The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: Geek Culture (Page 1 of 2)

The Best at TMS: Week of January 4, 2016

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, and that you get some well-deserved fun or rest and relaxation this weekend!

This year, I thought I’d end every week by linking to some of my best pieces over at The Mary Sue. Of course, you can always bookmark THIS LINK to keep up with everything I write all the time, but to save you scrolling time, I figured I’d point you in the direction of the pieces I’m proudest of that week.

So, here are this week’s treasures!


Geek Culture and Consumer Culture: Does How Much You Spend Affect Your Geek Status? (1/4/16)

I’d been meaning to write this piece for a long time. I grew up lower-middle class, and money was often tight. Is it any wonder that I wasn’t able to do things like collect comics or toys or see any one movie multiple times when I was a kid? In this piece, I write about the connection between one’s finances and one’s geekery.

ruby sapphire gif

Steven Universe Censored in the UK, Because Obviously Kids Can’t Handle Same-Sex Kissing (1/6/16)

This is a news item about Steven Universe in the UK, but as happens to many of my pieces, I use the news item as a jumping-off point for a short essay. This one’s about the double standard in children’s television that exists when we have no problem shoving heteronormativity down a kid’s throat, but withhold images of loving homosexual relationships, because they’re considered inherently “indecent.”

black widow party

Why Black Widow Shouldn’t Get a Netflix Show (1/8/16)
My most recent entry – inspired by a reader comment. Here are the pros and cons of a Black Widow movie.

That’s it for this week! If there are any topics you’d like me to write about over at The Mary Sue, let me know in the comments below!


It seems that in all my Mary Sue-ing (I’ll fill you in on my first week in a second post), I’ve completely forgotten to catch you up on Supergirl Radio!

Well, it’s still a lot of fun to do and, in my opinion, our episodes have gotten progressively better! I couldn’t have asked for a better podcast co-host than Rebecca, and we’ve already had two really fun guests join in on the Supergirl conversation! The last episode I posted here at the blog was Episode 2 about Supergirl – The Movie. So, here are the episodes you may have missed since!

SUPERGIRL RADIO – Ep 3 – “Little Girl Lost” (about Supergirl on Superman: The Animated Series)

SUPERGIRL RADIO – Ep 4 – SMALLVILLE: “Kara”/”Fierce” (about Supergirl’s first appearance on Smallville; featuring special guest, Morgan Glennon from BuddyTV)

SUPERGIRL RADIO – Ep 5 – MAN OF STEEL Prequel Comic (featuring special guest, Andy B of The Flash Podcast, and our fearless producer!)

In addition to that, we also announced some big news! Fearless Producer Andy has brought all the DCTV podcasts together to form a sort of “Justice League” of podcasts, and we announced DCTV Podcasts on March 6th! DCTV Podcasts includes Supergirl Radio, The Flash Podcast, Quiver: The Green Arrow Podcast, and Legends of Gotham – so if you want to get your fix of talking The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, or Supergirl, DCTV podcasts will allow you to tap into all that sweet comic book show goodness all in one place! Follow DCTV Podcasts on Twitter, Like on Facebook, and show all of Supergirl Radio‘s brother podcasts some love, won’t you? And fear not! Two of those “brother podcasts” – Quiver and Legends of Gotham – also feature lady hosts! Because in this family, everyone gets a say!

I kinda love that my hosting Supergirl Radio falls so beautifully in line with my new position at The Mary Sue. I’m coming at female geeks from all angles, apparently, despite having “given up” pop culture writing not that long ago.

Just when I thought I was out, THEY PULLED ME BACK IN! 😉


My New Gig!

Well, if you missed my RT of this tweet earlier, I can now talk about the new gig I’ve got! I’m now one of the assistant editors at The Mary Sue! 🙂 Geek friends rejoice!

