Meet the New Fangirls: Jessica

by Jessica

My first love has always been reading. When I was a child I used to gather up books and stack them around me long after my parents had told me to go to bed, and long before I actually knew how to read them. My first true fandom (Pokemon doesn’t count, right?) bloomed from this love—Harry Potter; oh, the tales I could tell about that obsession…but I feel like I was not properly indoctrinated into geek culture until the sixth grade, when my older sister bought me Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game for my birthday. I was absolutely blown away by that book. I made a Battle School diorama. I think this was the first time that I consciously realized that there was a real, live genre called “Science Fiction/Fantasy,” and I adored it. (In other news, I am anxiously awaiting the supposed 2013 film version of Ender’s Game…if it is terrible, I just might die. I say this while simultaneously acknowledging that it will probably be terrible.)

a photograph of Jessica's Journal

You should see the other entries in here…

Of course, it wasn’t long before this new-found adoration branched out in other directions, probably most notably into the Sci-Fi cannon of television programs. My entire family was (is) obsessed with The X-Files (Agent Mulder is such a Fox! lolz), and I personally devoured the entire Joss Whedon canon, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Battlestar Gallactica….you know, basically everything you need to get along at any nerd cocktail party worth its salt. In my current state, I am constantly impressed with my child-self for being unrelenting in my obsession for these genres: I once dressed up as J.R.R. Tolkien for a book report. Read: I once wore a men’s tweed suit and bowtie to sixth grade and talked to my class about Lord of the Rings.

a photograph of Jessica in sixth grade, dressed as J.R.R. Tolkien

Somehow this didn’t make me wildly popular.

I’ve never been quite as exposed to comics as I’d like to be, mostly because when I was younger economic issues prevented me from buying them. I’ve always been driven by the story, and it was heart wrenching for me to be left on a comic cliffhanger when I was a kid, unable to find out what happened next because I couldn’t afford to buy the next issue. It didn’t help that comics culture is virtually non-existent in the town of Maryville, Tennessee, where I grew up. Of course, I’m now at a point in my life where comics are more readily available to me, since I have comic-enthusiast friends I can borrow from (plus the super-helpful internet). Economic ability and geek culture is still something that really interests me, so if you have feelings on it, let me know!

And since I am currently expanding my knowledge of comics, I’m always looking for recommendations! Honestly, the extent of what I’ve read up to this moment is mostly television shows extended into comic form, Sailor Venus & Sailor Moon (Sailor Venus was way better, who knew?), Alison Bechdel, and my mother’s old Superman omnibus from when she was a little girl. I know this makes me a little different from many readers of Fantastic Fangirls, so please teach me your ways!

a photograph of Jessica wearing goggles and a plumed hat

Me at NYCC 2010

As for my existence outside of my fascination with Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I am currently in my senior year of college. I have three majors—Theater, Classical Civilization, and English with a concentration in creative writing. I’m working on a thesis which is monopolizing (or should be monopolizing) all of my time, so I’ll let you guys know how that turns out. I’ll admit that I’m currently in that terrified phase that comes when you are about to graduate from college but have no idea what you want to do with your life afterwards, or where you will live, or what you will eat…Maybe it will help if I think of it as embarking on a grand adventure. Or maybe it will help if I pretend that the Doctor is going to pick me up from graduation in the TARDIS. Alas, the only thing that’s certain is that I love talking and writing about books and television and comics! Talk to me about Diana Wynne Jones. Talk to me about the upcoming Hobbit film. Talk to me about the best comic I haven’t read yet. It’ll be great.