An Interview with a Viner: Waezi2

Welcome to the first edition of the new “Interview with a Viner” series in which I interview popular or influential users on the site on either a bi-weekly or monthly basis. My first guest is Waezi2 and I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to answer my barrage of questions.

Cloudguy: For those unfamiliar with you can you introduce yourself and what would you say you're most known for on the site?

Waezi2: I'm Waezi2, and I have been on this site for some years now. People knows me best for my parodies of comic books where I use five panels of said comic as well as the guy who makes a lot of popularity contests and lists about obscure nerd stuff.

Cloudguy: How did you discover Comicvine and what grabbed your attention?

Waezi2: I was looking up info on Avengers Academy comics and found Comicvine instead of Marvel Wiki. Wanted to talk comics with someone, I joined the site, eventually making my own blogs and stuff. Probably my first social media site besides Facebook.

Cloudguy: Your discovery of Comicvine is very similar to mine. What made you stay after your first few visits as you've been here since 2012. Quite some time, longer than some of our mods have even been users.

Waezi2: My 5-panels. I make them and post them on Tumblr as well, but it was here it started. And I like the kind of chats I have with the other users on this specific site.

Cloudguy: What gave you the idea to start your blog series "Comics in 5 panels"? It's a fascinating concept.

Waezi2: I must admit, I did not invent "Comics in 5 panels", that was Lewis Lovhaug. But I like to think I did more with the concept than he ever did. I feel like a guy who invented a new sandwich: I did not invent meat or bread, but I made something new with them. Besides, Linkara got the idea from "Movies in 5 seconds."

Waezi2: I wanted for years to be an internet critic of some sort, but I did not have a film camera, meaning I had to figure out something else. And since I wasn't the best writer back then, I liked the idea of panels with text. As the years went by, I did my best trying to improve the idea, even involving subjects not directly related to the comic I make a parody of, themes like politics. I'm especially proud of my "Civil War In 5 Panels" where I talk gun control.

Cloudguy: You must have quite the confidence to say that you're better at making Comics in 5 Panels than Linkara. But I like your explanation of it. What made you include yourself in your versions of Ci5P?

Waezi2: Not sure, really. I did it in my second 5-panel about the comic "Wanted" to show my reaction. I add the self-photos for reactions to the comics as well as adding some fourth-wall breaking so I can add a personal comment to the comic the 5-panel is about. And it makes my parodies feel more personal. Like I did in my 5-panel of Alias.

Cloudguy: Will the Comics in 5 Panels see a return after Manga-Mania May?

Waezi2: Possibly. Though it IS getting harder and harder to make new jokes and there are not many comics left I want to make parodies of. Some think I do 5-panels of some comics because I think they are dumb or suck. That is usually not the case. My very first 5-panel is about Kingdom Come, my favorite comic of all time. I just love humor AND comics, and I think making fun of stuff I like shows that I can laugh at myself, something we should all do now and then.

Anyways... Will I make more 5-panels? Probably. But I would like to do something new in the near future. Just not sure what.

Cloudguy: I'm hoping this isn't the end of Ci5P as I've enjoyed reading them when they release. I might not comment, but I do read 'em. If you did decide to end it, what would you make to replace it?

Waezi2: Again, not sure. But I wanted to do stand-up comedy for some years now. Just haven't had the time or written a long enough script. But I will keep life in 5-panels as long as possible. If I one day get the right equipment, then I will make YouTube video with the 5-panels and other sketches.

Cloudguy: What do you prefer more, Comics or Manga? And why would you do you prefer them?

Waezi2: Difficult question...

I think I would say manga, but for practical reasons.

Manga comics are WAY cheaper than comic books AND they have a size and shape that makes it easier to bring it with you on the train/bus. Also, I have always been a fan of the weird (my favorite movie is Corpse Bride) and manga’s can do that in a way that comics can't (not to say that there aren't comics AS weird as some manga’s, like the "Umbrella Academy" series).

I honestly think that DC and Marvel should do black-and-white comics, making their comics less pricey. I can only read one or two mainstream comic series due to economy. Most of my comic collection are used comic books.

