It's easy to be a fan. Getting paid to actively love stuff — that's a much harder task.
The geek economy is driven by passionate nerds who consume comic books, TV shows, and movies; collect toys and memorabilia; and load up on supplies for making their cosplay. It can get pretty expensive — we've crunched the numbers ourselves — and while much of the money goes toward the big companies that own the trademarks and produce the official products, more and more, geeks themselves are starting to get in on the business.
From indie comic book shops to Comic Con tables, podcasts to YouTube networks, enterprising fans have found a way to make a living off celebrating and contributing to their favorite franchises, genres, and art forms. So on this Labor Day edition of The Fandom Files, we speak with four fans who have turned their passion into a sustainable business.
The guests: Jill Carter, manager of Comicazi comics shop in Somerville, Massachusetts; Jason Ward, owner of MakingStarWars.net; Adron Bruske, the co-creator of NerdForALiving.com; and Susan Bin, a former animator who is now a touring Artists Alley staple.