Photo courtesy of Miranda Barnes

My first comic book review was a heartfelt video declaring my love for The Stuff of Legend. Part of me just wanted an outlet to express my passion for the series and encourage others to read it. Part of me wanted to connect with fans of the medium as a whole, to start a discussion and make new friends in a community I was still relatively new to. Another, even bigger part of me just wanted to show my face online and disprove the myth that women aren’t “into” comics. Can you believe I’m still at it four years later?

[xt_pullquote style="default" align="right"]Girls read comics when there are comics for girls to read. – Trina Robbins[/xt_pullquote]

Marlene works at Tumblr HQ. In her spare time, she acts as editor-in-chief of comics.tumblr, contributes to Newsarama and vlogs on her partnered YouTube channel. She’s also a former web editorial intern of Marvel.com, has covered Philadelphia Comic Con for Wizard World TV and was featured as the “comic book nerd” on MTV’s My Life as Liz show in 2011.

As an advocate for a more diverse presence in the media, she was invited to speak on her first panel– “The Battle for Multicultural Heroes”– at San Diego Comic Con 2013. That same year, she appeared on FOX5 and Huffington Post Live. Along with reading and writing about comics, Marlene enjoys playing World of Warcraft and customizing vinyl toys.

She has a penchant for fictional blue characters and would not fare well in a zombie apocalypse


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What is the Collective?

The Collective is the name of the ilikecomicstoo community: fellow comic book collectors, video game enthusiasts, pop culture aficionados, etc., who are dedicated to sharing their passions and opinions on the web. Want to join the Collective? Become involved on any of the ilikecomicstoo outlets– here on the blog, on YouTube, on Twitter… we’re everywhere!

How did you get into comics?

I’ve always been a fan of cartoons and the like since I was little; I grew up watching X-Men: Evolution and Smallville, after all.  During high school I went through a hardcore Japanese animation/manga phase, which transitioned into an American animation/comic phase when I started college.  The interest has just continued to grow!

Why do you do video comic reviews?

Because they’re fun!  And because I feel that the Internet is still sorely lacking in the female perspective when it comes to comics.  One of the biggest reasons I started the ilikecomicstoo persona was to disprove the comic nerd stereotype – not every geek looks or acts like Jeff Albertson (“Comic Book Guy”) from The Simpsons.  It’s a great way to connect with other fans, besides.

Who is your favorite character/favorite comic?

My favorite character is and always will be Nightcrawler, closely followed by the other two components of the Holy Blue Trinity: Blue Beetle (both the Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes incarnations) and Abe Sapien.  It’s difficult to decide on a favorite comic, but I think the one that impacted me the most was Identity Crisis.

Are you a Marvel or a DC?

I am a Marvel.  I love the company and the people behind it, and they lay claim to the X-Men (my favorite group of comic characters). Plus, I interned there!  However, DC, Dark Horse, Image, a slew of other companies and indie comics aren’t far behind.