When Yuri Lowenthal speaks, Otakus listen
August 31st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

When Yuri Lowenthal speaks, Otakus listen

Afro Samurai” is a stunning and violent piece of anime. So it’s a little unsettling to be sitting with Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Kuma, (that crazy, blood-lusty, semi-dead samurai who wears a robotic teddy-bear head) discussing our favorite cartoons, and hearing him speak like a nerd from Ohio instead of a screaming like a maniac.

Lowenthal is a superstar of the voice-over world. He’s the voice of Sasuke Uchiha on fan-favorite “Naruto: Shippuden.” He’s also heard on “Bleach,” “Prince of Tennis,” “Kyo Kara Mao,” “Monte Cristo,” “Noein,” “Gunxsword,” “Mar,” “Kamichu,” “Saiuki Reload,” and “Ergo Proxy.” Not to mention his work on video games such as “Prince of Persia” (he’s the prince), “Resident Evil,” “Everquest II,” “Vampires Reign,” “Saints Row,” – the list goes on and on.

Fans of American cartoons including Cartoon Network's “Ben 10,” (to which Lowenthal shares an eerie, All-American likeness,) “Teen Titans,” “Young Justice,” “Legion of Superheroes,” even “Veggie Tales,” are used to hearing his voice, too. FULL POST

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Filed under: Otaku
Fight the patent 'terrorists'
August 31st, 2011
05:00 AM ET

Fight the patent 'terrorists'

Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.com, has spent the last 12 years helping internet users mock news articles, becoming a master of information dissemination and a respected mass media critic. In January 2011, Fark.com was sued for patent-infringement. After months of litigation, Curtis accepted a settlement but made sure he would not be bound by a nondisclosure agreement. As a result, he made sure everyone within the powerful reach of his keyboard learned about “patent trolls” and how he claims one in particular tried to take advantage of him. Curtis shared with Geek Out what he thinks anyone making a living off internet content needs to learn from his recent experience.

Economics professors the world over love to tell students “you can’t have a business without customers”. Yes you can, you can be a patent troll. You can buy up patents and file lawsuits claiming vague infringements, then cash settlement checks. No customers required.

Recently, my company Fark.com, was sued for patent infringement. The patent itself was ridiculous, but even better – it didn’t apply to us. FULL POST


Filed under: Master User
Nerds and hipsters: The yin and yang of American subcultures
August 31st, 2011
04:00 AM ET

Nerds and hipsters: The yin and yang of American subcultures

Editor's note: Aaron Sagers is a New York City-based entertainment writer and nationally syndicated pop-culture columnist. He has specialty knowledge in 'paranormal pop culture,' has lectured at conventions across the country on the topic and is a media pundit on supernatural entertainment. He covers pop culture daily at paranormalpopculture.com and can be found on Twitter @aaronsagers.

The pursuits and appearance of both nerds and hipsters change constantly, yet when observed together, they always appear as funhouse mirror reflections of the other: united by their exclusion from the mainstream.

On one side is the form of the cool kid who obsessively pursues the obscure to achieve outsider status; the other side is the shape of the uncool kid whose outsider status is the result of his obscure, obsessive pursuits. Kind of like the Wonder Twins, but not exactly.

"Nerds take things seriously, and hipsters don't seem to take anything seriously; they're sort of natural enemies," Andrew Matthews, a filmmaker living in Austin, Texas, said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Fandom
Making your own comic book? Read this first
August 31st, 2011
03:00 AM ET

Making your own comic book? Read this first

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings". He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

In 1984, two guys named Kevin and Peter came up with an idea for a comic book. They didn’t wait for a company to publish it. Instead they took the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) route, self-publishing their own work.

Kevin took money from his tax return and then borrowed more from his uncle. They used the cash to print 3,000 comics. Peter thought they should also market the book, so they printed ads and sent press packets out to major media outlets.

Suddenly Kevin and Peter started getting calls from retailers and distributors who had heard about their comic through local news. Those first 3,000 copies sold like hot cakes. Kevin and Peter burnt through three more printings, totaling 153,000 copies.

By comparison, July 2011’s best-selling comic was estimated to have sold only 135,564 copies. That’s roughly 17,000 less than Kevin and Peter sold alone in 1984. FULL POST

Homage to ‘The Venture Bros.’ gets appropriately warped
August 30th, 2011
10:18 PM ET

Homage to ‘The Venture Bros.’ gets appropriately warped

In the realm of cosplay, few American cartoons enjoy the level of success that The Venture Bros. does.

“The Venture Bros. has a strong cult following. It's a real geeky cartoon with a lot of comic book and sci-fi references,” saidMarc Ilagan, founder of VentureBrosBlog.org.

"Other TV shows like 'Family Guy' are just not as popular among cosplayers," he said.

'"It's nothing against the show, it's just difficult to pull off a character in plain clothing versus an actual fantasy costume. At Dragon*Con, I've seen costumes from shows like 'Metalocalypse', 'Superjail' and 'Harvey Birdman' but not as many as the Venture Brothers. I think the Venture Bros. remains a popular show to cosplay because the characters are fun and costumes relatively easy to make."

Dragon*Con, an annual sci-fi fantasy convention in Atlanta, Georgia, is is like a giant costume party, Ilagan said, and "Venture Bros." fans take pride in showing off their costume making skills there. FULL POST

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