May 5 2014

Do you want to watch the Superb Owl?

In case you really didn’t know, Microsoft Word is programmed by nerds and not jocks:

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.43.43 PMAnd yes, I would like to watch a superb owl.


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Nov 22 2011

Superheroes in brown

Superheroes and superheroines can wear a lot of colors: red, blue, yellow, and to a lesser extent, green. Sometimes black* or white or silver or gold.

Villains corner the market on most of the black, as well as green, orange, and purple. Funny that heroes use largely primary colors, while villains largely use secondary. But there are some colors you never see superheroes in: gray, pink, brown, tan, aqua. And if they do have these second-rate colors, they probably have second-rate powers and no-one’s ever heard of them.

There are exceptions, of course; Green Lantern is certainly a second-rater (or a mid-carder, for you wrasslin’ fans), and he’s got all kinds of green, and thanks to the movie this year, non-nerds have now heard of him.

But back to the issue: superheroes, as a rule, don’t wear gray or brown or aqua. But there is one notable exception. Not only does he wear brown, he actually does it well. And he’s huge.

True, he’s largely depicted now in black, yellow, and sometimes blue. But for a large part of his existence, this was Wolverine’s normal outfit. How does he get away with it? I guess by simply being such an awesome character. Pretty much all of Marvel’s heroes have flaws, but Logan really has problems–yet he is so real and so likable.

And when you’re the best you are at what you do, you can wear brown as a superhero.


*No, I’m not going to dignify any of those idiotic ‘black’s not a color’ arguments you might have.

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Jan 19 2010

Chicks and nerds

I’m making a cudgel. For those of you who are not Howard Pyle aficionados, a cudgel is a heavy staff with which to deter or defeat enemies (those without missile weapons, anyway). The one I am making is only about four feet tall–perfect for a miniature nerd. Which is good, as it is for a miniature nerd.

The reason of course is obvious: to repel chicks. As anyone who has seen an average number of American movies can attest, chicks are attracted to nerds. Especially the girl of your dreams–the one who looks like a supermodel. She may be attached to the jock with the Corvette now, but she’ll come around to see your quiet charm past your thick glasses, stupid hair, pudgy belly, and lame transportation–if you’re just persistent.

At any rate, my nerdy client plans to be wealthy and retire at 40, and he knows he can’t do that if he gets married and has a bunch of kids. You might be wondering: if thick glasses, stupid hair, and unreliable transportation won’t repel chicks, then why would a cudgel help? Also, if attraction is based on persistent pursuit, then why not just refrain from pursuing?

Understand, while the cudgel is designed to repel chicks, it’s not to be used on them. The idea is that when this particular nerd finds someone attractive and thinks about pursuing her, I will beat the fire out of him with the cudgel. It won’t necessarily work, but he will have to decide that being with this girl is worth whaled on on a regular basis.

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Oct 15 2009

Overheard: 11 year old male

“I hope no girls find me attractive when I’m in high school. I’m going to be a geek like my big brother; no girls try to date him.”

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Aug 23 2009

JoeCon 2009

Last Saturday I went to JoeCon, the annual G.I. Joe convention, with my girls, one of my students, and Nooby.

It was pretty good, but (not to denigrate it), it was just a toy show. We got some sweet stuff and we got to meet Larry Hama, and he was pretty cool.

While JoeCon rates pretty high on the nerdcore scale, it was mostly just a crowd of normal-looking people sprinkled with a few stereotypical fanboy nerds (obese guys in cool T-shirts, unbuttoned plaid overshirt, glasses, long hair, shorts and sandals). We only saw two people in costume besides the fun-sized Sgt. Slaughter working the Hasbro booth.

So overall, a good time, but not the best ever. In the future, I wouldn’t pay that much to stand in line to gain entry to a place where I can then stand in more lines to buy stuff.

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Aug 11 2009

Sandcrawler Steve

One of my more comically miserable memories involves Star Wars nerds, and lots of ’em.

The year is 1997. My friend Dave calls and says he knows this guy named Steve who was trying to put together a big fat Star Wars convention in Kansas City, and the guy needed artists to help. I had tons of sci-fi sketches and the project sounded pretty kewl, so I said I was in.

Soon, our friend Brenton, another artist and Star Wars fan, was in as well. We made an appointment to meet Steve at his house, this guy that was going to put this amazing convention together. Brenton and I rode up together, and Dave rode with one of the other guys who was invited.

Brenton and I followed the directions we were given, and we kept driving into seedier and seedier neighborhoods. We found the house number. While Steve did live in a house, he more accurately rented the upstairs. We walked in.

People frequently caricature Star Wars fans as poorly-dressed nerds living in their mom’s basements, surrounded by scads of expensive action figures and other toys and collectibles. That would be a dishonest and unfair characterization of our experience, as Steve did not live in his mom’s basement.

Soon, we were joined by other fanboys, and anyone who would have accidentally walked into the room would have concluded that we were getting ready to play an epic round of Dungeons & Dragons, not planning a major creative business venture. The three of us were starting to be a little apprehensive, but hey, you never know, give it the benefit of the doubt, it might turn out to  be amazing.

It didn’t.

Steve gave us his spiel: he was going to organize a giant Star Wars convention in Kansas City, fly in all the original stars, and present George Lucas with an honorary Oscar.

I know what you’re thinking: Why would George Lucas want an award from nerds? Why would Harrison Ford want to be involved, when he has distanced himself from so many other Star Wars events? You’re thinking this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard.

No it’s not; you haven’t heard the finale.

The convention was just Phase 1 of Steve’s Awesome Plan. Phase 2 was this: he was going to take the proceeds from The Convention and move to Nevada, set up a Star Wars collectible store. In the desert. Built to resemble a life-size Jawa Sandcrawler.

No, I’m not kidding. This idea was the conflation of crossing the Rubicon and jumping the shark at the same time.

We all decided to go get some lunch. Dave went with Steve, and Brenton and I left and went to Taco Bell, where we drew cartoons of Sandcrawler Steve and howled in laughter at his Sandcrawler store.

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