In the days before attending Phoenix Comicon the phrase “con-artist” popped into my head. I’d heard industry artists and bitter fans speak of these other artists they consider disrespectful – cosplayers and traditional artists included. Anyone who’s at a comic convention selling or getting recognition off of portraying or drawing other peoples characters.

See, someone out there probably thinks that term is super smart and supremely witty. The kind of person who spends most of their time online complaining – not even offering real criticism beyond “i don’t like the thinks this person makes.” A word that’s structured to reference an actual con artist, but with a meaning that changes with it’s proximity to nerd culture.

I think that’s stupid. I came up with it just now, and I think it’s a dumb phrase for loser idiots.

There’s nothing wrong with drawing other peoples characters or cosplaying as them. Fuck, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up as a character someone else made and getting your picture taken right infront of them.  That’s our Hot-Take on cosplay and fan-art. We love fan arts. 

In reality whatever a con-artist is would probably be closer to who I was the first year I started working at conventions. Somebody going under the guise of media with the real intention of finding artists or writers they like and using their media badge as an excuse to hang out with them. Or even worse, using them for their own publicity. 

When we like something people make there’s a tendency for us to project a certain hang-out-itude on them. Sometimes, what we project matches up with who they are and sometimes it doesn’t. How many times have you heard “They seem so nice.” about a person you’re familiar with through only what they make or sell but not because you’ve ever spent time with them.

It can be negative and manipulative. It can also put two creative minds together on the same wavelength in interesting ways. Con-artists are also how journalism works in nerd culture, and I think I’ve started to realize that.

For a lot of young folks (with an x) journalism is a quick and easy route to making connections and being heard. Writing or creating things about other people or about other works has become the stable feedback-loop of information that nerd communities thrive on.

Especially now there’s a lot of people who’ve gotten work in these nerd-defined industries just by proving they knew what they were talking about. They got to prove it by writing about people and interviewing them and creating that bond.

That’s not our jam at DEEP-HELL. We don’t take umbrage with those people because some of them are our friends (and good people). Here’s who we are:

The DEEP-HELL staff want you to know we don’t think anything is too trashy or problematic to write about. If you thought we were joking when you heard here was gonna be some writing about some Hentai or some cheesy wish-fullfillment visual novel….well, you were wrong. Dead wrong.

  1. 1) Even a scathing review can be constructive
    That’s right, even if I tell you it’s a fuck-you Friday on the day I write about your cheesy visual novel, we’ll still do our best to impart what we think is wrong about it, what we don’t understand and maybe…just maybe how much we love you. If you don’t think you can find romance in a review you’re wrong. Dead wrong

There are probably some other truth’s we’re beholden to. One of those is probably something like “don’t do meth ever, but especially at comic on” That’s definitely true and a good standard to hold yourself to.

You might hear some pretty Hot Takes. You might tell them to your friends and you might even tell them to your parents. If you’re telling your parent what some people on-line think about Anime or whatever, maybe you should get new parents. Or maybe your parents should realize where they went wrong and get a new child.

Here’s a Hot Take for parents: Parents, talk to your kids about Anime. Make sure they watch at least one Cyber City Oedo 808 or Perfect Blue. Some stuff so they know that it’s all really messed up and so are they for watching it (and so are we for liking it)

DEEP-HELL isn’t just one person. It’s a collection of people that makes it possible to run this. We’ll let the dog out of the case right now: Some of our staff are people that are problematic.
No work can be taken completely apart from the people that made it. It’d be impossible to revere our favorite writers and artists without understanding the circumstances that made them.

In knowing that we have people working for us that aren’t “too cool” or “entirely good” we’d like to communicate that we don’t want to make this about a collection of superstar personalities. DEEP-HELL is DEEP-HELL. It’s no one writer or creative mind. We sure as heck don’t want to make this about any superstar personalities.

That’s why DEEP-HELL offers the platform we do. The name isn’t a joke or some attempt at just seeming a little rude + brazen. DEEP-HELL is a crusty VHS and you can’t tell if you’re watching a tape of someone being murdered or if Hollywood is once again trying to make anthology movies popular.

We aren’t con artists, and DEEP-HELL certainly isn’t all about bringing you any tales from a convention either. That’s not who we are or what we want to be. We aren’t coslay chasers or people who go out of our way to interview artists.

Not all media websites are created equal.

Welcome to DEEP-HELL.