GEEKS OUT BOARD INTERVIEW #7: TERI YOSHIUCHI


We here at Geeks OUT want you, the reader, to know more about who we are. To help with that, we’ve started interviewing members of our board so you know what makes us tick. Here’s our seventh interview!

Who are you and what do you do for Geeks OUT?
Hi, I’m Teri Yoshiuchi and I am the 2020 Vice-President of Geeks OUT.

How did you first get involved?
Gosh, I actually don’t remember. I backed the first Flame Con on Kickstarter and volunteered there, but it may have actually been at NY Comic Con.

What makes you geek out?
I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy novels and I’m super into tabletop gaming–board games and RPGs.

What book/tv show/comic/etc are you enjoying now?
Star Trek: Picard, The Expanse (both the TV show and the books). There’s so much out there right now it’s hard to keep up.

What are your favorite geeky past times?
I play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons. I’m also a USA Archery Certified Level 2 archery instructor.

What’s something underrated you think could use a shout out?
Indie role playing games. There are a lot more out there than Dungeons & Dragons.

What fictional setting would you most want to live in?
Star Trek, without question. The ability to explore the galaxy in a starship or create my own fantasy world on a holodeck would be amazing.

What was your introduction to geekdom?
When I was a little kid one of my babysitters had a Mattel Intellivision. All I wanted to do was play games on it. A few years later one of my friends got an NES from her parents for Channukah and I remember us playing Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt for hours.

GEEKS OUT BOARD INTERVIEW #3 – NICOLE GITAU

We here at Geeks OUT want you, the reader, to know more about who we are. To help with that, we’ve started interviewing members of our board so you know what makes us tick. Here’s our third interview!


Who are you and what do you do for Geeks OUT?

I’m Nicole Gitau, President of Geeks OUT and Special Guests Lead for Flame Con. My main role at Geeks OUT is taking care of high-level admin projects, cheerleading future initiatives, and making sure our committees are communicating as we all work to make queer magic together.


How did you first get involved?

I stumbled on the Geeks OUT booth at New York Comic Con in 2012. I was drawn in by (Co-founder and former President) Joey Stern’s enthusiasm… for everything… and agreed to write for the blog on the spot. After a year of volunteering to work other conventions and moderate panels, I joined the Board in 2014. It’s been a wild ride ever since.


What makes you geek out?

Like many good geeks (and all librarians), I’m excited by knowledge – acquiring it, sharing it. When I was 10, I carried around a notebook where I’d write down obscure facts I learned. These days, I’m more likely to put that same energy into community organizing. If there’s something you’ve got a question about, or someone you need to know, I’m happy to do the research for you.


What fictional character(s) had the most inspirational story arc to you and why?

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (BtVS/Angel): I could deeply identify with a rule-abiding librarian who goes rogue defending their friends in the end-times.  Serafina Pekkala (His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman): A witch queen who exemplified the “if you love something, let it go” maxim. Many times over.Kelly (San Junipero, Black Mirror): She made a scary decision to do something for herself, after a lifetime of hiding and making others happy. [See also; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ruth in Fast Color for more inspiring big gestures of love.] Anyway… have I mentioned I love stories with sad Brits? 


Who do you ship?

Literally, every queer/trans/femme relationship in pop culture right now (visibility, y’all!). Rue & Jules (Euphoria): I mean, teeechnically they are canon (did you see those perfect snuggles?). But the will they/won’t they vibes are killing me and I just want a happy ending for these baby queers who are full of feels. Reminds me of my first relationship. Eve & Villanelle on Killing Eve: I’m a sucker for a good-girl-gives-in story. And, it’s like a really perfect round of F***, Marry, Kill when all options apply. Reminds me of my last relationship.Janelle & her next award show date: It’s been a good year for QWoC on the red carpet. 94% of that is because of Janelle’s swag. 


What’s Something underrated you think could use a shout out?

MariNaomi’s work in general, but her databases in particular: Queer Cartoonists and Cartoonists of Color, If you’re a fan, learn more! If you’re an organizer, you no longer have excuses about lacking diverse voices!

The Geeks OUT Podcast: D23 – The Mighty Disney

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s super-sized episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Anthony Hargraves, as they discuss some of their favorite moments from Flame Con, review the announcements from D23 Expo (Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, etc…) & celebrate Disney Channel’s new Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur as our Strong Female Character of the Week.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN: Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight series coming to Disney+
ANTHONY: New trailer for The Politician

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Batman: Hush, Super Mario U. Deluxe
JON: Shantae and the Seven Sirens is Coming! Guilty Mobile Phone Games

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

Disney Channel orders a Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur animated series

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Marvel makes Mystique and Destiny official

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New trailer for Lady & the Tramp live-action remake

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

New trailer for Underwater
• New trailer for Antlers
• Matrix 4 in the works with Lana Wachowski and more returning
• Sony & Disney in conflict over Spider-Man’s future
• Black Panther 2 gets a 2022 release date
• More cast revealed for The Eternals
• First look at Cruella
• New poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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TV

• New cast details for Falcon & the Winter Soldier
• New trailer for The Mandelorian
Obi-Wan Kenobi series coming to Disney+
• Netflix orders Masters of the Universe animated series
• Starz orders wrestling series Heels starring Stephen Amell

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VIDEO GAMES

SonicFox does live Twitch stream to raise money for Trevor Project
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games to have classic mode

Geeks OUT Board Interview #1 – Steve Gianaca

We here at Geeks OUT want you, the reader, to know more about who we are. To help with that, we’ve started interviewing members of our board so you know what makes us tick. Here’s our first interview!


