Pop Culture

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

The Worst and Best Fathers in Anime

Our fathers are meant to be people that we look up to and can rely on in times of crisis. What they do around us can carry a lasting influence on our lives; they can mold us into normal, functioning members of society or they can doom us to lead dark and unsavory lives on the fringes. Fathers in anime are no different. Just like in real life, they can help or hurt their children to a variety of...

An Ode to Star Trek: Discovery’s Sylvia Tilly

Star Trek: Discovery has become a bit of a target in the culture wars of geekdom. And while I’m not here to debate whether or not it is worthy of the Star Trek name (it is) or worth its cost in subscription fees (again, it is), I am here to talk about something it contains that has meant a lot to me. I think in a lot of these debates, we forget the actual impact the media we’re discussing...

Game of Thrones and the Gamers Who Play It

As HBO’s Game of Thrones reaches its final episodes, with the series finale airing May 19, 2019, it’s a great time to appreciate how far the George R. R. Martin franchise has come from its humble beginnings. My first encounter with A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series on which the TV show is based, came about the same way as many of my favorite fandoms: through my love of gaming. In 2003, my friends had just...

A Twin Cities Geek Goes to Star Wars Celebration 2019

It’s April 10, 2019, and I’m cursing the Minnesota winter. As the Cities get around eight inches of snow, I know that my odds of making it to Chicago have gotten worse for an event I’ve been looking forward to for a year: Star Wars Celebration. The convention, dedicated to Star Wars fans, ran from April 11 through April 15 this year. It might be a little unknown to some, but for die hard Star Wars fans it’s mecca,...

4 Ways Marvel Comics Has Proven Thanos Needs to Die

’Tis the season for noble eradication! Many fans of various fandoms have hopes this spring of being relieved of villains that have been plaguing their favorite characters for way too long. Earlier this month, Seth Rollins opened Wrestlemania 35 by slaying the beast, Brock Lesnar, for the WWE Universal Championship. Wrestle fans everywhere rejoiced of a new champion that actually cared about showing up to work and being a fighting champion. April also marked the beginning of the end...

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...
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