Monday, March 29, 2010

Geek A Week Show 2: John Scalzi

My interview with sci-fi author/blogger John Scalzi.


Download now.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Geek A Week Show 1: Veronica Belmont

The first Geek A Week podcast featuring the audio interview with the Geek of the Week. This week, I chat with Veronica Belmont of Tekzilla and Qore.



Thursday, March 11, 2010


All info for Geek A Week has moved here. Update your bookmarks accordingly.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

GAW #1: Jonathan Coulton: Internet Rockstar/Zombie Killer

Here is the first official trading card for the Geek A Week project,Jonathan Coulton. Jonathan is currently on tour with They Might Be Giants, but I was lucky enough to catch him between cities for a nice chat. We spoke about a myriad of things, but when it came down to deciding what we were going to do for his trading card art, we hit a brick wall. One of the reasons, I think, is because I have drawn Jonathan in so many different ways. So to create a brand new image, especially one that isn't linked to one of his songs, was a challenge unto itself. In the end, the ideas we ended coming up with were something involving zombies and/or becoming an automaton and downloading information via a USB drive plugged into his face. Also, a Magneto-looking sort of monster.

After a ton of sketches (at which point, I should probably post as well) I opted for the Zombie Killer idea, sort of a Left4Dead vibe, which seemed to make sense to me during the process.

For those wondering, yes, a card back will be forthcoming later this week. I'm hoping to have cardbacks on all of the geek cards. So stay tuned for that!

UPDATE: Cardback added!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

GAW: Challenge #1: Jonathan Coulton

My friends Paul and Storm and I often joke that "Everything comes back to Coulton". This holds true even for this challenge.

With that in mind, I have decided to kick off the Geek A Week Challenge with a musician who has become my friend and collaborator over the years and also serves as the inspiration for this whole challenge, Jonathan Coulton.

There is no understating the fact that my friendship with Jonathan has opened a lot of doors for me. Certainly, without him, I would not have gotten to meet and become friends with Paul and Storm (who I'm sure at some point will be tapped to be a challenge) from which other geek friendships have emerged. But to a larger extent, Jonathan has been a huge reason my art has been able to be seen by so many. His Thing A Week was one of the most creatively fulfilling projects I have had the fortune to work on to date, allowing me to try many different styles, designs and techniques. Not only that, but his project was also very instrumental in helping me find my own creative voice. So I felt it was only fitting to add Jonathan as the first geek trading card.

Also, from a logistical standpoint for this project, Jonathan is a very easy "get" for me. Much easier than say a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates (who I have no idea how to get in touch with and don't know if I'll be able to make contact with, let alone look at them during this challenge.) For me, Jonathan is a text message or e-mail away. And while I am figuring out the logistics of this challenge, I see this as a good training ground for future contact with other geeks. Not to take anything away from his influence, but I feel I can afford to make some mistakes talking to Jonathan as I'm working out the kinks than if I were in front of someone more intimidating.

As luck would have it, Jonathan is on tour with They Might Be Giants (yet another group on my short list of "GTG" or "Geeks To Get") so contacting him, will be sort of tough, since he will be shuffling from venue to venue. I'm hoping to catch him early this week, chat him up and to discuss all his attributes and ideas for his trading card. Right now, I'm caught between doing baseball type "stats" on the back of the card or Pokeman type "powers". I've also broken out my 1977 Topps Star Wars trading cards and looked at the backs of those. For those who remember them (or still have them tucked away in a closet), they have little factlets on the back. I suppose I am looking for some feedback from readers of this blog to help decide what should be on the back. I'm open to ideas, so fire away!

That's it. The Challenge, as they say, is officially "AWWWWWN." Stay tuned for updates during the week. I'll probably also be doing mini-updates via Twitter so if you aren't following me there, do that now.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Geek-A-Week Sticker #1

So, as I am starting to pull together the templates for the Geek A Week trading card art, I remembered that I always had tons of stickers in each package. Why should the virtual package of trading cards be any different? So I present to you Sticker #1. Sure, it will be in pretty much EVERY PACKAGE of Geek A Week trading cards you buy, plus your shoebox of extra cards will eventually be filled to the brim with this godforsaken sticker, but for now, remember what it was like to open the package, see this sticker for the first time and savor it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

52 Weeks. 52 Geeks. One Challenge.

I'm always up for a good challenge.

