Episode 140: World Cosplay Summit Geekery with Ed Hoff!

From its origin in 2003, World Cosplay Summit (WCS) has grown to become the biggest cosplay event in the world. WCS has expanded to over 35 regions globally, and in 2018 takes its first steps into Africa, with ICON Comics & Games Convention playing host to the first regional qualifier on the continent.

Ed Hoff joined us to take us through the origin story of WCS: from its early beginnings with 5 cosplayers invited from Germany, France and Italy, to its massive 9 day event in Nagoya that it has become. We also give South African cosplayers a glimpse of wait awaits the regional winners!

For more information about the World Cosplay Summit, check out their website!

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Episode 139: Unclipped Adventure Geekery with Tegan Phillips!

The origin story of Tegan Phillips, the artistic creator of Unclipped Adventure comics is quite incredible. Tegan started drawing comics purely as a way to win a bicycle and associated bicycle gear - winning that competition led to a number of incredible adventures including a one year, 11,000 km bike trip through the African continent with her family.

During these adventures, Tegan continued drawing comics documenting her experiences while she rode in various places around the world including New Zealand and Europe. This work has now become a full time job with her comics gracing tshirts, mugs and greeting cards.

You can see more of Tegan's work at the Unclipped Adventure website, and also follow her on Twitter!

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Episode 138: Indian Cricket Geekery with Chetan Narula!

One of the things that marks us geeks is passion. Geek passion is on display everywhere - from heated arguments online around whether Superman could beat the Hulk, to cosplayers spends dozens, even hundreds of hours making precise replicas of costumes as an homage to the character.

Passion in geek culture is undeniable, which makes the topic of this podcast potentially relatable, even if most geeks aren't necessarily interest in it.

This week's podcast is going to discuss sport, (Please, geeks, give it chance before skipping this episode to move on to another podcast).  In particular, we're going to discuss cricket. Played mostly in commonwealth or former commonwealth nations, it's an incredibly popular sport around the world but in India ... the passion Indian fans have for the sport and their national team is unlike anything any other fanbase can muster.

Chaytun Naroola is a sports journalist and author based in Delhi, and has been following the Indian cricket team since 2011. During the Indian team's recent tour to South Africa, Chaytun covered the team and also played guest commentator during radio coverage of the matches. We reached out to Chaytun to ask for his help in understanding of the depths of the passion Indian cricket fans have, and he was gracious enough to make time in his incredibly hectic schedule to discuss many things including his path to geekdom (there are Tintin references enough to keep the average geek interested), the moment on a Doha beach that led to his big career change from engineering, and how difficult it can be to negotiate the politics of covering the sport in cricket's biggest market.

If you'd like to hear more of Chetan's thoughts, you can follow him on Twitter, and then check out his Instagram feed for all the pics!

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Episode 137 Composer Geekery with Carlo Mombelli!

Our last RTG episode spotlighted Gina Nelson, lead artist on the new mobile game Dragon's Watch. During our chat, Gina discussed what the design team were looking for when it came to the theme music for the game - they really wanted to music to be more than just 'background noise', but an enriching aspect of the game.

As it happens, Gina's father, Carlo Mombelli, is a South African bassist, composer and educator -  she suggested that he submit some samples to game design team and they loved what they heard. Gina also gave some insight to Carlo's history, which sounded incredible.

We reached out to Johannesburg based Carlo, and had an incredibly entertaining discussion about his path to musical geekdom. As a quick example - as I record this intro, the largely self taught Carlo is currently in Bern, Switzerland, where he's performing in a series of concerts.

Carlo was incredibly gracious with his time and we chatted about many things including how he fell in love with the bass guitar, how he created the soundtrack to Dragon's Watch with acoustic instruments (sometimes, custom made for the sound), and how he got his first performance gig - singing at a restaurant as a the lead-in entertainer for one of South Africa's well known exotic dancers.

To find out more about Carlo and his music, head on over to his website!

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Episode 136: Dragon's Watch Geekery with Gina Nelson!

Gina Nelson is a young South African developer who became enamoured with the computer game industry and quickly decided that this was the career for her. After working with local game dev company Luma Arcade, Gina set off to the UK to seek her fortune, and has landed the role of Art Lead for London games studio The Secret Police - a company that comes with some impressive credentials.
 
