What is your name and tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Joseph Julien and I’m an actor, podcaster and dancer. I recently moved to New York a year ago and love it here! I moved to pursue acting and fell in love with the city and the entire vibe of it. I host a podcast called Just Sit & Listen or JSL Podcast for short and I host it with some of my best friends. We focus on everything from hip hop to nerdy topics to music and everything in-between.
When did you first start reading comic books?
I started reading comic books at a young age because I grew up loving cartoons and anime, which I do still to this day. My favorite cartoon was the 90s animated series for Spider-Man because of all the problems that he faced which were similar to a nerd and he was relatable as a character.
What was the first series you started reading?
The first series that I started reading was Spider-Man, i can’t remember the arc but I believe it was around the time that Peter first got the symbiotic suit. I loved how although he was a good guy the symbiotic made him become dark and he had to fight the darkness that we all face throughout life.
What comic book character, whether superhero, villain or other do you most identify with… I.E. Alter Ego and why?
I mostly identify with Spider-Man, as much as i do love Peter Parker, I prefer the half Latino and half African-American character Miles Morales. The reason is because I am mixed and half hispanic and have always wanted to be spider-man. I always thought that it would be cool for there to be a black Spider-Man. Originally Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino started a hashtag which was #donaldforspiderman because he wanted to portray the character in the next movie. Which one of the writers actually used to inspire the creation of Miles, as well as a clip of community with donald wearing spider man pajamas. I also identify with him because of all the hardships that he has to deal with, as far as him looking mostly African-American and dealing with the problems in society that we have today. My favorite moment is when he met the avengers and trained with them and they gave him a new suit because I’ve always wanted to meet and work with my idols, which i hope will happen soon. One of which is Logic who has a song called “Black Spiderman” on his new album Everybody. That song also inspired me to chose the character for this project because it’s about the essence of the character, no matter their color creed and sexual orientation.
What impact on your life have they had on you?
They’ve impacted me greatly because I do attend Comic Cons and cosplay as some of my favorite characters and I get very into it, and try to stay in character the whole time that I am dressed as the character. I always love meeting others dressed s the same character or different variations because you always learn something new about them and have amazing interactions. This character also taught me a lot about dealing with certain life problems, that you are never alone and that you always have a inner circle or that you can always get through the toughest times. For example, when Miles was first gaining his powers, he dressed up and emulated Peter Parker because he was the hero that he knew for the city and had to be unique with both his suit and powers to separate himself from being the spider-man that they were used to, to a new hero for a new generation. I love him as a character because he is in an interracial relationship and is an average teenager juggling normal life and being a hero. Which is like how I juggle podcasting, acting, dancing and everyday life.
What advice do you have to younger comic book fans who use this amazing world as an escape from the harsh realities of life?
To every young comic book fan, I would say loving comics and heroes aren’t just for kids. Love who you are and love what your favorite characters stand for, emulate the best of them and take some of the lessons that they teach us and apply them to how you live your life. Although they are works of fiction, they do have a lot to teach us and inspire us in many different ways.