Just over a week ago on August 12, 2016 we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Nerd Out! August 12th marks the day Nerd Out was launched in the Apple and Android (Google Play) app stores! We had a phenomenal party to celebrate the occasion! Thank you to everyone who attended! I wish all of you could have been there. Know that I thought of you all as we celebrated! Many of you are across the country, and some even in the UK and I truly appreciate all of your support! And will hopefully celebrate with you in coming years!
The Perky Nerd
We hosted the party at The Perky Nerd in Burbank. If you haven’t already checked out this awesome coffee/comic shop, make sure to do so! Tiffany (pictured above), the owner, has been hosting a ton of awesome events! (including our trivia!) The party was planned by the lovely ladies of Geek Chic Promotions. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a bunch of their parties and they are always fantastic! For this occasion they really went the extra mile in making sure to incorporate the technology theme. Glow sticks in the drinks was a fabulous future of technology touch. I was especially pleased with the stars hanging from the ceiling which listed each location we list on the app. Also make sure to check out the adorable rock candy cake they made!
The ladies of Kneady Bakery were kind enough to incorporate the theme as well with quirky nerd quotes in the desserts. My favorite being the silhouettes of Han and Leia, ‘1 Year’, ‘I Know’. Everyone loved their Lord VoldeS’mores and Robert Brownie Jr’s.
Siegda was marvel-ous in getting me a pair of their Black Widow Peep Toe Glitter Heels in time for the party! I had a blast Disney bounding as Black Widow! (she is typically Disney now) Make sure to check out more on Siegda’s awesome shoe selections on their website.
Please make sure to check out the links for all these awesome people! Party wouldn’t have happened without them!
For those who don’t know, what is Acrobatica Infiniti Circus?
((Mission statement time!!!))
Acrobatica Infinti Circus is Chicago’s first and only nerd circus! We are so pleased to feature a stellar line-up of new and established artists, including contortionists, trapeze artists, jugglers, acrobats and more. Our modern-day mash-up combines traditional circus performance within the context of contemporary Cosplay, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Comicon culture.
Across a range of disciplines and in all environments, Acrobatica Infiniti is, at its root, a nerd circus: for nerds, by nerds. In addition to being a performance showcase, AI Circus is a community. We are a collective of professional circus performers who endeavor to share our talents with the world; working to advance the art form for all who participate.
Building on the nostalgia that the idea of “circus” may evoke, we take you back to your childhood. Embracing our youthful infatuation with imagination and fantasy, we bring fiction into the future, for adults and youth alike. Our circus is more than a show; it is a community for like-minded people to share in their love of all that is geek. AI Circus is part of a new movement, building a bridge where, traditionally, one ceased to exist. It is a place for people to connect – to be something and to have an experience – outside of the norm.
Circus and Cosplay is an unusual mix, how did you come up with the idea?
Circus and fan fiction have a lot more in common than you would guess, even if they don’t cross paths very often. Both are cultures that take a sincere amount of heart to be involved in. Both are full of people that felt like they didn’t fit in to a certain ‘norm’ in the world. We share this similar need to be part of a niche community in order to strengthen our interests. This might be why I gravitated to both kinds of lifestyles.
The trend in geek culture is so upwardly mobile right now that it’s exciting to watch as it grows and transforms to include more people. What was once a niche market is a huge industry, and the geeky followers are no longer a minority. Something is happening that is similar with circus arts, as more people become familiar with taking circus classes, seeing small circus shows, and learning what contemporary circus means.
My personal backgrounds are in both circus and geek culture. At an earlier point in my career, I started making solo themed acts that featured sci-fi and comic book characters, and they became the most popular (and most fun) acts to perform. Eventually I asked myself: is this something that can include more people? Can we make an entire show of this?
AI Circus is a project combines these two art forms in order to build an arts industry with burgeoning performers, and to bring high quality entertainment to an audience that likely hasn’t been exposed to circus before.
It’s great you’re bringing a fresh idea to the table. Do you have plans for new shows? Themes?