In late 2017, Gina, as part of the The Secret Police team, launched their first game 'Dragon's Watch' - a fantasy RPG game with over 700 heroes to collect and evolve through multiple levels as you attempt to rescue dragons in order to save the kingdom. On Monday, GeekXP will be posting a full review of the Dragon's Watch game itself plus details of a competition just for Release The Geek listeners. We'll be asking a question in that article, but you'll only be able to get the answer on this podcast which is ... Tin Fingers. Check out geekxp.co.za on Monday, 26th of Feb to find out more.

But back to Gina, who was kind enough to share with us her path to geekdom, how she fell in love with both art and game design, and the secret behind the amazing soundtrack to Dragon's Watch.

You can check out Dragon's Watch via the game's website, and then check out some of Gina's work via her website, on Instagram, and the go follow her on Twitter!

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Episode 135: Phoenix Fire Geekery with Natalie Rivener!

Back in 2015, we interviewed Johannesburg author Natalie Rivener, who had taken on the task of co-ordinating an array of South African authors to self-publish an anthology of stories. The group were instructed to use the imagery of the phoenix as their short story inspirations and the Flight of the Phoenix became available from Amazon via digital and print-on-demand versions
 
Now, three years later, Natalie has braved the perils of herding cats once again to produce a new anthology, with the idea of Fire playing the inspirational muse. The new book, Phoenix Fire, officially launches on the 24th of this month with an event hosted by the Nexus retail and gaming venue in Randburg, so if you're in Johannesburg you should definitely pop by from 2 pm, pick up your copy and get it signed by the authors.
 
We sat down to talk to not only Natalie about the ups and downs of producing this particular edition, but also to chat to a first time published author who contributed to Phoenix Fire - and he's a name and voice regular listeners will instantly know.

Don't forget - if you're going to be in Johannesburg on Saturday, 24th of February, you can head over to the Nexus in Randburg to pick up your copy and meet the authors! Otherwise, head on over to Amazon and order your copy now!

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Episode 134: 'Our Immaculate' Geekery with Jason Hes!

In 2016, we interviewed Kelan Gerrity from Sera Blue, a new age publishing company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kelan, a writer herself, offered a very interesting promotion - if you purchased a copy of her book, Crimson Skies, you could submit a story idea that Sera Blue would edit and publish for free.

After a long and challenging process, due to the quality of the entries, Sera Blue declared a winner - Joburg based writer Jason Hes, for his horror novel submission, "Our Immaculate".

We recently sat down with both Jason and Kelan to discuss Jason's path to geekdom, the competition process overall, and how Jason came upon the ideas that formed the basis of his horror story.

"Our Immaculate" is now available at Skoobs in Montecasino, Johannesburg, or via the Sera Blue website! You can also follow Jason via his Facebook page!

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Episode 133: Bravado Gaming Geekery with Andreas Hadjipaschali!

For a number of years, Bravado Gaming has been THE dominant force in the South African esports scene. Last weekend (Jan 21st), Bravado got 2018 off to great start by taking out the World Electronic Sports Games African qualifiers which sees them off to China in March to compete in the World Finals.
   
But that isn't the biggest news around Bravado Gaming. On January 17, the team announced that the CS:Go squad are relocating to the United States - South African teams have always struggled to compete against northern hemisphere teams due to the sheer physics of distance. By shifting to the US, Bravado will be competing against America's best on a level playing field.
   
We sat down to chat with Bravado Gaming CEO Andreas Hadjipaschali at Bravado's new boot camp headquarters in Johannesburg to talk about the origin of Bravado Gaming and it's how it plans to take over the US.

You can follow Bravado Gaming's journey to not only the WESG finals in China but their Project: Destiny mission to the US on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and via their YouTube channel!

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Episode 132: X-Wing Geekery with The Mole Men!

The Star Wars: X-Wing Miniature Game has, in a few short years, managed to become the top ranked tabletop game around the world. So how is it doing in South Africa? Release The Geek chatted with Gerhard Pretorius and Shaun Rushmer from the Mole Men Gaming Group, based in Johannesburg, to discuss the game, its basic mechanics, and the factors that make it one of the most popular tabletop games around.

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