the stories that make us nerds

NW Nerd is a podcast with feature stories on geeky interests, as well as talk on current and past issues within fandom and pop culture. 

Special Series: The RenCon Community

While most people are aware of Renton City Comic Con for two days in September, it's a year-round commitment for the RenCon community of volunteers and organizers. This group can appear more like a Rotary Club than a comic con with litter patrols, parades, charities, and other civic engagement -- in cosplay of course. Founders and locals discus this nerd fraternity and its goal of becoming the region's “community con.”

Renton Chamber of Commerce

Renton City Comic Con

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Special Series: RenCon, Cosplay Contests, and the NW Cosplay Scene

What does it take to compete in a cosplay contest? What do judges and contestants consider? Expert cosplayers provide some tips and advice on cosplay contests.

Renton City Comic Con, aka RenCon, has focused on the Northwest cosplay scene as one of its main attractions. Founders and cosplayers discuss what is behind this approach and explain why cosplay is important to them.

Featuring: Pixie Bomber Cosplay, BH Cosplay, Loratail Cosplay, and Brian Morris with Zak Labs.


  Shell Bell Cosplay  at the NW NERD photo booth, RenCon 2017. (NW NERD Podcast)

Shell Bell Cosplay at the NW NERD photo booth, RenCon 2017. (NW NERD Podcast)

Special series: RenCon has something to prove

The Renton City Comic Con has grown its annual event over the past three years to become a Northwest geek attraction. Organizers have innovated cosplay contests, geek awards, and much more.

Yet, organizers say there is a lack of support among some community leaders. Local politics, funding, and "Footloose" all come into play as RenCon attempts to throw its 2018 comic con. NW NERD dives into what it takes to organize a convention, and RenCon's story.

Renton City Comic Con (RenCon)

Music by Kevin Macleod and Epistrephein.

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Minisode: Versus Comic Con and more


Nick and Dyer check in after Versus Comic Con in Seaside, Oregon.

Also, a special presentation of comic con attendees answering tough questions like "Who is the best Star Trek Captain?" Or "Is Star Wars sci-fi?" What about "the best zombie weapon?"

Minisode: Four Seattle-related features from Season 2



This is a perfect episode to experience NW NERD for the first time, or to experience the Season 2 hits again. Here are four back-to-back features from Season 2 that all have something in common -- they have a connection to Seattle.

From educational video games, to why Seattleites are like that. You know what we mean, they're just so, ya know, cold. Also, the story of a band, The Hoot Hoots, that endeavored to record a Star Wars tribute album before "The Last Jedi" was released. And finally, we return to a Seattle home that a former resident never left. 

Minisode: The Cuts (Season 2)

Not everything makes it into an episode of NW NERD Podcast. Some interviews never emerge as features, or some discussions stray way off topic. But we saved them and present them to you here. These are the cuts from Season 2 of NW NERD.

Dyer's story about waiting for hours in line to see the first "Twilight" movie; a comic and hobby shop owner talks about how Dungeons & Dragons is very different these days; and a scientist discusses everything from the eclipse to ghost towns.

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Episode 44 - What's your guilty pleasure?

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Andrew and Genevieve from "After These Messages Podcast" join Nick and Dyer to discuss guilty pleasures.

We all have that one TV show, band, book, or other media that we don't admit that we enjoy. Perhaps a quite unique, and odd, hobby (like Dyer has, but doesn't talk about). The group reveals some personal guilty pleasures ... much to their own embarrassment. Starting with one recently-released show that Nick is slightly ashamed he watched. 

Episode 43: Women on Twitch / Wash. State Toy & Geek Fest

 Twitch streamers Luna Lyrik and Tha Buttress. (Dyer Oxley, NW NERD Podcast)

Twitch streamers Luna Lyrik and Tha Buttress. (Dyer Oxley, NW NERD Podcast)

Old media. New media. Same old problem. Online streaming service Twitch has updated its community guidelines in response to issues of harassment and hate. Twitch streamers Luna Lyrik, Tha Buttress, and Tygarlily, and radio personality Colleen O'Brien discuss the experience of being women in media. 

Also, Steve James and Justin Hunt explain why their event, the Washington State Toy and Geek Fest, is different than the usual comicon.

Nick and Dyer also discuss the great Northwest cyrptocurrency secret; where Seattle's DOTA 2 tournament is moving to; and Washington's net neutrality law. And a special Superman quiz in honor of Action Comics 1000. 

3:30 -- Seattle loses Dota 2 tournament to Vancouver
6:15 -- Crypto-mining in Washington
11:50 -- Washington passes net neutrality law
15:20 -- News Warp: Luke Cage trailer
16:30 -- News Warp: Avengers: Infinity War
21:15 -- News Warp: Jon Favreau’s Star Wars
23:10 -- News Warp: Fantastic Beasts: The Dumbledore One
24:15 -- News Warp: The real Wakanda
27:45 -- Feature: Twitch
47:20 -- Quiz: Superman

1:01:15 -- Payoff: Star Trek: TNG
1:11:30 -- Interview: Washington State Toy & Geek Fest

Episode 42: Cosplay and dress codes round table

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NW NERD gathers a panel of cosplayers and convention organizers to discuss issues surrounding a recent incident in Pasco, Wash. It evokes conversations about what is appropriate with cosplay. Where is the line between family-friendly, and the provocative costumes we emulate?

Controversy erupted in February at RadCon – a convention in the Tri-Cities – when organizers changed dress codes and cosplay rules. Things got worse when one organizer recommended on Facebook that cosplayers not dress like "prostitutes.” RadCon's Eric Colbert explains what happened behind the scenes, what organizers learned, and clarifies why they were messing with the cosplay rules in the first place.

