My Quick Nerdtino 2018 Review

A Congregation of Latino Fans

lightsaber fighting workshop at Nerdtino

Latinos are a sometimes forgotten part of pop culture and media despite being fans and consumers. Sometimes the issue is visibility. We can be closet fans.

Enter Thom Delfi‘s Nerdtino.

Nerdtino(from ‘nerd’ and ‘Latino’) is a one-day expo for the comic book, anime, science fiction, and fantasy fans. Held at the Taller Puertorriqueño in North Philadelphia, this was their second year.

From panels, vendors, art, workshops, DJs, costuming, there was something for everyone.

I attended despite being sick and without a voice (still recovering from a bad cold) I went with my friend Eric. The space was small but well attended.

I always judge an event by the crowd it attracts. A successful event attracts all ages and tastes.

This one did. In fact, it was encouraging to see young ones dress up and participating as well as younger adults, adults, men, and women.


Nerdtino panel with Greg Anderson-Elysee and David Bowles

The panels were all a highlight. They were small and a bit informal compared to regular fan cons.

And yet, they were fun and informative.

The vendors were all approachable and I was more than happy to depart with my money to buy their products (once again I went over budget).

The attendants seemed to enjoy themselves and there was no drama and no issues. Only fans having a good time.

Blossom Blair one of the artist-vendors at Nerdtino

Other highlights were:
  • Meeting legendary Deadpool creator, X-force, X-Men, and Nightwing comic writer Fabian Nicieza. He is a riot!
  • Greg Anderson-Elyseé, the Haitian writer who infuses Afro-Caribbean myth into his writing.
  • The body positivity and cosplay panel were incredible in the honesty and transparency of their presenters. Listening to both of them gave me a new perspective about how cosplaying can be therapeutic.
  • The anthropologist in me enjoyed immensely meeting Mexican-American anthropologist David Bowles and his panel presentation about reclaiming pre-Columbian myths was a major highlight.
  • Meeting romance and fantasy author Zoraida Córdova was inspiring. I cannot wait to read her books. Indeed, I feel she is a name who you will be hearing a lot in the future.
  • The music, an event needs music to feel like a party. We Latinos love music.
  • Fans came from outside Philadelphia for this event. Nice.

As you can see, there were enough reasons to attend.

My Review

Deadpool co-creator, Argentinian Fabian Nicieza

The more I spend time at Nerdtino, the more we keep comparing it unfairly to another event, J-1 Con.

There was a sense of similarity among them (not a bad thing since I love J-1 Con).

The difference is J-1 is one hundred percent anime and video games.

Nerdtino strived to be more about Latino history and roots. And yet, the fun and camaraderie were palpable, just like at J-1.

They both provide a safe space for fans to just be fans and be themselves. No judgment. Only geekiness.

Eric complained Nerdtino was “small”. I reminded him so was J-1 when they started. This is only Nerdtino’s second year.

I trust they will be back for a third year and they will keep growing. They are doing the right things.

Yes, the noise level could be a problem sometimes during panels; yes, they will probably need a bigger space if they keep growing; and yes, they could use more programming.

They are doing the right things and they are bringing geekiness to the ‘hood’, an area usually ignored by the mainstream. For that alone, they get my support and applause.

I will rate it a 7.5/10 and a 9/10 in fun factor. I am already looking for next year’s event.

Reader, if you are in the Philadelphia area, will you be attending Nerdtino next year?

No Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

March 2023