maps of places like Avengers Mansion and The Daily Planet. Christian’s roleplaying group introduced us to it. My first click was Logan and I still collect all versions of Wolverine (which is the most difficult of all my collections as there is at least one new one in every Marvel set; I also have all Lorna Danes but that’s 4 figures total). Christian started playing competitively and Kiki and I’d hang out at the store for the hour. What do you do stuck in a comic book shop for an hour every Wednesday night? You browse comics! I started with X-Men, because of my Logan click. I picked up New X-Men 148 — Wolverine and Jean Grey are stranded on Asteroid M and it is falling into the sun. So Logan guts Jean and carries her outside where they burn to dust.
I bought that issue and the end of the run (this “omg comics are awesome” fervor might explain some of why I love Here Comes Tomorrow. I had no idea what was going on about ANYTHING so it didn’t matter that I had no idea what was going on with that. Plus there is a sentient sentinel. And Jean’s a princess) and then moved over to my true love, The Avengers.
Do you have a favorite comic of all time? A favorite character? Ms. Marvel answers both questions. As stated before, Brian Reed’s 50 issue run on Ms. Marvel is my favorite comic. It’s not the best comic, not the best story, not the best writing or art, not the “best” anything. But it is my favorite, nothing else even approaches my loyalty to and love for that book.
And Carol Danvers is who I would be if I had superpowers. And she’s possibly even more super without the powers.
How about favorite creators? Bendis, Fraction, Kelly Sue, Jim McCann who made me not hate Hawkeye, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, Jeff Parker, George Perez. I’ve loved pretty much every thing Sean McKeever ever wrote. Brian Reed, for Ms. Marvel. AMANDA CONNER. And Jimmy Palmiotti, too.
What do you like about meeting comics creators? Well, the ones that I have encountered have all had one thing in common: enthusiasm. Every creator I have spoken with at a convention (or related party) has been as interested in talking to me as I was in talking to them. The truth is, I have a very narrow selection of comics I pay attention to. And I have had to make a point of noting who the creators are. But except for Reed (who I haven’t met), all the creators I listed above are there because I’ve met them and they were wonderful as much as they are there for their work (there are a few I left off despite being a fan of their work, too).
What comics are you currently reading? Um. Yeah. New Avengers. And … Kick Ass 2?
What’s made you read fewer current comics? The first answer is the lack of access. I simply don’t have a Local Comic Store. The closest are at least half an hour away and I don’t need to tell you gas prices are ridiculous right now. On top of the increased price of the books themselves, it’s prohibitory. And as well as being not-that-local, one is a mostly-sports-memorabilia (Red Sox AND Yankees, side by side) hobby store and the other is Newberry Comics, the precursor to Hot Topic. It’s in the mall. We used to go to a store every Saturday to play and judge Heroclix but we stopped playing competitively and then the store closed. Two other stores recently changed owners.
Now, I could mail order my comics or have a subscription at one of these and go once a month, but that’s where the second answer comes in. At my former, now closed, store I was subscribed to “anything with so-and-so in it” and I was allowed to not buy the things I didn’t want. This is impossible without that store. Solicits do not help me understand what comic books Carol Danvers is appearing in (and/or in a real capacity that I want to read). OBVIOUSLY she was gonna be in every issue of Ms. Marvel. Without that, it’s a lot harder. Especially when something like Widowmaker (and I say this with great respect and affection for Jim McCann) is really about Hawkeye. And I also get discouraged when the things I go out of my way to pick up in a timely fashion are canceled because “no one’s reading them” (YOUNG ALLIES) (Or, hey, MS. MARVEL). Yay, I’m no one.
So this is where I’m at. I got Avengers 13 last week because Sigrid told me to and I loved it! That’s the best I can do.
What kind of fangirl activities do you do? All of them. I mean, I write fanfic, I make fanmixes and fanart and fanvids, I fancast everyone (and their offspring), I have epic roleplaying adventures, I cosplay, I blog about comics, I collect and play Heroclix, I collect other figures and glasses and badges and toys, I go to conventions, I quote Spider-Man to my students, I bring up superheroes in every day conversation, I talk and talk and talk. And I interview other fangirls!
What’s your favorite fancasting? I’m glad you asked favorite. There are a few I think really click, like Emily Blunt as Jessica Drew. I still love Naomi Watts for Carol Danvers and Billie Piper for Lorna Dane. But my favorite is my Parker-Danvers-Danvers-Parker Family:
Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson as Carol Danvers and Peter Parker, Ms. Marvel/New Avengers era. Diane doesn’t seem to like superheroes and Hollywood will never let Peter grow up BUT, they play in the movie in my head. And as Carol and Peter’s children:
Jackson Rathbone (Obi-wan “Ben” Parker) and Evan Rachel Wood (Amelia Danvers).
Note that I don’t take full credit for Jackson and that ERW should totally be MJ Watson in the next not-grown-up-Spidey movie.
What’s your favorite thing about comics? Why do you read them? I now have an additional respect for everyone I’ve interviewed so far. These questions are hard!
My favorite thing about comics is that they continue. There are no happy or unhappy endings, not forever, it always goes on. Just like life. I read these stories because I love these characters. My characters — besides Carol, there is Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Jessica Jones, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Wayne, Talia Al Ghul, Mary Jane Watson, Tim Drake and Cassie Sandsmark, Lorna Dane and Alex Summers, Mayday Parker, Anya Corazon, Damian Wayne, Mindy McCready… And I’m listing their real names deliberately. I love superheroes but not because they’re superpowered or fight crime, because they’re the type of wide-eyed idealists who choose to (yes, even Batman).
Thank you to Sigrid and Jennifer for asking additional questions!
Posted by Anika