We’re really excited for this month’s interview with Deena Pagilarello. We chat about comics, being a fan girl and up coming movies! (Click here to see last months interview with Sam Maggs).

Get ready, get set, here comes interview number 2!

When I go to Cons I have the hardest time not spending all of my money in one place. I usually get way too excited in Artist Alley. All of the geeky art makes my heart swell and wallet empty. This past Toronto Comic Con I got to meet a talented Artist Alley regular, Deena Pagliarello. I wanted to buy everything at her table but I managed to limit myself to her Peggy Carter drawing. Deena’s illustrations of kick ass ladies are so awesome, it’s hard not to give her all of your money.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Deena Pagliarello and I’m a freelance illustrator. I currently reside in Toronto. I’ve been basically drawing since I can remember. I went to Ottawa U for fine art and then continued to Sheridan College for Illustration. I’ve long graduated since then, living a nice little life in Toronto with my ever-loving boyfriend, my three cats and my scads of comics.

You can find my stuff here at http://deenadraws.tumblr.com and http://www.deenaillustration.com, I’ve got links to my etsy, instagram and twitter there!


2. What are you currently reading? Can you give us three comic book suggestions?

I just picked up the first three issues of Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson and I’m in LOVE with it. Unlike that other interpretation of Jem *coughwhataterribletrailercough* this book still has that nostalgic feeling but has updated it for 2015. I’m a big fan of the diversity of female body types in this series that Sophie Campbell has created. Seriously, I would kill to draw a variant cover for them! I also just picked up the first issue of the Black Canary series and I’m super loving Kelly Wu’s sketchy style in it. Also Gotham Academy, digging Becky Cloonan’s writing!


3. Would you call yourself a Fangirl? If so, what does that mean to you?

I’m definitely a fangirl, I’ve been a big fan of popular culture ever since I was little. A lot of that has to do with my older brother’s influence. I was always watching the same stuff he was, and sneaking into his room when he wasn’t home to read his comics. To me, being a fangirl is being able to enjoy geeky popular culture with absolute pride, especially since being a fan of geeky pop culture was always such a male-dominated field. It’s one of the reasons why I produce a lot of female orientated pieces, there are so many more women coming to conventions now, and it’s such a joyful thing to produce artwork that reflects that.


4. Who are your favourite badass leading ladies and why?

Well I consider Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation to be an amazingly bad ass woman, she isn’t afraid of a challenge, stands up for what she believes in even if it’s not the popular opinion and is so fiercely loyal to her friends. I miss the hell out of that show, it had such a nice depiction of female friendships too. I love Furiosa obviously, I adore Barbara Gordon as Oracle and Batgirl for her amazing intellect and ingenuity. And of course I LOVE Agent Carter, such a wonderful character with bite, heart and self worth, it’s so truly awesome to see this character flourish and be so welcomed by many fans.


5. What upcoming movie/comic book/ television shows are you most looking forward to?

Things I’m definitely looking forward to are the Captain AgentCarterwebMarvel movie, more Agent Carter (Season 2!!), hopefully a Black Widow movie in the future (seriously Marvel, git on that!) More Jem and the Holograms, more Ms. Marvel, more Saga and more awesome ladies in pop culture!


6. (Repeat Question but I am obsessed with this movie) Mad Max Fury Road has been getting a lot of its attention for its leading lady, Furiosa. The number of women in this action movie that have talking roles, fight and can handle their own, is in my opinion, impressive and refreshing.  In positive and negative light it has been said that the movie is a ‘feminist film’. Men’s Rights Activist Groups have said to boycott the film because Furiosa ‘barks orders’ at Max. Is Furiosa the strong female lead that we need? Do you think that Mad Max is a ‘feminist’ action film? 

Furiosa was such a great character. Her role harkens back to the days of Ripley from Alien and Sarah Connor from Terminator. Women who are complex, fully fleshed out protagonists are not all that common, let alone in action films. I think it’s a character that we absolutely need, she’s become so iconic in a way which is rare for a female protagonist in an action film. I don’t think George Miller set out to make a feminist action film but it has these varied female personalities, where not one woman is simply one note. It makes strong examples of feminism by way of giving women agency in a cinematic landscape where they typically have none which is incredibly empowering to see. I think that it’s just a great action film in general, and that it’s going to be one that truly stands the test of time.

7.  (Repeat Question because female representation is important and I wanted to) In the some what near future, we have a Captain Marvel movie to look forward to.  Do you have a fan cast for the movie? What are you most looking forward to? Do you have any hesitations? Shortly before the Captain Marvel movie, the Wonder Woman movie is coming out. DC and Marvel leading ladies movies coming out around the same time, I am too excited. Do you have an expectations for the Wonder Woman movie? Do you think that they can create a film where Wonder Woman can reach her amazing potential? 

Well if I had my way, Captain Marvel would be Katee Sackoff. She has the presence and the absolute snark to carry that film, though I would love if it were someone like Natalie Dormer or Gina Torres took on the role too. I’m most looking forward to seeing a female lead in a Marvel film, I’m a big fan of the MCU but there’s still a lot of things they can improve upon and this is a step in the right direction.  I just want the writing to be clever and complex enough to show different sides of Carol’s personality you know? She’s tough in a pinch but she can make light of things, and I want to see that reflected in the story.
With Wonder Woman, I am, I admit, a little worried. Especially with the route that DC has taken to make their films more serious and leaning more towards dark and broody. If they honestly made a live action Wonder Woman film exactly like the DC direct animated Wonder Woman film, I would have no complaints. That film dealt with so many aspects of her character, showed a broad range of strong female characters, and still managed to have some levity infused into it. Though, it helps that Gail Simone wrote the screenplay.

Thanks for tuning in! Fake Geek Girl Like Us is an interview series on +5 Charisma where we talk to girls in nerd culture. Email fakegeekgirlslikeus@gmail.com if you would like to be featured!