How to be a Nerd for a Living panel from Emerald City Comicon 2016

How to be a Nerd for a Living from Emerald City Comicon 2016

In Animation, Art, Comics, Gaming, Live Panels, Misc, Podcast by Nerd For A Living

Episode 69: How to be a Nerd for a Living panel from Emerald City Comicon 2016

How to be a Nerd for a Living Panel, Recorded Live at Emerald City Comicon 2016

This podcast episode was recorded live earlier this year at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Washington. N4AL’s Wendy Buske moderated the speaker panel, titled “How to Be a Nerd For A Living: Discovering Careers in Pop-Culture”.

Our speaker group features a collection of great nerdy professionals:

  • Dane Ault – artist and co-founder of Monkey Minion Press
  • Samantha Kalman – creator of the video game Sentris, and previously one of the team-members behind video game engine Unity
  • Kevin Konrad Hanna – a film director and comic creator who was also the art director on Plants vs Zombies: Heroes
  • Janet Lee – comic artist and Eisner award-winning co-creator of The Return of the Dapper Men
  • Jaimie Cordero – co-founder and CEO of nerd makeup company Espionage Cosmetics

Our speakers pull from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds to discuss how they got started, the ongoing challenges they face, and the successes that keep them going. The panel caps off with an audience Q&A with a number of really great questions from the packed room of attendees.

Click here to download the podcast.


Guest Bios


Dane Ault

Dane Ault

Dane Ault is the co-founder of Monkey Minion Press, with writer Ashlie Hammond. They are a married team living and working in Portland, OR. They believe that fun, accessible, geeky art might not change the world, but it couldn’t hurt. (And it might help.) Dane is an artist and graphic designer. Monkey Minion Press produces art prints, T-shirts, greeting cards, kids’ books, and much more.

Monkey Minion Press recently had a smash success Kickstarter campaign for their book Eureka: The Art of Science, which funded over 400% of its original goal.

Listen to the Nerd For A Living interview with Dane & Ashlie.

Follow Dane Ault & Monkey Minion Press


Jaimie Cordero

Jaimie Cordero

Jaimie Cordero is the CEO / Artistic Director of Espionage Cosmetics, an all nerd, woman-owned business based in Tacoma, Washington, creating make-up for nerds, by nerds. Founded in 2011, the company has seen enormous growth in the niche nerd market. Espionage Cosmetics has expanded from a living-room operation to a Tacoma-based studio space with 8 full-time employees, several part-timers and an army of interns. Bi-monthly product launches and fully produced ad campaigns pour out of the studio manned by a full-time wardrobe master/cosplay expert, an interns and conventions coordinator, and Jaimie. Her business card says Glitter Jedi.

Espionage has recently opened their own physical storefront, The Geek Boutique in Tacoma, and the bi-monthly subscription box service, Boom!Box.

Jaimie has appeared on Nerd For A Living episodes #22 and #68.

Follow Jaimie Cordero & Espionage


Kevin Konrad Hanna

Kevin Konrad Hanna

Kevin Konrad Hanna is an American film director, writer, and artist best known for directing the animated film, Clockwork Girl, based on his graphic novel of the same name.

He has worked as director and art director for Disney, Google, and Popcap.

Kevin is also the art director for the recently announced Plants vs Zombies Heroes. Kevin is scared of snails.

Follow Kevin Konrad Hanna


Samantha Kalman

Samantha Kalman

Samantha Kalman is a game designer, programmer, musician, and consultant devoted to playfulness, inventive mechanics, and persistent meaning. Currently she’s exploring the affordances of VR, including immersion in impossible spaces and relationships with enchanted objects.

Her past game projects include her own experimental musical puzzler Sentris, which she funded through Kickstarter and released on Steam in August 2015. She also made contributions to Gravity Ghost by Erin Swink and the upcoming Sea of Solitude by Jo-Mei interactive. She was QA Director for Unity while they were still a scrappy startup, and helped thousands of other game developers bring their projects to life. She also spent some time at Amazon, where she built interactive prototypes to explore UX for Fire Phone.

Follow Samantha Kalman


Janet K. Lee

Janet K. Lee

Nashville-based Janet K. Lee is the artist and illustrator of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Return of the Dapper Men, as well as the Wonderland Alphabet, Marvel Classics: Emma, Marvel Classics: Northanger Abbey, and Lost Vegas. She was also a contributor to Womanthology: Heroic.

Self-taught, she developed her layered art style after her son was born because it was portable and dried before a toddler could get his hands into it. After achieving critical acclaim as a gallery artist, Janet made her first foray into illustration with the Twitter serial, Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome by New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis.

Listen to the Nerd For A Living interview with Janet.

Follow Janet K. Lee