Black Nerds Expo 2019

Black Nerds Expo 2019



The Black Nerds Expo on Thursday, February 28 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at MiraCosta College (1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056) is a space for attendees to explore and celebrate black comics, books, art, video games, and pop culture. This event is open to everyone! Register at for free!

Here is what the expo will offer:

-Play games

-Meet people in the art, video game, and comic book industries

-Make new, local friends who like black pop culture

-Participate in opportunity drawings for active attendees

-Take Instagram-worthy photos at the photo booth

-Day-of point card to collect comics-related stickers and prizes

-Learn about upcoming projects and releases information in anime, manga, video games, media, and pop culture


How much is it to attend the Black Nerds Expo?

It’s free! Just make sure to either pre-register or register on-site for entry.

Why is there a need for a black nerds event?

Could you name at least three black superheroes outside of Black Panther, Storm from the X-men, or Luke Cage? Could you name at least three black authors without searching on Google? Could you name at least one black artist outside of comics? Events such as the Black Nerds Expo is to make aware the existence of black pop culture that isn’t usually shown or celebrated in mainstream media.


If I’m a vendor, artist, or would like to table for the Black Nerds Expo, how can I make that happen?

Please email or complete an exhibitor application at to register a representative to participate in the Black Nerds Expo. There is limited space, so please contact Jd Banks as soon as possible.


How much is it to reserve a table?

It’s free! We don’t want tabling or exhibiting fees to be a barrier for exhibiting. Please contact Jd Banks at as soon as possible since space is limited.


If I can’t be there personally but I or my business would like to contribute, how do I do that?

Send any promotional materials (i.e. flyers, postcards, business cards, posters) to the following address by Thursday, February 14, 2019 to give them time to arrive:

ATTN: Jd Banks, Student Equity (MC: #10C)

MiraCosta College

1 Barnard Drive

Oceanside, CA 92056


Is it possible to sponsor something for this event?

Sure! We would like to do an opportunity drawing for attendees, so any swag items such as T-shirts, hats, buttons, wrist bands, DVDs, posters, cups, or figurines relating to black pop culture would be appreciated. In return, the Black Nerds Expo will cross-promote your brand on social media and other marketing materials. Please email Jd Banks at for information.


Are you providing any stipends or paying any fees for vendors, artists, or representatives to participate in the Black Nerds Expo?

No. Participants will only be provided a table, refreshments, and day-of logistical support.


What sort of things would be great to bring as a vendor, artist, or representative to the Black Nerds Expo?

If you are a comics vendor, comics and graphic novels concentrating on black superheroes such as Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Green Lantern, March, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ironheart, Batwing, Cyborg, Mister Terrific, Vixen, Nubia, Rocket, XS, Tattooed Man, Afro Samurai, and more would be great.  Find a list of black superheroes at Books from Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Karyn Parsons, John Lewis, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Obama and other black authors would also be great. Artwork can be fan-created artwork of current black superheroes and/or original artwork with black and African-American attendees in mind.

Black Nerds Expo Supporters

IDW Publishing

Right Stuf

Evoluzione Publishing

Black Sci-Fi

MiraCosta College

Square Enix and Humble Bundle offering “Pay What You Want” Games for Charity

Like PC games? Into recent hits Deus Ex, Hitman, Silent Assassin, or Lara Croft? For the next 13 days, Square Enix is teaming up with digital bundle master Humble Bundle, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and GamesAid to offer popular games for any amount you want to pay for them.

“Pay $1 or more for Thief GoldMini NinjasDaikatanaHitman: Codename 47Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Anachronox,” the Humble Bundle website says. “If you pay more than the average price, you’ll also get Deus Ex: Invisible WarDeus Ex: The FallHitman: Absolution,Battlestations Midway and the Nosgoth Veteran Pack. Those who pay $14.99 or more will receive all of the above, plus Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut,Just Cause 2Lara Croft and the Guardian of LightDeus Ex: Game of the Year Edition and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.”

Your contribution can go to Humble Bundle, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, or GamesAid, a UK video games charity for disabled people.

For more information go to Humble Bundle’s website here.

Video Games Suck Now

I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and played games like Mario Brothers, Double Dragons, Zelda, Doom, and Sonic the Hedgehog. They were simple in concept; beat the boss and save the girl or the world. As I grew up, I watched platforms and game graphics became more sophisticated. No more pixels running around as Mario or Link. No more overheated Segas and Nintendos.

