Queer Animation Revolution: An Interview with Writer-Director Kim Yaged

One of the funniest shorts at the Northwest Animation Festival’s Queer Animation Revolution program (which I reviewed last week) was Kim Yaged’s “Coming Full Circle,” an adaptation of a story from her one-woman play, Hypocrites & Strippers, in which she recounts her experience dating a stripper.

The festival’s director, Sven Bonnichsen, put me in touch with Kim, who was happy to answer a few questions for me about the short and her work with animator Rich Moyer.

Kim is an award-winning author and playwright whose work has been performed around the country. For more information on Kim, and on the festivals where you can see "Coming Full Circle", visit her sites at www.kimyaged.com and www.hypocritesandstrippers.com.

Aaron Tabak: What prompted you to tell this story via animation?

Kim Yaged: I wanted “Hypocrites & Strippers” to reach a wider audience. So, I decided to make shorts based on the play. Animation appealed to me because it added an extra layer. It allows you to go places you can’t necessarily with live action. Both versions are equally hilarious, but they’re also each their own thing, which I like.  


AT: Do you think animation can represent queer perspectives in a way unique from other media?

KY: I think animation is a great tool for telling stories that might otherwise be more alienating. There’s something more approachable about the form. In some ways, it allows for greater access to topics that might otherwise be taboo or controversial, and as a result, I think it has a wider audience appeal.


AT: How did you locate the animator(s) you worked with on this short?

KY: The way I connected with the animator for “Coming Full Circle” is actually a pretty funny story. I was in Boulder, CO, and saw a sign for an animation studio called Mighty Fudge Studios. So, I walked in and introduced myself. The owner, Patrick Mallek, wasn’t there, but I left my card. Patrick called me back a day or so later. We met for drinks and really hit it off. He recommended a freelancer who ended being unavailable for the project, but he introduced me to Rich. Patrick also introduced me to Spike from Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation. So, he’s really been a guardian angel of sorts for me.


AT: As a representative of a geek-oriented site, I have to ask: what inspired the image of the lightsaber dildo? It's hilarious.

KY: I’m so glad you think so! Rich did a great job with that. I guess I was just riffing off the idea of sex so often being portrayed as phallus-centric, and really, what’s more phallic than a lightsaber? [laughs] It was also important to me that the moment be funny and not graphic. I think there are all kinds of double entendres wrapped up in that moment.


AT: I've read you're working on turning your play into an animated web series; are there more shorts like this coming soon?

KY: I hope so! I’d love to find a producer to partner with me on the series. In the meantime, all things “Hypocrites & Strippers” related can be found at www.hypocritesandstrippers.com.

Thanks so much to Kim for taking the time to speak to Geeks OUT!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bobloblaw324.