Nerd City Interview: Kate Napolitano

September 26, 2008


Kate Napolitano is Managing Editor of ToyFare Magazine, and her newly launched blog, “Chewing on Poison Ivy” can currently be found on the Wizard Universe website.  She recently talked Toyfare,  lady nerdiness, and s-e-x, with Nerd City’s Max.

Kate, how did you get involved with ToyFare, and what does your position as Managing Editor entail?

I got involved with ToyFare by lots of finger-crossing, the most eccentric cover letter I’ve ever written, and a devout love of all things Wizard since before puberty. To start with that last part first, I grew up reading both Wizard and ToyFare; read it all through college at Fairfield University in Connecticut where I graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa (if I don’t say that part my Mom will call you and make you put it in, ha ha) in 2006 with a degree in English and Women’s Studies. I spent a little time post-college “finding myself” writing freelance and teaching at a private school, but the stars aligned one day when I happened upon a ToyFare Managing Editor ad on Craigslist.

I wrote a cover letter that started “My density has brought me to you,” had several interviews, and here I am.

And what do I do? The Managing Editor is a wheel-greaser: I’m in charge of making sure everything big and small gets done, gets done well, and, above all, gets done on time. I create schedules, set up meetings, keep track of the budget and payroll, harass people to get finish things, and also do a whole lotta copyediting.

Tell us a little bit about your new blog, “Chewing on Poison Ivy“.

I love comics, and I love the subject of Women’s (well, really Gender) Studies; Sex and Superheroes are myfavorite S-words, lol! There’s a lot to celebrate about being a girl-nerd, a lot to celebrate about being a boy-nerd, and a lot to celebrate about all the male and female characters we love. I’m setting out on my blog to do just that, but critically, maybe a touch academically from time to time, and most importantly, with whatever fan interaction I can think of. I’m always open to suggestions. It’s about having fun while entertaining some critical thought and discussion.

As a prominent female member of the nerd communitiy, what are the things you’re particularly nerdy about?

I am a COMPLETE nerd about the usual suspects like Star Trek (though I’ll admit I didn’t get on board Voyager until Seven of Nine arrived), Family Guy, and animation in general…I love unique animation—like MTV’s adaptation of Sam Kieth’s The Maxx, or pretty much anything Stop Motion (I’m a Wallace and Gromit geek, always watch the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, and am on Atom Films’ website all the time looking at the latest stop motion/claymation contributions).

I also think I love Alan Moore’s works more than is medically deemed “normal,” lol, with a special love for Tom Strong. I literally held his action figure while I slept the night it arrived in the mail (my boyfriend said later the couch was not as uncomfortable as he thought it’d be, ha ha).

I’m also pretty nerdy about sex: I like learning about it (I once interned at NYC’s Museum of Sex), and do collect textbooks and guides about it. I even have books on animal sexuality—like did you know that female porcupines are only in heat four hours a year? Or that male bean weevils have barbed penises that make sex just hideous for females? Sex has way more flavors than Baskin-Robbins.

What can people look forward to both from “Chewing on Poison Ivy” and ToyFare?

Coming up on Chewing on Poison Ivy, I’ve got an interview with American Gladiator Phoenix (we met at WW Chicago this year and she’s as sweet as she is gorgeous), some book reviews, and likely an essay or two about working at Wizard itself (like for example we’ve got two mens rooms on the first floor, and I think it’d be fun to play with stuff like that).

As for ToyFare, issue 136 goes on sale in October, and has a fabulous interview with Bruce Campbell, plus a ton of great Gears of War and GI Joe coverage. We’re working on 137 now, which has a massive Holiday gift-buying guide (CBS is actually issuing a life-size Captain Kirk captain’s chair!), and after that 138 has a GIANT 2009 Preview. Toys, games, movies—we’re on it! :)

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    2 Responses to “Nerd City Interview: Kate Napolitano”

    1. ben Says:

      Everybody should pick up Toyfare issue #136. They might be suprised by what they find in the “Hot Plate” section. 136 hits news stands in October.

    2. kris Says:

      Crazy….I knew that Gladiator that Kate talks about at KU….Jen Widerstrom. She was a javelin/hammer thrower when I was doing my sports med thing with track.