Jerikandra Cosplay, Babs Cosplay, and Brian Morris (a cosplayer himself) with Renton City Comicon discuss the cosplay scene, and how cosplayers navigate conventions.

Episode 41: Emerald City Comic Con 2018 Follow Up

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Nick and Dyer recap Emerald City Comic Con 2018, including their cosplay contest and after party at the Raygun Lounge where some very impressive cosplayers showed off their hard work. Some special thanks yous are due, including: a mysterious benefactor; judges tyty cosplay, Miss Miniver, and Ve'Loria Solo; and our generous prize sponsors TAP Plastics, Pacific Fabrics, Pink Gorilla Games, Outsider Comics, and Lead by Example. 

In the second half of the episode, the two review Netflix’s Altered Carbon and question why it left so much of its potential on the table.

3:00 -- Cosplay Contest
13:45 -- ECCC
23:40 -- Altered Carbon

Bonus Episode: Geek Dating and Relationship Advice

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In a special bonus episode of NW NERD, we return to our dating / relationships panel from episode 38 -- Jay Edidin, Stacy Rost, and Harris O'Malley aka Dr. Nerdlove. There were a few more listener questions we didn't get to and they have some advice to relate. This bonus episode comes just as Emerald City Comic Con takes over Seattle, so take a listen while you're walking the floor.

Episode 40 - The Northwest Geekonomy

The Northwest is home to a community of conventions. From horror festivals to sci-fi conventions, anime parties and renaissance fairs – it’s all here. The conventions and all the activity around them has created a “geekonomy” -- an economic boost for local businesses. Victoria BC is the latest city to get in on this geekonomy and it has the nerd cred to pull it off.

Also, why Tacoma’s newest park is dedicated to the author/creator of “Dune.” Washington lawmakers are preparing for a future with flying cars … seriously. Nick gets grilled with a quiz about sci-fi writer Frank Herbert, and pays off his bet from the last episode (he had to watch “Gilmore Girls”).

5:45 -- News: Dune Peninsula in Tacoma
11:00 -- News: Preparing for flying cars
17:20 -- News: HasLab
20:45 -- News: Joss Whedon leaves Batgirl
28:30 -- Feature: The Geekonomy
43:00 -- Quiz: Frank Herbert in the NW
54:40 -- Payoff: Gilmore Girls

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Episode 38 - Dating while nerdy (geek relationship advice)

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3:24 -- News: Game of Star War Thrones
14:15 -- News: WA vs ticket bots
20:59 -- The Updown: Legion returns
22:40 -- The Updown: Goku Sanchez
24:00 -- The Updown: Deadpool, Jessica Jones, Solo, Venom trailers
27:59 -- The Updown: Old Spice D&D
30:05 -- The Updown: Black Panther soundtrack
33:50 -- Feature: Dating in the Nerdy Northwest
51:09 -- Interview: SPD on cosplay

57:36 -- Radcon cosplay rules

NW NERD gathers a panel of perspectives on dating and relationships. Is it possible to date in a small cosplay community? How can you get a partner more involved in your comic con passion? And what's the deal with Seattle / Northwest men? Harris O'Malley (aka Dr. Nerdlove), Jay Edidin, and Stacy Rost with Single Living Seattle weigh in. 

News about Game of Thrones showrunners getting into the Star Wars franchise, just in time for the new "Solo" trailer -- what can be assumed after watching that. Also, Washington state's attorney general is suing an East Coast man who used bots to buy concert and sports tickets out from under locals.  

Special report: Nick and Dyer discuss a controversy at a Northwest convention after it changed its dress codes and costume standards. Why attendees were not happy with the way the new codes were presented, and why the convention felt the need to make the change in the first place. 

Episode 37 - Cracking cryptocurrency


Dan McKeon, a software engineer, crypto owner, and blockchain enthusiast opens up the world of cryptocurrency for novices like Nick and Dyer. A topic gaining popularity, especially as financial markets experience volatility. They start off defining what cryptocurrency and blockchain are before discussing whether you should invest in crypto (you shouldn’t), how cryptocurrencies are a lot like gold, crypto's energy use problem, and much more.

Episode 36 - Oregon Trail and 'Black Panther' for a good cause

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Thousands of Americans were notified by Twitter that they interacted with a “Russian troll farm” – tweets designed to irate and an influence ahead of the 2016 election. Dyer … was one of them.

Also, Edwin Lindo talks about The Peoples Party and its GoFundMe campaign. The organization raised money to pay for special screenings of Black Panther for Seattle's black youth. 

Feature: The rise of the computer lab classic Oregon Trail. Nick gets quizzed on Northwest geography / history before paying off the last quiz bet (it involves Cowboy Bebop).

4:30 -- Cosplay contest announcement
6:00 -- Dyer and Russian Twitter
12:25 -- Interview: Black Panther GoFundMe
20:30 -- Feature: The obsession over Oregon Trail

40:00 -- Quiz: Oregon Trail history and geography
50:46 -- Payoff: Nick on Cowboy Bebop

Email Edwin Lindo at Edwin.lindo@gmail.com for more information about the Seattle Black Panther campaign.

Music by Kevin MacLeod

Episode 35 - Untold origins of Magic: The Gathering

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Seattle Met Magazine's Arts and Culture Editor Darren Davis joins NW NERD to discuss the surprising origins of Magic: The Gathering.

Magic has roots in the Northwest. Davis chronicled a history on the iconic card game in the January issue of Seattle Met, including the underrated role of men in large cowboy hats and the surprising lack of fantasy art experience in the early '90s.

Read Davis' article on the history of Magic here