Happy 1st Birthday Nerd Out App

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

Testimony

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

This Friday we’ll be hosting Nerd Out’s 1st Birthday party! I’m thrilled to have the fabulous people who have supported Nerd Out attending as well as some fine folks from the Nerd community attending.

Here’s to another year! More locations for the future! And attending more conventions to meet even more of you lovely Nerds!

Get Geeky at Geeky Teas in Los Angeles

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!

Make sure to check out the Nerd Out calendar for the latest events!

Hours of Operation
Monday: Closed
Tuesday through Friday 4pm to 10pm
Saturday 1pm – 11:30pm
Sunday 1pm – 10pm

2120 West Magnolia Boulevard
Burbank, California 91506

Image below is just a sample of some of the amazing teas they have. 

geeky teas

Dear Lovely Nerd Out App Supporter

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!

Testimonial

“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!

Here’s to another year!

Your Friend, Michelle (Elle)

Women In Comics NYC Collective International

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 Comics NYC Collective International

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.

Representation

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.

Women In Comics NYC Collective International

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.

Make sure to check out the Nerd Out calendar for the latest events!

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

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!

We are also co-organizers of a local annual Tabletop Gaming Convention (Field Marshal Gaming Convention) where we share our love of games with attendees.

Visit us online at www.iwillnevergrowup.com for news, reviews, tutorials and more.

A Lesson We Could All Learn from Cinderella

From the reviews I had read on other sites this film wasn’t getting outstanding ovations. However, I think they overlooked the whole point of Cinderella. She was built on the ideal of ‘have courage and be kind’, which is the main theme of the film. Recently I worked at a place that wasn’t all that kind to me. In my own way I felt like Cinderella living with the Evil Stepsisters. It was a trying time to say the very least. In spite of this I had to stay strong and make a grand effort to be kind.

Kindness is not a trait of the weak, it is a trait of the strong. If you’ve even had to try really hard to be kind you most certainly know what I mean. After being belittled by her Wicked Stepmother she still was kind to not only her but even to the field mice who were her only friends. Instead of making the constant abuse harden her or make her a bitter person, she perservered. That kind of abuse eats away at a person, I don’t care who you are, it does. Kindness in the face of all else is a superpower no matter which way you slice it.

All Seemingly Lost

Then comes the moment when all seems to be lost, Cinderella cannot go to the ball. In this moment Cinderella is broken. Her mother’s dress torn, she’s crying her eyes out, and more importantly her spirit seems to be cracking. Yet, Cinderella being the product of hope is still kind to an old woman in rags who asks for a drink. Cinderella never put herself before others, she always thinks of others first. And as you may have guessed, she gets the old woman a drink and shortly after reveals herself as her Fairy Godmother.

cinderella

Upon arriving at the ball Cinderella gets nervous. Who wouldn’t?!? She says something along the lines of ‘I’m just a girl’ to her lizard footman. To which he responds ‘and I just a lizard’. It’s a yes, you are just a girl, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t more. The belief in one’s self.

After the ball, the situation at home becomes even worse for poor Cinderella. However, though I pity Cinderella, she does not pity herself. She remains true to herself and is always herself. At one point she’s asked why she puts up with it all and she responds that she is caring for the house her parents loved. In essence she’s trying to keep the memories alive for herself. She remains hopeful and chooses to remember the good memories like her parents and the ball. Many of you could say this is denial, but I think this is strong will. To keep strong and have courage in the face of all else.

Have Courage and Be Kind

At the end of the film she not only stands up for herself but she is a big enough person to forgive her Wicked Stepmother. Forgiveness is hard, and to be honest I’m not all that great at it. So to see someone else forgive was touching for me. The whole film was to be honest. I think I cried on and off every fifteen minutes or so. So if you do take something away from this film, I hope it is to ‘have courage and be kind’. The end.