About TCN

The Cultured Nerd was first established in early 2013 as a branch of Waking Ideas, a digital production group that began in 2005. Its goal was to provide daily breaking news content, weekly editorials, and a bi-weekly podcast. 

As time passed, a video production group called “Sweet Bagel Productions” was implemented, with the intention of creating original video shorts and maintaining the podcast and eventual evolution into a video podcast.

In December 2015, TCN’s founder and editor-in-chief, Taylor Murphy, was offered a role in a predominant and recently launched news site. After much discussion with the team, a decision was made to close up shop temporarily. But that was short-lived; in July 2016, Taylor parted ways with the site and decided to take a break from the industry.

In 2017, TCN’s Instagram was established, and now, due to popular demand, TCN is coming back in full swing. With the website relaunch taking place in October 2019 and the podcast, video podcast, and exclusive videos due to follow quickly after, TCN aims to bring back what drew the team to start this passion project to begin with.

The Staff

Taylor Murphy Founder – Editor-in-Chief – IG Admin – Instagram @TheCulturedNerd

Aside from the info stated above, I spend most of my time with my wife, son, and working in the medical field. I grew up in the world of Hollywood: my great-grandpa was a backdrop painter for WarnerBros. in the 1930s/1940s, and the family all worked for WB in some capacity after that. I love movies, videogames, comics, and all things nerd culture. TCN is a passion project, and I look forward to giving everyone what they hope to see.

Adam BirneySenior EditorNewsTwitter Admin – Instagram @agbirney

I have always been fascinated by the transformative power of storytelling and the different perspectives characters allow us to see and can inspire us to become. So, I wanted to become a storyteller. Out of high school, I got a Certificate in Motion Picture Arts, then studied Philosophy for two years to inspire my screenwriting. I quickly became enthralled with the mysteries of the mind and consciousness, which eventually led me to graduate with a B.A. in Cognitive Systems: Mind, Language, and Computation in the hopes of answering them. However, healthy curiosity always leads to more questions.

Nowadays, I am employed as a Writer for Android Authority and an Editor for SoundGuys, where I seek to educate and share my passion for technology that suits people’s needs. I also have the privilege to work as a Film Critic and attend early access screenings, which I often review for TCN’s Instagram page. I’ve always been a DC fan, particularly because of Batman, but I embrace all narratives in the Superhero Mythos.

Jason Carmona Senior Editor – Videogames – Instagram @MOSESivviOC

Directly out of high school, Jason went to work in the videogaming industry, cutting his teeth and getting his break as an arcade coin-op repairman at the local Golfland. If you ever found an unlimited free game on idle, you have Jason to thank. Shortly after managing very high-profile gaming retail establishments to great success, he landed every young boy’s dream job of working at Sony as a seminar advisor for their Aibo (digital creature/ robotic dog) and PlayStation departments. This afforded him to make many professional comrades and friends in the gaming, film and music industries, as well as other genres of entertainment. He has also attended multiple accredited professional media events over the last 20 years, including CES, SDCC & E3, to name a few. He’s also worked in an editorial and freelancing capacity for various gaming outlets, such as WTFGamersOnly, The Gaming Addiction, and GameFanatics, among others. Everything considered, Jason still loves a great, well-crafted game, from sophisticated mega-opus games like Metal Gear Solid to the most basic of gameplay mechanics found in titles like Journey and Tetris.

“I’m very eager and excited to share all my gaming excitement and tidbits to a brand-new audience and help to produce new content for you all to enjoy! Please feel free to shout at me online, and let’s spread some of that love for film and gaming!”

Marcus PanemSenior EditorEntertainment

I’m whom everyone would call the “nerd” in the family. Ever since I learned to read, I always knew writing was something I wanted to make a living from, and I hope to become a published fiction author one day. I’m a fan of a bunch of different franchises, from fandoms as old as Star Wars to ones as new as Stranger Things. However, I love DC first and foremost, ever since I got into superheroes through playing Batman: Arkham City. When I’m not writing my own stories, covering articles for TCN, or inhaling nerd content on screen or page, you can find me at the gym getting in my daily workout or at school working for a bachelor’s in English.

Shaun Tyr-ElSenior EditorFacebook Admin – Instagram @tcn.uk

What can I say? I have massive love for nerdy stuff! Comic book movies, TV shows, videogames, comics . . . the lot! I’ve been a nerd since before I knew what a nerd was. My favourite superhero has always been Superman, and it was Superman that helped shape my moral compass. My favourite superhero show is still Smallville; it was so far ahead of its time. Videogames are a passion, along with movies and TV shows—I just wish I had more time. You can guarantee my kid will be as nerdy as me, even over the objections of my wife!

TJ Bravo Senior EditorFacebook AdminInstagram/Twitter @TCN808

Former UCSB film major, experienced extra for Hawaii 5-0. I now spend my time back home in Hawaii. Always had a love for movies, games, TV, comics, and books . . . I mean, who doesn’t love entertainment, right? I can’t name my favorites of any because they’re forever changing, but ask me and I’ll tell you what they are at that moment. My writing style is probably inspired by Hunter S. Thompson and Quentin Tarantino, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the TCN team 🤙🏽.

Lyrin Editor – Twitter @theLyrin Instagram @_thelyrin

I’m primarily a World of Warcraft nerd (thanks to my husband) with a fierce affinity for well-crafted RPGs. I’m always down to try a quirky game with a good story or captivating atmosphere (I love watching horror games but for the life of me can’t play them). Having obtained my bachelor’s in English in 2017, I always find myself writing or editing one thing or another, so it makes sense that my passions unite here. Happy to talk your ear off about Bioshock, Mass Effect, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, and all things Disney. I also subscribe to the music nerd and fitness nerd categories. Nerds for everyone!

