Introducing the Geek Goddess Interviews …

The Internet is lousy with websites dedicated to pop culture, but only a handful of them feature women’s voices or are concerned with women’s issues.

There are some great ones — The Mary Sue, A Mighty Girl, and Her Universe come to mind — but, by and large, the content circulating on the geek Interwebs is written by and for men.

The No Man’s Land blog was created, in part, to address that imbalance. The site’s top priority is giving voice to fangirls who boldly pursue their geeky passions in whatever form they may take.

In that spirit, we’re proud to introduce our regular Wednesday feature, The Geek Goddess Interviews. (We know. We know. It’s a cheesy name. Just go with it.)

Every week, we’ll chat with a “Geek Goddess” whose devotion to her fandoms manifests itself in unique and inspiring ways — in career, family activities, hobbies, activism, opinions, creative pursuits, and other realms of expression.

We hope these simple snapshots will motivate other women to passionately embrace the fandoms they love and to do so with pride.

I’m always looking for interview subjects, by the way, so if you happen to know someone who might be ideal, please respond via the comments, private message, or email, lavendervroman@gmail.com.

For our debut interview, I’m proud to introduce one of my dearest friends, Kristy Rivas of Lancaster, Calif.

Kristy is a former teacher, a duty aide at a local elementary school, a comic book enthusiast, an expert movie buff, and the best convention buddy you could ever ask for. I’ve often benefited from her comic book wisdom and recommendations.

Kristy was a die-hard Wonder Woman fan long before a certain Amazon warrior made her big movie debut. One of the most interesting things about her, though, is the way she shares her geeky interests with her husband, David, and her children, 10-year-old Noah and 7-year-old Audrey. They have to be one of the coolest families ever. 

Kristy Rivas with her favorite comic book writer, Gail Simone.

Were you interested in “geek culture” as a kid or did that come later? When did you embrace the lifestyle?

I was not interested in “geek culture” as a kid. I did not read comics and I was not into sci-fi. After I was married, my husband decided to let me know that he was into “geek culture.” I was taken aback when he wanted to display his He-Man and Batman action figures in our home. He slowly began to draw me into some of his geekdoms. He introduced me to comics.

I began to embrace the lifestyle around 2005. There were a combination of factors that led to my embrace of it. My husband began buying Batman comics, Batman Begins came out, and we had made friends with a few self proclaimed geeks.

You’re a comic book reader. How did you become interested in that?

My husband would pick up Batman comics sometimes and I would read them too. I really enjoyed the Batman comics. In 2008, he bought me a Wonder Woman comic written by Gail Simone. Then, in 2009, Brian Q. Miller began a Batgirl run with Stephanie Brown and Gail Simone was writing Birds of Prey. These were the comics that really brought me into the comic book world. I am a comic book fan because of Gail Simone.

Marvel or DC?

DC Comics. Marvel films.

(Christopher) Nolan’s Batman trilogy and (Patty) Jenkins’s Wonder Woman (from DC) are my favorite hero films.

What are some of your favorite comic book titles?

Both of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey runs.
Wonder Woman: The Circle by Gail Simone.
Court of Owls by Scott Snyder.
Batman: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder.
Brian Q. Miller’s Batgirl run.
The New 52 Batgirl by Gail Simone.
New 52 Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello.
Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb.
Gotham City Sirens.

You were on the Wonder Woman bandwagon long before the movie became a hit. What drew you to the character?

Hope, power, love, faith, and strength. She has the strength and goodness of Superman but isn’t afraid to do what is necessary, including killing a foe. She has the sense of justice of Batman but doesn’t let it rule her life. She is a stranger in our land. She came as an ambassador and fights for us even though she isn’t one of us. She has faith in humanity. She is a great warrior. She is just AWESOME!

What did you think of the movie?

I thought the movie was fantastic! Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot did a fantastic job of bringing all that Wonder Woman stands for to the screen. The no man’s land scene gave me goosebumps.

What are some of the other fandoms you’re interested in?

Star Wars, Disney, Orphan Black, Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The Rivas Family, from left to right, Kristy, Audrey, Noah, and David. And, of course, that’s Chewbacca in the middle. The family poses with the Wookie at Disneyland.

Geeky interests and activities are a big part of your bonding time with your husband and kids. Could you talk about some of the interests you all share, as well as some of your individual interests?

We all love games so we play some geek themed games together. We will play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, or Disney Cranium a lot. We also love to go pick up comics together. My husband and I go to WonderCon and to a lot of geek centered films. I don’t really do many activities by myself. I really love that
we can do so many things together.

What are some of the geek-related things you enjoy doing together?