I’m thrilled, as this is not only my first staffed writer gig, but my first real editorial position, so I’m excited for the challenge! And today’s already been super-challenging. It’s kicked my ass, to tell you the truth, but in the best way! The staff at The Mary Sue has been amazingly supportive, and as fast-paced as the job is, everyone is so efficient at what they do that I know once I learn the ropes it’ll be smooth sailing. Such a great team!

And I even got to write two posts today and take part in a third group post! Here’s my first post. And here’s the second. 🙂

Me and my first Mary Sue post!

Me and my first Mary Sue post!

So, huge thanks to Jill Pantozzi, The Mary Sue’s Editor-In-Chief, for the amazing opportunity. It’s gonna be a blast!


ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm a Chick Who Digs Gaming!

Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.

Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.

So, you may have heard about this awesome new anthology being published by Mad Norwegian Press called Chicks Dig Gaming, which is coming out on November 11, 2014! Edited by Jennifer Brozek (Apocalypse Ink Productions), Robert Smith? (Who is the Doctor) and Lars Pearson (editor-in-chief, the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig series), this anthology brings together essays by nearly three dozen female writers to celebrate the gaming medium (both video and tabletop) and its creators, and to examine the characters and series that they love. Contributors include: Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…, Indistinguishable from Magic) examines Super Mario Bros. through the lens of Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth; Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) details how gaming taught her math; G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen) revels in World of Warcraft; and Rosemary Jones (Forgotten Realms) celebrates world traveler Nellie Bly and the board game she inspired.

Other contributors include Emily Care Boss (Gaming as Women), Jen J. Dixon (The Walking Eye), Racheline Maltese (The Book of Harry Potter Triffles…), Mary Anne Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion), L.M. Myles (Chicks Unravel Time), Jody Lynn Nye (the MythAdventures series), and E. Lily Yu (“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”). Also featured: exclusive interviews with Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens and Dragonlance author Margaret Weis.

And do you know who else is a contributor? 

That’s right – ME! 🙂 This is my third contribution to a Mad Norwegian anthology, and I’m so thrilled to be among such illustrious company! Chicks Dig Gaming will feature my essay, Who In the Hell is Carmen Sandiego?, about everyone’s favorite Miss of Misdemeanor and why she’s such an important character.

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating at a reading held by DTLAB / Writ Large Press as part of their 90In90 series (90 literary events in 90 days – this one was, like, 54 or something! Yeesh!) at Traxx in Union Station, and I read my Carmen Sandiego essay to a very enthusiastic audience! I have a video of my reading, but as I was surprised by being asked to go first, and didn’t have a chance to explain how my camera worked to the friend I was with, she managed to figure it out and start recording well into my reading. Still, it’s a good three-minute-ish chunk that’ll give you a taste of what you can expect when you read it in full in Chicks Dig Gaming! 😉 (Pssst! It’s currently available for pre-order!)

The other thing I never pointed out to my friend? Where the zoom button was. 🙂 Luckily, I’m loud. Enjoy!

NEW AT BEACON: "SDCC: Taking It to the Streets"

Link doesn't need that loot.

Link doesn’t need that loot.

My final SDCC-related article is now up at Beacon – and it’s a bit different than the usual Comic-Con fare.


I realized it was quite possible that this family had not attended Comic-Con at all. That they were possibly just locals who found the postcard for free food, got in line, and were saying they were attendees at Comic-Con to save face. After all, Comic-Con is an expensive proposition for a single person – I wouldn’t have been able to afford attending had I not had a press badge – but for a family of three? Then again, this could be one of their only splurges, the one time a year when they can do something fun as a family. I didn’t know if her past situation at a shelter was also her current one or not. I don’t know why the older girl was carrying clothes around with her. I wasn’t sure about any of it, and I would never have asked. We all got our sandwiches, wished each other well, and went our separate ways, and I watched as the older girl shoved several bags of chips into her clothing bag. 

