Hello Gatherers and newcomers to the site! This marks the third year after starting The Gathering podcast in my living room with 3 amazing people: Dan, Evan, and Jeff. Things have changed a lot since then for the better, and some for not so much better. Luckily, Jeff writes his weekly articles giving you his indie comic picks of the week and co-hosts the IndiComix podcast, Evan directs and assists with our video production, and Dan pops in making a cameo as much as he can while working on creating a really awesome life and future for himself. I seem to miss the good ol’ days looking back now.
Things were simple and we were just 4 nerds huddled over a Yeti mic I got on Black Friday and no real direction or plan. We just wanted to talk. After a few recordings we had others on, like Albert from Who What Where’s Why, Tim from Drink N’ Dragons, random co-workers from our jobs, and my now partner on this crazy thing, Eric. We started to come up with more ideas and shows, which started to get the ball rolling. This is when we realized that this is something we should pursue. We built a website, welcomed more and more people, started attending more and more cons, bought new recording equipment, and then began video production. We have a great team and are always looking for more! We wanted to create a place that celebrated Geek Culture and I think we are doing that in a very unique way, which is what I am very proud of. So, there is the backstory.
I wanted to bring up a little of how we started because it puts things a little more into perspective on how this year was from not that long ago. This year may have been the most stressful, epic year ever. A lot of highs and a lot of lows, as is normal life, but I wouldn’t trade anything for it. We attended the highest amount of conventions this year (26), were able to interview some prominent figures in comics on IndiComix, we have written multiple web-series (one which was shot earlier this year, Drink N’ Dragons season 2 currently in production, and one about to begin casting), Joan Rivers interviewing helping us interview cosplayers, and, of course, our panels. In content, things have been pretty steady and amazing, however hoping for more writers and articles (wink wink, nudge nudge) and in experiences, it has been nothing but astounding.
The one thing I can say that was amazing this year was the amount of friends were able to make and people we got to connect with. I have been a geek for a long time, and never dreamed of knowing so many people from different walks of life and industries that I obsess over as well as I have been able to. I have written or made content for multiple sites in the past and never really got the opportunities to be completely engulfed in the more “behind the scenes” world of geek culture. I always kind of stood on the sidelines and wrote articles and reviewed it through a cloudy window. Earlier this year we got to interview Marc Guggenheim (producer, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) on IndiComix, which is a big deal to me since I am prominently a film and TV type of geek, and as we were in talking to him, I had this strange epiphany that all of these industries are more connected than I thought.
I saw these different industries as their own entities, where ideas would be borrowed and openly established separately (like TMNT, Transformers, Marvel, DC, etc.) where there were barriers and no crossovers. This year, speaking with people from different industries or people who bounced around freely from one to the next, it created hope for me about GGG. I say this because we want our site to be a place where people celebrate geekdom, not create barriers or feel different. Everyone is a geek in their own special way. Transformers and Marvel films kill at the box office with audiences from different backgrounds and interest. Just don’t get me started on The Big Bang Theory… We have some amazing guests and plans who have fascinating backgrounds that will be on our shows next year. We are going to try to really focus on the togetherness of these industries to create a positive outlook that all geeks are connected in many ways, but, I digress, this is for a completely different article.
I have written about my experiences with panels this year after SDCC here if you want to hear about how that came about and more. We had our first panels at Titan Con, Ronin Expo, and ended this year with SDCC. Not a bad first year of having panels! Next year we are preparing to have Unnecessary Debates at more cons and different panels, as well. Panels are a fantastic way to bring different types of geeks together, which it is why it is so important to us. We filled the room at Titan Con and Ronin Expo and filled half of the room on Saturday night at 9PM at SDCC. We had a really competitive time slot, that we are eternally grateful for, going against the Masquerade and Gaslamp District parties. We were told by the volunteers that we exceeded their expectations on attendance, which made me cry. So many friends like Albert, Michael Tanner, Fuzzy, and more came out to support us and it was just the greatest feeling. I love entertaining people and bringing them together. I can’t repeat that enough. The more panels we have, the more strangers get to be in the same room together and geek out together or learn about the panelists and their offerings. To me, that’s magic.
I talked a lot about the beginning of GGG, our plans for next year, and some experiences that we had, but I have yet to talk about what we learned and what went about behind the scenes. We are a start-up website that is hoping to be an entertainment hub and a community for those to escape websites that constantly talk about rumors, news, and reviews. A place that talks about the positive and seeing parts of geek culture that isn’t explored or getting the positive notices, yet offers different perspectives that don’t have ulterior motives or try to be click-bait. We have tried different articles, ideas, and tried to get more writers, but it’s been tough. It’s really hard to really be different and get the notice and we, as a team, need to figure out a way that gets a message to make positivity and harmony in geek culture. There’s always been divides, especially now with so many sites that offer negative battles like “Why DC is better than Marvel” and slandering the creators of Marvel just to get clicks. People work hard in these industries, people are dreaming to be a part of them, and these outlets are chopping down these dreams just so they can get more pennies on AdSense. This is how we plan to differentiate ourselves from different venues. Different content, different approach.
This year has been absolutely fantastic, stressful, but fantastic nonetheless. We have connected with so many amazing people and had the opportunities I never dreamed of having. I thank each and every person who were there to watch/read/listen to our content, our friends, our guests, and each convention or gathering that we were invited to for each opportunity. We can’t wait to create more and bring more geeks together with our panels next year. Look out for us at WonderCon, SDCC, Ronin Expo, Titan Con, AX, and Long Beach for our panels and check out our YouTube for more videos like Drink N’ Dragons, Joan Rivers interviewing Cosplayers, and new series and content. Let’s be the best geeks we can be and have a great rest of our year! GGG!