Black Nerd Problems is one of the few nerd sites that makes me think and laugh at the same time, and BNP's livetweets during shows like Walking Dead and The Flash are must-read hashtags when you're watching along with them (#DemDeadz and #DatFlash are the tags to follow). We decided to pick the brain of BNP head honcho WIlliam Evans about the upcoming pen-and-paper version of the website, Black Nerd Problems: Zero Year.
Black Nerd Problems is an unapologetic deluge of nerd-centric and geek commentary from the perspective of people of color. Every topic that becomes an editorial or a review on the site isn't political, but just the fact that we are people of color that revel in pop and niche culture with our own voice is still political. We nerd hard at BNP, but we speak from a perspective that is still under-reported and I think that makes what we have to say very significant.
2. What if I'm a BNP regular? What will the book offer me that I can't get on the site?
We're putting a lot of original content into the book to reward the people that have been with us from the beginning. There will be plenty of editorials and features that will only appear in the book (never online) including from people that aren't part of our regular staff. Some of our archived content will have some additional commentary attached to them as well. Whether it's background or anecdotal text, we hope those elements will offer some new insight to pieces that people may have already been familiar to from the site. We will also have a lot of original artwork featured that will be exclusive to the book as well.
3. Part of Zero Year is going to be a Greatest Hits album. Fire off a few hit singles we can look forward to.
You know, we're pretty proud about a lot of the content that people have gravitated to on the site. Our biggest problem in editing the book is going to be what gets left out simply due to space. We haven't made any decisions yet, but I can say that some of my personal favorites that represent our mission well are the ones that deal with social politics and identity. Columns such as "I am Woman, I am Nerd" from Carrie McClain or "Exploring Identity as a Gamer" from Ian Khadan. I'm a sucker for a good personal narrative and those along with many others from the site really illustrate why this site exists in the first place.
4. One of the coolest things about running a site are some of the unexpected interactions that occur. What's one of the most memorable exchanges you've had as a result of BNP?
I wrote a piece regarding the newest version of Captain Marvel and how the writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick, cleverly went against type by not having the hero Carol Danvers be the White Savior. About a week or so later, someone forwarded me Kelly Sue's tumblr where she shared my column. That led to me interviewing her on two separate occasions and having a conversation with her husband (and also one of my writing heroes) Matt Fraction when he visited Columbus. That's one of many that the staff members have experienced, but Kelly Sue is my favorite.
5. If there's one person in the nerd world you'd want to get a copy of Black Nerd Problems: Zero Year, who would it be, and why?
You know, if I could send it to one person with hopes that they would read it, I would have to say Aisha Tyler. Look, I love Neil DeGrasse Tyson as much as the next nerd, but I've always been a big Aisha fan, ever since I saw her rocking the pistol from Halo: Combat Evolved at E3 one year. She's the quintessential Black Nerd for me, but maybe I'm just hoping that Lana Kane makes a BNP reference on Archer someday.