(for example a DC only, Marvel, Sailor Moon, etc)
We have done a few shows that were specifically themed content, to align with certain trends and releases in the nerdy world, such as an all Star Wars show for The Force Awakens.
We can easily do a show with all DC or Anime characters, but part of what the circus is meant to do is merge worlds, and I attempt to create that within the confines of what we would consider ‘canon’ material. The question I ask of each character act that we create is, “What wouldn’t you expect this character to do?”
The best way to keep our material edgy and interesting is to tell a new story with a familiar character. This is where the ‘artsy’ part comes in – it becomes more than just a tribute show, and transforms into something else entirely hilarious and whimsical. We want people to see something they have ever seen before, or never expected to see.
Would you expect to see Bane tapdance, Deadpool fly, and Pikachu twerk? Probably not. But would you stick around to see it if it happened? I think definitely, yes.
You’ve been in the circus industry for over 10 years. Congrats! What inspired you to create your own project?
Thanks!! I was touring overseas for years, and I had a really great job in my own show. It was a tough decision, but I made the choice to move back to the USA in order to be closer to home, loved ones, and my native culture. I worked primarily in Australia, which is still an English speaking country, but it was never going to completely resonate with the kind of weird and diverse, crazily sideways American culture I grew up with. I missed my nerdy friends!
All joking aside, I wanted to come home and try creating some art, instead of depending on what was already in place. I figure if I was going to try to pitch a show, I needed to find an audience that I not only understood, but that had never been reached.
I read that you make all the costumes. What’s it like creating them?
Circus demands a certain amount of durability and flexibility in a costume that most Cosplay will not allow. Many designs aren’t created in such a way that would permit the wearer to actually execute the things that they are seen doing. (I’m thinking of Aeon Flux!!)
A good example – “No capes!” Edna Mode was correct, capes are a huge liability, as they get caught over your head, stuck in your armpits, and wrapped around your body. When I make a costume for the circus show I almost have to re-design it completely, to allow for actual acrobatic movement. Many of the costumes are tributes or circus renditions of the original character. Good examples: a Princess Peach dress was made into a tiny pole outfit – All of Deadpool’s accessories have to be squishy foam or flat lycra, and we can’t have his big swords in place – our Ewok is a mini outfit with a small waist cloth, furry top, and an orange hat. People can still recognize the characters, and we can bring something interesting to the table at the same time.
Another example – printed spandex to pay tribute to a traditional Storm trooper, added to hula hoops – creating our Storm Hooper!
What’s been your favorite performance so far?
No fair – That’s like asking me which kid is my favorite! I love them all! Some of the most popular ones though are our Sailor Moon hula hoops, Totoro juggling, and Elastigirl contortion.
What’s your favorite character you’d added to the lineup?
One of my favorite characters so far is the Totoro act. I managed to create two costumes, one is a big round suit, and the other is a dapper gentleman Totoro complete with top hat. The balls that he juggles are soot sprites!! (also made in house)
Another recent favorite addition is Gwenpool – the love child of Deadpool and Gwen stacy. Fun costume to make, excellent character to put in an act!
What’s a character you’d like to add?
I’d love to add a bunch more video game characters. I’m a huge fan of Mario Bros, and while we have a Peach and Mario/Luigi team, I’d love to make a Yoshi costume that stands up to acrobatic use. We are planning on adding a Spiderwoman aerial contortion act in the August show, as well as some mini Bane segments. Things in newer Comic fiction, Animes and video games are what I have my sights set on – Overwatch, Mass Effect, Homestuck, and Jessica Jones are a few.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We are always trying to branch out to new events and cons – we urge our fan base to write to their local cons and request our presence! We toured as far as Arizona this year, and we’d like to make it out further each year! Our lineup grows locally each month at each Uptown Underground show, and we take the most popular acts to the big shows. We are always open to requests and recommendations for new characters, themes and ideas! Write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give feedback:
tell us what you liked about a show you saw, or to ask us a question!
