5 Questions #7 with Alan Kistler.
Welcome Author. Actor. Pop culture and comic book historian, Alan Kistler! Author of the New York Times best seller Doctor Who: A History, host of the podcast Crazy, Sexy Geeks, geek consultant for various comic books, movies, and video games.
I’m a comic book and pop culture historian who speaks often on the history, evolution, social commentary and moral value of science fiction, fantasy, myth, and superhero franchises, as well as on feminism and diversity in pop culture. In classrooms and at convention panels, I regularly speak about Doctor Who, Star Trek, superhero stories as morality plays, LGBT portrayals across media, the evolution of vampire fiction, the many ways to handle time travel in storytelling, and artificial intelligence. With friends who are psychologists, I’ve also spoken about how superhero and sci-fi stories can speak about human resiliency, community building, and growth after trauma. – AK
Let’s get to the questions and the amazing answers!
- What is your favorite food?
I love a good steak and burger, but a treat I sometimes make for myself is a sausage and bacon sandwich with tomato, lettuce and spicy mustard. That just hits the spot so nicely and it’s not something you can simply order in a lot of places. A sandwich maker named Anne first constructed such a dish for me when I was studying in Oxford for a summer and I just loved it. Brilliant woman, Anne.
2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? (any galaxy or planet fictional or otherwise)
I’d love to visit Vulcan, Gallifrey and Silver Age style Krypton, but I know I’d get annoyed after a while that a lot of folks who live there seem to be jerks and wouldn’t get my sense of humor. The world of BioShock Infinite would be great if you took away the terrifyingly racist and judgmental society that lived there. There are lots of fictional planets and worlds that are cool to see and maybe even to visit but you don’t actually want to live there because of the other people who live or there are monsters that would just add so much stress to your mornings.
I think in the end, it would be a tie between the DC Comics 31st century Earth where the Legion of Super-Heroes live or just living on the USS Enterprise so I could seek out and explore many strange new worlds. I mean Kirk’s Enterprise. Picard’s ship looked too much like a hotel on the inside and I’ve spent enough times in hotels already. Plus, synthehol? What the Hell guys, let me enjoy my whiskey.
- Who is you favorite superhero?
What a terribly evil and divisive question. HOW DARE YOU? Oh, fine. To be quite honest, I think it can depend on the story you’re just in the mood for that day. But all in all, I think right now and for a while, my favorite has been a tie between Superman and Carol Danvers. They’re both tough people and have no patience for bullies, but they’re also idealists driven by hope and wanting to inspire others, not because they’re gods but because they’re nice people and honestly thinks we can be better if we just try.
4. If you could make your own Lego set, what would it be?
The Fortress of Solitude. Not the boring ones in the films and live-action TV shows where it’s just a bunch of crystal walls and a few platforms that could really benefit from stairwells and ramps. I mean more similar to the classic Fortress of Solitude or the one Grant Morrison always brings into his works. This wonderful place that’s both sci-fi and magical, with an intergalactic zoo, a time telescope, a museum of alien tech, a machine that can show you alternate timelines, fun robots, and flowers that sing.
5. Marry, F*** or Kill? Romana I, Romana II, Leela
I have actually met and spoken with a couple of the actors who play these roles and you’re asking me this? You’re asking me this of some of my favorite Doctor Who companions EVER? ARGH!
Ok… I would shag Leela because wow, Leela. Also, I’m sure she would teach me a few things in the process (Louise, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you understand). I’d marry Romana II because yeah, fell in love with her almost instantly. The wit, the brilliant scientific mind, the grin, I was helpless before them all. And I would kill Romana I because then she would regenerate into Romana II and we could get married already.