Episode 127: Voice Artist Geekery with Lisle Wilkerson!

Lisle Wilkerson is an American voice actress, with an impressive list of credits to her name. Fully fluent in Japanese after growing up in Tokyo, Japan, Lisle moved into radio DJ work on J-Wave and was inspired by the voice luminaries of the age, including Wolfman Jack.

Lisle has gone on to achieve fame as the voice behind Nina Williams and Christie Monteiro from the Tekken series and Sarah Bryant from Virtua Quest. Lisle was gracious enough to chat to us about all manner of things including getting her start in the radio industry in Tokyo, the differences between voice acting auditions in the US and Japan, and her experiences with Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray on the set of 'Lost In Translation'.

To find out more about what Lisle's up to, you can follow her on both Facebook and Twitter!

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Episode 126: Alternate Universes Geekery with The Variant Covers crew!

This year has seen the rise of the term 'alternate fact' - the phrase was used to describe demonstrable falsehoods in an attempt to make them seem real.

This particular podcast, recorded earlier in the year, is inspired by the term. Alternate universes abound in the comics world, some to much greater effect and fan acclaim than others - we invited the Variant Covers team of Greg Nell, Limpho Moeti and Nas Hoosen to discuss which comic alternate universes were their favourites.

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Episode 125: 'Peak Geek' Geekery with Rob Salkowitz!

Rob Salkowitz is an internationally recognised expert in the intersection of digital media and social and business trends. Rob has worked with a range of organisations to help engage with specialised audiences, identify new opportunities and articulate their vision for the future. In addition, Rob has written four books including Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, which uses SDCC as the backdrop in discerning what the drivers will be for the future of entertainment.

Rob graciously found time in his schedule to chat to us about a range of topics including some of the trends in pop culture conventions around the world, where the newest innovators of technology can be found, and we discuss future trends in the people management of pop culture events.

For more info on Rob and his work, you can check out his website and follow him on Twitter!

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Episode 124: rAge Esports Geekery with Lauren 'Pansy' Scott & Veneration Esports!

Esports has become a massive part of the gaming landscape, and rAge is becoming the showcase venue - Kwese was on hand with an incredible stage hosting the first ESL Africa tournament (congrats to Energy Esports for a comprehensive CS:Go performance over Bravado gaming

We chatted to two people at rAge who are in different areas of the esports world: first up we chat to Lauren "Pansy" Scott - a professional CS:GO shoutcaster from the UK who has become a full time ESL employee. Lauren was brought to SA by the Kwese, and was gracious enough to spare some time to chat about her origin story, and some advice on managing the expectations of budding shoutcasts.

Then we spoke to Zybrand "Zeylox" Lombaard who manages the CS:GO Rejects team for Veneration Esports. Zybrand has shifted from player to manager, as he realised he couldn't commit to the amount of time required to be a competitive gamer, but still wanted to contribute and be part of the scene.

You can follow Lauren on Twitter, and for more information on Veneration Esports, check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

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Episode 123: Coffee & Comedy Geekery with Urzila Carlson!

South African born comedian Urzila Carlson is a regular on televisions screens across Australia and her adopted home of New Zealand. With appearances on "Have You Been Paying Attention", "7 Days", "Super City" and "Road Madness", Urzila has become much sought after on the international stage, both as a headline stand up act and as an MC.

Urzila was recently holidaying South Africa, and was incredibly gracious enough to take some time to sit with me after performing at the Goliath Comedy Club in Johannesburg, where she shared her comedy origin story, her love of watches, and discussed the state of coffee across the SANZAR nations.

For more of the funny stuff, follow Urzila on Twitter & Facebook, and to find out more, go check out her website: http://urzilacarlson.com/

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Episode 122: Jengo Geekery with Robot Wizard!

Graeme Selvan and Louis Du Pisani are the developers guys behind Robot Wizard, a Joburg based game development studio who are hard at work on their debut game, Jengo - a retro throwback to the 'point and click' era of gaming with a modern and appealing coating. Jengo is very much a story-driven game filled with with bittersweet humour & brain teasing riddles in a world of failed video game characters that didn't quite make it as top-line gaming characters in games we know and love. In June this year, Robot Wizard announced that Playdius Entertainment had signed on to be the publishers for Jengo, which also brought the guys to Gamescon in Germany where they showcased the game for the first time. But now, the time has come for South Africans to try out the game at rAge this weekend. In addition to being able to try out the game itself, you also have the chance become part of the game: Robot Wizard is still looking for the voice of the game's main character, Jeff, plus other voice-overs the game might require.

We sat down with Graeme and Louis (with input from Cody, the shaman general of the operation) to chat about their respective paths to geekdom, the origin story behind the game itself, and we talk about their future plans for their Kickstarter proposal.

For more information about the game, check out the Robot Wizard website, and then go follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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Episode 121: Dream Artist Geekery with The Variants Cover Crew!

