Geek culture has always been present in the United States, but in its earlier years, it operated more as a sub-culture as things associated with it were simply not part of the mainstream. Comic books, video games, cosplay, science fiction books, and movies were associated with those who wore glasses, had no athletic prowess, and had zero chance of getting a date with a girl or guy…but the times have changed. Today, nearly anyone can identify a superhero from the comic books of old thanks to the advent of the Super-Hero movie. Further, the Big Bang Theory, a show about nerds and geeks (there is a difference), is one of the most popular shows on TV right now. It goes to show that “Geekdom” is not a localized phenomena, but it has established a global presence. So the Griots Republic team thought we would connect you, our faithful readers with Global Geek Culture.
For many lovers of literature, if you mention Geekdom then you may automatically see Oscar Wao – the Dominican geek who serves as the protagonist in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Though fiction, the book, which introduced many of us to its author Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Diaz, continues to shine the light on the real life issues affecting black and brown nerds. Thankfully, Junot, ever the activist, maintains this sense of realness. He sat with us in the midst of releasing his newest book, and you will want to catch this interview.
We also talk with the founder of Pyroglyphics Studios, Shawn Alleyne, who blessed this issue with the incredible cover illustration of Junot Diaz. Aside from the illustration, Shawne also shares his passion for not only creating stunning images but telling good stories about superheroes of African descent. Speaking of storytellers, Steven Barnes has been weaving great tales for decades, and while he is known for work that any geek worth his weight will recognize, his talent has taken him far beyond Sci-Fi.
Cosplay, when attendees of comic convention or similar events dress in the costumes of their favorite characters, is at an all time high and yes, we are there also! We also travel with Justina Ireland from Fiyah Magazine as she discusses Afrofuturism and how Black Sci-Fi writers are mislabeled. In this issue, we also highlight travel tech and how you can protect your information and assets while traveling. Finally, to fulfill the fantasy of every geek, Griots Republic goes to Adult Space Camp and lives to tell the tale!
This month, we channeled our inner geek. So spend some time with us and geek out! Don’t forget to tell us what you think.
Rodney Andrew Goode – Archivist