Thursday, October 21, 2010

Geekanerd Lives?

If you are a loyal Geekanerd reader (they exist!) you probably are wondering why we haven't posted in a million years.

WELL, the editors now all live in different states, and I, AHR, now work full time as a video editor for Tested.com, which is pretty much the best job a geek could ask for.

You can still follow me on twitter at @AHR, and think of it as just like, Gnerd lite, maybe? Micro-Gnerd?

You can also read the many fine articles we've posted throughout the years. May I suggest:

Our first year's top ten most popular posts.

Our most popular article of all time, 30 Questions My Girlfriend Asked about Star Wars, which was featured on StarWars.com and TheForce.net!

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ads Give Frightning Glance Into The Inner Lives of Social Networkers

These sort of "look at great things you could be texting RIGHT NOW" ads have been popular for a while, but I found some items in this specific campaign by...uh, blackberry, I think?...particularly disturbing.



So it seems that Mr. Brandon Childress has posted the following as his status update: "about to close a big deal, which makes me a big deal. Ha ha."

This is the most depressing status update I've ever read.  Let's break it down.

What we have here is a young man (his name is Brandon so he can't be over 27) who has found success beyond his years.  He's making deals.  He's closing deals.  Big deals. 

But who cares, Brandon?  Who really cares?  Do your friends care?  Why do you feel the need to qualify your success with a distancing, deadpan "Ha ha."?  Are you afraid your command of the capatalist system will alienate you from your friends who are stuck in dead-end office jobs, but spend their weekends trying to put together art-openings at the local tapas bar? 

That pointedly unenthusiastic (but carefully capitalized) "Ha ha." puts everything that's come before it in an ironic light - in the grand scheme of things, Brandon knows his deal is not a big deal, and neither is he.  He craves recognition for his achievments, but all he can do is stick his little message in a glass bottle of irony and fling it into the sea of facebook, hoping someone will see it and reply with a sincere note of approval.  All he's going to get though is messages from his snotty friends saying "dislike".


Meanwhile, Bryan Johnson is trying to dispose of a body and is compelled to talk about it in his away message, unable to resist the serial killer's urge to clue the public into his crimes.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Magic: The Nerdening


Back in 1993 Wizards of the Coast introduced a collectible card game called "Magic the Gathering." Back then, I was a bona-fide comic book nerd, but I wasn't really up with the D&D or MtG or any of those other acronyms. Someone tried to teach me how to play magic once but I ran out of patience pretty quickly. Give me a break, I was probably 12. I would have rather just bought a pack of Marvel Masterpieces than bought a ton of Magic cards and have to learn a game.

So when a little while back a friend of mine said he had started playing Magic again, and asked me if I was interested in playing, I figured I had some free time to learn about tapping mana and casting spells and said okay.

I happened to be working out in California at the time and stopped by a local comic/game shop and told them I needed some magic cards to play with. They threw together a blue/red deck for me to learn on, which contained cards from a bunch of different series and no real strategy. I brought the deck home with me and headed over to Fat Cat Bar on Christopher St in NYC to Monday night Magic to test out my ability to play a 17 year old card game.


You can guess that head to head I was roundly spanked, though I did manage to eek out a couple 3-4 player games by essentially being so bad that I wasn't considered a threat until the very end of the game. However, my interest was sparked and I went out and bought a common uncommon play set of Magic 2010 and built a few decks. I will say that the largest evil about MtG isn't that everyone thinks you're a huge nerd for playing it, which they do, but rather the fact that people who have been playing forever have so many cards and you have so few, and playing against them makes you want to spend hundreds of dollars just to get a handful of the cards you've been beaten with. The habit can become expensive, so I've found it's in your interest to befriend people who have an over abundance of cards that they don't need and will let you borrow decks to try out.

After a couple weeks of playing, I decided to try drafting. For those not in the know, drafting consists of a bunch of people sitting around a table, or a few tables, and pulling cards one by one of newly opened booster packs that get passed around, and then building a deck and playing a small tournament with the cards you've pulled trying to win prizes or more packs. Again, I got pretty badly beaten, but I had fun and got a bunch of cards out of it. I have to give the game credit, it's a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and I apologize profusely to the magic players that I probably made fun of in the past for being huge nerds. Add one more facet of nerdiness to my resume.

