I’ve been handling the Beat events and a few previews here and there, so it’s about time I introduce myself to the awesome and loyal readers of the Beat.
My name is Jessica, and like many of you, I’ve been a fan of all things comic for probably as long as I can remember, ever since I was a wee child and able to distinguish that I wanted to be just like Death from SANDMAN (that must explain my history with dark clothing and the month in junior high when I thought black lipstick was the answer to all my problems.) My first awakening to the world of comics and animation had to be when my father thought it was appropriate to screen AKIRA on father-daughter night, although he quickly moved on to more age-approriate works by giving me copies of manga such as MAI THE PSYCHIC GIRL, 3×3 EYES, PHOENIX, and CRYING FREEMAN. Needless to say, manga and anime have played a huge part in the shaping of my nerdy comic identity. To this day, my main inspiration for my haircuts have been based on anime characters.
The first time I really got hooked on American comics was indefinitely with Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano’s THE DREAM HUNTERS, which then lead me to read everything Gaiman oriented, especially SANDMAN. After finishing the series, it was full speed ahead to my love of comics, and since then I haven’t looked back. My first paid job ever was working at my local comic book shop, where I considered myself the luckiest girl around since I could just hang out and read comics for free!
Last year, I graduated from UC Santa Cruz, where I was lucky enough to have a literature professor that continually put graphic novels on her syllabi, and therefore made my essay-writing career that much more enjoyable. This past year I finished up internships with San Francisco’s Viz Media and McSweeney’s, where I’ve had the chance to toast coffee cups with the likes of Chris Ware and editor Mike Montessa. I went to this year’s Wonder Con on a whim, where by chance I sat in on the small publisher’s panel, and nervously worked up the courage to talk to Heidi. I told her how much I enjoy reading the Beat, she commented on my star printed cardigan, and thus a partnership was struck! Since then I’ve been getting adjusted to writing and posting on the Beat, which has been entirely exciting and where I hope to continue for quite some time.
So that’s just a little about me. I can’t wait for what’s in store next!