Today we’re talking to comic book fan and drink artist Danni Danger, my fellow nominee for Best Online Personality for the Geekies this year! We started chatting at the show, and wow, this lady rocks! I’ll let her use her own words to tell you about herself: “I’m Danni Danger, and I host and write a show about comic books for Weird-Girls.com. I do weekly pull list videos, reviews, tips for navigating the comic book world, editorial commentary the social setting of the geekosphere, as well as a lot of goofing around. My show is very new-reader friendly In addition to my YouTube show, I’m an admin and active member of the LCS Valkyries, a group of women all over the world who work in comic book shops. I try to fuse cosplay and fashion whenever possible, and I love making geek-themed craft cocktails.”
Check out what she has to say below about her work, comics and women in the industry. Scroll down for the Legion of Leia cocktail she created for us!
Legion of Leia: As a fellow comic book fan, I first have to ask you what you’re reading right now.
Danni Danger: Oh man, I’m reading so many things! My favorite weeklies are Saga, Sex Criminals, Rat Queens, Madame Frankenstein, all the X-Men titles always and forever, Alex + Ada, Miss Marvel, and so many others! IThey’re not out yet, but I’m highly anticipating the new Batgirl, Thor, and Gothan Academy!
I’m also reading through Strangers in Paradise for the very first time, and it’s a breathtaking. Just hearing typing the title of the book makes me feel all squishy in my emotional places.
Legion of Leia: Give us a look inside your show. How did you get started and what’s it like to shoot?
Danni Danger: About three years ago I had this idea that I wanted to talk about comics on YouTube, but without direction the idea kind of fell to wayside. Mark at Lovable Varmint came by my comic shop, Austin Books & Comics, and asked my manager if he knew any ladies who would be interested in talking about comics online , to which the response was probably something like, “OHBOY DO I?!”. Phone calls were made, scripts were written and then ignored, and here we find ourselves two years later!
The filming process has evolved quite a lot for me. It’s become more comfortable, and more like chatting with friends than memorizing my queues. My biggest struggle has and possibly always will be self-doubt. It’s so easy to over-analyze everything you’re saying, to mispronounce something, or to let the idea that others are judging you affect your ability to feel natural on camera. Every once in a while I still have to say or do something really silly or over-the-top before we shoot to try and shake off the nerves.
Legion of Leia: It’s been an interesting time for women in the geek world. Can you give us your take on the state of comics for female fans?
Danni Danger: It’s such a crazy time for the ladies of the geekosphere, because on the one hand WOAH. We are doing some really powerful things: we’re the largest growing demographic in comic book sales! So many more women are creating their own titles and writing popular titles for major companies. This is becoming true in so many mediums, video games, table-top gaming, YouTube production: all great examples. As such, we want to be treated with the same respect our male counterpart receive, and when we’re not, we say something about it. We’re raising our voices and speaking out and telling the world what treatment is no longer acceptable to us. And that’s phenomenal, because we are making progress!
On the other hand, people who are resistant to the “change” that inclusion brings are becoming more violent than ever. Women are being threatened with rape, chased out of their homes, and terrorized (yes, I chose that word completely on purpose) for having opinions . It’s a tricky time. You can’t say, “Ladies, let’s plant our feet in the soil, we won’t be bullied!” when a woman’s personal safety comes into play. It’s heart-breaking that so many women in the geek-space have to sacrifice their safety to do their jobs.
For the moment, I try to focus on each day, each event, each argument. I always try to keep focus on moving forward with logical arguments and whole heaping pile of patience. I do think it’s incredibly important to handle trolls and disagreements with dignity and to keep up the standard that WE don’t treat people that way on the internet. I think it’s important to be supportive of other women and men who are having these important conversations. I also think it’s SO important to support works that support your ideals. Buy books that feature LGBTQ characters! Recommend your favorite title with a lead that isn’t a white person! Tell your comic book shop to order the books that feature strong female protagonists! Tweet in support of public figures who stand up to sexism in geekdom! The best way to get more content that celebrates diversity is to support the art that’s already doing it.
Legion of Leia: Tell us about the LCS Valkyries and where we can find more information!
Danni Danger: The Valkyries are a group of women who work in comic book shops. We have over 250 members all across the world and we’re growing more everyday. We were founded by the incredibly talented comic writer and artist Kate Letth and has just grown into this incredible community of supportive and brilliant women from all reachers of geeky-space. If you want to find out more about us, you can visit bewarethevaalkyries.com , or you can find us on Twitter @LCSValkyries, Tumblr at http://bewarethevalkyries.tumblr.com, and on our Facebook page, LCS Valkyries. I want to tell you about all of the cool things we’re planning for this upcoming year! I want to, I want to, but I CAN’T. But we’re busy, busy, busy, making things happen!
Legion of Leia: What’s your favorite cosplay outfit? How did you get started with it?
Danni Danger: My favorite cosplay outfit, I think, is the one I’m working on. Whichever one I’m working on at the given time… I’m still very new to cosplay, so my costumes are getting more intricate as I go. I think my favorite part of the whole process is trying something for the first time. My two current projects have been choc-full of new skills to master, particularly my SteamTeam Justive Hawkgirl. I’ve never made wings or weapons before. My other project, my April O’Neil, is pretty high up there, too, because she started out as punk-rock April, then evolved to glam-April, and is now evolving into post-apocolyptic-it’s-just-me-and-Splinter-left April. I’m building a whole story there… in my mind. Heh.
Legion of Leia: What is the first sci-fi or fantasy character you connected with as a kid?
Danni Danger: Speaking of April O’Neil, she’s probably pretty high up on that list. My love for April made me want to be a reporter for a good chunk of my childhood. I like to think that the editorial part of my job with Weird Girls is inspired by her. Also, Buffy was absolutely essential to my early teenage years, and is probably 86% responsible for my sense of humor. I was also a huge fan of my Hogwarts ladies, Hermione, Professor McGonagal, and Luna (Ravenclaw represent!) Also, I’m an adult and sometimes I still want to dress up and pretend to be Eowyn when she slays the witch king.
Legion of Leia: Want to give us a Legion geek-themed cocktail?
Danni Danger: Oh DEFINITELY.
The Legion of Leiamonade
1.25 oz. Genius Gin
.75 oz. St. Germaine
1.5 oz. lemon juice
.75 agave nectar
.5 oz pineapple juice
Put all ingredients into a pint glass except for the ginger beer. Fill a shaker with ice and s shake until agave is dissolved. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with two lemon twists and serve.