We love to watch The Flash and Supergirl together. We also love buying comics, Free Comic Book Day, playing Star Wars Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, attending the D23 Expo, going to see Star Wars films opening night, lightsaber duels, and many other fun things.

What are some of the collectibles you’ve amassed together or individually?

Oh man, we have so many Funko Pop! figures between us. We also have many geek related Legos and action figures. We don’t have any real collectibles though.

What do you feel your kids have learned from your encouragement in these areas of interest?

I don’t know. This stuff is widely accepted right now. It’s a good time to be into geek culture. We are having fun.

Kristy and her kids enjoy reading comics together and sharing in lots of geeky activities. Above, Noah and Audrey take a comic book break.

What would be your advice for families who want to incorporate these types of activities into their time together?

Go to Horizon Comics (in Lancaster, Calif.). Rodger is great and he will help you find something you like. Have fun with it. They might not love what you love. Encourage them to find something that they love. If you go to a Con, be relaxed.

You’ve attended a lot of conventions, including WonderCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and D23. What are some of your best memories from those events? What do you enjoy about cons?

Cons are so much fun! I have met Gail Simone twice, Ashley Eckstein (of Her Universe), Jim Lee, my husband met Scott Snyder, and we have been to many fun panels. My favorite con memory is just watching my kids enjoy the D23 Expo. Hearing their laughter during the DuckTales panel, watching as my son got his Oswald book signed by the author, watching my daughter jump into Scrooge’s money bin, and enjoying the time we have together sharing in our geekiness.

I love the atmosphere at the cons. I love that there is always a panel I want to see. I love hearing about where they are taking my favorite book characters or hearing people talk about where they wanted the Wonder Woman movie to go. I love the cool costumes that people have made. It is just a fun activity to share with those I love.

The Rivas family, from left, David, Noah, Audrey, and Kristy, pose for a comic book-themed family photo shoot.

As a woman, is there anything you would like to see change in the world of geek culture or fandoms?

Acceptance. Some people don’t like all the strong, female characters that are front and center. Honestly, I have seen some really good changes recently. Ashley Eckstein and Her Universe have expanded. I loved that they sold Wonder Woman merchandise and they are selling more decor now. Shea Fontana is doing a great job with DC Superhero Girls, which we all love, and is now writing Wonder Woman. Nicola Scott was doing the art work for Wonder Woman recently. Star Wars has Forces of Destiny and many other great books and comics.

Those are all great things. I would love to see more DC stuff out there for my kids in the comics. They did a great job with DC Superhero Girls but now my son’s left out of the DC comic loop.

I think things are moving in a great direction for girls and women right now. I want that to continue. Wonder Woman kicked ass! (The) Captain Marvel (movie) cast Brie Larson, which is fantastic. Maybe they are learning that women are awesome too! I also love that Black Panther looks amazing!! Also, the fact that Rey (of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Wonder Woman were front and center, strong, fun and not sexualized. Women are so much more than sexual objects and for people to leer at. Let’s keep that going.

What’s the next event or big release (movies, comics, etc.) you’re looking forward to?

The Dark Nights Metal comic looks exciting. That came out but we don’t have our copy yet. I also heard that Gail Simone has something in the works. Also, The Last Jedi!

You’re a fan of “Orphan Black,” which recently wrapped up its final season. What did you think of the finale? (SPOILER ALERT!)

I thought the finale was great. I enjoyed that we got to see the clones defeat Neolution, encourage Sarah, start curing all the Ledas, and be able to continue their lives. It brought everything together and tied a nice bow on it for us.

Who’s your favorite clone?

Oh man, I have two. Alison and Helena.

Kristy, Audrey and Noah in front of the Batmobile at an event.

4 thoughts on “Introducing the Geek Goddess Interviews …

  1. Great interview! I love Wonder Woman too. I hadn’t read any WW comics since I was a kid (I’m more of a Marvel fan), so I picked up the first two volumes of the DC Rebirth Wonder Woman series at the library last week. Sounds like I need to check out Gail Simone. …

    1. Gail Simone’s The Circle is really good. I love the way she writes Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, it must be out of print because it’s selling for $63 on Amazon. I’ve started the Brian Azzarello New 52 run. Let me know how the Rebirth series is. I think I might do a future post on where to start if you’re new to Wonder Woman comics. I had to get lots of advice from Kristy.

  2. I like the Rebirth series so far! They changed Diana’s origin story so that she comes to this world in modern times rather than World War I or II. I need to get Vol. 3 now, I think it came out just a few days ago. … I picked up the first few New 52s too. I like the art in Rebirth more, but that’s just my personal preference. Haven’t read the New 52s yet though, so I’ll let you know which series I like more when I am further in. 😉

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