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Growing up in the early ’90s, Malcolm Banks remembers being infatuated with comic book superheroes, Power Rangers and Pokemon. Now, through his podcast, “Fandoms Anonymous,” Banks and his friends get to share their interests with the world.
Because of the success of the podcast, which won the 2021 Nappie Award for Best Local Podcast, Banks and his team have been able to attend festivals and conventions all over the Southeast. They talk about new comic books, movies, TV shows and sometimes video games.
They’ll also interview celebrities, fans and business owners. In 2017, Banks landed an interview with the original cast of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the hit ’90s superhero show. Now, he’s recognized at conventions and asked to promote upcoming events.
“I realized I didn’t want to be one-dimensional — just comic book, comic book, comic book,” Banks said. “I had to bring something different to the table.”
When Banks began working on “Fandoms Anonymous,” it was nothing more than a slideshow with voiceover. Over the years, it has evolved, adding better content, guest interviews and cameras.
The work and refinement of the podcast cannot be attributed solely to Banks, he said. There’s a group of people who’ve helped “Fandoms Anonymous” grow and evolve over the years, some of whom are still around and others who have already moved on.
Banks couldn’t pay the entry fee to the first convention he attended, so volunteered and gained free admission. Now, he regularly appears on panels detailing what it takes to be a successful content creator. He’s interviewed a host of people, including celebrities such as Frankie Muniz and Kevin Sorbo.
Though Banks loves talking about these topics — Marvel and DC movies and comics — he said his favorite thing he’s created through the podcast is not in the world of comics at all. Last year, he produced a video series on Mardi Gras, which he made in response to the festivities being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He talked with organizations related to Mardi Gras and discussed what the season means to the city. The series culminated with an interview with Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
Banks used to create a lot more content on “Fandoms Anonymous” than he does now, but burnout became a problem once he had to dedicate large amounts of time to editing, which is his least favorite part of it all. He decided to do less and focus on quality over quantity.
“I did not want to make it a job,” he said. “I still wanted it to be fun so that’s why I pulled back.”
“Fandoms Anonymous” does not pay the bills — yet. Banks works in IT for USA Health but, he said, if he had an opportunity to work on the podcast as a full-time job, he would do it. It would give him a lot of opportunities to travel to conventions all over the country.
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