If you're in NYC and you're looking for some people to play with, head over to Fat Cat Monday nights after 7pm and you'll find a ton of people (male and female) sitting around playing Magic, (also there's live Jazz every night along with pool and shuffleboard). And if you're looking for some more drafting, and Friday night Standard tournaments, check out Brooklyn Gamers. And if you've never played before, you should still go and check out those events. Everyone at both places is great and you'll have fun being a huge nerd playing a collectible card game.

This could be you!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Geekanerd Spotter: Thailand Edition


You might have seen things like these at your local Hot Topic, but these little string dolls come all the way from Thailand, where Gnerd co-founder Albo is currently hanging out, for reasons known only to him.

The real story here is that I totally thought that Green Goblin doll was a skrull at first. Secret Invasion really screwed with my head.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taking Bets! Which Geek Apocalypse is coming to Norway?


Pretty sweet photoshop job, right? Too bad that jazz is real. Apparently just before 8am, this bizarre blue spiral appeared for about 12 minutes above this mountain in Norway. So what's your poison? Boom Tube from Apokalips? A herald of Galactus? Wormhole from deep space? Possibly a horrid portal to the 9th level of hell? Anything's possible! But what's for sure is that this certainly spells our doom... or at least Norway's. Now, the geeks over at gizmodo think they've solved the mystery; but my money's on the boom tube.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

8-Bit Left 4 Dead!


This is a couple days old, I apologize, but you all know I can't pass up an 8-Bit downgrade of our favorite modern video games! Apparently, Pixelforce NES and Eric Ruth are teaming up to launch this 8-bit gem in January 2010; available for download (if you have a PC-Justin Long and John Hodgman would not approve... well Hodgman would approve in character, but really I think he'd be unhappy). So this isn't just a clever animation, its a game demo! In the end, the game will feature all 5 special infected (right now you'll only find the boomer... who is offensively cute for so depraved a corpse), all 4 campaigns and all 5 maps. If you thought gun butting a hunter in the head was hella fun, wait till you try it in 8-bit!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Panel Discussion - Scans from Batman and Robin, Daredevil, Hellboy, and More!

These are a bit late, but there were a ton of books this past week, so we couldn't just let it go. Firstly, the aptly named...

Took Long Enough - Batman and Robin #6
AHR and I have often discussed the rich vein of misery-ore that is Jason Todd; and yet he has gone untapped since his unceremonious resurrection during a crossover event (Superboy punched a wall... yep.) Leave it to good ol' Grant to breathe life into a character that virtually everybody hates. Here we get a taste of the unique pathos that could only belong to a character who was universally hated, voted to die, pointlessly resurrected only to be universally hated again, starred in terrible crossover event comics, and constantly struggled for the approval of a psychotic who is now dead. Much like Dini did for Hush, I now care about Jason Todd.

Added bonus of Grant's Jason Todd? An unironic awareness of the absurdity of the DC Universe-I love it when characters call the DCU on its super hero death BS. Much like Ralph Dibny in 52, Jason seems to be uniquely aware of the fact that people die and are reborn willy nilly in this world. Why is it only the crazy ones seem to notice?

No Comment - Green Lantern Corps #42

Yikes. Is it just me, or do these two seem to be having too much fun defiling the zombie corpse of Kyle's ex? Makes you wonder what kinda green constructs they "play with" in their down time. Feels more like a disturbing scene from Dexter-if Dexter was set in space and featured red-skinned hotties and zombies... and if Dexter was a pervert.

Best Return to Form - Daredevil #502
It's great to see Kingpin revisiting his Frank Miller glory days-back to his ol' needlessly-murdering self. Super classy touch using the shadow to depict the action, with the contorted hand in the foreground. On an unrelated note: Never make fun of Kingpin's juice.

He's Behind You! - Batman and Robin #6
Usually, there might be a bit of dramatic irony-the character unaware of his/her surroundings while we, the readers, can clearly see the danger looming. That's not how Batman and Robin roll. First you have newRobin being a dick, like the dickish homicidal 10-yr old he is. Then you have him actually announce "He's behind you", all non-chalant like. Then BAM. Classic.
And a less clear cut example from earlier in the same book... but looming danger indeed! Look out Batman! There's a psychotic hanger-on arming himself with heavy artillery behind you! Whew, he caught it. Don't want newRobin doing this again.

Meh... No biggie - Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #8
Wow, waita take a heavy situation lightly. Not only do they casually mention it, but visually, they're tiny within the already small panels. Great way to completely downplay the crazy shit that just happend. Just so you know, that's excalibur, the sword in the stone, that he's lackadaisically swinging around.

