Grok #2: Secret Origins

Grok #2: Secret Origins

Sep 03

Grok #2 Cover

How did you spend your summer vacation? Entangled in the sweaty embrace of Comic-Con? Trying to set the world record for Most Consecutive Viewings of The Dark Knight (In IMAX, of Course!) EvAr? Mounting a spirited, M&Ms-focused campaign to ensure The Middleman doesn’t get canceled?

We…wish we had done all of these things, but instead, we whiled away our days assembling the latest issue of Grok. If you’ll recall, this is our PDF zine that you can either read on your computer screen or print out and tote wherever you desire. It’s a throwback to our heady days of college zine-ing with a slightly modern twist.

Within, you will find essays, fiction and general silliness exploring geek culture and the nerd experience. The pieces are a bit longer than what you will generally find on the site (in some cases, spanning an unnecessary, er, epic amount of pages) and they all center on a theme chosen by the editors. This time around, the theme is…SECRET ORIGINS. (Please say it in a loud, spooky voice, as if the words are always in all caps and maybe in a creepy, squiggly font.)

Grok #2: Summer ‘08, Secret Origins (PDF)

In this issue…

One Con Glory, Part II, by Sarah Kuhn: Curmudgeonly comics fangirl Julie’s last words in Part I: “Oh fucking shit.” Find out why as she continues her adventures at the unfortunately-named GinormoCon. There may be a Guitar Hero tournament involved.

I Was a Teenage Letterhack, by Matt Springer: Matt reveals his tragic past as a compulsive comics letter writer. Find out why he once penned the words “Bloodwynd looks to be a fascinating new character” and so much more. Thanks for noticin’ him!

The Facebook Newsfeed for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, by Ivan Sian: Those crazy X-Men are all about the Superpokes! But why won’t anyone play poor Beast at Scrabulous?

Misspent from the Outset, by Jeff Stolarcyk: Jeff takes a trip down memory lane, a locative look at his own secret origins. Old comics and gaming stores are explored, with thought-provoking results.

Connected, by Ken Simon: A mild-mannered librarian/tech guy scratches the surface of his seemingly mild-mannered life to discover the secret origins of ordinary. In other words, find out how Ken almost partied with the stoners and why he was once known as “Ken Van Nuys.”

Grokfiles Learn about the scintillating secret origins of some of your favorite nerd superstars, including Lea Hernandez, Felicia Day, Jon Collins, Marc Wade and Fred Chao!

All this, plus another letter from your pal Fake George Lucas! So read on, print out and/or send to your friends! Share the magic of Grok #2: SECRET ORIGINS!


  1. Matt, every time I talk to you from now on, I am going to close with “Thanks for noticin’ me.”

    You know, I thought this issue was great. Ivan’s fake Facebook page was awesome. And Sarah, I continue to love OCG.

  2. You know, Jeff, I read Matt’s piece two months ago and I *still* have to resist the urge to sign every email I send to him with that little bon mot.

    And thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Your piece was great as well!

    (Thanks for noticin’ me!)


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