Cloudguy: I agree with you there on manga's being cheaper in the long run for what they are. With them being much larger and can be about the price of 2-3 comics, it's understandable that you'd want more for your money. Do you find the pricing mainly down to availability where you are or something else?

Waezi2: I buy most of my comics used except for mangas with a few exceptions. I used to buy a Simpsons comic series called "Super Spectacular" whenever a new issue was ready, but it was sadly cancelled a while back. I find it difficult to buy new comics since single issues are really expensive now and they cost a bit more since I live in Denmark.

Cloudguy: What do you think of the current state of Comicvine?

Waezi2: The main problem with CV is that most stuff has to be posted in Gen or Off-Topic if you want others to see it. Don't get me wrong, I do that as well, but that is because fewer people use specific forums like Hulk, Adventure Time and such. We have mods who locks threads, I think we should have someone who made people change Gen posts and blogs to something more specific.

Also, we should have an appeal system since I do not agree with what all mods do, and it seems like there is a (with lack of better words) mob mentality among the mods. When I disagree with a mod, the mod tells me sometimes to go talk with another mod. If I do that, the next mod tells me that I went behind the first mod's back or something like that. I sometimes actually get ignored and I give up despite feeling treated unfairly.

Cloudguy: Definitely agree with you on the topic of the forums, I think the problem also stems in the fact that most of general disscussion ends up mainly discussing the movies (nothing wrong with that) and anything related to comics ends up being ignored unless you have people who read your content.

Cloudguy: While I've never had an issue with any of the mods, do you think that since we no longer have a staff presence, it's become a "Who will watch the Watchmen?" scenario? With the mods trying to handle everything without any guidance or anyone to tell them when to slow down?

Waezi2: More or less, yeah. I get that the mods are just doing their job, but some of the mods come off as a bit rude. Then again, I might be a bit pissed if I were in their shoes. But some of the reasons to why some of my stuff has been locked seemed like it was because of the mods' loose interpretation of what "spam" is. I do my best to follow the site's rules to the letter, so an appeal-system would be very appreciated.

Cloudguy: Who's your favourite Manga and Comic character and why do they appeal to you?

Waezi2: Has to be Taiga Kuzumi from the manga Mx0. He is a normal guy who accidentally becomes a student in what is basically Japanese Hogwarts despite being about as magical as a pencil. But all the students believe he is a prodigy due to circumstances that makes it look like he is a master mage. I love the idea about a guy who becomes popular for something he can't do and must try to keep a low profile, which is impossible with his fame among his fellow students.

Favorite comic character is without a doubt Power Girl. She was the reason to why I became a DC fan again. Besides being a superhero, she runs a company that makes tech that helps the rest of the world. That makes her heroic 24/7 in my book. Also, she is just awesome in general (despite Geoff Johns treating her character very poorly).

Cloudguy: That sounds like a hilarious concept. Turn it become an underdog story where he does get powers or is the entire story about him trying to keep the lack of powers a secret? Will there be a Manga-Mania May edition of Mx0?

I reviewed that one already some years ago, so no. Manga-Mania May: MxO.

Cloudguy: I don't actually know that much about Power Girl myself, as I've only recently started to read more DC Comics. What would you recommend is a good starting point be for those who want to read about Power Girl? And what's your favourite thing about her?

Waezi2: You should try and get the TPB called "Power Girl: A New Beginning" written by Justin Gray that got me into the character. Or you could get "Power Girl: Power Trip" that has the whole Gray series collected in one big book. As to why I like her... well, she is smart, strong and doesn't take crap from anyone. And she is a career woman who devotes her not-hero time to her company that makes technology that benefits the world (like tine cellphones that can last a decade, making less thrash). And she isn't a stereotype spinster who lost control over her life, she just prefers being a badass single. And she HAS a life outside saving the world-saving and company-running, she just prefers to save the world. That is badass in my book. AND she wasn't sexually mishandled like so many female superheroes, an AWFUL stereotype in the comic media.

Cloudguy: If you became a staff member, even for a day; what would you post about?

Waezi2: I think I would try and make more people post stuff in specific forums. That and try and establish an appeal-system. It would make the mod's life easier since if someone complain, they can tell people to use said appeal system. And I would keep posting blogs like I do now.

Cloudguy: I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to repsond to my questions.