Cute Overload - B.P.R.D.: 1947 #5
Lastly, another bit of Hellboy. For a hellish demon spawn, Hellboy makes a pretty damn cute kid. I was torn about which panel to choose-there were about 6 or 7 adorable panels... and putting them all together tells a cute little mini story about Hellboy wanting to play catch (awww). For the rest of the adorableness, pick up the issue (also other stuff happens).

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How To Enjoy 2012

(Minorish spoilers for 2012, but trust me, it doesn't matter)



Do you love movies about the apocalypse? Sure, we all do. One of the most unpleasant aspects of being aware of your own mortality is dealing with the fact that the world actually DOESN'T revolve around you, and once you're gone the story of mankind will continue just fine. In apocalypse movies, not so!  Sure, you're going to die, but take this lovely parting gift with you; everyone else and the world!

As much as I love seeing famous landmarks fall down, it's a sad fact of Hollywood movies that the better the special effects, the most emotionally dishonest the story is going to be. I don't go to an apocalypse movie to feel good about how mankind's plucky will to survive can withstand even supervolcanos and ash blocking out the sun for a million years - I go for the catharsis of oblivion!

2012 does has some wonderful action setpieces in the first hour, and does a nice job of ramping up the tension on their way there. I would not entirely disuade you from spending 10-12 dollars on it, as long as you follow my advice on how best to enjoy it:

1. Sneak a beer in
2. Watch the first hour, or however long it takes them to get to China

Third and most important step after the jump:



3. Once they get to China, leave the theater and imagine a scenario in which all the main characters die, consumed with the horror and ecstasy of baring witness to the end of the human race.

If you need a visual aid, here you go:

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Panel Discussion - Scans from The Great Ten, Secret Six, Psylocke, and More

Best Historical Revisionism - The Great Ten #1


The 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremonies were already one of the most mind-blowing spectacles I've ever seen. How much more awesome would it have been with actual Superheroes involved? We'll never know cause all we get to see is the Great Ten standing in the center of the Bird's Nest, or whatever that mega-stadium was called. What a rip.




Fearful Symmetry - Psylocke #1

Do not wan. We get a lot of these split-screen Psylocke shots, and I suppose they serve a thematic purpose, but I don't see a reason to expose us all to this ugly smooshfest.

Oedipal Issues - Secret Six #15

Is it really necessary to show us via flashback that Floyd's mom once dressed up EXACTLY like Floyd's future sex partner, the inimitable Jeanette?

Movie Moment - Dark Reign - The List: Wolverine

This issue is actually from last week, but I couldn't let a There Will Be Blood reference go unmentioned. Especially one that doesn't go for the easy milkshake meme. Great body language from Normie here.

The Magic of Comics - Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1
I can't begin to tell you how excited I was this week when, while scanning the new books, I came across this title. As a kid, Delgado's previous Age Of Reptiles series were 2 of my absolute favorite books. The middle school me nearly died inside when I saw this. If you want near flawless visual storytelling, pick up any of the Age of Reptiles books-the entire story is told sans text, and without the conveniently recognizable expressions of the human face. Plus Delgado's always good for a clever, and unique visual cue to get a story point across. Take, for example, the middle divider with the dinosaur eyes-it took me a moment to understand what I was looking at, but it's a brilliant little moment. The first panel is the T-Rex, with the angry mama Triceratops reflected, the second is the round eyed, terrified baby dino with nothing but a full view of terrifying teeth. And the last is the determined mother, with the T-Rex and baby reflected. A great, and efficient, way to quickly get across 3 very different points of view.

Another example of great visual storytelling-we have the adorable little baby Triceratops shouting at the threatening T-Rex, the classic "is-this-kid-serious?" look on the T-Rex, followed by a quick barked out threat that sends the cute little guy shaking behind the legs of the grownups. Nearly every page of this book has a little gem like this.

In-Joke Alert - Assault on New Olumpus #1

Wheatcakes! Cause that's something Aunt May talks about...in the past. Sorry folks, slow week.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Dangerous Real Life Superpowers

In the tradition of homemade Wolverine claws, here is an even more dangerous DIY superpower.

Don't try this at home, kids! Unless you really want to, in which case detailed instructions can be found here.

Please use these powers for good, or at least lawful neutral. What I want to know is who would win in a fight between this guy and the Wolverine claws guy. I think Wolvie is more likely to inflict harm without burning his own arm off in the process, but I'm willing to hear other theories.

Via Gizmodo

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