My Name is Rob and I’m black. I’m a nerd. I’m a blerd. Now that I’ve declared my tribe let me explain. I’ve always had an interested in pop culture paraphernalia over sports. I’ve been more easily attached to watching cartoons and reading comics over throwing a football or dunking a basketball. And, for the longest time, I’ve been hit with this idea that “black kids don’t do that” – the crux of the Unofficially Black Podcast.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve suppressed my joy in geeky, nerd things to be cool. Being the cool guy mattered more to me that just enjoying what I liked. So those earlier declarations we’re a source of pride or even acknowledgment – it was a thing about me. Not until becoming an adult and recovering from corporate conditioning acting in a persona did I realise that I should just be myself and I’d have deeper, more fulfilling relationships. We all crave acceptance and be a part of something. To find our tribe. Continue reading “Guest Post: Revenge Of The Blerds”
If there’s one thing I enjoy about pop culture, it’s the idea that it can connect people from different walks of life. Comics, gaming, anime and cosplaying are all part of the same phenomenon. Anime has experienced a huge increase in popularity and it’s writers like Helen McCarthy who’ve championed it as a legitimate field of study. Helen has written 13 books, which have been translated into seven languages, on anime, manga, art and Japanese pop culture. They include 500 Essential Anime Movies, Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation and Anime! A Beginner’s Guide To Japanese Animation.
I’m pleased to present an interview with Helen about her writing experiences and her connection to pop culture. Read on to find out about what it was like meeting Jonathan Ross in a comic book store and how she braved a snow storm to see her favourite Japanese shrine. Continue reading “Helen McCarthy Talks About What It Means To Be An Anime Writer”
Comic cons are some of the best places to meet people who are passionate about pop culture. This appreciation extends to cosplaying. Dressing up as a different character offers a chance to be creative. I’ve spoken about how cosplay can be good for mental health, and something I became aware of when attending the 2018 Manchester Comic Con was how cosplay can bring people of all ages together. More importantly, cosplay has the power to bring families together and create a welcoming environment.
Continue reading “How The Power Of Cosplay Can Bring A Family Together”
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk in the news about mental health and how being open with your feelings can make a difference. From personal experience, sharing how I’ve felt with people about my anxiety has helped because it’s made me feel less worried about it, knowing that others are understanding of it. Comics are also a great source of inspiration, which is why I’m opening up submissions for guest posts around comics and mental health.
Continue reading “A Call For Guest Blogs About Comics And Mental Health”
Pop culture is an exciting phenomenon that connects people all over the world through a love of fictional worlds and characters. Some of the best places to experience it are comic cons, which is why I was excited to attend two in March: Liverpool Comic Con and Birmingham Comic Con. Both events were carried out back to over two weekends. I was at Liverpool Con on the 10th Match and Birmingham Con on the 17th March. Both events were different, with each being enjoyable for different reasons. Here are my thoughts on both and why I think everyone who loves pop culture should attend a comic con.
Continue reading “Back To Back Comic Cons In Liverpool And Birmingham”
If there’s one thing I enjoy about being creative, it’s getting the chance to meet like-minded people. Collaboration is a great way to make new connections and produce something new, whether it’s a story or a piece of art. Working with someone else helps you elevate each other, which is useful when it comes to cosplaying. The cosplay world is built on collaboration, with people making costumes, selling costumes, taking pictures and having fun together. It’s why I was excited to do a new cosplay photo shoot with fellow creatives and embody my favourite comic character.
Continue reading “How Collaboration Can Make You A Better Cosplayer And Provide A Creative Outlet”
Cosplaying is a fun experience, as you’re able to dress up as a character you admire and feel like someone else for a day. The cosplaying community is huge, which is why I enjoy interviewing cosplayers from around the world to showcase their work and find out what inspires them. The latest interview is with Dan Ballestero, who is known for his work as Geralt of Rivia and other gaming characters. As a male cosplayer, it was great hearing Dan’s perspective on how cosplay can benefit mental health, create new connections and be an expression of freedom.
Continue reading “Cosplayer Interview: Dan Ballestero”