To kick off Season 4, we decided to take a slightly different angle on an age old facet of geek culture, regardless of interest: he scenario argument. It could be book versus movie: which was better? Who would win: uperman vs Hulk? Kirk vs Picard vs Sisko vs Janeway etc. etc. Tech geeks could argue over which flavour of operating system is better. Sports geeks argue about which their top five players of all time, or which championship team would beat any other championship team.
   
Part of the fun of being a geek is the ability to play around with the variables, put them in different situations and see what happens. Earlier this year, Vittorio and I sat down with the Variant Covers crew of Limpho Moeti, Greg Nell and Nas Hoosen to throw around some scenarios of our own, but not in argument format: if you could have access to any comic book artist for a commission, what work would you have them create? Money was no object, nor was time - this conversation was more about which artists we cherish and hold dear, and what we would like to seem them create.

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Episode 120: ICON 2017 Series - State of SA Esports!

We round out our third season with one more panel from ICON 2017 and we're continuing with the esports theme. Last year, ICON 2016 played host to a panel discussing the state of esports in South Africa, and it was a very busy year for esports since then.

Last month saw the completion of TWO major esports events in South Africa (the Rush event brought to you by NAG, and the VS Gaming event), last weekend saw the inaugural Valkyrie Girl Gamer competition with 50 thousand rand prize money as well as the announcement that the Nexus in Randburg, Johannesburg will play host to the Hearthstone European Summer qualifiers for South Africa. The profile of esports has never been higher. And all of this can be framed against the backdrop of Valve's DOTA 2 The International, which has amassed an incredible prize pool of over 24 million US dollars.

With the massive growth of esports locally, we'd like to present to you this year's ICON 2017 panel talking about the state of esports in South Africa, hosted by SA's Tech Girl, Sam Wright.

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Episode 119: ICON 2017 Series - Spotlight on SA's Girl Gamers

Esports continues to surge in popularity all over the globe, and South Africa is no exception, but without a doubt it’s still very much seen as a male-dominated space. This makes it difficult for females to find a way into gaming without feeling intimidated by their male counterparts. Steps are being taken, however, to get more women involved, and to identify up and coming female esports talent.

This weekend, SA's Tech Girl, Sam Wright, in partnership with Mettlestate and Evetech, is launching the "Valkyrie Challenge" - two all-girl CS:GO teams (Amaryllis Gaming and Energy Esports) battling it out in a winner take all R50,000 best-of-five matchup. To give you some background as to the importance of these sorts of events, we're proud to present another ICON 2017 panel recording.

At ICON in June, Sam Wright took to the main stage to discuss the state of gaming from a female perspective in South Africa, and talked about the local girl gamers who are on the verge of big things, as well as the recent, and future initiatives to help girl gamers make the mark.

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Episode 118: ICON 2017 Series - Making the Cosplay Leap with VampyBitMe!

The world of cosplay has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade, with the scene expected to be worth over R20 billion dollars by the year 2020. How, you might ask? There are a number of factors, ranging from the sheer cost that goes into buying the materials that make a costume, appearance fees by top cosplayers to appear at events and conventions around the world and fees charged by cosplayers to help companies promote their brands.

As the cosplay economy matures, there will be plenty of cosplayers looking to take the next step and become semi-pro or full-time professionals in this new market. Linda was generous enough to share with our audience at ICON 2017 her tips on what cosplayers should do in order to make this leap to becoming a cosplay professional.

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Episode 117: ICON 2017 Series - Speculative Trading with M:TG

And so we begin with our ICON 2017 panel series! In June this year, ICON celebrated its 25th anniversary and ran over 40 informative panels on various pop culture topics. Today, we present to you the panel discussion held by Warren Roberston and Owen Swart on the topic of making money through the speculative trading market around Magic: The Gathering cards.

M:TG cards can fetch thousands of dollars, however their valuations can fluctuate wildly based on the trends taking place in the game. Warren and Owen discuss the best options when it comes to getting in to the speculative game, and where you SHOULDN'T be spending your money.

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Episode 116: Tradewarz Geekery with 4EverOdd Gaming!

Freddie Mitchell, Gerhard du Toit and Ruark Swanepoel are the team behind 4Ever Odd Gaming, which is part of a greater 4EverOdd initiative. 4EverOdd wants to to encourage creatives in the South African community by providing a launchpad for the items they create, be it t-shirts, books or other crafted items.

4EverOdd gaming has been working on their original boardgame, TradeWarz - a boardgame that blends the best political, military and trade aspects of other games while stripping away the things that wouldn't work in the real world: TradeWarz is designed to be less luck based than skill-based.

The team is inexorably moving their way towards a Kickstarter launch for TradeWarz, and took time out to chat to us about their respective paths to geekdom, the origin of TradeWarz, and the challenges an opportunities presented by a crowd-sourced funding model for their game.

For more on TradeWarz, like the game's Facebook page to be kept up to dat on all the latest happenings as well as info around their eventual Kickstarter launch!

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Episode 115: Dollaretta Geekery with Eryn Gunzenhauser!

