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. 

Episode 323: Game Jamming hate in America

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The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has started hosting game jams – when avid gamers gather to create a video or tabletop game under a tight deadline. Normally, indie games can take years to develop. These gamers are building one in a weekend. Last fall, the ADL hosted a game jam with the theme of identity, and the goal of creating empathy and fighting hate. This is what happened. Feature story at 33:00.


33:00 Feature: ADL Game Jam

Episode 319: Mephisto The Card Game (Round Table)

Indie game designer Dylan Mangini joins the show to discuss the success of his fully funded Kickstarter tabletop game. How did he do it? What role did the local tabletop scene play in his success? Who said that the game is "better than Pokemon"? Dylan provides an account of his journey as an indie tabletop game designer — from player, to designer, to a successfully funded kickstarter, to the final product.

Mephisto Kickstarter.

Episode 316: 2 interviews with Robot of the Day and Captain Cannabis

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NW NERD presents two interviews from last summer’s Versus Comic Con.

Robot of the Day is Brian Johnson’s mission to exercise his art daily. But it has grown into something more — something that fans look forward to each day.

Captain Cannabis is a superhero marijuana activist with his own comic book, rap song, and video game. He started his fight to “legalize it” in the 1990s. Despite recreational marijuana being legal in the Northwest, is still fighting.

Episode 314: Bowling with Nicholas Brendon

Feature only: Why Nicholas Brendon goes bowling

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Actor Nicholas Brendon garnered headlines as Xander in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Then again as he struggled with addiction, depression, and multiple arrests. Now, he goes bowling, raising awareness of depression and anxiety. The events foster a community of fans, supporting each other. But he also receives criticism. The actor discusses it all with NW NERD.

3:20 -- News: Game of Thrones teaser
13:45 -- News: Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer
22:45 -- News: Aquaman makes $1 billion
29:45 -- News: Mephisto
33:00 -- News: Nike goes back to the future
37:45 -- Feature: Bowling with Nicholas Brendon

Check out the Mephisto Kickstarter.

312: A Festivus for the Rest of Us (Round Table)

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The final episode of the year is also the longest episode of the year. Pour yourself a mug of your favorite holiday beverage and listen as Dyer Oxley and Nick Jarin welcome in some secret guests to help them celebrate Festivus by airing some grievances and competing against each other in feats of strength.

Featuring: Andrews Walsh (TBTL, After These Messages, Spotless), and Emily (Dead Beat Film Society).

Episode 310: Seattle's Comic Book Cop

Feature only: Seattle’s comic book cop

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Comic books have been a part of Officer Kevin Stuckey’s life ever since he was a kid growing up in Detroit and New York. Today, he draws from them to be a hero in his own way in Seattle.

1:20 -- News: Black Panther Golden Globes nomination
14:00 -- News: The new space race
20:45 -- News: Amy Adams out as Lois Lane
25:35 -- News: Dark Luke Skywalker
30:15 -- News: Captain Marvel over-hyped?
38:30 -- Feature: The Comic Book Cop

Episode 309: The Ultimate Holiday Movie Playlist 2018

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There are many, many holiday-themed movies. But which ones are the best, must-see films? NW NERD is joined by special guests That Guy Named John (About to Review), and Kevin and Emily (Dead Beat Film Society) to develop an ultimate holiday movie playlist for 2018. Can they agree on the best films? What films make the cut, and which ones are voted down?

Episode 307: Everett's AFK Tavern triumphs, NASA's Big Week


Everyone told them that a bar for geeks was an idea doomed to fail. But 10 years ago, they opted to ignore naysayers and chart their own course. AFK Tavern is a bar that shouldn’t exist if you ask the average range of investors and realtors. But it continues to thrive in Everett, and for a very good reason.

Also, NASA specialist Steven C. Smith talks about NASA’s Mars plans and more.

In the news, NASA’s InSight has landed on Mars with the help of some PNW rockets, Emerald City Comic Con’s effort to get at scalping money, and the world’s first gene-edited babies (reportedly).

1:20 -- News: Mars InSight landing’s northwest ties
9:10 -- News: ECCC’s ticket app
13:40 -- News: Gene-edited babies
25:35 -- News: Dark Luke Skywalker
33:15 -- Feature: The AFK Tavern
51:20 -- Interview: NASA specialist Steven C. Smith

Episode 305: Stan Lee Special Episode

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A NW NERD special episode in honor of the late Stan Lee, featuring two interviews with the comic book icon.

Special thanks to friends of the podcast Frank Shiers and Heather Bosch, who each interviewed Stan Lee for KIRO Radio in 2010 when he visited Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con. Hear Lee tell a few stories about his most cherished characters, including why the Hulk was green, and which character he wished he could have written for but never did.

Episode 301: Ghost Logs of the Grand Lodge

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NW NERD kicks off its third season with its annual Halloween episode. Take a visit to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Ore. Among the many attractions is the Lavender Lady and others who are permanent “residents” of the hotel.

The front desk keeps a ghost log, recording all the bizarre experiences employees and guests have reported over the years. This episode is a double feature of sorts, telling the story of the Grand Lodge, and also some spirited performance of actual stories from the ghost log.

3:20 -- News: Netflix Marvel cancellations
12:15 -- News: Ancestry DNA services help solve crimes
20:30 -- News: Why Jet Li wasn’t in The Matrix
26:15 -- News: Facebook caused the pivot to video with bad data
36:30 -- Feature: The Ghost Logs of the Grand Lodge

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)