Wait, I take that back. No I'm not. I'm frightfully scared of challenges. I want things to come easy to me. Always. And when they don't I freak out.

What I will say is that I am up always for THE PURSUIT OF A challenge.

So, I was at lunch with my friend and colleague, Laura, the other day. Laura is a very intense, focused person, and I mean that in the best way possible. At one point during our lunch meeting, I mentioned to her that I had felt that I was beginning to get unfocused creatively. So she offered to “find my focus”.

Okay, I said.

I told her that I really wanted to do more work for the group that I considered my “creative wheelhouse” which is geeks. I don’t view geeks and geek culture as “nerdy” or “weird”. To me, Geek is equivalent to passion. In my opinion, you can be a geek about anything - food or words or music. It doesn’t matter. If you’re passionate about any subject, then, to me, you are a geek.

Very quickly, she said to me, “Then why don’t you do something called Geek A Week.”

“Hm, Sounds good. What would it be?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Just run with it,” she said coyly.

So, after some well-placed phone calls and e-mails to some folk versed in geek culture, I give you my new challenge, Geek A Week. Every week, for the next 52 weeks (that's a year to you and me), I will be trying to make contact with a different prominent figure in the geek culture. After I make contact with them, I will then draw a trading card of them. Geeks love collecting things right? So here's a chance to do a collection like none other. An art-driven collection of interesting figures in the geek world. The ultimate goal? To connect with new people. To do some great art. And to see if I can contribute another notch to the geek culture that I love so much.

With that in mind, here are the basic ground rules of this project:

1. CRITERIA: The Geek of the Week must have some sort of influence on the overall geek culture as a whole whether it be music, film, television, art, literature, gaming, computing etc.

2. I have one week (7 days) to make contact with the Geek of the Week and to create a piece of art for/or them.

3. Contact must be an exchange via e-mail, Twitter or phone. If possible, interview with the geek will be recorded and possibly used for podcast purposes.

4. After the short written or spoken interview, I will create a trading card for each geek, as a commemorative symbol that I have connected with them. These will be posted to my Flickr account for the world to see.

Luckily, through the podcast and through my association with art I've done for others, I have a pretty good start. Here is my short list of influential geeks that should be relatively easy to make contact with in the coming weeks:

John Hodgman
Jonathan Coulton
Mc Frontlot
Paul and Storm
Adam Savage/Jaime Hyneman (Mythbusters)
Felicia Day
Cinematic Titantic
Leo Laporte
Wil Wheaton
Bonnie Burton
Xeni Jardin
Neil Gaiman
John Scalzi
Kevin Smith

Here is a short list of influential geeks that may be a bit more of a challenge to get in touch with:
John and John of They Might Be Giants
Alex Rigopulos (CEO of Harmonix)
Stan Lee
Rainn Wilson
Mark Mothersbaugh
Weird Al Yankovic
Conan O’Brien
John Lasseter
Steve Jobs
Robert Crumb
George Lucas
Wes Anderson
Steve Wozniak
Bill Gates
Tim Burton

People from the comments:
Matt Groening
Alton Brown
Bad Astronomer
Chris Hardwick

Pretty daunting list, I know. I'm hoping that some of the geeks I talk to will be able to recommend others I should talk to. I'm also looking for feedback from you, the reader, as to who might make an interesting trading card/interview. Please keep in mind that based on the criteria, the geek should be relatively well known and not say, your cousin Jay who is "the geekiest person you know." There are plenty of those running around and I need to be selective. I hope you understand.

So that's it! Will I be able to connect with all of them? Maybe. Maybe not. What I have going for me is a pretty good base to start with. What I'm hoping is that I'll be able to use my charm, wit, humorous art and common love of bacon to collect as many as I can. And who knows, maybe I might surprise myself.

I'm hoping to blog this adventure and bring you along for the ride. I'm scared, but it's the pursuit that seems like the most fun. Much like my friend, Jonathan Coulton and his Thing A Week project, I hope this will be an interesting year-long journey that will lead to somewhere near a town called Awesome.

Let's roll.