Eryn Gunzenhauser is a writer and artist, whose style lies somewhere between the influence of Eastern and Western commercial cartoons.

Eryn is drawn to the darkness and her work expresses her curiosities and understandings of psychology, beauty, death and immortality. Eryn is deeply passionate about what she creates: there is truth to her fiction, and it comes from her heart.

While studying, Eryn produced a great deal of art that would eventually influence her comic, “The Legend of Dollaretta”, which is the result of years of story development and artistic grown. Eryn has now gone the self-publishing route, and "The Legend of Dollaretta" is now available on the Comixology platform.

You can find "The Legend of Dollaretta" right now on Comixology, and you can also follow the "Dollaretta" Facebook and Twitter pages!

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Episode 114: Block Chain Geekery with Bradley Mitri!

Almost everyone has heard of Bitcoin, the crypto currency that's currently being traded for thousands of dollars online, but not everyone is familiar with the platform Bitcoin is based on - blockchain technology.

While blockchain technology powers a number of different crypto currencies, we wanted to know exactly how this tech could be extended into other areas. We sat down with Bradley Mitri from Vortex Capital Partners to chat about the block chain: what it is, how it works, and how it can be used in some incredible ways - like combining it with power production to make money for, well, free.

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Episode 113: Airsoft MilSim Geekery with John Murray!

John Murray is one of the administrators of a military re-enactment group based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The group, known as World War II Milsim Airsoft Re-enactment, is actually an amalgam of interests: it involves the use of airsoft weapons, similar to paintball but firing BB pellets, and live action roleplay, with a view to being as detailed as possible when it comes to recreating the clothing and gear of the age.

John joined us recently to talk about his path to geekdom, how he became involved in the airsoft community, and how airsoft battles evolved to include the live action roleplay element.

For more information, you can check out the group's Facebook page, head over to their website, or drop them a mail: ww2mar.info@gmail.com

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Episode 112: Thanos Geekery with Ron Marz!

Silver Surfer, Witchblade, Superman, Tarzan, Quasar, Cyberforce, Batman - these are just some of the characters Ron Marz has written on. While Ron has an extraordinary breadth of work under his belt, in some parts he's more famous, or infamous depending on your opinion, for his Emerald Twilight run on the Green Lantern.

Ron was a guest at Fan Con in Cape Town recently, and took time out of a hectically busy to chat about many topics including his path to geekdom, how he came to write THAT Green Lantern story arc and we chat for a little about the Knicks (sorry, non-sports fan).

We also have special guest appearances by Sean Izaakse and by Variants Cover member Nas Hoosen, who joined Ron in a very special quiz.

You can follow Ron on Twitter, and you should also check out the new initiative Ron's part of - Ominous Press!

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Episode 111: Chew Geekery with John Layman!

Once an editor for Wildstorm comics, John Layman turned to writing comics full-time in 2002, and has worked on a stellar array of titles including Gambit, The Fantastic Four, Xena, Thundercats and many more. John has also written a number of creator-owned titles at Image Comics, including the award winning Chew - a series about an FDA agent who solves crimes by receiving psychic impressions from anything he eats ... which can include people.

John was kind enough to take time out of a hectic FanCon Comic Convention schedule to share his path to geekdom, his first exposure to Dungeons and Dragons, falling in love with the Cerebus comic book, and when he knew he wanted to make writing his life's work.

You should now go and follow The Mighty Layman on Twitter!

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Episode 110: Goonish Geekery with Eric Powell!

Eric Powell has written and provided artwork for Dark Horse, DC Comic and Marvel, and is known for 'The Goon' - his original series which picked up multiple Eisner Awards as well as an International Horror Guild award.

Powell's origin story is a fantastic one, and serves as a awesome example and inspiration to creators who want to do their own thing.

You can follow Eric on Twitter, then check out the Albatross Funnybooks website, then follow Eric on Facebook!

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Episode 109: Top Cow Geekery with Matt Hawkins!

Matt Hawkins is a veteran of the initial Image Comics launch, and has worked in the comic book publishing industry since 1993. Since that time, he's had many roles including creator, writer and executive, and currently serves as the president and COO of Top Cow productions.

Matt was gracious enough to share with us his path to geekdom, how he got into the comics industry while never having read a single comic, and describes his first torturous job interview with Rob Liefeld and the team.

You can follow Matt on Twitter, and you should also check out Top Cow's website, then follow them on Facebook!

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Episode 108: Wrestlemania Geekery with Vittorio Leonardi!

Being a geek is about the passion you have for your chosen fandom, and being able to celebrate it with those who share that interest.

Release The Geek co-host Vittorio Leonardi recently travelled to the US to experience the ultimate in sports entertainment: Wrestlemania. A long time wrestling fan, Vic sat down with us to share how it felt to be a part of this massive extravaganza, and what it was like to chat to the heroes of his youth.

For more from Vittorio, you can find him on Twitter, or find him on Facebook!

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