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Monday, December 12, 2016

Interview #32 With Kristi Mcdowell

Did an Interview a few months ago with the writer of Gamer Girl & Vixen hope you guys enjoy :).

1: What got you into comics?

Kristi Mcdowell: I got into comics when I was young - maybe 7 or 8 years old, when I found my dad’s old comics in my grandparents’ basement one summer. My lifelong passion began in earnest when cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series and The X-Men were on TV.

2: How'd you come up with the idea for Gamer Girl & Vixen?

Kristi Mcdowell: Gamer Girl & Vixen is the result of years of playing online roleplaying games with my good pal and writing partner Sean Ian Mills. We were big into Marvel-centric writing games and had a character dynamic that we often came back to. That early character dynamic eventually manifested itself in the form of Gamer Girl and Vixen, two fun-loving, would-be supervillains who are more interested in the retweets than the rewards.

3: How long has Gamer Girl & Vixen been around?

Kristi Mcdowell: Officially, we started talking about Gamer Girl & Vixen late in 2014. That was when we formed our team with Gemma Moody. At the beginning of 2015, letterer Taylor Esposito joined up, which is what solidified the book into what it would eventually be. We launched our first Kickstarter campaign in May 2015 to fund chapters 1 and 2 (and managed to make enough to make chapter 3!) so that’s probably the real “birth” of the series, as it were.

4: Do you have a favorite issue or issues of Gamer Girl & Vixen?

Kristi Mcdowell: Oooh, good question. Maybe it’s not fair to mention it, since it’s not out yet, but chapter 4 is a great one. It’s where the initial “I like you” turns into “OMFG I think I love you” between the girls. It’s where they have to start deciding what’s most important: maintaining their safe cover stories or give in to each other.

5: What has been your favorite thing about writing this series?

Kristi Mcdowell: This is the kind of book I wish I could have read as a kid/teenager. There is something really satisfying about filling a void in an industry that I’m passionate about. Writing LGBT female lead characters in a world that embraces the fun of being a costumed adventurer is a genuine pleasure.

6: How long does it take you to write an issue of Gamer Girl & Vixen?

Kristi Mcdowell: Sean and I can bang out a script in about a week. There’s an editing process that takes longer, where Gemma joins us and brings an artist’s perspective to the script. But once we figure out the scene, Sean and I have more than a decade’s worth of writing experience together, so getting it down on paper is actually the easiest part of the process.

7: Who is your favorite character in this series and why?

Kristi Mcdowell: Hrmmm, we have such a great cast. So far, and maybe it’s silly, but my favorite character right now is actually one of the characters that came out of one of our reward tiers in the last campaign. Candace is AWESOME. She’s sassy, excitable and very, very funny. We’d already had the shell of the character in place but inserting Candace’s likeness into that role (originally written for a male character), really changes up the dynamic of what a supporting female character can be.

8: What advice could you give to someone who wants to write their own comic book series?

Kristi Mcdowell: WRITE IT. Literally nothing can happen in comics without a written down idea. Talking comics is not the same as making comics. Sean and I spent most of our friendship talking about the amazing comics we wanted to make and it took me finally linking up with Jay Mooers at Eden Park Tales to start actually doing it. As I learned the ropes, and there’s so much to learn, I brought that experience to Sean and convinced him to join me on this epic comics adventure. But none of it could have happened until I started just writing scripts and putting them out there.

9: What are some things you've learned from writing this series?

Kristi Mcdowell: Nice segue! The most important thing I’ve learned about comics since starting this series is that it doesn’t matter how good your work is if no one sees it. Networking and marketing are as important, if not more important, than making a good book. It can feel counter-productive to give any of your material away but the only way to get people talking about your comic is to put it in their hands. Use social media, go to conventions, get involved with independent creator groups. You’re selling yourself as much as you are your comic and that is absolutely crucial to find any level of success.

10: Would you ever want Gamer Girl & Vixen to be a movie or tv series? If so why or why not?

Kristi Mcdowell: YESSSSSSSS. I can imagine Gamer Girl & Vixen as another Supergirl or Agent Carter. But, and this is me being super picky and selfish, but I’d almost rather it be a movie just so we could cast Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow as Gamer Girl and Vixen, respectively. Have you seen them in Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2? Their chemistry demands a retake.

11: How long is Gamer Girl & Vixen going to be?

Kristi Mcdowell: Gamer Girl & Vixen volume 1 is going to be six chapters at about 100 pages. That’s what we’re working to fund right now on Kickstarter. Following the success of that, we have the framework for a volume 2 waiting in the wings. As far as I’m concerned, I can keep writing Gamer Girl & Vixen stories for as long as people want them!

12: What about this series makes it special to you?

Kristi Mcdowell: Besides everything? I mean, aside from it representing everything I want to read in comics - strong female leads, a diverse cast and a focus on the human aspect of superheroes and villains - this is really the first project I’ve done that is creating a conversation about what comics can be. I get emails and messages all the time thanking me for bringing characters to the page that don’t ordinarily get highlighted. I won’t lie - those messages always make me tear up a little. It’s so important to me that I make one person feel included in ways that I never experienced as a fan growing up.

13: If you could be any comic book character who would you want to be and why?

Kristi Mcdowell: Ms. America Chavez! “She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll punch you in the face!” ‘Nuff said.

14: Where can people find you on the internet?

Kristi Mcdowell: Right now, the best place to find us is on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1150651083/gamer-girl-and-vixen-the-graphic-novel) but our webpage is our hub for everything GG&V (http://gamergirlandvixen.com/). Come find us for a healthy dose of Love, Lesbians and Larceny - You Know You’re Into It!

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