Slaying Demons and Being a Female Geek
Diablo III Demon Hunter Fan Art by OracleSaturn
Love slaying demons with the Demon Hunter on Diablo III? Think Star Wars is rad? Big fan of Pop! Funko or Marvel comics? Well, you are not alone! Being a “geek” is awesome, and there are a lot of people out there that love Diablo III and Pop! Funko - including awesome nerdy gals! We caught up with one of our favorite Moo-sters - Bronwyn, who happens to be female, and we had a good talk on all things nerdy and geek culture. She loves Diablo III, decorates her desk with uber cute Pop Funko's, writes for Talking Comics, and is a super smart gal (she studied glaciers and volcanoes in Iceland). So stop playing Overwatch or Diablo III, and read what Bronwyn has to say! Tracer can wait : )
What is your name? Can you tell us a little about yourself? Any fun facts?
♪Hello, my name is Simon, and I like to do DRAW-RINGS! ♪Just kidding, my name is Bronwyn Kelly (yes, my first name is Bronwyn, my last name is Kelly. Yes, I have to answer that question a LOT. :D) and I’m a long standing geek and nerd. I have an honours degree in Environmental Science, I did my field work in comparative landscape formation processes in Iceland (glaciers vs. volcanoes!!), and now I supervise the testing of drinking water for a living. In my spare time I read all the things, slay the occasional demon (DIABLO III RULES!!), play mean D in ball hockey, and write a fantasy travelogue for talkingcomicbooks.com.
Bronwyn (right) and a friend geeking it out
Comic books, video games, and movies are fun and awesome, but they can also shape how we think, eat, and live our lives. Was there a comic book (character/story/series), video game, or TV show/movie that has greatly impacted your life?
I think the figure that has had the single most profound impact on me (and certainly the most long standing) would have to be Doctor Who. My parents were fans of the show long before I was born, so I have been exposed to the character since I was in utero. My parents were also hippies, so there were a LOT of restrictions on my popular culture consumption growing up, so Doctor Who was one of the few things I was allowed to watch. We watched it as a family (another oddity, as Daddio was NOT a TV guy) and we watched it obsessively. We consumed every form of Doctor Who we could find - the show, the movies, whatever we could discover. So many of my happiest childhood memories have the music from Doctor Who playing somewhere in the background, such that just hearing it to this day puts me in a good mood.
How was growing up being a “geek/nerd?” Did you face any challenges? Any advice for any young female (and male) geek out there?
Growing up as a geek/nerd was both amazing and challenging. It was amazing in that I have always been incredibly well supported by family and friends. My father taught me Latin so I could more easily break down and understand language through component parts as well as context, my mother shared with me her (and supported my) love of chemistry - up to and including sacrificing her shampoos and conditioners as I "experimented" in the bathtub, and my friends have shared in and supported my MANY deep enthusiasms, from learning piano pieces by ear over the phone (for hours) to reading urban fantasy novels out loud with my best friend (to a growing crowd), to eventually finding My People at cons. It has, however, been challenging - especially as a female - because a lot of my intellectual enthusiasm and geek/nerd tendencies were viewed as typically "male" traits and it was very difficult for me to find balance with the apparent dichotomy between my inherent femininity and these supposedly "masculine" traits that were equally important to me. If I had to give any advice to young geeks and nerds today (of any gender identity) I think it would be this: there comes a point when in your life when you just have to own it. you become an adult, and you get to decide what that means (thank you, xkcd, for the quote). When you really come to terms with the fact that the one thing you truly have to offer in this world is yourself, you make it the best possible version you can at any given moment, and ENJOY your enthusiasms! the best part of being a geek is not worrying about being "too cool" to enjoy things. :D
The View from Bronwyn's Desk: Pop Funko's Taking Over!
There has been a lot of discussion in many circles about the representation of females in Hollywood, video games, comic books, and geek culture in general. What are your thoughts on this?
My thoughts on representation are pretty basic, I suppose. I think it's really necessary. It's so important for people to feel like they can see themselves onscreen; to feel understood, to know that someone, somewhere is going through the same things they are going through. It's important for everyone to know that they are not alone. When you look at today's North American media, you would think that the vast majority of the population is white and male. When Justin Trudeau appointed his cabinet and half of them were women, he was questioned by the media. He was asked why. His response was, "It's 2015." The fact that he was even asked this question is why more accurate representation is hugely important.
What great things do you think is happening in the world of movies/TV, video games, and comics book right now?
There’s an increase in diversity in the types of characters we can find in comic books, TV/movies, and video games. More women, more culturally diverse characters, more LGBTQ representation, even more diverse storytelling styles and options within these different media outlets. Comics have so much more than the Big Two now, and are far beyond simple superhero stories. TV and movies are taking those superhero stories (and others) and elevating them into something beyond parables and into complex explorations of humanity. Video games are advancing so far they are literally breaking into virtual reality as we wait for the rigs to hit mainstream. These are exciting times to be a nerd!
What would like to see in geek culture (comic books, video games, TV/movies) ten years from now?
I would like to see geek culture band together to exterminate (or at least thoroughly excoriate) the vocal minority fostering hate mongering, misogyny, and exclusivity. I have loved that the internet has provided me a global home full of people with whom I can connect on so many levels. I want the geek community to be the welcoming, supportive, inspiring, innovative place it is so capable of being.