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Fanboy Comics Interviews Tony Kim on Shout! Factory’s ‘SDCC Survival Guide’

The following is an interview with Tony Kim, founder of and host of Shout! Factory‘s new video series, SDCC Survival Guide 2015. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Kim about the inspiration for the series, how it can help both the seasoned and first-time attendee, how to participate in the Survival Guide, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: This week saw the launch of your new YouTube series, SDCC Survival Guide 2015, which will release a new video each week, leading up to San Diego Comic-Con this July. For those who may not yet have watched your first episode, how would you describe the series?

Tony Kim: Anyone who is a fan or planning to attend the San Diego Comic-Con will enjoy this new series, especially if this is your first time. This series will be fun, informative, nerdy, and a celebration of the greatest show on Earth! We think it’s creative, positive, and something that you will want to share. Plus, you’ll get a chance to see fan videos recounting their first time to Comic-Con.

BD: As mentioned in your first video, you have endeavored to educate geekdom about how best to enjoy SDCC through your own website,, for the past 5 years. How do you feel that the Survival Guide enhances viewers’ awareness of the con experience?

TK: Our desire is to help answer some of the burning questions that first-time attendees will have in just a few minutes at a time. We know fans have worked hard, been stressed out, and run the Comic-Con gauntlet over the past year. So, we want to make sure they make this rare opportunity the best it can possibly be. San Diego Comic-Con is a great show, but it’s NOT easy to attend as a first timer. You need to plan, prepare, and navigate the show efficiently, and we are here to help. A few minutes a week can really turn a good Comic-Con experience into a great one!

BD: The SDCC Survival Guide is being produced in association with Shout! Factory, a production company that has released collections of TV’s most treasured series and specials for the past 12 years. How did this partnership come about, and how would you describe the shared creative process?

TK: Like many things, it starts with relationship. Brian Ward, Director of Blu-ray/DVD, and I had met a few times over the years at a few comic conventions. We just got to talking, and he had a great idea about putting together the show. The Shout! Factory team are all awesomely nerdy and love Comic-Con as much as I do, so I knew it was a match made in Asgard!

BD: Are you able to share some of the topics that the Survival Guide will cover over the next several weeks?

TK: Sure, we plan to talk about how to get into panels, the best offsite events, what to pack in your SDCC survival kit, where to meet celebs, what mistakes to avoid, and much more! You don’t want to go into Comic-Con unprepared; doing so will potentially ruin your trip. By just taking a few minutes a week to review these videos, you will be in much better shape when July comes around. We can also help answer fan questions by asking questions in the comment section below.

BD: The first episode also features an SDCC fan sharing her own experiences from the convention. Will viewers have the chance to share their con experiences through the Survival Guide, and how may that get involved with the series?

TK: Absolutely, we encourage fans to share in the comment section of the Shout! Factory YouTube channel or on my site, We all have a first-time story, and we want to celebrate that! Twitter is also a great way to interact with the team!

BD: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s San Diego Comic-Con?

TK: In recent years, my attention has shifted from panels and booths to making genuine connections at the show. I love meeting other fans and content creators and hearing their stories. For me, it’s all about our weird, little tribe and nerding hard over the latest news. I love it!

BD: If there was one thing about SDCC that you wish you had known before attending for the very first time, what would it have been?

TK: The first time I went, I had no idea what a panel was, and so I missed it all together. It took me a couple of years to really appreciate them, and they soon became my favorite part of the show. Through years 2007-10, I feel like I learned so much and was challenged personally and professionally by the programming at Comic-Con. The Hollywood and TV panels get all the hype, but there are so many great options involving creativity, writing, and much more. SDCC is a gathering of some of the greatest pop culture minds, and everyone should take advantage of.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

TK: For the past three years, I have moderated a ‘Battle for Multicultural Heroes’ panel, where we talk about diversity in comics, TV, and film. It’s a fantastic panel and a very lively discussion! (I hope to return with it!) For the past couple of years, I have done cosplay made from the Warner Bros./Swag Bag issued at Comic-Con. While that has been tremendously fun, I have a new, ambitious project in the works that is a derivative from those projects. It’s too early to share, but I’m hoping it will be a game changer for a certain industry. Fingers crossed and more to come!

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about the SDCC Survival Guide 2015, Crazy4ComicCon, and Shout! Factory?

TK: Suscribe to Shout! Factory’s YouTube channel and follow them at @ShoutFactory. Check out my site,, follow me at @Crazy4ComicCon, or subscribe to my podcast on iTunes. Thanks so much – live long and crazy!


Don’t miss out on the SDCC Survival Guide 2015!  Be sure to check out Episode 1 below.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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