Who are you and what do you do for Geeks OUT?
I’m Steve Gianaca. I’m the Vice President of Geeks OUT and current chair of Flame Con.
How did you first get involved?
I found Geeks OUT while visiting PAX East in Boston almost 6 years ago. I found out they were local to NYC and emailed to get involved. I had a “small world” moment when my coworker emailed me at home shortly afterward. I thought there was a work emergency, but it turned out my coworker of two years in NYC was actually the founder of the non-profit I found in Boston, Geeks OUT. I’ve been involved ever since.
What makes you geek out?
So much! I love comics, fantasy and sci-fi of course, but my biggest nerd-hobby is gaming. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, Pikmin, Mortal Kombat, Katamari… the list goes on and on and on.
What fictional character had the most inspirational story arc to you and why?
Tohru Honda from Fruits Baskets comes to mind. In a world where others may intimidate you, the strength to compete can be found in kindness, compassion and growth.
What book/tv show/comic/etc are you enjoying now?
I’m currently diving down the rabbit hole and playing the original Dragon Quest games before 11 comes out on Switch.
What are your favorite geeky past times?
My yearly sojourn to PAX East is one of my favorite palette-cleansers from the stresses of life.
What’s Something underrated you think could use a shout out?
Local gamer meetups! I personally love the low-key atmosphere at Rockbar in NYC every Saturday from 3-9.
Who do you ship?
Axel and Roxas from Kingdom Hearts. Or Luxord and anyone Luxord is currently talking to, from Kingdom Hearts. He’s too swarthy for his own good.
What fictional setting would you most want to live in?
Send me to the Pokemon world please!
Who would your bff be?
In the pokemon world? I’d love a clique with Cynthia and Wallace.
What was your introduction to geekdom?
When I was in preschool, my older brother would sometimes setup my dad’s ancient and barely-working Intellivision. It was my first exposure to video games, quickly followed by the NES and Gameboy.


We hope you dug this interview and hope to see a bunch of you at Flame Con this weekend!

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Thots on the 90’s

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s super sized episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin and Lynaé DePriest preview some of the things they’re looking forward to seeing at Flame Con this year, discuss their 90’s nostalgia with the new trailer for The Addams Family, and celebrate the trans storyline in Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling in This Week in Queer.

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FLAME CON BIG OPENING

KEVIN: Panel: We’re Here, But Not Just Queer   Performance: Spellbound Strings, Panfandom (Queer &)   Workshop: Cosplay for Beginners Demo: Xbox Adaptive Controller   Special Guest: Tana Ford, DJ Kirkland Vendor: Astonishing Queer Tales, Jennie Wood, Doable Guys
LYNAÉ: Panel: Leveraging Labels   Performance: Bonfire, Cosplay Contest     Workshop: Take Pride: Create Your Own Flag  Demo: Intro to Smash Bros. Special Guest: Food 4 Thot  Vendor: Night Owl Designs

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Detective Pikachu, Two Sentence Horror Stories, Young Justice, Super Mario U Deluxe
LYNAÉ: Rocko’s Modern Life, American Ninja Warrior

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

ABC announces The Little Mermaid Live

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling has a transgender storyline

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New trailer for The Addams Family animated movie

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

Andy Serkis to direct Venom 2
• Disney+ to “reimagine” Home Alone, Night at the Museum, and more
• New trailer for Wonder Woman: Bloodlines
• First look at live-action Lady and the Tramp cast
• Universal cancels the release of The Hunt

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TV

• Game of Thrones creators sign Netflix deal
Disney+ announces bundle with Hulu & ESPN+
• New trailer for Carnival Row
• Amazon developing series based on Event Horizon
• New teaser for season 2 of Titans
• New trailer for Katy Keene
Crisis on Infinite Earths adds more characters

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COMIC BOOKS

Superman reminds fans of his stance on immigration and refugees

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Foxy Love
• LYNAÉ: Foxy Brown

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Flame Con 4 Ever

Geeks OUT Podcast: Flame Con 4 Ever

In this week’s super-sized episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin (@Gilligan_McJew) is joined by Anthony Hargraves (@LiftLaughPi) as they share their favorite moments from Flame Con (celebrating its 4th year) last week, discuss last week’s trailer for Iron Fist, and celebrate Kelly Marie Tran as our Strong Female Character of the Week.

In this week‘s super-sized episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined comedian and co-host of the Flame Con Performance Stage Anthony Hargraves as they share their favorite moments from the 4th year of Flame Con, discuss last week’s trailer for Iron Fist, and celebrate Kelly Marie Tran as our Strong Female Character of the Week.

