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Zoë Gulliksen’s awesome life

SENSES WORKING OVERTIME - Luis Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2013 - 12:00am

PARIS, France — Zoë Gulliksen has cosplayed as Black Canary, Peggy Carter (Captain America’s girlfriend circa WWII, in case you didn’t know), and Ramona Flowers; she’s a diehard Lord of the Rings fan, and has the tattoos in Elvish to prove it; and none other than famously comics-crazy filmmaker Kevin Smith called her “perfect” for a reality show about comic book geeks that he was putting together (the show was later revised  in what was, literally, a dick move  to have an all-male cast, instead).

Asked about her best New York Comic-Con moment, Zoë said, “Meeting Captain America himself, Chris Evans. Evans told me I looked perfect as [Peggy Carter], which made me fangirl like crazy. His fellow Avengers stars Clark Gregg and Tom Hiddleston also complimented me on my costume, which meant a lot to me.”

In short, Zoë Gulliksen is a geek girl, and proudly so. “To be a ‘geek girl’ means that I am not only interested in forms of media that are considered ‘geeky,’ but that I actively participate in them on a daily basis. Personally I watch a lot of movies and read comic books, then discuss my opinions of them online. I also love cosplaying at conventions, because I can embody my favorite characters and show off the hard work I put into creating the costumes.” 

Like any geek, she is obsessive and voracious when it comes to certain comics, books, movies, video games and TV shows (all of which, of course, she tweets about, as @bookishbelle). As a journalist for The Daily BLAM!, she’s interviewed geek icons like Steven Spielberg, Frank Oz and LOTR director Peter Jackson (“He’s my favorite thus far,” she says; she considers getting to meet and interview him her proudest achievement to date.) The “geek girl” label can be problematic — Zoë cites the attention-starved ‘fake nerd’ and the ‘angry feminist’ as examples of common and misguided geek girl stereotypes — but the upside is “finding other people who share your interests, who care about what you care about.”

Based in New York City — specifically, the Upper West Side — Zoë has, through these pop-culture pursuits, gathered a loyal (and presumably smitten) following. Aside from appreciative mail, fans have sent her “everything from books to expensive toys to household items and Tiffany’s jewelry” — and, most recently, a new MacBook laptop. “This phenomenon is popular in the geek girls’ community because we have fans from all over the world,” she says. She doesn’t overthink the implications; she’s sent little gifts to online acquaintances herself, she says, and sees the gratuities as thank-yous born of the kindness of strangers who have been reached by her words. And speaking of words: “My goals for the future are to be a successful blogger and published novelist. I have always wanted to write for a living, and I hope that in ten years I can live solely off the money I make from writing.”

Zoë also happens to have a Filipina for a mother: “Growing up half-Filipino really connected me to the Asian culture of geeks, including reading manga and watching anime. I have even read some Bahaghari, which I enjoy tremendously. I love going to anime conventions with my Filipino friends. My Filipino mom has always thought my geeky pursuits were strange, but she has learned to accept them, even though she doesn’t exactly understand what I’m talking about most of the time.”

So can this geek girl save the world? Hey — she’s got the thumbs-up from the Avengers, and that’s good enough for me.

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Visit Zoë Gulliksen online at www.bookishbelle.com

Zoe gulliksen’s 5 comics you should check out

1.) Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales

2.) American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque

3.) Peter Panzerfaust by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins

4.) The Stuff of Legend by Mike Raicht, Brian Smith, and Charles Paul Wilson III

5.) Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane by Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa

AMERICAN VAMPIRE BLACK CANARY BRAD MELTZER AND RAGS MORALES BRIAN SMITH CAPTAIN AMERICA GEEK GULLIKSEN PEGGY CARTER
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