Our guest this episode is Parry Gripp, frontman for nerd-rock band Nerf Herder, and an Emmy winning songwriter with numerous credits in animation. Nerf Herder performed the theme song to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cementing their immortality with nerd fandom. Many of Parry’s humorous solo songs have gone insanely viral, including “Do You Like Waffles?” and “Raining Tacos”. He won the 2017 Daytime Creative Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song for “I’m Not Very Nice,” from the Disney animated series The 7D.
We talk with Flora Lichtman, host of the new podcast “Every Little Thing” from Gimlet Media. “Every Little Thing” explores the stories behind the obscure, seemingly mundane, or delightfully bizarre aspects of our world. Flora previously wrote for “Bill Nye Saves the World” on Netflix, worked for public radio’s popular “Science Friday”, and co-directed an Emmy-nominated series of short animated documentaries for the New York Times.
We talk with Emmy-winning choreographer and comedienne Kathryn Burns. Kathryn has contributed dance numbers and movement direction to five seasons of Key & Peele, to the hit Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer, and to tons of productions with the Upright Citizens Brigade. She worked on Children’s Hospital and Another Period, and danced in a “Weird Al” Yankovic video. She also choreographed the Grammy-winning international megahit music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Kathryn is currently working on the critically acclaimed CW series, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s a comedy punctuated by impressive musical sequences that heighten the absurdity but also showcase an immensely talented cast and crew. And, as a show flying below the radar of mass audiences, Crazy Ex Girlfriend manages to be one of the most hilariously raunchy, explicit, subversive shows on network television. There’s nothing else out there like it. The series has won a number of awards, including a Golden Globe and a couple of Emmys – one of which went to Kathryn, for her choreography routines.
We have a really fun chat with comedy writer Rob Kutner. He’s a monologue writer for TBS late night show CONAN, and also has five Primetime Emmy’s for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Recently, Rob released a new audio mini-series called Runaway Brains, available exclusively on subscription-based podcast service Howl.FM. It’s a madcap comedic romp starring “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mayim Bialik, Michael Ian Black, Dave Koechner, and Ken Jennings. Rob has also partnered with Farrago Comics to produce the original series, Shrinkage, illustrated by John Lucas. Farrago Comics is a new free-to-read, ad-supported comics app, available now on Apple and Android devices. We talk with Rob about his career writing for TV, and how he broke into the late-night comedy business. We also discuss branching out into different media, exploring new distribution models, and how he attracted big names to indie projects.
This is a super fun chat with the dynamic musical comedy duo Paul and Storm! We talk about their upcoming JoCo Cruise, an annual vacation event they host with internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton. We also discuss their work on the upcoming revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Plus, the weird path that turned a couple of dudes from an a cappella group into touring comedians and W00tstock co-founders, and now has them creating their own board game.
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.
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.
In this episode Wendy and Adron talk with Marlene Bonnelly, the editor and chief of Comics.Tumblr.com. She also works in Tumblr’s legal department, and is a content creator and YouTube partner. Marlene has worked for Marvel, MTV, and Wizard World, and is known across social media channels by her handle @ilikecomicstoo. She’s an advocate for diversity and anti-harassment in media, and has done panels at SDCC and NYCC discussing both. During this conversation, Marlene shares some valuable tips for how creators can best use Tumblr’s attributions, and how users can get help from Tumblr’s team when your work starts being shared without credit.
Aaron Mahnke is the creator, writer and narrator of the LORE podcast. Lore explores real life scary stories, examining disturbing historical events and how they intertwine with folklore and the origins of superstition, all delivered in an engaging, creepy narrative. Densely packed with atmosphere and ideas, Lore brings to life very human stories with decidedly bizarre circumstances. Launched in early 2015, Lore rocketed to popularity and the top of the iTunes Podcast charts, and is now Aaron’s full-time job, displacing his web design business as primary source of income.