Marvel Comics (616 Continuity), Batman: The Animated Series
Between liking things that other people didn’t know they’d eventually enjoy, and having suffered the stigma, Sebastian is a big advocate in all pursuing their subjective bliss. Basically be who you are, and don’t rely on others’ opinions to validate that. There was a time where all his hobbies were uncool. Now, they’re each billion-dollar industries. “I was a nerd and I still am, and I’m sticking with it. But now, it’s the norm! You may just be ahead of the curve. Everything else applies to someone else. It’s just a matter of believing in yourself — in who you are, as a person.”
Co-Founder. Producer. Stage Manager.
“I count on the simplest and ugliest plan. Not plan ”A”, no, but like, plan ”G”, for example. I start with plan ”G”. You know, the quick, simple, ugly plan that I know is gonna work if everything goes bad.” – Nathan Ford, Leverage
Co-Founder of the firm, ad hoc troupe manager, and storied presenter, Mr. Barros is a multitalented eclectic, erring on the side of self-sufficient. A self-described “completist”, Sebastian exemplifies this in his fandom and hobbies through numerous passion projects. Decades of experience in strategy gaming have allowed him to not only field but command multiple armies, facing an entire table of opponents in casual play. It’s with a similarly robust variety of resources, via props closet and wardrobe, that he’s helped outfit whole squads of models and performers. Add to this a prodigious array of comics, statuettes, and more. “If the Punisher collected hobbies as his arsenal …” Sebastian is a one-man army of fandom, with accompanying weapons depot, inclusive of LARPing, tabletop gaming and trading card games (TCGs). From props-work to logistics, his keen insights in human behavior proved invaluable during Steam-Funk’s early years, bypassing numerous obstacles.
Regarding education, Sebastian graduated as Stamford’s JM Wright Technical High School, class of 1992. Following a brief stint at Norwalk Community College he shifted gears and entered the work force – first in food service and then in retail. Sebastian would fill a variety of roles, including bank teller. During the mid-to-late ‘90s, Sebastian also worked at a local Borders Bookstore, where a fateful meeting with a certain swarthy fellow led to a strong friendship. Their rapport strengthened when dealing with the colorful personalities endemic to retail, as Savan began working with him at the same store. Eventually, Sebastian took a role as a postal carrier for the USPS, where he continues to work to this day.
Growing up in the age of the nerd-as-outcast, Sebastian saw mainstreaming of speculative fiction and comic books, through the revived Star Wars franchise, Sony’s X-Men movies and more, as the source media he’d enjoyed would expand to become the cultural touchstones of today. He’s greatly enjoyed “pop culture” including Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering becoming household-names. With his consumer relationship inhaling it all, to stints as both a bookseller and a clerk at a comic book store, Sebastian has adjudicated Magic: the Gathering and Warhammer 40k matches for years, hosted Friday Night Magic in the Fairfield County area countless times, and has been a Storyteller and Game Master for more RPG systems than you can shake a stick at. His aim is to continue pushing the culture forward, making absolutely certain that no one fandom becomes “fringe.” “We were outcasts once, and it’s best to make certain no one has to go through all of that again.” If it would fit in at a gaming or anime convention, it has a place at his table.
In more recent years Sebastian’s maintained a secondary career at Stamford’s iconic comic shop (as featured in Marvel’s “Civil War”) A Timeless Journey, until its bittersweet closure in 2018. It was there that he continued to aid and mold generations of role-players, comic book fans and TCG gamers, even as he became a fixture on the convention circuit. Given work and participation with Savan in a number of projects and campaigns even before founding Steam-Funk Studios, Sebastian joined up with the original cast and other co-founders, back in 2010. They proceeded to hit conventions, Renaissance Faires, festivals, and parties as a proverbial freight train. Sebastian was instantly indispensable, “holding the line” in panels, assisting in “workshop days” where the nascent troupe would work on props and rehearse material, and otherwise networking at and outside-of the event season. His depth of knowledge and keen sense of comedic timing made him the ultimate support character, while allowing him to also take his ‘time to shine’ at the forefront of Cosplay Court Case.
Co-hosting one of the firm’s earliest Roundtables, “Hit the Deck”, Sebastian’s work provided a backbone to The Unconventional’s multimedia content. Today, he is less hands-on, especially with recent complications to travel and live-performance. However, he keeps the creative forge burning, hosting RPG campaigns for various social circles and advising on improv material and storyline for The Living Multiverse, counsel on strategy. He continues to collect models, comics, and tabletop games, amidst a busy Overwatch career. After all, “These fools aren’t going to dust themselves!”