Episode 30: Late to the Party

episode 30: late to the party

Greetings EntrepreNerds!

My guests this week are Robert and Vanessa from Late to the Party, a fellowship of movie fans that came together through time and space to get in on the online “party” through reaction videos, discussions, reviews and vlogs.

After creating reaction videos for the Collider Movie Trivia Schmoedown they became part of the competition and have competed multiple times. They recently won the Biggest Upset of 2017 in the 2017 Movie Trivia Schmoedown Awards.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or YouTube…that’s right, this podcast is also special because it is the first episode available on YouTube!

In this episode we discuss:

  • 4:20 How Late to the Party got started
  • 14:20 Tips for video lighting, filming and editing
  • 16:20 Tips for cameras and video editing software
  • 20:05 How their channel content has evolved
  • 21:20 Getting over the awkwardness of taking videos and pictures in public and at conventions
  • 27:50 Focusing their videos around the things they love the most
  • 31:20 Joining the Movie Trivia Schmoedown
  • 32:35 Being an active fan
  • 39:20 Social Networking
  • 43:20 Finding the right social networks for your audience
  • 53:20 Future plans for Late to the Party
  • 102:50 Being genuine

All the linky goodness:

Be sure to follow Late to the Party on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Stardust and everywhere else social medias are sold.

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 29: The Nerdy Basement

Greetings Entreprenerds!

My guest this week is Ozzmoesis from The Nerdy Basement, an excellent source of comic book and pop culture news through their Instagram and Podcast. The podcast is produced bi-weekly with Ozzmoesis and his co-hosts Tony and Fez and you can find nearly hourly updates on their social media channels for all the latest nerdy news.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • 7:15 How he keeps up with posting content frequently and consistently
  • 10:45 Being the first source of news for people
  • 12:00 Responding to Instagram’s algorithm
  • 15:45 Season 2 of The Nerdy Basement Podcast
  • 19:00 Finding time for podcast recording in busy schedules
  • 12:00 How the podcast evolved over time and expanded to new audiences
  • 24:30 Experiences promoting at conventions and 2018 convention plans
  • 29:15 Best ways to promote Nerdy Basement
  • 31:45 Future plans
  • 34:15 Why Patience and Consistency are key to building your geek brand

Be sure to follow The Nerdy Basement on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and subscribe to The Nerdy Basement Podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud.

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!


The 7 Best Books I Read in 2017

Like most nerds, books are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Nothing quite compares to the way a book can have an impact on you. Last year, there were several books that had an impact on me. Here are the best books I read in 2017:

The Martian by Andy Weir

the martianGoing into this book I’d already seen the movie and wasn’t sure how it would hold up. The fact that the movie takes 99% of its scenes directly from the book had me worried I wouldn’t be as engaged with the slower pace. I was really surprised.

If you aren’t familiar with the book or movie, the story is about an astronaut stranded on Mars trying to survive long enough to get rescued. Completely alone, he spends his time solving one problem after another like a food source, communication and heat.

It sounds like it would be boring to just go through problem and solution for the entire story, but the character, Mark, is what really sells it. He approaches everything with such dry wit and gallows humor it’s incredibly funny and engaging. I laughed aloud many times while listening to the audiobook in public.

I just finished Andy Weir’s second book, Artemis, which will definitely make my top 2018 list.

The Indestructibles by Matthew Phillion

indestructiblesI first learned about The Indestructibles series at Boston Comic Con when the booth promised the “JLA meets The Breakfast Club.” After talking with the author Matthew Phillion he sold me on his own passion for comic books and his desire to deliver classic superhero stories in novel form. He definitely succeeds.

This first book in the series introduces a new team of five young heroes and pits them up against a villainous secret society. They are each really interesting characters in their own right and come together in a fun group dynamic.

I was sold from book one, but now that I’m on the fourth book in the series I can say the other great part about the series is how much it has expanded. Future books in the series continue to touch on classic comic book storylines like time travel and alien invasions, a spin-off series has more of an Aquaman/Namor feel and there are dozens of short-stories that offer some cool background and fun situations. It all comes together into a very fun “Indestructiverse.”

After Boston Comic Con I was able to interview Matt about the series and how he’s turned writing into a career in Episode 19: Matthew Phillion.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This was a great start to a new fantasy series. It tells the story of a martial empire from two different perspectives – a common girl who becomes a spy and a soldier in the empire’s military academy. Both of the characters have really complex motivations and great development through the book.

The rest of the characters make the story even more interesting. Most of them are varying shades of grey and all have their own unique motivations that drive them. It reminded me a bit of Red Rising by Pierce Brown in how the character’s loyalties were split between friends and the empire and they don’t always make the decisions you hope they will.

