Join Editor-in-Chief Joshua Heston along with Ethan Grubaugh to talk about the our immersion in nerd culture, cosplay, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, VisionCon, and more. Also, swords.

Podcast Partners: Shepherd the Musical: Rediscovering America’s Story, Stafford’s Barber Shop & Shave Company: The Place for Men in Downtown Branson, and Taney County Health Department: Creating Opportunities for Healthy Lives in Our Community.

Links to stories discussed:

VisionCon 2016 by Caleb Brubaker

Nerd Fest by Gideon Pellegrino

Watch behind the scenes on SOTO Media YouTube

Been Thinkin’ About… Ozarks nerd-dom

Next weekend, StateoftheOzarks will cover Branson Comic Con, a new event on the same dates and location as Visioncon has inhabited for the last several years.

Visioncon has moved back to Springfield and will take place in May. We’ll be there too, in case you were wondering.

Media coverage will be on the StateoftheOzarks’ Facebook Page ( and Instagram account (

Back when I began StateoftheOzarks, I assumed I’d be writing a lot about woodcarving and fiddle music and very little about Captain America or Han Solo. But the Ozarks surprised me on that — though it was only a handful of years ago I learned a “con” was a convention… for nerds. Like me. And “cosplay” is the combination of the words costume and play, an engaging community and art form all its own.

I attended my first “con” right here in Branson in 2015 and my life was definitely better for it. The nerd community is surprisingly kind and extraordinarily smart. And while folks who dress up as Commander Riker or Shredder or Bucky the Winter Soldier or Jedi Knight Mace Windu or Cruella deVille can scarcely be described as drama-free, Ozarks nerd-dom is a powerful and articulate voice for cultural significance here in our hillbilly mountains as we sally forth into the 21st century.

And we’re better off for it.

March 3, 2019

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