I couldn’t stop turning Desiree’s words over and over in my head: Whenever people write stories about this, they never take it to the streets. The following day, as I walked from the convention center to the Sofia Hotel to conduct my interview with Nicole Perlman, I noticed that road between was littered with poverty. Here I was, on my way to a “fancy hotel” to conduct an interview and brushing past homeless people to get there. I didn’t have any cash on me that day – only my debit card – so I couldn’t give anyone money. I thought about how people always talk about SDCC doing great things for San Diego’s economy, which I’m sure it does, but that those “great things” don’t seem to make much difference to the people on the streets. 

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

NEW AT BEACON: "SDCC ‘14: Fan-Favorite GRIMM An Example of Diversity in TV"

l-r: Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Claire Coffee, Bree Turner, Silas Weir Mitchell, David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, Russell Hornsby, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, Norberto Barba, and moderator, Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times.

l-r: Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Claire Coffee, Bree Turner, Silas Weir Mitchell, David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, Russell Hornsby, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, Norberto Barba, and moderator, Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times.

I took most of today easy, recuperating from San Diego Comic-Con, but I finally put up my first SDCC post over at Beacon. This one’s about the Grimm panel in Ballroom 20 on Saturday. First, because, well, it’s one of my favorite shows. So there. 🙂


Gender Parity 
In a regular cast of eight actors, there are five men and three women, but those three women are all extremely important, while of the five men, three are consistently important while the show tends to alternate between the other two depending on the story line. In addition, there are also two other female characters in Nick’s life who are women – his mother, Kelly Burkhardt (played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), and the aforementioned Trubel, who was introduced last season. Their strong presence balances things out quite a bit.

What’s even more important is that the female characters are all different types. We have fighters (Kelly and Trubel), we have the nerd (Juliette), we have the nurturer (Rosalee) and we have the evil, um, witch (Adalind). Yet, even within these types, there is nuance: Kelly and Trubel have their soft sides, one with regard to her son, the other with regard to her inexperience and wanting a mentor; Juliette started out “standing by her man,” but as she’s become more empowered by knowledge, she’s discovering her own place in the world of Wesen; Rosalee may be soft and sweet where Monroe is concerned, but she is also a former drug addict, a resistance fighter, and a member of the Wesen Council; and Adalind has had a truly fascinating journey, from powerful witch, to losing her powers, to becoming a loving mother, to having her baby stolen from her, to vengeful witch.

(Check out my S1 spoken-word poem in praise of the Women of Grimm HERE. Because yes, I’m the type of geek who writes poems about TV characters in her spare time. Shut up.)

Wanna keep up with Comic-Con through MY eyes? CLICK HERE to get to my article and subscribe to me at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you can have access to my coverage of SDCC, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists covering all the topics you care about!

NEW AT BEACON: "Pop Goes Teresa Goes to Comic-Con!"

First San Diego selfie of the week.

First San Diego selfie of the week.

I’ve just arrived in San Diego, and am about to get caught up in San Diego Comic-Con craziness. For the next four days (and three nights), I’ll be running around checking out geeky offerings, going to panels and screenings, interviewing creators…and maybe sneaking in a party or two! Plus, I’ll be having my epic first meeting with Janice Orlando (of FanFlail fame – she and I go all the way back to Caprica fandom, but have never met in person…until now!), and catching up with other folks I know whom I usually only get to see at conventions. I’m very much looking forward to it!

And I’ll be writing about my shenanigans EXCLUSIVELY at Beacon!


1) Every morning, I will post my schedule for the day – what panels I hope to check out, what interviews I’ll be doing, what events I’m scheduled to take part in, etc, so that you have an idea what to expect to hear about in the coming days. I’ll be using the “Discussions” section for this, but my posts will be emailed straight to you if you’re a Pop Goes Teresa subscriber!

2) Every evening before bed, I will post a Comic-Con Diary that will sum up, in brief, what I did, how I felt, and my overall impressions of the SDCC for the day.

