Spotlight

Interviews with the many talented, interesting folks in and around Minnesota geek communities. Let’s shine a spotlight on them!

Minnesota’s Christopher Jones Draws Everything from Superheroes to Time Lords

Christopher Jones is a Minnesota-based comic artist and illustrator who has worked on a multitude of different comics and books, including properties from Young Justice to The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to Doctor Who: The Third Doctor. Due to his having worked on a few things that I am a fan of, I was pretty pumped when he graciously took some time out of his day to answer a few of my questions. Philip Coler (TCG): For people who don’t...

Meet Phil Juliano, the Creator of the Nostalgic Time-Traveling Comic You Should Be Reading

Comic strips like Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes were a huge part of my childhood. I grew up with the Star Tribune and reading the comics on Sundays, and I still love them. More recently, I learned about Best in Show by Minnesota illustrator Phil Juliano, a comic about a man who is able to go back in time. He chooses to relive his childhood, adding to his massive Star Wars collection in the process, together with his sidekick dog to...

Deep in the Shadows of the Dark Crystal: J. M. Lee on Writing New Canon for a Cult Favorite

The Dark Crystal, like many fan favorites and cult films, has a fairly rough history. Not appreciated all that much in the wake of Star Wars, the film was either too original or too derivative (depending on which critic you asked). Despite this, love for it has lived on in the people who did see the film in its original release or have discovered it on DVD or through revival screenings. However, over the last couple years, Penguin Random...

Briana Lawrence and Jessica Walsh Bring You Fantasy Set in Minnesota

In a lot of ways, Briana Lawrence and Jessica Walsh are living the fandom dream. They met on an old-school mailing list and struck up a friendship, then more than a friendship, based on a mutual love of role-playing and fanfiction. Eventually, this evolved into telling stories not just for themselves but also for the many people they meet at conventions around the world. Now, many novels later, they’ve released the second book in their Hunters series—Beneath the Chapter,...

Gadfly Theatre’s Cassandra Snow Talks Geeky Queer Feminism and the Final Frontier Festival

Minnesotans like to boast that the Twin Cities boasts the most theater seats per capita after New York City. While the veracity of this claim may be called into question, there is no doubt that the Twin Cities are a friendly space for theater-minded folks. Where else could you find an inclusive queer and feminist theater that hosts an annual geeky one-act-play festival? Cassandra Snow is a cofounder and senior staff member of the organization in question: Gadfly Theatre. By...

LARPing with the Kids: An Interview with Interphaze’s Ben Millard

My recent discovery-turned-obsession with live action role playing (commonly referred to as LARP or LARPing) has taken me on a mission to find a local group that caters to the youth crowd. Out of all the really fascinating LARP groups in the Twin Cities, I haven’t come across any that allow participation by children. Some organizations allow non-combat participation for ages 16 and older but my son is 12 and wants to play. That particular mission is not yet completed...

What Is Weirdpunk Books? Meet Editors M. P. Johnson and Sam Richard

Local press Weirdpunk Books might have just made literary history: they managed to get a book published that features controversial personality G. G. Allin in various fantastic stories. They were able to make it using Kickstarter and it has been doing well as an indie-published book about a very, very niche personality. I was excited about every aspect of this project and it what it means for weird fiction, punk rock, and author crowdfunding, and I set up a...

Author Catherine Lundoff and “Peak Queer Lycanthrope”

Catherine Lundoff is a force in genre writing and studies. Her work has found audiences at both a local and national level. She’s produced a series of articles on “deep reading” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) audiences and characters for SF Signal in addition to her own blogs and books. She’s certainly a force for expanding the vision of what genre writing is, so I took some time to talk to her about the past and...

Twin Cities T-Rexes Take Over Tuesdays

The first time we saw the “Big City + Big T-rex = Big Trouble” video by Trex Tuesdays, we knew we had to reach out for an interview. Luckily for us, the T-rexes are super friendly and approachable (as you would expect from good Minnesotans, even the reptiles!). They were even willing to trek back over to Spoonbridge and Cherry for a photo op with us! Lydia Karch (TCG): First of all, I have to ask—which came first, the costume...

Game Developers of Tomorrow, Meet Katie Simning from GLITCH

Katie Simning is the director of operations at GLITCH, a local organization aimed at helping the gaming community. Katie was willing to take time to work with me on learning a little more about herself and how things work at GLITCH. Philip Coler (TCG): For those who don’t know, what is GLITCH all about? Katie Simning: To use our fancy official words, GLITCH is a nonprofit that promotes the exploration of digital games as a culture, career, and creative practice....
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