One year ago, on August 7th, 2015, the Nerd Out app was launched in app stores! We have come a LONG way since then. Not only has the look, the cities listed, and features changed, but the company has changed. We have grown and learned from our users. Without you all, Nerd Out wouldn’t be in existence. I built this app to help Nerds like myself and I am proud of what it has become. Happy 1st Birthday Nerd Out App!
The Nerd Squad
Today was list events for 31 locations internationally! We have 43 members of the Nerd Squad across the United States and England that help submit events for thousands of Nerds! These fine folks donate their time to helping others. I’m proud to have them on board!
“Michelle, I just wanted to thank you for having the awesome vision to produce something fantastic that has brought us all together. Every time I hand out a nerd out card to some one and show them the app, watch their eyes light up on how it is not just another Facebook but a real community and event locator, I get excited. Then add your awesomeness, and drive to bring us together… I am just in a awe of you… Thank for for being you and being awesome…” – Sean (Nerd Squad member)
Thousands of Events
We have listed thousands of events over the last year. Everything from Tabletop Game Day to performances with Bellydancing Wookies to Harry Potter trivia nights. We have even hosted some of our own trivia nights thanks to The Perky Nerd! Lastly, we have exhibited at a number of conventions throughout southern California!
I’d like to thank the comic book stores that have supported us and been kind enough to hang our posters in their ship windows and display our cards for their patrons. It’s this supportive community that makes Nerd Out possible! I’d also like to thank Monica and Chris for not only helping with events, but being a support system for Nerd Out!
A photo posted by Nerd Out App (@nerdoutapp) on Dec 7, 2015 at 12:12pm PST
I’d like to share a story I was told just a couple weeks ago during San Diego Comic Con at the SherlockeDCC party. This story exemplifies the purpose and mission of Nerd Out.
“I want to thank Nerd Out app & all of its contributors for helping my friend fin her community in a new town. My friend is transgender & recently moved to Las Vegas for a new job. Her work environment is not a welcoming environment & so she has not yet come out to her coworkers, making her feel even more isolated in a new town. I recommended she check out Nerd Out app for Magic meet ups or gatherings for her to reconnect with fellow players in Vegas. She now has a slice of her Magic community from which to find a bit of home in a new town. Thank you for helping create the environment for finding our nerd/geek communities in new places.” – Izzy
To say I’m new to cosplay is an under statement. While I have many friends who are into it so far as they make sure to get screen accurate costumes, I’m not nearly that much involved. For me cosplay is like an extra day of Halloween. It gives you another excuse to dress up as whomever you’d like.
By far the most difficult part of cosplay for me is the budgeting. I have to maintain my budget and cosplay follows that suit. Part of why I’ve chosen the cosplays I have in the past is that I can wear pieces of them in everyday life. They aren’t con only attire. I like to maintain this balance so that I don’t feel so bad shelling out $100+ for a piece of clothing (my Dark Swan, Once Upon a Time coat). It’s much easier to justify if I know it’s something I can wear on any day of the week.
This year at San Diego Comic Con I wanted to do a Game of Thrones character. I had wanted to do Margaery Tyrell for a long time but couldn’t fathom spending hundreds of dollars on a dress. I can’t sew to save my life so making it wasn’t an option. After this recent season I really got behind Sansa Stark. She finally took control of her situation and has really come full circle. Knowing that summer in San Diego is most certainly 80+ degrees I knew wearing a dress, if I could have even afforded one, wasn’t going to work. Having seen many spins on other cosplays I decided to do that myself, and came up with Warrior Sansa. Let’s be honest, after seeing her ride in to save Jon Snow’s butt, it wasn’t hard to imagine Sansa as a bad ass warrior anymore.
I decided to base the outfit on one of her dresses that I had liked. It also has an easily recognizable necklace so that made it easier for people to identify me. People recognizing who I was cosplaying as was a major concern of mine. So much so that I tested the outfit out on three different friends.
Picking what to wear started with looking at what I currently owned. I had boots, black pants from a Katniss Everdeen outfit I had bought, and a sword I’ve been meaning to use for another cosplay. Everything else had to be purchased.
