Pop Culture

Coverage of and commentary on current events and announcements in the world of TV, Movies, Comic Books, and Literature.

How Do We Deal with the Fallout of Anime Voice Actor Vic Mignogna?

On February 11, 2019, Funimation Entertainment announced it had ended its relationship with one of its most prolific voice actors, Vic Mignogna, because of sexual misconduct accusations. The month that led up to their decision and the month that followed can only be described as a shitstorm; fans lashed out, other voice actors took sides, and industry professionals came out of the woodwork. The seas have somewhat calmed since then, but I’ve been left wondering: what now? For context,...

Up-Down Minneapolis Bottles Gaming Nostalgia for Twin Cities Millennials

When I first walked into Up-Down a few years ago, around the time it opened, I felt an instant nostalgic attachment. I noticed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and nearby, an unused X-Men arcade cabinet. Both sat beckoning me to reclaim my youth. I was flooded with memories of a local pizza shop and arcade in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I spent birthdays, Friday nights, and the celebrations after stellar report cards. I would rapidly scarf down the...

Minneapolis Artist Kevin Cannon Is Creating a Magical Harry Potter Nursery

When your parent is an artist, your bedroom might be a little more special than average. When that parent is also a huge Harry Potter fan, it might be downright magical. With a baby on the way, Twin Cities cartoonist Kevin Cannon decided to apply his talents to the new nursery he and his wife are creating for the new member of their family. Specifically, Cannon—who, in addition to a range of books and comics, is known for his...

Just What Is This Convention, Anyway? A Guide to Different Types of Cons

If you have had any exposure to fan or geek communities, you’ve probably heard about these so-called conventions that take place every year. These can range from small events at local community centers and libraries to massive events taking place at the largest convention centers and hotels. Each convention is unique in its own way—they’re all organized differently and have different goals and audiences. You’ll see a lot of terms to describe these different types of conventions out there,...

City of Ghosts Is a Perfect October Ghost Story

In October, I often get in the mood for a ghost story. City of Ghosts, a spooky middle grade fiction book by Victoria Schwab, fit the bill for me. It is the story of Cassidy Blake, who has the ability to see ghosts and to visit the realm of spirits. Her parents are paranormal investigators who relocate to Edinburgh, Scotland, to film a television show about haunted cities. Her best friend happens to be a ghost named Jacob. Once they...

The Character Alignments of New Minnesota State Fair Foods, Rated

The Minnesota State Fair is rapidly approaching, and it is high time to prepare yourself (and your stomach) for the food that is coming. There is always a ton of food to pick from each year, and to make it easier for you, I’ve rated the moral alignments for some of the new food coming your way in 2018. Lawful Good: Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake This delightful treat is exactly what you expect to see when you hear the...

The 8 Most Exciting Trailers out of San Diego Comic-Con 2018

Each year, we poor unfortunate souls who can’t afford the exorbitant cost of attending nerdvana, otherwise known as San Diego Comic-Con, wait anxiously for news to drop about our favorite fandoms. Those lucky few . . . thousand . . . in attendance get to enjoy the massive Hall H panels firsthand and witness the reveals of television and film trailers before anyone else. Of course, through the magic of this infinite series of tubes called the Internet, those videos...

How Star Trek: The Next Generation Predicted Meme Culture

“Darmok,” the 102nd episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a longtime favorite among both Trekkies and linguists. Case in point: the first time I saw it wasn’t on TV but in a linguistic anthropology class at the University of Minnesota. In the episode, Picard and the Enterprise crew encounter the Children of Tama, who speak entirely in metaphors and references—a system that stumps the Trek world’s universal translator, which can only translate the literal meaning of the...

The Dilemma of Sacrifice and Selfish Heroes

*Avengers: Infinity War spoilers ahead* The battlefield is set. Spaceships have unloaded thousands of weird alien dogs, the Children of Thanos are itching to recover an Infinity Stone, and hundreds of Wakandan warriors line the meadow—led by our favorite MCU heroes—prepared to fight. But why? To buy time for Shuri to free Vision from the Mind Stone and save his life. Life. This concept drives the plot of the entire film—we must save everyone. Vision offers to sacrifice himself...

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...
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