This episode features the return of Tony Kim to the podcast. Tony is well known in the convention world for his blog, Crazy4ComicCon, that covers all things San Diego Comic Con. Now, though, he has a new endeavor called Hero Within, a super stylish and classy clothing line for guys with a distinct nerdy flair. We talk about how Hero Within got started and what inspired Tony’s jump from content creator to fashion startup. We also discuss his busy slate of events and programming at San Diego Comic Con, including the return of the Game of Bloggers meet-up.
We talk with cross-genre author Quincy J. Allen, writer of the recently released Blood Curse from WordFire Press. A western steampunk epic fantasy, Blood Curse is the second book in his Blood War Chronicles series. Quincy also creates the book layout design for all of WordFire’s print and digital offerings, manages their warehouse, and is constantly on the road, working their impressive displays at cons. We discuss juggling multiple aspects of a demanding career, realistic goal setting to guide his progress, and life on the road as an introvert who talks to hundreds of con-goers at every show.
This episode was recorded live earlier this year at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA. Our Wendy Buske moderated this panel, titled How to Be a Nerd For A Living: Discovering Careers in Pop-Culture. It features a collection of great nerdy professionals, including 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 versus Zombies: Heroes; Janet Lee, comic artist and Eisner award-winning co-creator of The Return of the Dapper Men; and 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 wonderful Jamie Cordero and Christal VanEtten from Espionage Cosmetics return to the Nerd For A Living Podcast! Espionage Cosmetics is a nerd makeup company based out of Tacoma, Washington. They make a line of beautifully designed nail wraps and makeup products, and have been adding a number of really cool licensed properties to their offerings, including Borderlands 2, Firefly, Clive Barker’s Cenobites, and the Wicked and the Divine. Jaimie is Espionage’s co-founder, CEO and Glitter Jedi. Christal is their PR and Social Media Oracle. When we last talked to them, they were in the middle of a giant Kickstarter campaign that eventually raised over 144 thousand dollars. That crowdfunding success paved the way for a new bi-monthly subscription service, Boom!Box, and a brick-and-mortar retail location, the Geek Boutique. Now Espionage Cosmetics spreads their nerd domination with an additional subscription service, Nexus. And they’re appearing at pop culture conventions around the country, bringing the joy of glitter and the best squad of nerd ambassadors around. Adron talks with Jaimie and Christal about the expansion of the Espionage business model, the power of a great team, how they leverage social media, and the excitement of creating a product that makes their customers so happy.
Adron talks with New York Times Bestselling author Dayton Ward. A prolific writer with dozens of books, novellas and short stories spanning a twenty-year career, Dayton is probably best known as one of the core writers of the Star Trek novels. Along with his frequent co-author Kevin Dilmore, Dayton writes within the canon continuities of the original Star Trek series, Next Generation, and more. He has also developed new crews and characters to boldly explore the well established Star Trek universe with fresh perspectives. We talk about how Dayton kickstarted his writing career by entering a publisher’s contest back in the ‘90s. We explore the pros and cons of writing licensed work, while having to please the fanbase and the protectors of the intellectual property. Dayton explains how he works with a co-author while balancing numerous projects, and we talk about Twitter and the social media styles of professional creators.
Adron and Wendy talk with Sam Coster and Seth Coster from indie video game studio Butterscotch Shenanigans, creators of the hit platform-crossover game, Crashlands. Crashlands is an outlandish, story-driven action-adventure set in a world of hidden magic and high technology. The game combines classic RPG elements with crafting mechanics, played with vibrant, whimsical characters and a distinct sense of humor. We talk about the two-year development cycle for Crashlands, how their studio came together, and all the ways their college educations did NOT put them on the path to careers in video games.
Adron talks with author Todd McCaffrey, son of science fiction / fantasy legend Anne McCaffrey (“Dragon Riders of Pern” novels). Todd’s latest release is “City of Angels”, a near-future sci-fi thriller available now from WordFire Press. We’re also joined in this conversation by “City of Angels” editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt, who was an editor on the breakout Andy Weir novel The Martian. We discuss Todd’s new book, working with his mother and taking over the Pern legacy, and the many iterations a book takes before it finally lands at a publisher.
We talk with Linda Ballantyne, a Canadian voice actress perhaps best known to fans of cartoons and anime as the voice of Sailor Moon, from the latter half of that series run in 2000. Linda currently balances a full slate of voice work in the busy Toronto media scene with convention appearances alongside several of her former Sailor Moon cast-mates. We discuss how she was first hired as a voice match to replace the original english language actress on Sailor Moon, and how she evolved the character’s delivery to make it her own. She explains the challenges of providing voices for pre-existing animation, and why acting in translated works is far less lucrative for voice actors than original programming. We talk about life on the convention circuit, and the experience of meeting fans who have important emotional connections to Sailor Moon and her work.
Adron talks with John Ottman, composer and film editor on the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse from director Bryan Singer. John was also the composer on the recently released Shane Black film, The Nice Guys. They discuss the challenges of doing double duty on a huge project like X-Men, his long history working with Bryan Singer, the tools John uses to compose music, and why he does not conduct the orchestras performing his scores.
Adron talks with screenwriter and award-winning comic creator Brandon Easton. Brandon was a staff writer on the second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC. He’s also written for animated TV shows Thundercats and Transformers: Rescue Bots. His biographical comic Andre The Giant: Closer To Heaven was a 2015 critical darling, and IDW Comics just released his Transformers: Deviations one-shot. IDW also recently announced that Brandon will be the writer on their upcoming M.A.S.K. series, rebooting the beloved Hasbro 1980s toy and cartoon franchise. We explore Brandon’s journey from school teacher to professional screenwriter, navigating the turbulent world of Hollywood staffing season, and working on life-long beloved properties.