3) You can keep up with my shenanigans as they happen by following me on Twitter! I’ll be posting observations/exciting news using the hashtag #TeresaSDCC.

4) Starting Monday, I’ll be writing a new article EVERY DAY about something Comic-Con related: announcements, projects, reviews, the event itself…and of course, these will all be examined through the Pop Goes Teresa lens you’ve come to know and love!

That’s right! I won’t be writing about my Comic-Con experience here at the blog AT ALL. So, if you want to keep up with Comic-Con through MY eyes, CLICK HERE to get to my article and subscribe to me at Beacon! For only $5/month, you can have access to my coverage of SDCC, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists covering all the topics you care about!

See you on the con floor! 🙂

HOTPIXEL POST: "HotPixel Meets YouTube Nerd Powerhouse, Geek & Sundry!"

Geek and Sundry Logo

There’s a new post up at at the HotPixel blog today that I wanted to make sure to include as a shout-out to all my geeks and nerds out there. 🙂


Unplugged allows video game enthusiasts to showcase their skills both in-game and IRL. They compete while playing various video games, then compete while engaging in in-person competitions based on those games. Even better, it’s produced by former HotPixel member, Tom Grey, who has a history of geeky projects, having also created and directed the series Cosplay Piano for Stan Lee’s World of Heroes YouTube channel!

For the full post, or to comment on the post, CLICK HERE!

Tor Post: “The Nerd Machine: What Geek Culture Should Be”

Zachary Levi hosts a “Conversations for a Cause” panel at SDCC 2012.

When I was at SDCC, I also had the pleasure of going to my first NERD HQ, first just to hang out, then for the Grimm signing and Q&A event, and I loved it! Check out my latest piece at about Zachary Levi’s awesome collective of nerds!


A big part of that warm, friendly vibe was due to Levi. I’ve never watched Chuck (though I plan on remedying that immediately), so I wasn’t really familiar with him before seeing him host a panel at NERD HQ, and I was impressed by how genuine and humble he is. He engages with fans as equals, and seems honored to be in a position to both deliver a unique experience and bring those fans together. The staff follows Levi’s lead, and that sense of community is reflected in everything they do. The fans give the love right back, taking pride in things like their latest Nerd Machine purchases, or their NERD number (the earlier you joined the Nerdvolution, the lower your number – Levi’s is 1), fostering a welcoming, friendly environment for each other.

For the full article, or to comment on the post, CLICK HERE!

Love Lessons Learned From a Cat

Cally: Seriously, leave me alone.

Today, a cat crystallized my issues with love and helped me see them more clearly. 🙂

I’m currently living in temporary new digs with my friend Melynda, a friend from college, in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles, and she shares a lovely apartment with two cats, Cally and Captain. Though it’s as if she only shares it with one, because Captain is so afraid of me he doesn’t come out of hiding. I’ve seen him once, though, darting out from behind a curtain to go run and hide under Melynda’s bed, so I know he exists.

Anyway, this afternoon, I was doing some much-needed relaxing after a very stressful month. I sat on the couch for most of the day and caught up on television I’d missed. I also watched Forest Gump and Clueless, because reliving the 90s makes me feel better. Cally, the social, lovey cat was nuzzling me, and climbing all over me, and purring up a storm. I loved it! Normally, I’m not a cat person, because I’m very affectionate, and cats tend to be a bit more standoffish than dogs. But this cat was one of the sweeter, more affectionate cats I’ve ever met, so I nuzzled right back. It got to the point that I’d seek her out to pet her! She’s just so cute and so sweet that I couldn’t help myself.

At one point, she was lying in the sun, you know, the way cats do, and after a while I started petting her again. She loved it at first, and was purring, purring away. Then I kept scratching and petting, and petting and scratching, and she started swatting at me with her paws. When I kept it up, she grabbed my hand with her paws and bit me, so that her tooth dragged along the top of my hand and drew blood.


