Today we’d like to introduce you to Adriana Gough.
Hi Adriana, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m Adriana, however, I am known as PrettyNerdy on the internet (and sometimes in person). I actively run @prettynerdy_ on Instagram, Facebook & TikTok, Take 5 With Pretty Nerdy on YouTube, as well as online stores at hipcomic.com (prettynerdy comics) & Whatnot (prettynerdy_). I also represent SHORTBOXED as a member of their street team and a regular content contributor. I don’t really know what to call what I do, so I will just say correspondent & purveyor of nerd things with a focus on indie comics.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road to this point has not been smooth but has been a mostly positive experience for me. I had to give up my business for a while following a major life event, and I felt so much emptiness losing that. Prior to that, the business struggled due to unexpected disasters (office flooded and many things were damaged) and general economic hardship. I am back in full swing and better than ever, so it did turn out positively. However, as a woman in a male-dominated community, there will always be barriers and roadblocks for me. I want to preface this with saying the Instagram comic community is mostly amazing and most members of it are all love and respect. But as with anything, there will always be bad eggs. I have dealt with having my knowledge and skills questioned or disregarded based on my gender, I have been excluded from activities due to my gender, and I have absolutely been sexually harassed. I do want to say that there is currently an uprising of females in the community which is being widely accepted and changing the fabric of the community, and I love it so much. A lot of the reason why I stuck so diligently to what I do is to show other female collectors that there is a space for us in this community.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to comics; I went to art school for my bachelor’s degree, and I was gifted a copy of the book Black Hole by Charles Burns, and that is where the love affair kicked in. At the time, I thought I was going to be a successful artist in magazines, books, and comics… Well as it turns out, I did not have the natural talent needed for that kind of success. I am happy I had that experience, though, because not only did it spark my love of indie comics, I also got to experience firsthand the struggles indie creators (and small businesses) go through.
Fast forward ten years and I am completely entangled in the comic book industry. I do not know what I would label what I do, because there are so many branches to it. I have, or currently do represent several large comic book retailers (Short boxed, Hipcomic) and support them by creating content that educates their target market and drives the right kind of traffic to their sites and apps! And yes, I am a comic book dealer (AND a comic shop employee!) but my primary mission and focus is giving indie artists, writers, books, and small businesses a platform and a wider audience. I sell comics to pay the bills, but I connect artists, creators, and small businesses with readers and consumers because it is what I love. I love watching someone get as excited about something new as I did when I first saw it. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a journalist because I am not writing for a publication, and I don’t like the word ‘influencer’. I am not here to influence; I am here to connect. I do this via Instagram content as well as YouTube reviews, informational videos and posts, guest spots on other comic family pages, and panel discussions. There are so many incredible talents out there that deserve to have their creations appreciated, in Cincinnati and beyond!
With that being said, I would love to take a pause from talking about myself and take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of my favorite local creatives and small businesses! I will include their Instagram handles and I encourage anyone reading this to go check them out.
Paper Street Trading Company: Literally the coolest comic shop on the planet. I included a photo of me and the rest of the team from free comic book day! @paperstreettrading
Don’t Be Scared Books: An awesome series of family-friendly horror books (think modern goosebumps) by Locals Chris Orza & Pete Raber. I included a photo of my little guy (who is referred to as Little Nerdy in the comic community) holding a signed flyer from the premiere of a short film associated with these awesome books! (Series available on amazon and an awesome choice for summer reading) @dontbescaredbooks
Matthew Wilson Photography: Local photographer with a creative eye like I have never seen before. I have included a photo he took of me during a recent photo shoot. Check out the rest of his awesome work at @matthewwilsonphoto
Jeffrey Ward (Artist): Jeff is an amazing local artist who specializes in nerd culture, and has an awesome comic of his own titled ‘The Adventures of Malibu Jack’. I included a photo of us together on free comic book day last year! @artofjeffreyward
There are so many other Cincinnati creatives that inspire me and I wish I could include them all.
We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking?
You have to be a risk-taker to survive in the comic industry. The market and trends are extremely volatile, and a $1 book can be a $100 book the next day, and then back to a $1 book the next. Comic book values are driven by so many factors (many of which pertain to pop culture, such as a movie being tied to a comic being announced raising the comics value). Every single piece of inventory I invest in is a risk. So far, I haven’t had too many risks fail; either I am lucky, or I have a keen eye! I find it extremely humorous that I am such a risk-taker when it comes to my decisions in the comic world because I am otherwise an extremely cautious person and I like to know what to expect at all times.
- Website: https://www.hipcomic.com/store/prettynerdy-comics
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prettynerdy_/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prettynerdyadriana
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Take5WithPrettyNerdy
- Other: https://www.whatnot.com/invite/prettynerdy_
Matthew Wilson Photo