Sonia at iFanboy: Year One


As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane to San Diego, on my way to the mecca of all things comic book related. I spent last night packing, helping my brother mend his Spider-Man costume (lucky I had some red thread handy), and making sure that I’d remembered my sunblock (as if I’ll spend much time outdoors – silly me!) The other iFanboy’s are already waiting for me there, and I can’t wait to get cracking. On Friday there’s the iFanboy meet-up to look forward to (and by the way, if you hate my articles, now is the time to tell me… oh wait no, please don’t do that!) If you’re following me on Twitter because you’re curious about my Comic-Con updates, I’m going to apologize right now for how much bloody complaining I’ve done about work in the past, (I like it really), and how completely uninformative my feed is. I like to vent, and since I don’t want to appear to be a negative person in life, it all somehow finds an outlet on Twitter. Now you all know my dirty little secret.

Speaking of dirty little secrets, it’s been just over a year since I started writing for iFanboy. It seems like a lot less time than that to me, (but isn’t that the kind of thing that everyone always says?) Well I mean it, really, the time has bloody flown by, and the accompanying changes have seemed completely natural.

Way back when iFanboy first approached me about writing a weekly column, I thought they were joking, I really did. First of all, a weekly column seemed like a hell of a lot of “me” to be subjecting people to (and even now I must apologize for all of it. I do what I can to mitigate the nonsense, but you’ve got to take the good with the bad with me. A few friends have told me that they like the fact that they always know where they stand with me… I think this means that I’m tactless and a bit abrasive. So sorry about that. Anyway…) Secondly, I really couldn’t imagine that I’d have something comic-book related to talk to people about on a weekly basis, since I am in actuality a rather cagey person (or at least I used to think I was.) Of course, having known me for a while, the good people at iFanboy were very used to my impassioned (and often unsolicited) rants about comic books, so they knew that I had plenty to say (and I have to wonder sometimes if they didn’t want to spread the burden of my inane thoughts amongst this surprisingly tolerant community.)

At that point my love of comic books wasn’t exactly something that I was massively public about. Naturally it has been a pretty huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Those who knew me were well aware that I read comic books, but I generally didn’t talk about it much. In the past, people had the reaction that I must be somewhat immature or stupid to enjoy something so (in their opinion) low-brow, and I really wasn’t sure if I was ready to come out of the closet so completely about my deep respect and love of the medium. As it turned out, the response of the iFanboy community has been more encouraging and supportive than I’d ever imagined.

It probably never occurred to any of us that I’d enjoy writing for iFanboy as much as I do, or that it’d lead to all of these small (but incredibly important) changes in my life. The oddest thing to me has been to see that the process of writing articles can lead to learning some fundamental facts about myself, often seemingly to the subject matter of the chosen article… It’s strange and certainly not what I expected, almost as if the act of writing something down is shaping reality, or at least giving form and solidity to formerly unacknowledged and amorphous ideas.

In many ways, writing this column quickly morphed from a job, into a genuine pleasure. The simple routine of taking time to formulate my thoughts every week has given my life a small center to revolve around. Having an outlet for all of my thoughts and ruminations about comic books has given depth and joy to many other parts of my work, even the ones which are ostensibly unrelated.

In the first three months of writing, I struggled a little to magically pull the rabbits out of the hat. Then one day I realized that ever single article that I’d written thus far has stemmed from a conversation that I’d had. As much as I might want to think of myself as some kind of magician, breathing life into the blank page, in reality it was more an act of transcribing continuations of discussions, the seeds of which began with my friends and family. Even passing conversations with strangers became fodder for my articles, and before long I’d realized that I needed to discuss comic books in order to be able to write about them in any kind of an engaging way. If the articles weren’t interesting to me, then why the hell was I writing them? No, they couldn’t just be a one-sided thing, I had to make sure that I spoke to people, shared ideas, bounced things off of them. What a great excuse to start being more open about my thoughts about comic books. Quickly I found that many people shared my enthusiasm, and many more had ideas and contributions to add to my infant thoughts. Pretty soon I found that the ideas were coming faster than the articles, and writing them has been a lot of fun ever since.

With all of that in mind, I’d like to thank my colleagues, friends, family, and the people who comment and write to me at iFanboy. Without all of your help, this column would be a sad and tired thing, and I’d be running on empty. Instead I’m filled with enthusiasm, I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Sonia Harris is an expatriot Londoner, living and working in San Francisco. She’s probably been reading comics since she before she could read words. They’ve always made sense. Like Jimski, she’s just the tiniest bit apprehensive about meeting you. If you’re not coming to the iFanboy meetup in San Diego, you can email me at sonia@ifanboy.com.

Comments

  1. What a year it’s been. I was wary when I heard I was but one of several people getting this gig, but thank God. You’ve all been excellent, collaborators rather than competitors. Pleased to know you; see you tomorrow!

  2. Sonia, your work is always been a great to fairly enjoyable read. Nah, I’m picking….great is the word I was looking for. As for your Twitter feeds, I would of been lonely and couldn’t of passed on tips to anyone, when we were both out of commission with back troubles. I hope you are doing better, too, as it’s been awhile since we’ve talked about it.

  3. Here’s to you on this site forever and ever and even more ever. Every article you do is fantastic, no matter what JoeCasey states, and when you go on the podcasts it’s a sheer delight.

    You dressing up as Black Widow is a plus too…

  4. Great to have you on the site, Sonia– and I really love it when you "guest host" the podcast.

  5. Sonia, thanks for your ALL contributions to the iFanboy community.  I always look forward to your work, and never know what to expect.  Cheers!

  6. I don’t think anyone’s ever told the story of how the new writers came to join to the iFanboy staff.  Unless there was a giant notice and I missed it.

  7. On ya, Sonia.

     

    did you see what i did there? 

  8. Thank for a year of unique posts and contributing with a perspective that was lacking on the site.  Keep up the good work and enjoy San Diego.

  9. Congrats on one year, Sonia! 

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It’s been a great first year. Thanks for sharing your deranged mind with us! 

  11. Hey Sonia, great article as always. Discussion really is the most fantastic way to expand your ideas.

    Looking forward to saying hello on Friday night.

  12. If you are apprehensive about meeting iFanboys I think you should try get your hands on a Ryan-Reynolds-as-Deadpool t-shirt to wear when meeting them.Some will avoid you because its Deadpool and then any Deadpool fans will probably avoid you because they want Nathan Fillion as Deadpool.You’ll practically be invisible until you find someone you want to talk to,in which case you’ll have a conversation starter: making an excuse about the t-shirt.

  13. Why would you be apprehensive about meeting us?

    Oh right the way we act on here…

  14. Nice article. You bring a nice perspective to the website.

  15. Congrats on a year, Sonia!  I really like your point about conversation as a starting point for what you write. 

  16. Congratulations on  your one year mark. It’s been nice to have a female perspective comming from the ifanboy staff.

  17. Congrats Sonia! I always enjoy the interesting topics you bring up and how you bring your unique voice to the iFanboy conversation. Thanks!

  18. Great work Sonia! Its been a pleasure reading your thoughts.

    As an asides, no one says "wanker" as cool as you!

  19. You and the rest of the staff who’ve come along, going back to when Paul came aboard, have all been a welcomed treat. I don’t comment as much as I used to, but I still love coming every day for new content, and y’all are a big part of that.

  20. @TNC – JoeCasey is at the con following her, mumbling retorts under his breath.

  21. @chlop: But she has something now to counteract those retorts.

    Backup.

  22. More Sonia on the POW show. Or more other-staffer shows. Or iFanboy jr with Sonia Paul and jimski