In a series first, SOTRU explores a vast community that's based around a medium, rather than a geographic location. Despite the outdated stereotype of a solitary nerd holed up in his bedroom, burying himself in a world of fantasy, comic books serve as the connection point for a diverse community of people, who are drawn to them for all manner of reasons. And sometimes, comics become the vehicle for people to take action within the community itself or inspire individuals to make a difference in the wider world. We meet the wide range of people who make up this community and hear stories of their efforts to seek justice and right wrongs in the comics ecosystem. We'll meet the people who love this world, the people who create it, those who believe there's something awry in Nerdville, and those who've made it their life's missions to bring superheroes off the page and into the real world.
The Ozarks have long been an isolated place—steep mountains break up the landscape into hills and hollows, making each little town its own microcosm. Outsiders might know little beyond the stereotypical hillbillies, generations of poverty, and an infamous meth problem, one of the worst in the country. But people in the Ozarks are pushing for ways to build community with few resources, to hold on to what is authentic about their identity while bucking stereotypes imposed on them by the outside world. In this hour we meet fathers parenting from prison, famous fiddlers passing on their craft, and people re-imagining the iconic Ozarks one-room schoolhouse, finding pockets of innovation in a place that much of America seems to have forgotten.
Baltimore is a city of many neighborhoods, of intense divides--racial, class, and otherwise--not easily overcome. It’s a city bogged down by a reputation for crime, poverty and dysfunction--a reputation not entirely undeserved. But all of that overshadows the passion and dedication many Baltimoreans have for their city, and for taking on what’s wrong with it in ways small and large. In this episode, we tell stories of people who are working from outside the system to take on Baltimore’s problems and shepherd its promises into fruition.
The Tri-Cities are Richland, Pasco and Kennewick—3 cities clustered near one another in the vast plains and deserts of Washington state, to the east of the Cascade Mountains. It’s a region that seems like it would have little to attract newcomers—it’s largely remote, prone to dust storms, not close to any major city. But, over the decades, this area has drawn people from the world over, and, in this episode, we’ll explore how and why.