I tried to pick pieces I could use again. Corset from Corset Deal, yep, can use that for future outfits. The black shirt I had to hot glued feathers onto so that was going to be a one outfit piece. Fortunately, the feathers and shirt didn’t cost more than $20 total. The shield was the only piece I had to either buy or build. Looking at prices online, there was no way I was going to buy one. Luckily, I found this video on how to build one. I modified my shield from this video by hot gluing the face of the dire wolf and adding metal rivets I found at Michaels for a dollar. I really love how my shield turned out. Added benefit to it not being real is that it wasn’t heavy at all!
I also purchased that recognizable necklace from etsy seller LadyAglarwenCosplay. Finally, I had ordered hair extensions. The first order I did wound up being out of stock. The second was too dark. The third didn’t make it in time. Needless to say I didn’t wear any extensions. I plan on using the ones that arrived late at a future con. None the less, I think my hair still looked pretty good even if it wasn’t as long as Sansa’s. I really enjoyed cosplaying Sansa Stark, especially with my own spin.
Have you ever cosplayed an original character, or one with a spin?
Have you checked out the cosplay meetups at San Diego Comic Con yet? Prep for San Diego Comic Con is in full swing! Now is the time to lock down what you’ll be cosplaying as! I, myself have made my choices and used the list of meet ups on Nerd Out to help me figure out which day to wear which of my outfits! I won’t tell you just yet what my outfits are, but one is Disney and the other is Game of Thrones.
With that in mind it was easy to decided to wear the Game of Thrones outfit on Saturday as that’s when the GoT meet up and photoshoot is. And of course, Friday for the Disney outfit as that’s when the Disney event is. (The Disney event is in a ticketed area, so I may not be able to attend the actual meet up, however do say hi if you see me!) Nerd Out is super simple to use! If you haven’t already check out our How To video!
Nerd Out App Calendar
To see the SDCC meet ups go to Calendar > California > San Diego. Then you can hit the drop down at the top and selection Conventions. From there you can view all the events happening during San Diego Comic Con! Trust me, there’s so much on there that you couldn’t possibly do it all! But that’s the great part, you have plenty of options! Below is just some of the Cosplay meet ups listed on Nerd Out!
Nerd Out joining SherlockeDCC! We’re joining forces with the Baker Street Babes and SherlockDC to bring you SherlockeDCC! San Diego Comic Con is the biggest party of the year, so what better place is there to have the biggest Sherlock Holmes bash of the year? Are you coming to San Diego to join us? You should!
SherlockeDCC is once again back at it! We return to the entire 9th floor of the stunning San Diego Public Library, complete with two balconies overlooking PETCO Park and downtown San Diego.
Join The Baker Street Babes, Nerd Out, SherlockDC, and more for a night of sleuthing, drinks, food, games, prizes, cosplay, and more. And of course, tons of fun!
About The Baker Street Babes
“The Baker Street Babes are an all-female group of Sherlock Holmes fans dedicated to approaching the fandom from a female point of view, as well as engaging in fun, lively conversations about the canon, film and television adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, and associated topics
We hope to help provide a bridge between the older and often intimidating world of Sherlockiana and the newer tech savvy generation of fans that are just discovering the Holmes stories for the first time.
Our podcast episodes have over 1 million unique listens and we’ve amassed nearly 100,000 followers over all our social media accounts. We were finalists in the Podcaster category of the 2014 Shorty Awards with the likes of Welcome to Nightvale and This American Life. The Baker Street Babes have appeared on the Today Show, The Mary Sue, MTV Geek, and in the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, and many other sites.”
This year the part is 7:30PM-10:30PM on Friday, July 22nd.
Geeky Teas is one of my favorite nerdy locations in Los Angeles! Not only do they have amazing fresh fandom inspired teas! I got the Buffy one, and like a ton others! Not only do they have an adorable nerdy shop, but they host a number of events! Everything from screenings of Doctor Who to X-Men Bingo!