Ben Hurley Writer

From a young age, Ben always had an interest in film and TV. Now, he’s working to pursue a career in filmmaking and is willing to learn anything and everything about the process. While watching movies, he figured why not put down his thoughts on paper? So, he began writing for TCN. His specialties are movies, but he occasionally dabbles in music and videogames.

Joshua “Joshy” MatthewsWriter – Instagram @joshymatthews24

A nerd that grew up in the country. Has all of the important Star Wars films on VHS in a limited edition collection. Absolutely love comic books and their amazing characters and stories. Also I write about some sports stuff. I’m also a pretty funny guy.

Luis AntillonWriter

Hello, my name is Luis Antillon. I’m a 21-year-old political science major at California State University Stanislaus. I’ve been a fan of DC comics since I was young: I grew up watching BTAS, STAS, and Justice League, along with a variety of DC shows and movies. Marvel has a special place in my heart as well, along with a galaxy “far far away.” I love history, mythology, the supernatural, the paranormal, and many other things.

Michael Wayne – Jr. Editor/Writer – Twitter @Michael_Wayne__ Instagram @michael_wayne_

Hey, I’m Mike! I’m 22, and I’m a huge fan of all things DC. Some of my favorite superheroes are Jessica Cruz, The Flash, and of course The Dark Knight himself. I’ve been writing for almost a year and half now, and I started out reviewing movies because movies are awesome, obviously. My all-time favorite movie is The Godfather. And I’m excited to have the opportunity to write for TCN. I’m also a big fan of video games. My favorite games to play are Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, and any of the Elder Scrolls games.

Frank Hoyle – Writer – Twitter – @frank_hoyle Instagram – @frank_hoyle

Part-time pop culture fanatic. Full-time strength and nutrition coach. I was that 10-year-old kid who would spend hours scanning through IMDb trivia facts. Fast-forward some years later, I have dabbled in writing, acting, and even directing. After years of working primarily as a strength coach and managing a sports performance facility, I realized that I needed to find an outlet to talk about everything else I was just as passionate about and take this hobby to the next level. That is when I came across TCN. This is truly a hub for nerds, but nerds who know their shit. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this genuine group of people. 

Peyton TaylorWriter – Instagram @pctaylor1956

Architecture major and aspiring artist from Texas A&M University, and just your average comic book nerd in general. In love with anything to do with comic books, video games, movies, and music. Favorites include anything from DC Comics (especially The Flash), Legend of ZeldaUncharted, and everything from the 80’s. I’m stoked to be writing for TCN, as well as being part of a community built on a love for nerdom!

Abhishek VishnuWriter

Hailing from Bangalore, India, I am a huge fan of the English language and love how every word can be twisted into something else altogether. This is what brought me to writing. Being a fan of all things nerd culture + how one can play around with words is a match made in heaven. Also a huge fan of history, space, tech, and mythology. The feeling you get when people actually read the words that you dish out and react to it, albeit unknown to us sometimes, is incredibly rewarding.

Joshua WinchesterWriter – Instagram @triple_c_podcast

I am a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a BA in radio broadcasting. I admired TCN for its dedication to superb journalism, which led me to joining its staff. I am a life-long nerd and fan of all things pop culture, especially comic books, sci-fi, cartoons and classic movies. I am the founder/co-host of the weekly geek show “The CCC Podcast.” I am dedicated to making the world a better place through the power of radio/podcasting and comics.


Zain Hashmi @Pakibruh Contributing Editor

Full-time college student by day, full-time nerd 24/7. I’m extremely passionate about the world of comic books, films, television, gaming, and technology. I embrace both Marvel and DC and hope they both succeed in every way possible. I hope to one day host a podcast where I express my love for the comic book movie genre and interact with those who embrace the fandom as much as I do.

Andrew ReinemannContributing Editor

I feel like I’ve always had one foot in nerd culture at all times. When I was young, I would raid libraries for comic books and sci-fi/fantasy novels, and now own a decent collection myself. I play tabletop RPGs and watch a lot of superhero movies. My wife and I spend most of our evenings attempting to improve our ranking in Overwatch or watching anime. I enjoy working on computers, which is also my day job. I live in Texas with my wife, our two cats, and our dog, Shazam.

Kevin PinedaContributor

I started playing video games while I was in pre-school. The first game I remember getting was Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, which was a superhero game. That led me to be intrigued in the superhero genre. Aside from that, I play videogames on a daily basis and love every second of it. After graduating high school, I plan on going to a college to get my film studies degree. I love all types of films and games; the genre doesn’t totally matter to me, as long as it’s good. Yes, while I am a nerd and love everything from movies to video games, I also have a strong passion for football and I plan to continue that in college.

Gabe GutierrezContributor

Sorry, I had to rewrite this a few times, kept thinking it was a Tinder bio I was writing. I come from a large family where the first nerddom was Star Wars. Mom saw that day one, and it got passed down to us kids. Then came the Spider-Man comics, early 90’s cartoons, and [insert stereotypical media here], but I think I have navigated this analog to digital transition quite well. As the “angry nerd tio” (uncle), I will try to give all new things a chance but don’t be surprised when I tell those kids to “get off my lawn” . . . metaphorically.

Cameron SartoriContributor

I’ve come to realize that I might talk about video games a little more than I should in everyday conversation. I’m a gamer, I’m married to a gamer, we have three little gamers. If it has anything to do with RPGs, then I’m already interested.

Stephen Treanor – @everything_dcucomics Contributor

I’m a film lover and massive DC nerd and anything pop culture. I keep people up to date on the latest DC films with marketing the highest quality content.

Amanda MacDougall Contributor

A weapons enthusiast with a passion for the finer things in life: B-list action movies and entomology. Trébuchets, PCs, arthropodia, and long-winded rants about weapons logistics coming your way.