PREVIEWSworld Exclusive: Katie Findlay Says Don't Mess With Her Geekery

by Vince Brusio

Some comic fans are very vocal about their passion for comics. One fan in particular granted us this exclusive interview so she could talk shop, and it was none other than The Carrie Diaries' own Maggie Landers herself, Katie Findlay!


PREVIEWSworld: Katie, people are most likely up-to-speed about your film career that includes acting roles in TV shows such as Fringe, The Killing, and now The Carrie Diaries. What they probably don’t know is that you’re a fan of comic books. But who in your inner circle would know that you’re big on monthly periodicals? And do these people know enough about your hobby to give you graphic novels and trade paperbacks over the holidays?

Katie Findlay: The term "inner circle" makes me sound so much cooler than I actually am, let's keep using that! I'm pretty steady when it comes to my geekery, so I'd say most people who know me in any real capacity know I'm into comics. I don't get a lot of books as gifts, mostly because I have a habit of going on solo missions to find exactly what I'm freshly excited about (regardless of when it came out). That makes knowing what's in my library tough unless you have a security feed of my apartment…aaand now I'm just hoping no one has security feed of my apartment. I give comics as gifts often, especially when it's someone who isn't big into the scene and I want them to have something neat. Or when I need someone who knows their stuff to read something I've read so we can talk about it until the end of time.  

PREVIEWSworld: How passionate are you about your comics collection? Or do you just read books on the fly? Did you read books as a kid? What books were you exposed to early on, and what books now have come to be your favorites?

Katie Findlay: I go in and out. I'm never consistently up to date, but I get really into different authors, artists, trades, and upcoming stuff at different times. I've probably crossed the line of "casual," seeing as I do have a fair sized comic shelf. I get obscene amounts of joy from having enough of a certain series/person's work to create a section. 

If we're talking earliest comic inklings (puns are funny), I spent my childhood in love with Peter Parker. So there's the bedrock. He wore glasses, he was 17 (the age of sexy grown up-ness to my 8 year old self), and he was good at science. Dreamy hair. Crime fighting. Honestly, it's an easy sell. Prepared for the operative challenges of marrying a superhero or not, that was my plan.

In elementary school, I secretly read weird pulp comics that were NOT for children at my public library. To this day, I couldn't tell you what they were actually about. There was an abundance of cleavage, innuendo and gratuitous murder. 

I didn't get into comics in earnest until I decided, at 14, that becoming Catwoman was probably my best bet for a happy life. I'm not sure how much progress I've made. I was heavy into Batman, Spider-man and X-Men. Later on I moved in a non-strictly-superhero direction to stuff like Powers (Bendis/Oeming), which I've been following since the beginning, and Y: The Last Man (Vaughan/Guerra). 

PREVIEWSworld: As you probably know, Free Comic Book Day(FCBD) is an annual event where comic shops across the country give out free comic books. Free Comic Book Day gets bigger every year, and continues to educate people about comics diversity and its culture, like cosplay. If you could offer suggestions to people who may visit a comic store for the first time on FCBD, what titles would you recommend to them, and why?

Katie Findlay: Oh man, that's a big question. Most of what I read involves boobs and swearing, so if that's up your alley here we go: 

Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips: If film noir, horror, and the occult had a sexy sexy baby, it would be this series. It's dark, velvety, grown-up-comic goodness. A stunningly beautiful woman slinking through time, wreaking mysterious (and very attractive) havoc wherever she goes? Come on.

Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Oeming: Hard boiled, fast talking cop drama in a world where cops operate in the same city as superheroes capable of leveling a city block over a minor disagreement. To date, one of my favorite things.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra: Thi­­­s one is a good example of how comics are a great medium for epic story telling. It follows the journey of the last man on earth and his monkey. It made me cry. A lot. Read it. Read it now. 

Local by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly: One of my favorite examples of a comic that follows the quiet stories of someone's life and ends up feeling personal in a lovely, poignant way. It also comes in a big ol' hardcover now so you can get it all at once. Also, Brian Wood is a great writer.

Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples: A super juicy, easy to read, beautifully illustrated love story between aliens of warring races as they try to escape the conflict between their cultures with their brand new baby girl. This book has some of the best quipping ever. 

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja: My favorite superhero comic currently running. Do it.

Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale: My favorite Batman ever. Do it.

And truly, that's just off the top of my head. Comics have such an incredible range of expression. I've never failed to find something for any one of the hundred things I'm in the mood for on any given day. My other advice would be to pick up something indie that no one else is looking at. You find the best stuff that way and just as much love/work went into it. 

PREVIEWSworld: I’m guessing not too many people talk about reading comics on the set when you’re filming a show. But do you get a chance to “talk shop” online with any group of friends, or share stories/experiences on social media? Do you frequent any groups, or ever visit a Comic Con in your area?

Katie Findlay: Honestly, I don't have a special online collective or anything. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by people in my personal life who I can talk comics with pretty spectacularly. And you'd be surprised the people who come out of the woodwork on set. Finding out someone else reads is rocket fuel for me, you can't shut me up. You immediately become my favorite person. 

What I've learned from similar not-shutting-up online is that a lot of people who work in comic/graphic novels are damn cool, and engaged with their readers (provided you remember your manners). 

I've been known to dress up from time to time, thanks to the kindness of friends who sew. I will ABSOLUTELY hit a Con if I'm able. I've been to Fan Expo in Vancouver a couple times, ECCC and NYCC this year (although briefly). 

Once, I did have someone on set say that they "put my weird book back on my chair." So there's still work to be done.

PREVIEWSworld: If people want to reach out to you, do you have any social media pages that they can use to see what you’re up to these days, and learn what new books you might have picked up at the store?

Katie Findlay: Look for me on Twitter (@katedangerfield) or Instagram (@katicatronica). I also co-host once in awhile on a Vancouver based comic podcast called Booked, run by some lovely friends of mine over at The League of Manchildren.

Katie hanging out with JJ and Marvel Ent. Manager of Video & Content, Blake Garris.
Check out Katie in The Carrie Diaries!
Check out Free Comic Book Day on Twitter!
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