While the platforms today seem more like computers than consoles, the games for these platforms have taken a big jump back.

Look at Capcom’s Dead Rising, Techland’s Dead Island, and Bethesda’s Skyrim and Fallout. Players usually talk to Character One, go to the other side of World One, get Item One, and go back to Character One. Then repeat. And repeat.


Am I in a wash cycle or video game?

Today’s video games still have a core story—defeat the Big Bad Dragon and save the world—but it’s forgotten somewhere between Character Eighty-Seven and Item Five Hundred. Sure, players get to kill zombies, mutants, and gods, but that’s all there is to it. Mindless killing. Mindless Retrieving.  

Don’t get me wrong. The visuals are great and the gameplay is smooth. Even the loading time is forgivable (save for Dead Rising and Fallout) compared to the older consoles. Still, the formula is the same: talk, kill, retrieve, and return. Game developers have dropped the controller on recent games just to make sales. I understand that business can’t be business without money, but if I pay fifty bucks for one game, I want my money’s worth or at least have something fun to play.

Games today leave me with one question: what happened to video games between the 1980’s and the 2000’s? It could be that the gamers themselves have changed and the game developers are trying to appeal to that change. In the 1980’s, it was cool to be anyone. Androgenism, nerds, and Flocks of Seagulls haircuts were cool. In the 1990’s, it was cool to be aware of deep issues like education, racism, drugs, poverty, pollution. In the 2000’s, people hated people. The Rise of Fear and Haterism came up and squashed the open-minded, experimental, fun-loving 80’s and 90’s attitude to a pulp. Many products followed suit, and video games weren’t immune to the haterism. Some of the most marketable games, namely Call of Duty and Dead Island, are racist, war-supporting games OK with murdering Afghanistan or Iraqi people and depicting black and Mexican people as gun-toting thugs and drug-dealers. Not cool or fun anymore. No more hard-boiled, take-no-shit characters. Just emotional train wrecks with guns and a sore spot for colored people.

Game developers didn’t ask for this paradigm shift. They’re regular folks who grew up with the same games I did, maybe dreamed of developing the same fun games. Between their creative minds and their investors, something’s gotta give, and that would be the fun and the story. Those are the two things that keep gamers gaming. I’d rather play Tetris all day than play five minutes of trying to find a saving point in Dead Rising or facing a million of the same zombie in Dead Island or picking up one more useless item on the way to delivering another useless item in Skyrim or Fallout. It’s not my idea of a good time.

The recent video games that are exciting with a polished story are few and far between, but they do exist. PopCap Games’s Peggle, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II, Telltales Games’s The Walking Dead, Vogster Entertainment’s Unbound Saga, Capcom’s Devil May Cry, Konami’s re-released Castlevania, and id Software’s Rage are reminiscent of the 80’s and 90’s optimistic attitude, only with today’s graphics and gameplay. Their core stories and uncompromising characters make up a fun world. In Assassin’s Creed II, players bring conspiracies to light while free-running in Renaissance Italy. The Walking Dead’s in-depth character and story development keep gamers coming back. Unbound Saga embodies Double Dragons’ and Streets of Rage’s linear game play while the hard-boiled main character remains hard-boiled. Rage gives players everything Skyrim and Fallout couldn’t: a small yet interesting world, cool cars and weapons, unique personalities, and fast loading times.

What makes these games memorable and re-playable? These games are reduced to a condensed but polished arena. People have short attention spans, and making the world too big means pushing that attention span to its limit. Rage understood this by taking the player to a different world before the game began to feel repetitive. Players want realism in their games, but games like Skyrim and Fallout abuse it by making everything interactive. Who wants to carry around a billion flowers? The Walking Dead, Assassin’s Creed II, and Rage limited the interactivity to the core stories. Even something as basic as letting players save whenever and wherever they want keeps players happy (Dead Rising, ahem). And the hard stages are beatable—without the help of Google.

Let’s remember: gamers play games to get away from reality. If games are created to frustrate the player with overly-vast worlds, repetitive characters and missions, excessive interactivity, slow loading times, insensible saving controls, war-supporting and racist undertones, and complicated bosses, what’s the point of escaping reality?