In Depth

Indulging the obsessions that form the foundations of our individual geek identities, In Depth takes you along for the ride as a Twin Cities Geek contributor goes into detail about a given topic they just can’t – and don’t want to – stop thinking about. This should be fun!

How Can Writers of Color Reconcile H. P. Lovecraft’s Influence with His Racist Legacy?

August 20, 2018, marks the 128th birthday of the polarizing American writer H. P. Lovecraft. A resident of Providence, Rhode Island, he is best known in fandom for his interconnected stories collectively referred to as the Cthulhu mythos—or Yog-Sothothery, as he is said to have preferred. A consistent joke is that the list of things he wasn’t afraid of was shorter than the list of things he was, and that is clearly reflected in his writing. He’s one of...

With Infinity War Almost Here, It’s Time to Revisit Marvel’s Villain Problem

With Avengers: Infinity War rapidly approaching, I’ve found myself thinking far more about Marvel movies than I ever thought I would. In fact, originally I didn’t expect to even like them that much at all. I’ve never been the biggest fan of action movies—I enjoy them as much as the next guy, but they don’t really tend to leave the theater with me, and for a while, that was how I approached the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. I...

A Look Back on the Troubled Yet Iconic Dragon Ball Super

On March 25, 2018, Dragon Ball Super came to an end after 131 episodes. Discussion of its finale lead to DBS trending at the number-three worldwide spot on Twitter, and multiple municipal governments in a half dozen Latin American countries sponsored public viewings of the final two episodes—some places drawing more than 10,000 attendees. People love Dragon Ball. And as a hardcore fan of the franchise myself, I thought now would be the perfect time to go back and look...

In Spite of Pennywise, Performers Keep the Art of Friendly Clowning Alive

Clowns from around the globe gathered in Bloomington, Minnesota, last month for the annual convention of the World Clown Association This wasn’t your garden-variety clown gathering—it was the whipped cream of the crop, professional clowns young and old, new, improved, and veteran, coming together to learn from one another and embrace their passion of clowning. Over the years, the profession of clowning has dwindled somewhat as the world has moved towards superhero birthday parties and clowns have been repeatedly portrayed as maniacal, dastardly,...

For Nonbinary Geeks, Representation and Acceptance Can Be Hard to Find

For many people, both inside and outside of the trans community, the word transgender is seen as referring to people who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) and transitioned to a female identity or people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) and transitioned into a male identity. Sometimes this includes physically transitioning with surgery and hormones, and sometimes it does not. This idea, however, is missing a whole slew of folks under the trans umbrella: many people, whether...

One Piece Is the Magnum Opus of Battle Shōnen and Completely Worth Your Time

For many anime enthusiasts, Eiichiro Oda’s monster story One Piece represents a mountain that one has neither the time nor the energy to traverse. After all, Oda’s been writing this story for 20 years with no sign of ending it. The manga is close to a whopping 900 chapters, and the anime isn’t far behind in number of episodes. People usually say, “Sounds interesting, but I don’t want to commit that much time to watching an anime.” I completely understand...

Embracing the Special Creativity of Being a Solitary Geek

In my most recent article, I talked about how I developed an all-or-nothing attitude when it came to geekdom because of the way I was raised by my Cambodian parents. The downside to diving deep into my interests, though, is that I end up spending a lot of time alone—but even that has its perks. What kind of perks? The kind that lead to creativity. I mentioned in my previous article that my parents’ well-meaning, though misguided, overemphasis on...

How Being Raised to to Give 100 Percent Made Me the Fanatical Asian Nerd I Am

I’m a Cambodian American geek. As I’ve talked about before, this has had its challenges, like clashing with parents who thought my geek hobbies were a waste of time and money, but standing up for myself and what I liked also helped me develop a thick skin against criticism. Another way my upbringing was a benefit to my adult geekdom is that I was raised to give everything I have to anything I choose to do. Growing up, my...

How Being an Asian Geek Trained Me to Stand Strong against Criticism

I’m a Cambodian American. Technically we’ve been here before: in my debut article for Twin Cities Geek, “The Surprising Difficulty of Being a Cambodian American Geek,” I brought to light—for the first time publicly—my personal experiences, observations, and difficulties with dealing with antigeek hostility in my own ethnic community. The majority of experiences were due to conflicts between the older generation, who emigrated from Cambodia as a result of the Khmer Rouge, and the younger generation, who were born...

How Visions of Hope Unite the Works of J. R. R. Tolkien

Of all the common threads in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, I propose that the uniting theme is hope. It can be found in his popular works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as well as his more obscure writings like The Silmarillion and Morgoth’s Ring. If one were to assign a theology to his writings, it would be a Theology of Hope. It is a multifaceted hope, with trust as the foundation—the belief that...
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