Thursday 1 May 2014

Interview with Lindsay C. Walker

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Lindsay C. Walker, an inspirational Australian artist, comics illustrator, and digital artist, the illustration author of such popular franchises as: “The Phantom”, "Street Fighter", "Darkstalkers", "Voltron", "Kolchak the Night Stalker", "Shi", "King Kong", "The Pro", "Hack/Slash", and "Zombies Vs Cheerleaders". Hello Lindsay!
Lindsay: Hello Monika!
Monika: When did you decide to be a professional illustrator?
Lindsay: For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an artist. When I was small I always thought I’d be an animator. But I don’t have the patience for that.

Star Wars: Leia.

Monika: Comics used to have a lowbrow reputation for much of its history. How about now?
Lindsay: It still does but it’s been gradually changing since the 80’s I think. Mostly in recent years because of all these Marvel movies.
Monika: Hollywood keeps using many comics heroes but most of them are male characters. Is there any chance for female characters to be more prominent and visible? 
Lindsay: I hope so. I’m not holding my breath though. Wonder Woman would be the best choice to change things. If it’s done properly that is. I hear of a possible Black Widow movie.
Monika: Have you ever thought about creating transgender comics heroines?
Lindsay: I have thought about it a little bit. I was actually thinking about doing an autobiography comic.

Courtesy of Lindsay C. Walker.

Monika: Is there anything like transgender art? What does it mean to be a transgender artist?
Lindsay: Art is there for everyone. I don’t think being transgender changes anything there. 
Monika: What is your general view on transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Lindsay: For the most part we aren’t portrayed very well. But even that is changing at a limping snail's pace. Gail Simone wrote a transgender character into her Batgirl comic. And she was done respectfully. I got to meet Gail when she visited Australia. She gave me a copy of the Batgirl issue where the trans-woman came out.
Monika: You are one of the authors of the Womanthology: Space project, an anthology graphic novel created entirely by women for Charity with a view to showcasing the works of female creators of every age and experience level. Could you say a few words about that project?
Lindsay: I was the artist in a story written by Devin Grayson. I created my own comic called Tales from Half-World. I posted some pages from that on the Womanthology forums. Devin saw it and asked that I work with her on her story. I was shocked. Here was somebody that worked on some big titles such as Batman and she wanted to work with me. She’s fantastic to work with.
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Lindsay: Not early in my transition. My partner and I read books and watched documentaries. That helped and inspired me. These days though, I’d say Lavern Cox and Lana Wachowski are my biggest trans role models.

The Phantom.

Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Lindsay: The fear of never being accepted. Not just from people around me but more importantly my partner Kim. She’s been my biggest supporter. I started my transition more than three years ago. Not once have I ever experienced any direct prejudice from anyone. I’ve actually got more friends than I’ve ever had before.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Lindsay: It’s not perfect but compared to some countries I’m glad to live in Australia. Well, Melbourne in particular. I never hear about transgender people being murdered over here. 
Monika: Could transgenderism be the new frontier for human rights?
Lindsay: Quite possibly. We seem to have the longest road to full acceptance compared to other minorities. I’ve heard stories of gays and lesbians discriminating against transgender people.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Lindsay: The most I do is sign petitions and share info online. Better than nothing I guess. Transgender women can make a difference in politics. I’ve seen it happen before. Just need more people doing it on a large scale.

Courtesy of Lindsay C. Walker.

Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Lindsay: I’ve been with my partner Kim for twelve years. We have three daughters. Ariel (11), Heloise (6), and Evelyn (3). Love is incredibly important in our family. Without Kim’s support, I doubt I’d be around now doing this interview.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Lindsay: I’m not big on fashion. Most of the time (when I’m not in my PJ’s or Incredible Hulk onesie) I’ll wear jeans and a geeky shirt. Star Trek, Dinosaurs. That sort of thing. One shirt has dinosaurs dressed as Star Trek characters. Other than that I like to wear nice dresses. Something classic looking.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Lindsay: Yep. I did a talk ages ago at Squishface Studio’s about my art career. A friend of mine was there and suggested I do a graphic novel about my transition. I’ve made notes about it. So maybe someday I’ll get that done.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Lindsay: Unfortunately not. About a year ago I was getting pains in my drawing hand. At first, I thought it was from drawing too much. Then it spread over to my left hand. Then down my spine and legs. Now I’m in constant pain and can barely walk. I still haven’t been diagnosed. From what I’ve read it could be fibromyalgia.

SiniStar-Trek: Frankenstien's Monster.

But I just don’t know for sure. Last year I had to give up on the projects I was working on. I don’t know if I’ll ever have my art career now. I’m currently writing a comic script. So maybe writing will be my only comic work. I’m not very confident at it just yet. So practice, practice, practice.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls, struggling with gender dysphoria?
Lindsay: I know it’s hard. Particularly at first. But confidence can make all the difference. People will pick up on that. Try not to give in to the pressure that society expects from you. Easier said than done though.
Monika: Lindsay, thank you for the interview!
Lindsay: Thank you very much, Monika.

All the photos: Courtesy of Lindsay C. Walker.
© 2014 - Monika Kowalska

Ms. Lindsay C. Walker has passed to the other side. May she find the happiness and love she gave to others. Thank you for all you have done ...
27 September 2016

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