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GRRLTalk: Sara Century
It's GRRLTalk, where we sit down with some favorite ladies to learn all about their relationship to fandom. Today, let's get to know SYFY FANGRRLS writer Sara Century!
What are you currently FANGRRLing over?
Vampirella! I love her many current comic series. I’m always FANGRRLING over Poison Ivy, Storm, Jean Grey, great comic characters. Also, all the amazing horror lately! Horror might have been my first love, so seeing more feminist or openly queer directors actually getting financial backing and taking on the genre and creating these great, game-changing works has been inspiring.
What was your first fandom?
X-Men. I got into them the absolute most when I was around 10 years old. I was obsessed with all the great, brooding characters and, of course, the queer subtext. As far as embracing the larger fandom around X-Men, that's actually pretty new for me. I used to be a musician and there were some fellow musicians who were just huge nerds that I would just gush about comics with after shows, but my X-Men fandom now is mostly through X-Twitter and Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men. It's very nice to be able to talk to other people on Twitter or wherever about all this weird X-Men backstory. I didn't have that when I first got into comics because it was a much more male-dominated scenario, so I would just buy my comics and read them alone and maybe talk to my brothers about them a little bit. It's definitely better now!
When you were a kid, what was your most prized geek possession?
I had two highly destructive little brothers in my house, so the concept of keeping possessions wasn’t a thing, but I cherished my comics and raged against the dying of the light to keep them intact.
Who was the most instrumental in getting you into geek culture?
Most of my family read comics in some capacity, but there isn’t a solid connection for why they ignited me the way that they did. Comics were usually present, but nobody else read them as voraciously as me. My aunt would send us comics like Archie and Scrooge. As a kid, I just read everything — books, newspapers, instruction manuals, ingredient lists, comics, whatever. When I realized that there were comics with these longer arcs, they became my reason for existing because there was a dynamic emotional and moral element that I don’t think I was getting otherwise at the time. Comics have always met me exactly where I needed them to at various stages of my life, so that made it easy to fall in love.
What are you most geek-curious about?
D&D and video games, which I will not ever have time but which I gaze at longingly when I see how much fun my friends have with them.
Do you collect nerdy stuff? If so, what?
I try very hard to be a minimalist, and I would succeed if I didn’t have entire shelves full of books and comics. I’m a nerd for criticism and history besides genre stuff, so there are some unique fanzines and a lot of books on queer history that are out-of-print. Mostly, just stacks of comics all over the house, which, as someone that has moved about 30 times, is not ideal, but I just like having books around so much. They’re comforting!
Do you cosplay? Follow up: if yes, what’s your favorite that you’ve ever done? If not, what would you dress as?
This is another thing I always think I would be more into but it just hasn’t caught on for me, but I think I would make a pretty great Madame Xanadu, who I already look like and which would require the absolute least amount of work on my part.
What’s something geeky that you will always spend money on?
*deep breath* COMICS. If I didn’t get in comics, I would own my own house by now.
If you could do a TED Talk on anything fandom-related, what would it be and why?
Oh, no. Because I could talk about so many things. I would probably choose to talk about unflattering tropes around activism in genre with some additional conversation on how that intersects specifically with the villainization of many of comics' most prominent queer characters, like Poison Ivy, Mystique and Destiny, and others. In real life, activism is usually a positive thing, so I always find it questionable how much superhero comics as a whole embrace empathy with police and governmental figures while generally making activists (for instance, Magneto and Killmonger) look selfish, too angry, lacking in empathy, and unable to form cohesive plans. That's not what most activists are like, so I find the trope of the activist who goes too far to be fairly problematic. You know, just some light, easy discussion for my TED Talk.
If a studio came to you and said they would adapt anything you wanted, what would it be and why?
Probably a feminist reimagining of Vampyros Lesbos, because I love that movie but if it were made now it would probably update everything that is a little bit iffy in the original script. Besides, having a clear vision behind the script rather than the kind of scotch-taped version we see in the existing film could only improve things.