Blue=Boys, Pink=Girls

Blue=Boys, Pink=Girls

Sep 24

Because an officemate is a compulsive toy addict, I spend quite a lot of time joining him on lunchtime toy runs, if only to get my lethargic ass out of my desk chair and shuffle the ripples of phat around a bit so they don’t get too sedentary.

Yesterday I noticed some new (or at least, new to me) packaging strategies from perennial kids toy giant Fisher Price. We all know the familiar blue and red and yellow Fisher Price color scheme, right?

What you may not know is that they’ve now started releasing the exact same toys in alternate packaging, shelved directly next to the identical products in traditional packaging.

Heroes Pop Quiz

Heroes Pop Quiz

Sep 22

…in honor of the season premiere. SPOILERS within.

The Most Important Post You'll Read All Year: New Nerd Jeff Tackles YOUR Tough Questions

The Most Important Post You'll Read All Year: New Nerd Jeff Tackles YOUR Tough Questions

Sep 19

Hey, look at all those questions! Except for the creepy “What’s your address/what side of the bed do you prefer?” comments that I deleted. You know who you are.

First, one from Charley: Wow, you’re 6′5″? Question: Do you hit your head a lot?

Yes, I am 6’5″. Yes, I hit my head a lot. The stairwell that leads down into my basement has a low ceiling, and I hit my head there all the time.

Sarah wants to know Hey, what happened to Dazzler Fan Blog?

Nothing gold can stay, Pony Boy. Dazzler Fan was just too beautiful to thrive in this harsh world.

Marjie asks a literal ton of questions. Maybe she has a crush on me. I get that a lot.

1. What is the most mortifying nickname you’ve ever been given? Nicknames given by yourself don’t count.

As a fat kid growing up, I got called ‘Stolardass’ – a play on my last name – and that was not cool at all. More recent nicknames that irritate me are ‘Stoli’ and ‘Stick’.

2. Cake or pie?

Why can’t I have both? If I have to pick one, I’m gonna go with cake.

3. How do you feel about symmetry?

I believe in it.  And find it fearful.

4. If you had to have sex with a director, who would it be? Please specify pre- or post-death if they have passed on

After standing in front of a mirror psyching myself up to not say Spielberg or Nolan, I’m gonna pick Diane English.  It’s a strict PF based on the critical reception of The Women, though.

5. Can you navigate your home in the dark? Does it make you nervous when people ask that?

Yes.  Yes.

6. Favorite exclamation (e.g. “egads!” “holy jesus fuck truck!” “great googly moogly”)?

Giant Dancing Christ!

7. How do you feel about the majestic turkey vulture?

Jesus would totally have adopted one.

And Matt asks, What makes you cry?

James Lipton.  Sunrises.  “Brandy” by Looking Glass.  The end of The Lost Boys.

This Is How You Know We've Jumped The Shark

This Is How You Know We've Jumped The Shark

Sep 18


My name is Jeff, but I’m basically Cousin Oliver.  Or Ben-Gali.  Matt, Sarah and Chris decided to bring me in to ‘sex up’ this blog for younger readers, what with me being ‘only 30’ (as Matt puts it).

You may already know me from my own blog or my contributions to the Elvis Costello blog I co-write with Matt and the world-famous Dazzler Fan Blog.  If you’re a discerning reader (and between you and I, I think you’re pretty discerning), you might have seen my name in the pages of Grok, our humble amazing ‘zine.

For those of you who don’t know me already, here’s the text of my handbook entry:

Name: Jeff
Occupation: Marketer, Occasional Writer, Sometimes Teacher
Legal Status: Resident of Pennsylvania
Identity: Publicly known
Known Aliases: None
Marital Status: Married
Group Affiliation: Alert Nerds, Dazzler Fan Bloggers
Height: 6’5″
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Prematurely Grayish
Beard Status: Yes
Rock Band Band Names: Manic Chalice, Jefferson Stolarship
Geekiest Thing You Own: An original Scott Pilgrim page

If you have any other questions, especially ones that are embarrassingly personal, ask in the comments.  I’ll answer them all in a follow-up “New Guy Q+A” post.

Now, I’m going to back out of here quietly.  I still feel like I’ve broken into someone’s house or hacked Sarah Palin’s email.

Adventures in Marketing: Embracing Change

Adventures in Marketing: Embracing Change

Sep 18

With a hat tip to Old Man Church, who writes frequently and well about the pitfalls of marketing comic books, a few words on Marvel’s “Embrace Change” TV ad, below.

1. I like the “Hail Mary” gutsiness of this ad as a concept; the idea that a comic book publisher would choose to allocate marketing dollars toward putting a longish, viral TV spot on ESPN2 during primetime is pretty outrageous and maybe not all that smart…yet I respect and admire that they even bothered to do it. I’d rather see them hire an entry-level marketing person to help support good, low-selling titles both in and outside the marketplace, or maybe even just come up with some crazy free publishing strategy to help battle illiteracy or get kids excited about reading, but whatever.