Beware the Valkyries

Danni Danger

Danni DangerWhich shop do you work at? 
Austin Books & Comics in Austin, TX.

What do you do for your shop? 
I work random shifts either at the register or roaming around helping customers find things, plus I dress up in costume at promotional events for the store, like conventions and Free Comic Book Day.

How long have you worked there? 
It’ll be 4 years ago on FCBD 2014. WOAH.

What are some of your favorite comics? 
Currently running: Hawkeye, Saga, Rat Queens, Revival, Sex Criminals, Young Avengers, & Red Sonja. R.I.P. Journey into Mystery; you are sorely missed. I also love several other books, Fables, Y: the Last Man, Persepolis, American Born Chinese, Beasts of Burden, the Sandman series, and Freakangels.

Who are some of your favorites in the comics biz?
KellySue DeConnick, Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Marjane Satrapi, Jill Thompson, Terry Moore, Matt Fraction, Darwyn Cooke, Ming Doyle, Jordie Bellaire, David Aja, Chris Claremont, Warren Ellis, Jenny Frison, Skottie Young, Fiona Staples, Gabriel Rodriguez, Francesco Francavilla, & Brian K. Vaughn. There are so many others, but just offhand…

Who are some of your favorite comic book characters? 
Lying Cat, Betty from Rat Queens, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Kate Kane/Batwoman, Death (the Sandman),  Big Barda, Lois Lane, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Jessica Jones, Jessica Drews/Spiderwoman, Ororo Munroe/Storm, Kitty Pryde, Iliyana Rasputin/Magick, Emma Frost, Kate Bishop/Hawkeye, Kid Loki, MIss America Chavez, Quentin Quire/Kid Omega, Gertie & Ol’ Lace.

What is your most prized comic book or collector’s item? 
Joe Eisma JUST drew me a sketch cover of Young Avengers #1 with Kid Loki meeting Lying Cat, and I framed it as soon as I got it home. I’m obsessed with the concept of the Young Avengers hopping through the multiverse and ending up having breakfast at the same diner that the Will and Lying Cat happen to be visiting.

Which comics do you recommend the most often?
Locke & Key, Freakangels, Saga, Persepolis, Y: the Last Man, Fables, the Sandman, and Invincible.

What kind of events does your shop participate in or host?
Every year we have a themed Labor Day Sale, lots of signings and costume parties, Wizard World Austin, and Free Comic Book Day. We’re in the process of organizing a Ladies Night for next spring! I can’t wait!

Favorite webcomics/webcomic creators? 
I’m not as webcomic savvy as I’d like, but I do follow Marlo Meekins & Jess Fink pretty religiously, and I was a fan of Kate Leth *before* I was a Valkyrie (said with very large hipster glasses and a look of fake superiority.) No seriously though, her webcomics are a must.

If you could only read one graphic novel for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Persepolis. It’s beautiful, it’s moving, & it’s based on true events. Everytime I read it, it’s like I’m reading it for the very first time.

What other things are you a fan of (TV shows, novels, movies, ect)? 
I LOVE animation; Batman, Superman, and the Justice League cartoons from the 90s. I love Avatar: the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. I’m a really big fan of the Hobbit & the Lord of the Rings; in 6th grade my friends and I learned to read and write Elvish so we could pass notes in class without the teachers being able to read them. I’ve even got Elvish tattooed on my foot! I also love Doctor Who (but I haven’t seen all of the classic Doctor episodes yet), Harry Potter, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Hunger Games, and Wicked. I’m also a pretty big fan of pinup culture and photography, any kind of arts and crafts, and David Bowie.

Do you collect anything? 
I have a decent collection of Wonder Woman actions figures as well as other various awesome action figures: Michonne from the Walking Dead and Jack Kirby’s Big Barda being favorites. I do collect the Skottie Young variants and blank sketch covers, but only for titles that I’m reading. Does collecting music count? I collect songs and make mix CDs or “soundtracks” for comics. For example, I have a Gotham City soundtrack and an Avatar State soundtrack that’s based on the four elements.

If you could have any one superpower, what would it be? What would you use it for?
Teleportation! Ideally I would use it to see the world, meet people I’d never be able to meet otherwise, and to every craft, every project, and every cosplay I’ve ever wanted to complete… Realistically I would use it to work more.

Do you believe there is other life in the universe, and if so, what do you imagine it looks like?
YES, YES, ONE THOUSAND TIMES YES. I’m sure the existing life in the universe is very simple and I’m over-imaging things, but I like to imagine my aliens as very similar to the deep-sea ocean life here on our planet. I’m obsessed with bioluminescence, so I imagine a universe that is not lit by a giant sun and where light is very minimal, so a planet full of predators using light to lure in prey sounds fantastic.

Do you go to any conventions? 
So far just Wizard World Austin, although I’d like to check out Alamo City Comic Con & eventually New York City Comic Con.

Are you a cosplayer? If so, what characters have you cosplayed?
I’ve only done a little cosplaying, Poison Ivy, New X-Men Jean Grey, and the Cheetah (Wonder Woman’s nemisis). I’ve done a little special effects makeup, zombie stuff and the like, plus I made Zuko’s scar and Aang’s arrow from A:TLA.

Outside of the day job, what other cool stuff are you working on? 
I’m a content contributor for Weird Girls; I make videos about what’s on my pull list, or comics I recommend, or tips to guide newbies around the culture. I also bartend, crafting cocktails with comic book and geek themes; I’m working very hard right now to open a similarly-themed coffee and cocktail bar close to my shop!

Tell us an uplifting story about working in your shop!
I dress up as Sidekick Girl for FCBD and Wizard World Austin, and one of my favorite things to do is to talk to kids while I’m in costume. If they’re dressed up as a superhero, I tell them what a HUGE fan of their work I am, and ask them if they want to team up. The kids who are shy are completely adorable, but it’s the kids who get really excited because a grown up is a part of that day when they got to be Batman. Having a little kid believe that you are an actual superhero is a feeling that everyone should enjoy once. It’s pretty amazing.

What do you love about being a Valkyrie?
I love that all of the ladies are on top of the news and the new stuff coming out. There have been several times where I come across something awesome in the comic book news world and I go to post it and there’s a new post by another girl saying exactly what I was thinking about the situation. All of the ladies are so creative, and reading about their ideas or seeing the wonderful things they’ve drawn or made is so inspiring and motivating!

How can we find you on the vast expanse of the internet?