 

BIG OPENING

KEVIN: New trailer for season 2 of Iron Fist
ANTHONY: Sonic Chaos Reimagined Announcement Trailer and Demo! (SAGE – Sonic Amateur Game Expo)

 

DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: The Happytime Murders, The Life of Captain Marvel, Extermination
ANTHONY: Let’s Play of Earthbound & Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

 

FLAME CON FAVES

KEVIN: Fan response online
ANTHONY: Spotting Queen Sectonia from the stage

 

STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

Kelly Marie Tran speaks out about online harassment

 

THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Champions star comes out as transgender

 

CLIP OF THE WEEK

New trailer for horror comedy Slice

 

THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

Trailer for The Last Sharknado
 New trailer for Suspiria
• Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 on indefinite hold

 

TV

•  ABC has ordered an interracial reboot of Bewitched
Arrowverse crossover to feature Superman and Lois Lane
Doom Patrol adds Brendan Fraser
Jessica Jones showrunner leaving to go to Warner Bros.
Showrunner of Voltron apologizes

Trailer released for Star Wars Resistance
Big Bang Theory ending this season
Hulu looking to revive Veronica Mars
Castle Rock renewed for another season

 

COMICS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer ending in September
• Iceman to feature the return of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends
• Wolverine is getting a new costume

 

SHILF

KEVIN: Scorpion
ANTHONY: Goro

Geeking Out About Flame Con Panels: Talking 7 Miles a Second

“On Saturday, August 20, I attended the fascinating Flame Con panel “Talking 7 Miles a Second” featuring Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger and moderated by Maggie Galvan. Calvin Reed, senior news editor at Publisher’s Weekly and a personal friend of the panelists, was in attendance in the audience. Ostensibly about the titular graphic memoir written by artist David Wojnarowicz, it also touched on the collected work of the panelists and Wojnarowicz, the art scene of New York City in the 80s and 90s, and the unique artistic appeal of comics.

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Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger at Flame Con

David Wojnarowicz was an artist, performer, and AIDS activist in New York with an extensive body of work who passed away in 1992. Romberger was the artist, and Van Cook the colorist, for 7 Miles a Second, one of the first original works of DC’s Vertigo imprint. It was originally published in 1996 and rereleased by Fantagraphics in 2013. The story is set during three periods of Wojnarowicz’s life: at six years old, as a homeless teen and gay hustler, and towards the end of his life as he was dying of complications from AIDS.

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The original Vertigo cover

The panel began with a look at Wojnarowicz’s 1985-86 Ground Zero Gallery NY show “You Killed Me First,” which Romberger and Van Cook helped curate. Ground Zero was a pioneer of installation art and featured several East Village artists. Reed shared some of his own stories of Wojnarowicz’s show and his own work with Ground Zero. “Making money was a low consideration,” according to Van Cook. Romberger said they “encouraged the full transformation of the gallery.” “You Killed Me First” included the front of the gallery space being made to look like a subway tunnel, complete with actual garbage from the street.

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David Wojnarowicz (Photo courtesy of Grove Atlantic)

The panel then segued to a discussion of 7 Miles a Second and how it came to be. Romberger explained how the script was actually a manuscript full of monologue transcriptions, conversations, observations, and dream recollections, among other things, that was cut out and formed into a ten-foot-long scroll. A slide that reproduced part of it showed a sheet of paper dense with typing and marginalia. Van Cook pointed out that Wojnarowicz “had a great ear for conversation” and that his first book Sounds in the Distance earned praise from William S. Burroughs for “captur[ing] the voice of the road.”

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Legendary Vertigo editor Jenette Kahn had told DC to “let them do what they want,” in Romberger’s words, though that did not stop the publisher from altering the cover and muting Van Cook’s amazing colors. Van Cook added that she knew what Wojnarowicz liked about her work. “He was obsessed with using Day-Glo colors in comics,” she said. She described resorting to children’s paint boxes in order to find the right hues. The results featured on several slides were nothing less than stunning.

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One key point of the panel was the exceptional appeal of the comics medium for a story like this. “Comics are really good as a memory device,” Van Cook said. Since so much of 7 Miles a Second deals with remembered instances, this was particularly apt. How does one depict illness? How does one represent childhood? The interplay between text and pictures more closely resemble how people think and recall lived experience, according to the panelists, more so than any other art form.

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“You don’t want the image to just be a picture of the text,” Romberger mentioned. “There are so many reasons you can articulate why [7 Miles a Second] is art.”

 

The original print run was 25,000 copies, but it was very difficult to find. The original artwork was exhibited at the New Museum on Broadway, and the Museum of Modern Art displayed a copy of the book behind glass as part of its “Open Ends” show in 2000.

 

This panel was a personal highlight of the weekend for me. It was incredibly insightful, and I wish I could reproduce here all the turns the conversation took. I made sure to stop by Romberger’s and Van Cook’s table to grab a personal copy of 7 Miles a Second on Sunday, and I encourage everyone to seek it out.