Just Who the Hell Am I, anyway?
Name: Erica Friedman
Birthday: September 5 (Virgo)
Blood Type: B-
Favorite food: Lacquer duck with mandarin pancakes or anything Indian
Least favorite: Licorice, fennel or anise
I have always wondered exactly why people put things like bios, visit counters and guestbooks on their webpages. I guess its a mechanism for denying our complete meaninglessness in this universe or something. Be that as it may, I was feeling rather self-absorbed tonight and thought I’d finally get around to writing the “FAQ”s like I had said I would. I have no doubt that nearly no one will read this, but if you do, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think of it, or me, or anything you feel like mentioning.
So, who the hell *are* you?
I hold a B.A. in Comparative Literature (specializing in Early Medieval, i.e., Arthurian lit.) and a Master’s in Library Service, both from Rutgers University.
I speak no language fluently except English, but I have a fair amount of languages in which I can say Yes, No, Thank You and order food. My Japanes gets slowly better – I can now speak like a retarded 4-year old.
What got you into Anime?
It started when I was in high school, actually. I used to come home from school and watch Speed Racer andStarblazers every day. I had a friend who collected anime stuff, particularly the Starblazers stuff. In 1980, this wasn’t easy, I can tell you. Anyway, at the time I realized, almost instinctively, that this Japanese cartoon stuff was a giant black hole into which I’d throw all my time and money and I had little of either. So I never got into it.
Years, over a decade in fact, go by. My s.o. was unemployed, home and a bit down. she began to watch this goofy show on Cartoon Network, Sailor Moon. And being a tad depressed, it seemed like a good thing to watch every day. So she became hooked. While she was getting a job, walking out on it, getting another one and being happy again, we both were watching it, and taping every episode. The first episode I watched was “Cruise Blues” and about halfway through it, I turned to her and said, “We are not watching the same show, you know. You are watching the cartoon for pre-pubescent girls. I am watching the heavily subtexted lesbian cartoon.” So, we were both hooked. As you probably know, Tuxedo Mask is the token male and my s.o. really liked him, but his speeches are inane. So I suggested we get a few fansubs and see what they were like. (By this time I was reading the SM fan newsgroup regularly and had learned all about fansubs – something I had never heard of before, as I had never really entered the world of anime collecting.)
Well, that was it. We bought the S season tapes from VKLL, and by episode 3 I was a goner. Tenou Haruka walked onto the screen and into my life. :-) I have been obsessed ever since. That was about two years ago.
I had written a few Xena fanfics by that time and it seemed perfectly natural to move into SM fics. And then I noticed the lack of decent SM hentai fics. So…The Fanfic Revolution was born. The the FR branched out to non-hentai and non-anime, and ultimately I branched out to found Yuricon, to celebrate yuri and shoujoai. And now I publish original yuri manga with ALC Publishing, so I get to practice translation and push the envelope on my limited graphics skills.
In this order: Eating, reading, martial arts, anime/manga, everything else. “Everything else” breaks down into things like archeology, cultural anthropology, comparative religion/mythology, astronomy, chicks with weapons, T.E. Lawrence, etymology and philology and a host of random other interests that I pursue in between watching anime and working.
Which are your favorite anime series?
Not in any particular order, Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Card Captor Sakura, Patlabor, Air Master, ROD The TV, Maria-sama ga Miteru and mostly anything with psychotic, evil chicks or cool, competent chicks with weapons or powers. I am pretty definitely not a strictly shoujo anime fan; shounen stuff is cool too – and has alot more sex. You can read all about my favorites at Okazu, my “official” blog, where I review all the yuri anime and manga I can get my hands on.
Any advice for authors?
Don’t ask unless you really want to know. And never ask people for “advice” when what you want is praise. Ask for praise.
Don’t sit around waiting for people to do stuff for you – get out there and do it yourself.