It was then that the entirety of my failed love life came crisply into focus.

I’m a very enthusiastic person. It’s always been my nature. Whenever there’s something I care about, I care about it fiercely. It’s all I think about, or all I want to do, or talk about, or think about. It’s why I’m a geek, after all. 🙂 Geek Culture is an entire subculture for people like me, who love things so passionately that they need to take it apart, examine it closely, prod it, poke it, buy the merchandise, and incorporate it into their lives in a way that other people don’t. This is not a bad thing!

However, that kind of enthusiasm is a very different thing when it comes to individual people. I don’t have much of a dating history, mostly because there haven’t been very many guys I’ve actually liked. In the past, I didn’t really like very many people. But when I did? Oh, MAN. I carried torches for YEARS. I chased the first boy I ever liked in kindergarten into the boys’ bathroom to kiss him, and he was terrified. I’ve only genuinely been in love (or thought it was love – I’m not sure it was now. I’ll let you know if I ever feel it again for real.) twice in my life, and both times it was unrequited, and both times bad things happened that involved either fighting or crying (or both) and ultimately ended in the guys in question leaving the state or country! I’m not so full of myself that I think their leaving was entirely my doing, but the pressure I was putting on them certainly didn’t help. Even the guys I’ve been interested in that I didn’t love passionately I’ve been so giddy about that I’ve tended toward pushiness. I’ve pursued and over-flirted. I was so insecure that I had to force myself to make any move at all, but once I started I didn’t know how to rein it in. I haven’t been a good flirt, mostly because my enthusiasm so clouded my judgment that I never learned how to do it in a sophisticated way. Truth be told, I was a bit like Elmira on Tiny Toon Adventures:

Or like Daisy Steiner on Spaced when she was a kid.

The point is, I saw the pattern exactly for what it is today. It’s something I’ve probably always known deep down, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t) do anything about. I think the reason I could see it now, the reason why a cat’s actions today could knock some sense into me, is because I’ve been changing and so probably ready to learn it. These days, I’ve liked more people, and when I have it’s been more moderate. Less “OMG, TERESA + SO-AND-SO = 4EVA” and more “He’s really cool. I’d love to spend more time with him.” I’ve been a better flirt. Or rather, I haven’t thought about flirting. I’ve only thought about being my best self and letting the chips fall where they may. I mean, there was one moment a couple of months ago (I was tipsy) when I fell back on old habits…but that triggered a mini-meltdown that forced a pretty big shift in my thinking. I was now New Teresa, and New Teresa couldn’t stomach the mistakes of her past. It was as if my body was telling me “Nooooooo! Stop it!”

And so today, a cat scratches me, and I totally get it. And I apologized to the cat. (I always talk to animals on the off chance that they’ve picked up human languages and just haven’t told us. I know. Shut up.) And later, after it sulked in the corner of the couch for about an hour, it started nuzzling me again, and I let her. And when she stopped, so did I.

It isn’t up to me to force someone to receive affection they don’t want or need. All I need to do is let it be known that I’m someone in whom they have a willing source of it. Once I’ve made that known, I need to step back, and if they want it, they’ll come. Enthusiasm isn’t a bad thing, but neither is knowing when it’s inappropriate. Sure, it’s taken me a while to learn this lesson, but learn it I have. Even if it took me longer than “more intelligent life forms:”

And to the guys I’ve chased away, or otherwise freaked out, I’m sorry. Truly. I wasn’t actually crazy, just overly-enthusiastic. I’m still enthusiastic about a lot – I think one of my better qualities is that I find so much joy in so many things – but I’ve learned that this doesn’t translate to people. I’ve gotten better at not imposing my feelings about people onto them. We’ll see if this leads to one of them, eventually, coming back to nuzzle me. 🙂 And if not? Well, at least I’ll have my dignity, and that’s something to be enthusiastic about!

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