“Geeky Teas, a nerd themed Tea & British Shoppe, is the place for gamer geeks to gather, Londoners to loiter, and tea lovers to throng to. Geeky Teas is also the proud founder of GeeKitties Cat Rescue – helping Los Angeles cats find their forever homes!”
Their Game Store
Geeky Teas has over 400 boardgames! Head there to an open game night or join their Meet Up group. They are the friendliest game store in Southern California with customers to match. They host everything from game nights to live model drawing nights, craft faires, and meet & greets to writers workshops – even a Geeky cosplay or two. Doctor Whosday, Nerd Knit Night, Free to Play Tabletop, and more!
Exactly one year ago today I came up with the idea of Nerd Out. I was driving on my way home from work when it hit me. My life has changed completely since that moment. For those of you who don’t know, I thought up the app because of my blog, Your Friend Elle. I had been invited to a number of events because of it. However, I found keeping track of the information difficult since some information was on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
I thought about myself 8 years ago, when I was new to town. Having moved across country from NY to Orange County. What would have happened had I known about all these awesome events going on? It’s possible it would have taken less than the year it actually took me to make friends. So that’s why I made Nerd Out. For the new to town peeps and the well versed peeps who just need the extra help keeping track. Nerd Out has always, and always will be a passion project for me.
Many of you on here know that I also have a day job. A 60 hours a week day job. I make the time to update the app, research new locations, connect on social media, and more to bring you all the best events I possibly can. I’ve been lucky to have Monica to help encourage and work on the app with me. While also taking care of a family of 4, she somehow still finds time to be ‘the Nerd Out cheerleader’. Jill, James, Rachel, Chris, Michaela, Breanna, Amber, The Nerd Squad, and more have been lovely supporters of Nerd Out and it’s mission, to unite nerds!
I write this letter to let you know that I truly appreciate everyone who downloads the app, uses it, shares it with friends and family, submits events, and continues to support our mission. Everyone who has done so not only helps to grow Nerd Out, but more importantly is helping other nerds. Stories like Megan’s below is why I love Nerd Out so much!
“Hey!! I just wanted to take a sec and thank you for creating this app! My younger brother (also a nerd) recently moved to Portland, and doesn’t know anyone in the city except my parents. My Mom told me he was getting depressed because of how lonely he was and didn’t have any friends. After she told me, I whipped out the app, located Portland and sent him links to 2 game shops that had events going on. He attended both and had a blast, he’s made friends and even joined a DnD group. So thank you!!! You’ve made him happy, and his big sister (me) happy!” – Megan
With the little that we have, we’ve been able to do a lot. We have accomplished a lot since we launched in August. We’ve gone through many changes, hurdles, and continue to learn. We will continue to do so. This past week we’ve gotten a number of requests for new listings from places like Norway, New Zealand, Vancouver, Southampton (UK), Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Spain. I promise you, we will get there. My dream is to have Nerd Out be global. However, to bring you the best possible, I aim to maintain quality over quantity. So it may take a little while, but we will get there. Thank you all for your continued support and love!
When I am asked how Women in Comics NYC Collective International, (WinC NYC for short), was formed, I always try to keep my answer concise for the interviewer’s sake. But it is so much more than the sum of its basic parts. We are industry professionals, we love comics, and we are women. What we have grown to represent to our community, fans and members is beyond anything I ever expected. When we had our first Women in Comics panel discussion almost 4 years ago.
Started in 2012
In 2012, I knew few women working in the comic book industry personally; my networking circle was primarily male and I had yet to meet many women at events. That was until I was asked by Ray Felix, the Founder and Organizer of Bronx Heroes Comic Con, to host the convention’s first Women in Comics Panel. The panel consisted of industry professionals both Ray and I knew: Rica Takashima, Shawna Mills, Michele St. Martin, Jodi Tong, Tara Nakashima Donahue, Selena Briggs, and Alitha E. Martinez. The impact of that first panel was instant, for both the panelists and the audience.
