The Bin – 4/23/10

The Bin – 4/23/10

Apr 23

It’s that time again — time to cram every bit of awesome and sort-of-awesome and maybe-not-as-awesome-but-shit-we-need-to-fill-up-some-space from the past week into one tidy little feature. We call it…The Bin!

Alert Nerd Press Spotlight: Ken Simon

Alert Nerd Press Spotlight: Ken Simon

Apr 20

Ken Simon’s “The Tygress Theory” was the very first submission we received for our very first issue of Grok back in 2008. The piece, inspired by our “Pon Farr” theme, charted Ken’s adventures in online dating (back before online dating was, like, A Thing), and his earnest attempts to forge connections that weren’t always meant to be. It was funny and thoughtful and self-deprecating without being self-flagellating — and it really set the tone for what Grok would become.

In Grok #2, Ken wrote about his longtime fascination with connectivity, from rotary phones to “party lines” (remember those, fellow old people?) to screechy modems dialing faceless strangers. I loved his willingness to reveal the depth of his obsession when it comes to this stuff, and the ways in which it connects back to the person he is today.

We’re hoping we can convince Ken — who maintains a mild-mannered librarian/superhero identity during the daylight hours — to contribute to future issues of Grok. In the meantime, we’ve conducted a little interview with him. Read on, then check out his excellent words in “The Tygress Theory” (page 20) and “Connected: The Secret Origins of Ordinary” (page 10).

Alert Nerd Press Spotlight: Do You Want to Grok My Avatar?

Alert Nerd Press Spotlight: Do You Want to Grok My Avatar?

Mar 24

In college, I made my own ‘zine. It was called FanGirl. It had a purple cover, a stapled spine, and multiple unfortunate font choices. I still have many, many fond remembrances of parading down College and Telegraph Aves in Berkeley, dropping issues off at Cody’s and Pendragon, hoping someone might be drawn in by the cute cartoon astronaut girl on the cover.

All of us at Alert Nerd have “I made this!” memories like that (ask Matt about his Clara Peller ‘zine sometime, won’t you?) and I think that’s one of the big reasons we started Grok, our little PDF ‘zine that houses essays, fiction, and general silliness centered around nerd culture. And Grok led to Alert Nerd Press, which has now published multiple booklike things. We’ve got some pretty dang crazy plans for ANP this year, so I thought it might be fun to keep you up-to-date via a monthly column that spotlights various aspects of stuff we’re working on: upcoming releases, Grok contributors, random incriminating pictures of Chris and his proton pack collection. It will be an absolute delight, I’m sure.

The Bin — 2/12/10

The Bin — 2/12/10

Feb 12

OCGcover

Back in the day, we used to just like stuff every week. We still like stuff, but now we mix in links, videos and other random claptrap. It’s like the Cold Stone Creamery of nerd-dom; we call it The Bin, and we’ve gotta have it.

Marvel (Fan)Girls

Marvel (Fan)Girls

Feb 04

marvelgirls

I sometimes deliver these pronouncements that make me sound like I’m permanently stuck in 1999. “Wow, the internet!” I’ll say. “So goddamn amazing, no?!” (I imagine myself sporting a too-big dot-com swag tee, Discman headphones jammed over my ears and piping in “69 Love Songs” as I’m saying this, by the way.)

But, look, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the internet — and its amazingness — recently, thanks to a bunch of virtual kerfuffles and debates, mostly having to do with ladies and comics. I was depressed by the raftload of negativity that greeted the Girl Comics announcement*, then perplexed that there wasn’t more negativity towards that sausage fest Heroic Age image**. I track all of this on Twitter, of course, then follow up with longer outraged/not-outraged/outraged-by-the-outrage emails between internet friends. But whatever your feelings on any of these topics, here’s something I never quite thought about whilst debating them: it seems like we’ve finally moved beyond the “yeah, girls do read comics!” portion of the discussion.