This Week's Guest: Justin Saint
Is there some secret to turning pain into art? My guest this week is Justin Saint, whose artistic expression takes the form of makeup and cosplay. Justin's chosen medium involves costumes and disguises, but behind those beautiful facades are some struggles that are still pretty tender: periods of homelessness, his father setting his creative works on fire, and a relationship that nearly drove him past a point of no return. Now he's back on his feet and leading a community of like-minded creatives, charting a course by channeling his past experiences into artistic expression with his body a canvass.
Big thanks to everyone who helps keep the show independent and add free. If you're enjoying The Sewers of Paris, you can help keep the show going. Click "support the show on Patreon" to pledge a dollar or more a month.
And I hope you'll join us this Saturday, March 31, for a Dungeons & Dragons livestream! We're reuniting Bryan Safi (of the podcast Throwing Shade), Carlos Maza from Vox.com, Anthony Oliveira (aka Meakoopa, and also of the brand new podcast The Devil's Party), and LGBT film scholar Bryan Wuest, for an all-new D&D adventure played live. It starts at 1pm this Saturday, the 31st. Head over to Twitch to set a reminder for when we go live.
And speaking of D&D, we're in the last few days of our crowdfunding for Queens of Adventure, a new podcast featuring drag queens on an epic role-playing adventure. Thanks to folks like you, the first season of the podcast is fully funded and now we're reaching for stretch goals that include livestreams with the queens and a fully illustrated adventure that you can download and play. Head over to QueensOfAdventure.com to join us in bringing the show to life -- crowdfunding ends this Saturday, March 31, so if you've been waiting to join the campaign, it's now or never.
This Week's Recommendation: The Legend of Korra
For my recommendation this week, check out a show that Justin mentioned in passing: The Legend of Korra. It is a gorgeous, smart, and very fun show -- and don't let the fact that it aired on Nickelodeon fool you into thinking that it's just for kids, though they'd like it too.
The show is set in a sort of magical version of the 1920s, where new technology like rattling cars and silent films exists side-by-side with ancient supernatural creatures and powers. Korra is a teenager with the power to manipulate the elements, and along with her friends she fights to protect the downtrodden and vulnerable in a bustling and often dangerous metropolis. As with any teen, she has her share of romances, some that feel a little predictable and others that might sneak up on you -- as they seem to sneak up on her.
Since it premiered, fans did their usual thing of imagining various romantic pairings. And marvelously, the series culminates in a connection between characters that validates those fan theories. After the series finale aired, showrunner Michael Dante DiMartino confirmed (on Tumblr, appropriately) that the romance was, in fact, real. It was an incredible gesture, given that the show aired on a children's TV network. It confirmed the existence of relationships that would have been considered completely taboo just a few years ago -- and in fact, in many contexts, still are -- and it was a revolutionary moment in television.
But that's not the only reason to watch, of course. It's a gorgeous show with wonderful characters and exciting adventures and inspiring ideas. The fact that it has a moment of powerful validation just adds to the appeal.