Fans familiarity with women working in the mainstream was a given; at the time the two most popular were Gail Simone and Marjorie Liu, both working at Marvel and DC Comics respectively. But to have 7 women, with over 30 years mainstream and indie industry experience collectively, that they had not heard of was more than a shock. Not to mention the fact that each woman on the panel was of color. The audience was amazed to hear their stories and the panelists were touched by their responses.
Women in the Industry
What struck me most about that panel, was an answer one of the panelists gave to an audience member in regard to seeing more women in the industry at shows and panels. She said that although she had been working in the mainstream as a lead artist for many years her appearances were rare and even rarer was it that she received recognition for her work. However, that wasn’t what mattered most to her. What she found interesting, however, was that when it came to panel discussions and industry talks she often was not invited. Although she was on our panel, it represented the far and few in between. After she said that it was clear to me that a change needed to come, our voices needed to be heard.
We represented a section of the industry that often was not seen let alone recognized and that first panel was a game changer for us all. From there our focus became about highlighting the work and experiences of local women working in the industry; becoming an official women in comics organization.
However, that wasn’t what mattered most to her. What she found interesting, however, was that when it came to panel discussions and industry talks she often was not invited and although she was on our panel, it represented the far and few in between. After she said that it was clear to me that a change needed to come, our voices needed to be heard. We represented a section of the industry that often was not seen let alone recognized and that first panel was a game changer for us all. From there our focus became about highlighting the work and experiences of local women working in the industry; becoming an official women in comics organization.
Soon after having that panel we were asked to host others and our focus immediately expanded. Our panel discussion series was making a true impact. Not just an increase in exposure for the panelists, but on our audiences. To bring this all into perspective, we are often invited to talk at shows and events that the mainstream industry does not attend. In marginalized communities that are not financially able to go to large conventions; we bring the ‘Con’ experience to them.
Women in Comics Con
These communities are full of creative children and adults that would love to learn more about working as a professional in the comic book industry but do not have access to meeting people working within it. To make it even easier for audiences to interact with us we started hosting events outside of other conventions. We created our own Art Exhibition series in 2013. Started hosting Workshops for the New York Public Library System in 2014 and organized our own Women in Comics Con, (WinC Con), in 2015; with all events were free to public. It wasn’t long before large conventions and national organizations began contacting us to bring our programing to their cities. With our membership simultaneously reflecting that growth; extending nationally then internationally.
With almost 100 members worldwide, coming from all aspects of the Multi-media Industry. Writers, Artists, Toy Makers, Web Series Creators, Publishers, Educators, Librarians, Book Store Owners, Convention Producers, Radio Hosts, Bloggers, Cosplayers, Art Gallery Directors, Photographers, App Creators and more. WinC NYC has a bright and full future ahead of us. Our mission will remain true to its core no matter how large we grow: By highlighting the Merit and Workmanship of Women working in Comics we Diversify the industry one panel at a time.
I Will Never Grow Up is a small hobby company with big ambitions. It was started in 2012 by a couple of goofy but avid tabletop gamers. Looking to share their passion with the world. In the beginning I Will Never Grow Up was meant to be a game review. A casual hobby news website with a flare for big kid stuff. It quickly evolved into a daily tabletop gaming news source, review and tutorial repository. As well as a small (and growing) online web store. From there, we expanded into making our own games and accessories.
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming is now setting its sights on small games publishing and distribution as well. We currently have several games in progress. We work closely with the designers to bring their vision to your tabletop experience. Including TechMage, the Science-Fantasy Role Playing Game, Conflict and Chaos, a Vietnam War based strategy war game and Into the Black, a cooperative game of Space Piracy.
Volunteer with Gamers
Our volunteer staff scours the internet daily looking for any relevant news to share. In addition we also receive press releases on an almost daily basis from the industry and share that as well. On top of all that, Video Reviews, Game Play-throughs and geeky video content are getting lined up to start sharing in the new year!
The guys at I Will Never Grow Up are all big gamers and big kids willing to share their knowledge, experience and expertise with anyone!