Anika Hossain
: New York, NY

I am a Marketing major with a strong passion for humanities. I like to call myself artsy and semi-hipster. In the weekends, you’ll probably see me in an art exhibit, a museum or a theater rather than a club or a bar. And I love Steven Universe!

What is your favorite comic book and why?

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal. South Asian communities are so much underrepresented in the mainstream media. We are almost always shown as minor characters like a taxi driver in Hollywood movies. This comic kills the stereotype about us by having a minority as the main character and does a perfect job in embracing diversity.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Speaking every language that exists, which includes sign language and body language. I really want to master the art of communication.

What comics make you happy?

Comics with inside jokes that I understand. It makes me feel so smart!

Which comic book characters do you most admire?

I admire the characters who have the ability to work hard enough to turn their weaknesses into strengths. An example would be Cassandra Cain, who can’ t speak or write but mastered the art of body language. It shows that even if you don’t have something, you can work hard and compensate for that lacking. Without any doubt, Batgirl is a better communicator than those who can actually read and write.

Which comic book characters do you most despise?

Despise is a strong word, but I’ve always been terrified of Joker since I was a little girl. I had so many nightmares about him. It’s his unpredictability and his creepy smile that makes me scared for my life.

What is the quality you most like in a creator (writer or artist)?

I admire creators who give an important message to the world through their work that has a risk of being controversial. Everyone wants to be in their safe zone, but these creators are true superheroes who aren’t afraid. They do what they feel is right and are open to criticism.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I use the word “and” a lot. When I have a lot of sentences to say, I find it necessary to connect them with an “and” rather than a full stop. I realized this after hearing a couple of videos of myself where I’m speaking in public. I counted every time I said “and”, and I said it at least 7 times in a 2-minute speech!

Which comic book character would you most easily fall in love with?

Spiderman! He is nerdy and a goofball- the two traits that can make me easily fall in love with a person.

Which creator talent would you most like to have?

I call myself artsy, but even a Kindergartener has better drawing skills than I do. I so wish I could sketch and paint!

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing (character or creator), what would it be?

Steven Universe, because I admire his optimism and the ability to see the best in others. He is so good at heart; so goofy and adorable! I have a lot to learn from him in terms of being a better human/gem.

What fictional universe would you most like to live?

Definitely Beach City. There’s donuts, fries and fish pizza just a few blocks away, a small community of people who are family, a beautiful view of the beach and some awesome crystal gems to protect the world. And on weekends, I could hop on a car and drive to Empire City- the fusion of NYC, Paris and Las Vegas.

What comic is your most treasured possession?

The DC Comics Encyclopedia (although not exactly a comic) is my most treasured possession. I ordered it online and the moment it arrived I fell in love with it. What fascinates me about it is that it gives a deep analysis of the DC Comics characters. Every hero and villain had a tragic, traumatic past that led them to be who they are today. The most interesting part is that some chose to save the world, while others chose to destroy the world.

What do you most value in your friends?

I value the ability to see the best in others. I don’t think there’s any person who is pure good or pure evil. It’s the people around us that perceive us as either good or bad. Some choose to see the best in us, while others see the worst, and sadly the latter is more common. In a world where it’s so easy to judge and criticize, I consider myself lucky to have friends who see the best in me. I believe it’s truly a virtue that they have.

Who are your favorite writers?

Rebecca Sugar, Mindy Kaling and Mara Wilson- they are strong, independent woman with an amazing sense of humor.

Who is your hero of comic book fiction?

Batman- he is super intelligent, one of the greatest martial artist alive and the only one who can save us from clowns terrorizing the streets and a billionaire villain running for president.

Which comic book figure do you most identify with?

I can relate to Kamala Khan the most. As someone who grew up in a South Asian Muslim family, I am fully aware of all the rules and restrictions that Kamala faces. Girls are quite often told by their families that they have to act, talk and dress a certain way, and their goal in life should be nothing more than taking care of their husbands and kids. But Kamala broke through all these restrictions and became who she wanted to be. It’s so similar to my life because I left my family and moved to New York to discover my true self.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Edward Snowden and Malala Yousafzai are on the top of my list of modern day superheros. They put their lives at stake just to open our eyes about injustice in the world, and to me that’s very heroic.

What is the comic book that you most dislike?

I am probably in the minority for saying this, but here it goes- I am not a Star Wars fan!

What comic storyline would you most like to change?

The murder of Jason Todd by Joker really bothers me. Although later he was resurrected, he isn’t the same person anymore.

Which comic book character do you think should die a permanent non-comic book death?

This is one thing I have in common with Steven Universe- no matter how evil and destructive someone is, I can’t wish death for their death. I’m too nice for that!

What is your personal motto?

“Have an open mind and go with the flow” is what I abide by. Life is an unpredictable thriller movie and you never know what’s going to happen. But if you’re ready to accept the twists and turns, you’ll be able to enjoy the movie rather than being terrified.

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