Haven’t picked up the second book yet but I’ve heard it’s also excellent.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

To be honest, I went back and forth on this one for a little while. It’s an absolute classic fantasy novel and I really enjoyed it. It also draaaaags like nobody’s business. I ended up putting it down and reading other things a couple of times but I’m glad I stuck with it because it really picked up in the second half.

This is the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Lyra is a little girl who travels north to save her uncle. Along the way she gets wrapped up in a kidnapping ring, a power struggle between armored polar bears and a bridge between two worlds. Philip Pullman really creates an amazing, complex world.

As I said it takes awhile to get into the flow of the story because you are overwhelmed with talk of daemons and dust and other things that are perfectly normal in this world. But once the story takes off it is very hard to put down. Lyra is a really likeable main character and all of the people that support her are either really loveable, utterly despisable or an intriguing grey area that forced me to pick up the second book immediately.

Unfortunately, the second book suffers from the same early pacing problems. Thankfully, it is just as good as the first when you finally get through it. Because of the pace I haven’t started the third and longest one yet but I definitely need to at some point to finish the trilogy.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Soman Chainani sold me on this book during a podcast where he talked about how his goal was to turn the traditional notions of good and evil on their head. Two girls are kidnapped from their village and brought to a land where all the fairy tales they’ve read growing up are real. They end up at a school where one is trained to be the hero of her fairy tale and the other is trained to be her villain.

Admittedly I may not be the target audience for this series. It deals with a lot of teenage girl drama and they do fight over their prince charming, but it really sucked me in. It ended up being a bit of a guilty pleasure and I read the first three books in about a week.

It has some cool Harry Potter-esque magic classes, some fun action, and references to all the past fairy tales like Snow White, Merlin, and Captain Hook. I didn’t enjoy the sequels as much but I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot.

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture by Rob Salkowitz

For anyone who loves comic books and/or comic conventions, this is a really cool read. Rob Salkowitz outlines the history of the comic book industry, how it has evolved and what the future could hold for pop culture as a whole. He frames it all around his years of experiences at San Diego Comic-con for an interesting narrative.

Before this book I didn’t really have much of an interest in the comic book industry as a business, but that definitely isn’t a requisite going in. He really uses comic-con and the pop culture industry as a way to talk about how entertainment will evolve as a whole and what will happen as the current geek bubble we’re in continues to grow. He also tells some really entertaining stories from his own experiences.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob for Under the Capes right before SDCC 2017 and he shared a lot of great info on the growth of digital comics, making it in the pop culture industry today and where he sees the industry heading. You can listen to Episode 10: Rob Salkowitz here.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Stephen King has really created THE book on writing here. For any aspiring authors this is a must read.

The book is split into three parts. The first is a bit of an autobiography where he outlines the major moments in his writing career, which offers some great insights into the struggle and growth of a writer. The second part goes through the technical aspects of writing and grammar and offers notes like, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Then the third section goes through higher level writing advice such as, “if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

This book is an entertaining read as well as an instruction manual to be referenced over and over again.

There you have it, my favorite books of 2017. How about you? What did you read last year that stood out to you? Let me know!

If you’re interested in the other books I read last year and even further back, you can check out my Goodreads where I keep track of them all for my own sanity. You can also check out past blogs The 6 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2016 and The 6 Most Influential Books I Read in 2016.

Episode 28: Kazplay

kazplay cosplay

Greetings Entreprenerds!

My guest this week is Laura aka Kazul from Kazplay. She is an amazing cosplayer focusing on beasts and creatures. Her Hogger cosplay was recently the Blizzcon 2017 Costume Contest Winner. She details all of her creations in helpful video and picture tutorials.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • 7:30 How Kazul chooses new projects
  • 8:20 Competing in cosplay competitions like Blizzcon and tips for first timers
  • 12:30 Turning Kazplay Into a Business
  • 17:45 Creating Cosplay Project Hashtags and Promoting Kazplay on Social
  • 23:30 Creating Quality Youtube Videos
  • 29:00 Running Cosplay Panels
  • 36:30 Monetizing Kazplay through products and patterns
  • 44:05 One piece of advice for someone just starting out

Here are the links to everything we talked about:

Be sure to check out Kazplay on YoutubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook for cosplay tutorials and information about upcoming conventions and view the items she has for sale on her Etsy.

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!



Episode 27: Grey Matter Art

Episode 27 Grey Matter ArtGreetings Entreprenerds!

