The Unconventional Digest

In keeping with our mission statement, we’ve endeavored to provide an enriched, fulfilling array of intellectual food-for-thought. We’ve all seen what “single serve” junk food commentaries have wrought, in their obsessive race-to-the-bottom, as “first to break” news. You’re welcome to keep engaging those other endeavors for said “filler.” What’s more, there’ll be no deeply partisan “skewing” here, nor flagrant erasure of the point and origins of our modern media, just to serve a headline. It’s not a “revelation” that Star WarsX-MenStar TrekFinal Fantasy, and most other staples of fandom, from Captain America to Supergirl, are Antifascist and progressive, despite laughably misinformed “hot takes.”

Here at The Unconventional, our vetted gourmands serve a buffet of topics and perspectives, as subject-matter experts in their fields. Combatting cliché “conventional” wisdom, we insist that Less is, in fact, not more. MORE is more. We’re not the sample aisle at your local grocery, serving hors d’oeuvres on toothpicks; we have set the table, with the entire menu curating these topics with the depth, seasoning, and yes, sometimes the amount of salt, that they deserve. Our standard fare consists of sixteen installments or more, academically sourced-and-cited, to the tune of three thousand words, minimum. Even our so-called “lite fare,” served hot and fresh every Friday, is still held to high standards of production. Our hunger for depth is not at the expense of succinctness – each piece has been through seven editorial passes. Looking for a “snack?” Our social media team scours the internet for the spiciest memes and news articles to keep you going. Welcome to our study in “Fanthropology” and the geek palate. Tuck in and enjoy.

Article Series

A Wild Title Appears

An editorial blog “behind the scenes” of The Unconventional. A look at the sweat, blood and tears, techniques and ethos behind this journey. The raison d’être, DNA and agenda of this intellectual Mecha.

Chasing at Shadows

It takes more than just a “dark and stormy night” to make something noir. Here’s our exploration and analysis of screen adaptations and new media forms of classic comic book characters, as an exercise in film noir, by an expert of the genre.

Firmware Updated

A journey into the nuances, culture and development of the videogame industry and its various practices. Join our anthropological survey of the impact the industry has had on modern society, from a regular enthusiast.

Play it Loud

Fandoms haven’t always been welcoming to outsiders, ironically enough – explore this together on our tour through various fandoms and their respective welcome (or lack thereof) to the LGBTQ community, through the eyes of one who stands in both worlds.

Where Are They Now?

A slipstream meta-commentary on the evolution and current status of certain video game icons, and their respective franchises, with a long-view perspective on their respective mutation and growth, across multiple platforms. 

From Quill to Quest Item

There’s more to your favorite interactive entertainment than meets the eye! A survey of video games as a reimagined presentation of tropes from classical theater and text as seen and interpreted through the eyes of an enthusiast of all three.

Zen and the Art of Screaming

An incisive deep-tissue study of the evolution and icons in classical and contemporary horror fiction, from monsters to slashers to less supernatural fare, as well as their varying manifestations, such as podcasts, radio plays, and other multimedia.

Sonata of the Screen and Grid

An examination of the evolution of cinematic, video game and synth music, their shared development and impact upon the music industry and overall pop culture overall. An analysis of their paired mutual evolution.

A Study in Stairways

A journey through the history of illustration, animation, and the counter developments and competitive symbiosis of Eastern and Western influences, as they shaped the marketplace and culture of modern illustrative art.

An Algebra of Archons

A philosopher and avid gamer examines the various ethics and philosophical encoding of numerous pop culture and speculative fiction works and franchises, ranging from Transformers and Eddings’ Rivan Codex, to other pieces of literature and fiction.

Cracking the Cipher

A trained linguist and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast’s study of the various languages and surrounding cultural effects of a number of ‘constructed’ societies in recent speculative fiction, from Dothraki to Klingon and beyond.

Rum, Sodomy, and The Lash

A thoughtful and informative journey unpacking the various tropes behind “Hollywood” pirates with an eye for the historical and empirical, courtesy of a working tall ship sailor and pirate reenactor. Because that jargon does actually mean something.

Unraveling Silken Threads

It’s about far more than merely the swords and sorcery that make up your favorite fictional universe. Join us for our inaugural look into the motives, tropes and ethics of various controversial speculative fictions, and the historic context of their presentation.

Navigating the Bleeding Edge

A journey into the lurid and ineffable borders of fiction, as a published New Weird author pokes at and explains the various heirs to the grand horror tradition. Navigate the mysterious mélange of not-quite mapped terrain comprising the strange children of Sci-Fi, Horror, and other genres and the tropes therein.

Fandom Without Borders

An epic journey for our exclusive travel blog, examining various geeky and nerdy scenes. From Japan and Ireland to major cities across the continental United States, join this whirlwind trek and partake of our robust sample of “local flavors”.

It’s Not Brain Surgery

Wonder what’s going on in that character’s head? Here we’ll dip our toes into the psychology and neurobiology at play in characters and scenarios in speculative fiction.

A Hint of Color

Representation matters, and how People of Color are presented in speculative fiction and pop culture matters even more. Join a former Naval electrician, father, cosplayer and African-American public speaker as he delves deep. From pulp and comic-inspired blockbusters to the heights of sci-fi, we’ll examine the many ghoulish caricatures and celebrated victories along the way.

D.A.S. Game, or a Digital Anthropology Studies, series

D.A.S. Game

It’s time to learn something new about your favorite classic games. Join us for an in-depth review of the history of the various tentpole franchises within classic gaming, all from the unique and learned perspective of a speedrun streamer and professional gamer.

Courting Disaster

An overview of otaku and gamer fandoms, their interrelations, and engagement with pop culture. From GamerGate to syncretic mythology, to the underlying social justice issues, this telescopic lens will be aimed through the prism of intersectional feminism that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. From Amazons to Zelda, we’re going to get gritty with it.

Content May Be Graphic

An introduction to our look at the graphic design, presentation, artistic rendering, and evolution of the digital artforms of video games and film, with an additional focus on the visual continuity between various cross-media brands and products.

Generation Zee

It’s time for a post-millennial’s analysis of the current state of fandom. Join our intersectional look at how fandom, feminism, LGBTQ representation and other generational dog whistles are portrayed, for good or ill, in the speculative fiction of today.