Do you know the saying, “God works in mysterious ways?” I really felt that to be true a few weeks ago when Casey Covel (Geeks Under Grace) and I started chatting about her taking a role with Beneath the Tangles. What I haven’t told anyone until now was that her work was at the forefront of my mind the days before she reached out to me, and I wondered if I should invite her to join even before we spoke. Coincidence, possibly, but I think of it as something more divinely arranged.
In short, Casey has joined our staff here at Beneath the Tangles, and we are thrilled! Check out our interview below and please welcome her to the community!
TWWK: How did you become a fan of anime and manga?
Casey: Growing up, anime influenced a lot of the media I enjoyed, primarily my video games, many of which had anime-inspired art styles (Fire Emblem, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Ace Attorney, etc.). I always found the anime art style attractive because it captured… something… that American cartoons did not–emotions, drama, original designs, bold storytelling, and other assorted wonders I couldn’t put a name on back then. When I was a child, I began watching Pokemon, but was quickly told not to by my parents (this was back when churches were cracking down on the Pokemon craze, and my parents were likely being cautious). It wasn’t until several years later that I actually began watching anime again, and to be honest I’m grateful that I waited that long. I believe anime is a beautiful medium of entertainment and art, but I don’t think I was spiritually mature enough to enjoy it until a few years ago.
TWWK: What are your favorite types or genres of anime/manga? How about favorite series?
Casey: I’m a bit of a psychology/philosophy buff, so I particularly enjoy anime that challenges me to think differently or to question my values. Watching anime that asks hard questions or acts as an animated microcosm for a social issue is like consuming a delicious tray of assorted sushi to me. Death Note–despite its storytelling flaws–is my absolute favorite series thus far. I also enjoyed the examination of dark issues in Attack on Titan and the bittersweet, poetic charm of Your Lie in April. Currently, I’m going on adventures with Vash in Trigun… and developing a craving for doughnuts for some reason.
TWWK: Do you consider yourself more of an “anime person” or a “manga person”?
Casey: I tend to watch more anime than I read manga, but I find that–to truly comprehend the entirety of a series–it’s often necessary to consume both the visual and literary sides of the franchise in order to get the creator’s “full picture.” I suppose I’m more of an “anime person,” but won’t hesitate to scoop up a manga, especially if it’s a series I’m invested in.
TWWK: What do you do in “real life”? What are your other interests?
Casey: When I’m not solving crimes over chocolate cake, slaying titans, battling the Darkness, and saving Tellius…
I’m solving crimes over chocolate cake, slaying titans, battling the Darkness, and saving Tellius.
That’s an outlandish way of saying that I enjoy cosplay. When I’m not consuming my favorite characters through media, I’m costuming them at Cons, photoshoots, and cosplay events in my area. Outside of cosplay, writing is my biggest passion–reviews, editorials, psychological analyses, biblical allegories, you name it. I also enjoy a measure of creative writing on the side. Other hobbies include gaming, philosophizing, squinting at strange words, obsessing over the Myers Briggs Personality Test (INTJ here), and watching Corgi videos on the internet.
TWWK: Where else can readers find you?
Casey: I’m scattered around the internet as both a cosplayer and writer. I run a nerdy writing blog called Meek Geek, and you can keep up with the latest updates through either the main blog or my Tumblr or Facebook accounts. While I do feature a lot of my cosplay on Facebook, I primarily use my Instagram account to post all my cosplay pictures, so please follow me there if you enjoy that aspect of my creative endeavors. If you’d like to read some of my regular written work, I recommend checking out my writing at Geeks Under Grace, Florida Geek Scene, and FROM JAPAN.
TWWK: The theme of this blog is unique since it revolves around Christian spirituality. Could you give us the short testimony about how you came to this faith?
Casey: I was raised in a Christian home under a father who was a pastor, but my family always taught me that “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a car.” They allowed me to come to my faith naturally without any pressure. After struggling with the issue of salvation and sin for some time, I finally broke after a read-through of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Reading a “fantasy story” about salvation helped the message hit home on me, and I dedicated my life to God that evening.
Faith and fandom have always gone hand-in-hand for me, and I find that “fantasy” is one of the most powerful ways through which we can comprehend the unbelievable happenings of the Bible. I think it’s no coincidence that reading a fantasy story was the tipping point in leading me to Christ. Fantasy stays with us because it is so grand. Even Jesus told fantastical stories to help others understand His teachings. Ever since coming to Christ, I’ve found myself consuming media through a “biblical lens” and it’s impacted the way that I digest my fandom through my faith. Rather than see my faith and fandom has non-compatible entities, I now see my faith as a filter though which my media is funneled. This not only gives me a unique view of my favorite franchises, but also allows me to reach out to others who enjoy the same franchises that I do, but perhaps do not share my faith.
All that to say that writing for websites like Geeks Under Grace and Beneath the Tangles has been a life-long dream and passion of mine. Finding these havens where faith and fandom overlap is, for me, like achieving that power level over 9,000 (or maybe eating an entire chocolate cake in one sitting).
Look forward to seeing Casey’s writing on the blog from here forward, and to her upcoming column, to debut in July. In the meantime, you can check out her work at one of the websites linked above or her recent guest column here about Attack on Titan.