My guests this week are Mike and Jared, co-founders of Grey Matter Art. Founded in New York in 2013, Grey Matter Art is a limited edition, studio licensed film and entertainment poster company with many new and exciting projects on the horizon. By working with amazing artists, securing the rights from some of the top studios and bringing in input from their fans they have released some incredible pieces and built a very successful business around their passion.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Building relationships with artists
  • Gaining licenses with studios
  • Vending at New York Comic Con
  • Creating Comic Con Exclusives
  • Collecting input from fans for new ideas

Here are the links to everything we discuss:

Be sure to check out all of the pieces for sale at GreyMatterArt.com and follow them on social on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you’re reading this in time, check out their Black Friday Mystery Tube sale for a great deal on some really cool signed posters.

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 26: NthCast

episode 26 NthCast PodcastGreetings entreprenerds!

My guest this week is Josh Wade, co-creator of The NthCast, Fear the Nth Cast, and Once UpoNth a Time podcasts. As an experienced podcast engineer and producer, Josh has done panels at Comicpalooza to offer advice to other podcasters and shares some of that advice with us.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How the NthCast got started
  • The importance of having a goal for your podcast
  • Engaging with fans in person and over social media such as Twitter and Facebook Groups
  • What podcasting equipment to get started with
  • Why you should find a specific niche around something you love to talk about
  • Joining your audience community and providing value rather than pushing your show
  • Much more

Be sure to listen to Josh on the Podcasting 105 Panel at Comicpalooza 2017.

You can follow Josh on Twitter @JoshWadeFM and listen to all of his shows here:

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 25: Nerdy Curiosities

episode 25 nerdy curiositiesGreetings Entreprenerds!

My guests this week are Roni, Jaime, and Rachel from Nerdy Curiosities. After coming together through the NerdHQ community at San Diego Comic Con; Roni, Jaime, Rachel and Jen started a blog to share their nerdy interests and hobbies. The blog covers Nerdy Reports with the latest headlines in pop culture and comic conventions, Nerdy Designs with nerd fashion, accessories and cosplay, and Nerdy Eats for nerd-inspired food and drink recipes.

Their non podcast podcast, Nerds R Us, also interviews other nerds and makers.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this interview we talk about:

  • How Nerdy Curiosities grew from the Nerd HQ fan community
  • Challenges of organizing the non podcast podcast
  • Reaching out to guests for Nerds R Us
  • Benefits of covering Comic Cons from a fan’s perspective instead of press
  • Reporting from smaller panels at Comic Cons
  • The absence of NerdHQ at San Diego Comic Con 2017
  • How to avoid internet and real life trolls

Be sure to check out Nerdy Curiosities at NerdyCurious.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 24: New York Comic Con Interviews and Recap

new york comic con interviews and recap

Greetings Entreprenerds!

This is a special Post-NYCC episode where I share quick interviews with some of the exhibitors and guests of New York Comic Con. I got to meet some great people this weekend and I’m excited to share them with you!

In this episode I talk to:

Super Power Beat Down

Ruthless FX

Bottleneck Gallery

Poetic Earth Journals

Cosplayer Nation

Thank you to all my guests and everyone I met at New York Comic Con for making it such a fun weekend!

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 23: Pre-NYCC with Past Guests

Episode 23 Pre NYCC

Greeting Entreprenerds!
This is a special pre-NYCC episode with advice from bloggers, cosplayers, panelists, exhibitors and other past guests that will be at New York Comic Con this weekend. Hear from:
Rob Salkowitz – @robsalk
Friends of Comic Con@friendsofcci @alyssafranks
Everyone’s Hero@everyonesherocosplay
Khepera Cosplay@KheperaCosplay


I’ll be at New York Comic Con Friday and Saturday. I’d love to meet up!

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!

Episode 22: Convention The Film

Under the Capes Episode 22 Convention the Film

Greeting entreprenerds!

My guest this week is Dan Nastro, the writer, director, cinematographer and editor of Convention.

A young woman is introduced to the colorful, bewildering and often weird world of a NY comic convention by her new boyfriend, a convention-loving fanboy on the rebound from a recent break-up. The short film was shot on location at New York Comic Con using the convention itself as one of the main characters.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

In this great discussion we talk about:

  • Dan’s career in filmmaking
  • Drawing from real life for the story of Convention
  • Finding the right cast
  • Challenges of filming guerrilla style at Comic Con
  • Plans for releasing Convention
  • Future plans for more films or TV shows with Comic Con as the setting
  • Plans for New York Comic Con 2017

Head to ConventiontheFilm.com to view the trailer and learn more about the story, cast and crew. Also be sure to follow them on Twitter @ConventionFilm and on Facebook.

If you’re attending NYCC2017 next week be sure to look for Dan and the cast and follow them on Twitter to learn more about any special events they may have during the week!

I’d really appreciate any feedback either on Twitter @UndertheCapes, in the blog comments or through a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks and see you soon!