The Legendarium Brain Trust

Craig Hanks

Craig Hanks

Founder - Host

Craig loved two things growing up: fantasy and trying to be cool. The latter would usually shove out the former in social interactions, until Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring was released. He was in love, and he didn’t care who knew it. Craig has now made peace with being uncool. So much peace, in fact, that he now owns (probably) the most extensive Tolkien book collection you’ve seen, and (almost certainly) the only Zelda-based cross stitch collection you’ve ever seen.

Outside of Tolkien, some of the books that have stuck with Craig the most are Harry Potter, The Magic of Recluce, and Mistborn. The book he most often recommends to fantasy newcomers is Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold!

Craig’s dearest wish is that those in academia with sticks up their bums would lighten up and allow fantasy to be studied and appreciated for the art form that it is. (An accompanying wish is that many fantasy readers and writers also take it a bit more seriously.)

Ryan Bruckman

Ryan Bruckman

Founder - Co Host

Ryan grew up not knowing he was a geek. He just assumed everyone in the world understood how amazing Star Wars was and that worlds of magic and fantasy were the coolest things to read and draw and imagine. Not much has changed. Whether it’s swords and sorcery or cyborgs and space travel, Ryan loves it all.

Some of the earliest fantasy that stuck with him was The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Stupid Tales, the Belgariad series, and of course his beloved Star Wars. (If Ryan had a tattoo it would probably be the Jedi symbol with a light saber running through it.) Ryan is also a stage actor, voice over artist, graphic designer and director. Favorite fantasy series: a constant battle between Mistborn, the Stormlight Archive, and the Belgariad.

Todd Wente

Todd Wente

Comics Specialist

Easily the oldest member of the Legendarium Brain Trust, Todd is not always the most mature. Asked to describe himself, he will reply: "I am a combination of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny with just a hint of the Tasmanian Devil to keep things balanced."

Like the rest of the Brain Trust, Todd has a passion for both science fiction and fantasy literature. In addition, Todd is one of those oddities that sees no conflict in being an enthusiastic fan of competing franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek, or Marvel and DC. Speaking of Marvel and DC, Todd is our resident comic enthusiast and keeps his eyes, ears, and other senses tuned to that universe in all of its iterations as best as any non-superpowered mortal can.

Todd knew that he was going to spend his life as a geek during the family move from Minnesota to Utah. Just nine years old, every stop for gas required a check for comic books. He found a Defenders comic and, when he named every character on the cover, his parents finally gave in!

Kenn Johnson

Kenn Johnson

Punchin’ Expert

As the perpetually-stuck-at-level-one member of the Legendarium team, if you could see inside the mind of the Brain Trust, Kenn would be Anger. The “Prince of Punchin’” grew up watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan; cut his teeth on Battle of the Planets, Star Blazers, and Robotech; and remembers seeing the original Star Wars trilogy, the first Star Trek motion picture, and TRON in theaters. Only once in a rare while did he pick up a book. As a result, most of the fantasy series the Legendarium tackles are new, refreshing realms for him.

Kenn is an accomplished announcer, voice and stage actor, and spent more than 15 years reporting news, sports, and traffic for KSL Newsradio. He also has more than a dozen stage credits to his name, and recently learned that he does a dynamite Christopher Walken impression. And one day, he’s going to finish that book he’s been working on. Favorite movie series: Star Wars, Star Trek, MCU. Favorite authors: Brandon Sanderson, John Flanagan. Hates: Romance, hipsters.