COMICS MAVEN - A BLOGGERS TALE

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Since starting up my website, I have always found it fascinating how other bloggers are able to sustain their passion and their temerity within this erstwhile profession. Some bloggers drop out after a year or so - other seems to dwindle over time - and then there is some-one like my pal Nicole. Here, check out an interview I had with this comic book Goddess, just the other day in a brothel housed within a church.


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1) How did you first become a blogger Nicole? Your ‘secret origins’ as it were. And is it how you expected it to be?   Well, I did not think too much about blogging when I wrote my first two reviews for comicvine.com. But a day or so later, I was contacted by a staff member at playeraffinity.com, who said to me that they were looking for writers, I suppose that was the start of it really.

He’d read my reviews and wanted to see if I would be interested in writing for the site. I decided it couldn't hurt to try so I gave it a shot.

I've now been writing reviews, news stories, and features, for Player Affinity for about one-and-a-half years now, and couldn't be happier over-analyzing every comic I could get my hands on. I can’t really say I ‘expected’ anything when I really never planned on becoming a critique. It was unexpected how addicted I am to reviewing and how now it’s something I hope to do for the rest of my life.

Recently I was promoted to the 'Comic Book Lead' who oversees all the other comic book writers on Player Affinity (and of course continue writing as a journalist).

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2) In your own words, how would you describe your own personal site, comicmaven?   Right now I’m working on perfecting my own personal site. In the future, I would like my site to no longer be a tumblr but an official site that I can run separately from Player Affinity containing more than just comic book reviews, but reviews for other types of mediums like music, movies and video games. I don’t want to shortchange my current blog, but I have big plans for the future and only consider it a ‘beta’ site.

I mostly like to use my current ‘beta’ site to promote PlayerAffinity and also broadcast what I plan on doing for the site in the future (a sort of ‘COMING SOON’ sort of segment in the description). But I also like to include clips and other great comic book stuff I find on tumblr. Most importantly, it’s a great place to contact me to request a book you would like me to review or just to ask other comic-related questions. I’m always happy to talk comics, and not only my tumblr, but also my twitter are great ways for me to connect with my followers!

3) If your site were a movie, a piece of music, or an object, what would it be and why?   “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga is the best song to describe Player Affinity because of it’s message that everyone is great just the way they are and should not go with the flow. The site is full of reviews for all mediums, and none of the people are afraid to say what they think. And while it is not always the popular opinion, I find it’s always important to write what you think because that’s who you are – who you were born to be.


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4) How did you come up with the name ‘Comic Maven’? More specifically, the tag end.   I’d hate to say it just ‘came to me’ - but really, there is not much more to it than that. I knew I wanted the word ‘Comic’ in my name since that’s the medium I love the most and I wouldn't want an indirect named like ‘Panel Princess’ (and no, I never even considered that name for a sentence since, believe me, I am the farthest thing away from a ‘Princess’ and despite my love for alliterations). Though at first I thought about ‘Comic Guru’ but wanted something unique. Then I thought about ‘Maven’ – not only did it flow better, but it sounded somewhat feminine to me and I wanted my gender, a slight rarity in the field, to come out in my name.

5) What is your personal opinion on current pop culture? Movies – Comics – and the Media in general. And is this a good or bad thing in retrospect?   I have the bad habit of being a cynic and in my cynical opinion I have not liked any trends in current pop culture. Comics obviously is the medium I have criticized the most, but movies and music also worry me.

Ironically, despite picking one to describe Player Affinity, I am sick of pop songs. Whenever I turn on the radio I always hear the same pop or rap songs. Metal and alternative rock are practically extinct now, and it’s a shame. I won’t bash Katy Perry because I do enjoy pop occasionally, but if I hear “The One That Got Away” one more time…

Also, I've been out of the movie scene ever since I have had to forfeit an arm to go to the movies, ha! My favorite genre of movie is horror though - even if I have been hating the current trend of the most. Every horror movie is a remake and it is so tiresome. Or a sequel (though I wouldn’t mind seeing a Saw 27).

And, last but not least, comics have had a big change ever since the New 52 event started, which re-launched every DC Comics book. At first, I was enthusiastic about this new comic movement. But honestly, not many series have blown me away and I feel like the only thing that comes out of comic events (not just now, but throughout the history of comics) are that, after a few years, the changes that people liked stay and everything else in the comic universe goes back to normal (in this case pre-New 52) with the help of another huge event.

Admittedly a depressing viewpoint, but I have (high?) hopes for 2012.

6) What is your favorite comic book, movie, and actor / actress? And again, why?   I could list dozens of comic books that I love unconditionally, but my two all-time favorites, which always battle for my number one favorite comics, would be Alan Moore’s run of Swamp Thing and Tom Defalco’s run on Alpha Flight.

Swamp Thing had beautiful artwork and masterful storytelling which blended the superhero elements of DC and the horrific elements of Vertigo. It also featured my all-time favorite love-interest, Abigail Holland, who could not only take care of herself and was a loving mother, but had awesome white hair with a black streak.

Alpha Flight had a great story, and was not afraid to kill of it’s characters (but did it with dignity) plus was filled to the brim with likable, diverse characters who were all enjoyable and had fantastic origin stories.

Horror is my favorite genre, but my favorite slasher or psychological thriller changes frequently. Right now my favorite film would have to be 'Laid to Rest', where a killer known as “Chrome Skull” who’s current victim loses her memory and meets a few of the rare genuinely likable characters who survive most of the film and are not simply the usually horror movie fodder. Their unique likeability is what puts the film so high on my favorite movies list.

My favorite actor is Kane Hodder, notable for being the longest-running actor to play Jason. His Jason, despite being hidden behind a mask, could always be told from other actor’s Jason’s, because of how intoned with his body movements he was. His body movements are amazing and can instill very emotional responses when he is not cutting kids up at Camp Crystal Lake. Without any dialogue, Hodder managed to move me more than any of the protagonists in Hatchet by simply shedding his tears on camera and looking distraught.

7) If you could get to change one thing about how the media is perceived by society, what would that be, and how would you go about changing it?   Definitely how the world views comic books. Even after the New 52, I do not feel like comics are accepted or taken seriously by the mainstream. Even when the occasional Batman film blows-up at the box offices, people do not start reading comics because of it. I would want the media to see comics as a serious medium taken just as seriously as movies and music, and expanding comic book readers to all ages and genders. The best way to change the current, underrated perception of comics would be to give them more attention on news stations. If they talk about the latest movies or music, why not comics?


So there you have it folks, Nicole and her fantastic life as a comic book blogger come Maven for the masses. When you have the time, please give her blog a quick look-see, because you won't be sorry that you did.