What’s your name?
Helen Blanderson (actually Anderson)
Which shop do you work at?
The Silver Snail (Ottawa)
What do you do for your shop?
Assistant Manager/ Professional Nerd
How long have you worked there?
What are some of your favorite comics?
Batwoman, Saga, Optic Nerve, Essex County, Sweet Tooth, Hawkeye, Ultimate Spider-man, Young Avengers, Starman, Spera, Fatale, Powers, Fables… too many!
Who are some of your favorites in the comics biz?
Jeff Lemire, Chris Ware, Greg Rucka, Darwyn Cooke, Gail Simone, Neil Gaiman, Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Scott Snyder to name a couple
Who are some of your favorite comic book characters?
Batwoman, Ultimate Spidey (Miles Morales), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Squirrel Girl
What is your most prized comic book or collector’s item?
All the Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library stuff that’s out of print that I’ve been able to stumble across by accident at various shops
Which comics do you recommend the most often?
Saga, Y the Last Man, Fatale, Hawkeye, Batwoman, Young Avengers, Chew, Scalped, American Vampire, Invincible, Locke & Key, Lazarus, Sandman, Umbrella Academy
What kind of events does your shop participate in or host?
I started a comic book book club that meets once a month
Favorite webcomics/webcomic creators?
Kate Beaton, Kate Leth, Liz Prince, Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots), John Allison (Bad Machinery)
If you could only read one graphic novel for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Essex County or Building Stories. They are both incredible and I never get tired of re-reading them.
What other things are you a fan of (TV shows, novels, movies, ect)?
all David Lynch films, all David Cronenberg films, Margaret Atwood, Game of Thrones, Star Trek
Do you collect anything?
besides comics… Russian Nesting dolls
If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?
What would you use it for? Mind reading… I’m really nosey and it would be easier to recommend comics to people
Do you believe there is other life in the universe, and if so, what do you imagine it looks like?
yes and unfathomable
Do you go to any conventions?
I’ve only been to one because crowds make me soooooooo nervous
Are you a cosplayer?
If so, what characters have you cosplayed? I’m even bad at halloween
Outside of the day job, what other cool stuff are you working on?
haircutting and my canadian film collective (the Lost Dominion… we screen hard to find canadian films)
Tell us an uplifting story about working in your shop!
This one time a customer I had never seen in the store before yelled at me because of a store policy that he was not a fan of and bullied me until I started crying and the other customers in the store at the time stood up for me until the guy left and then i got some lovely hugs. Also many of my regular customers bring me presents on my birthday and at christmas. we have the absolute best regulars.
What do you love about being a Valkyrie?
it’s nice knowing i’m not the only girl being gawked at in a comic book store. It’s just cool having support in all the crap that ladies have to put up with in this industry.