Face it — despite what some might say, nerds and dweebs are cool these days. The toughest of tough guys (and girls, now) spend hours on X-Box Live and are starting special-interest groups to discuss comics, role-playing games, and collectible vinyl dolls — er, action figures. We recently geeked-out with Carrie Tucker, author of I Love Geeks: The Official Handbook (Adams Media, 2009) to get the inside scoop on how to reach the upper echelons of the dork hierarchy.
Carrie Tucker: Well, in my amateur opinion, comics always hold their value. There’s always SOMEONE who needs bragging rights.
FW: In your book, you talk about undercover geeks (geeks who actually have a life outside MMORPGs). What’s proper procedure for the geek who wants to say, “I’m not completely uncool, but I want other geeks to be able to sniff me out”?
CT: First of all, geeks can sniff out one another in a heartbeat. It’s like this creepy seventh sense (the sixth sense being able to see dead people, duh). All you have to do is drop a casual, “So, when I was watching Battlestar this weekend…” or “Yeah, I’m exhausted. I was up until 4am getting The Ruler of Albion achievement on Fable 2” into your conversation, and watch your fellow geek’s eyes light up.
SP: Ah, the age-old argument. There’s even a Dalek vs. Borg blog out there. I think it really depends where your loyalties lie. If you’re talking about a fight to rule pop culture, then the Daleks win by default — hello, they’re an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. BUT the Borg claim resistance is futile. BUT the Daleks will EX-TER-MINATE, EX-TER-MINATE, EX-TER-MINATE. BUT the Borg adapt and assimilate. BUT the Daleks can pretty much do anything (please, no [climbing] stairs jokes here, OK?), including blow up the Borg. BUT the Borg have personal shielding that adapts and assimilates to anything. BUT the Daleks could time travel and wipe their asses out before they even perfect their shield.
FW: OK then, how about this. I’ve been going through action-figure withdrawal lately. Where can I cash in on some of my old (mint-condition, box-unopened) Mego Spiderman figures and pick up some new limited-edition vinyl stuff at a good deal?
CT: Have I mentioned this incredible site called eBay?
FW: Who is smarter, Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein?
CT: According to The Simpsons, Hawking’s IQ is 280. Einstein’s is assumed to be a mere 160. Since everyone knows The Simpsons is always right, I’m going to have to go with Hawking.
FW: I’m sick of half the Wii games I own. Where can I get a good trade-in deal for some of this stuff, and what would you recommend I pickup?
CT: Game Stop. I really don’t have any secret recommendations that offer crazy trade-in deals — and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t tell, unless you asked me nicely and handed over a copy of Mad World as an offering. Speaking of Wii recommendations — yeah, Mad World. Chainsaw everyone! And House of the Dead: Overkill. Nothing like getting into shooting zombies.
CT: Are you kidding? Have you SEEN some of those outfits? Come on! EVERYONE is doing cosplay on the cheap. Seriously, a red bathrobe and sweatpants and a tinfoil sword won’t get you first prize, but at least you can convince yourself you’re InuYasha. And that’s what REALLY matters, gosh darn it! Me, I’d go as Yatter-Wan so I could use that old robot costume from a couple years back. It’s all about recycling, kids.
FW: How do you say, “You are so hot!” in Elvish?
CT: Oh man. I’m not THAT good.
CT: This is a tough one. As a character, I have say I prefer Pinhead — he’s one sexy Cenobite. However, Krueger, despite his hideous, clownish sweater, is more evil: he’s a child molester, and people somehow forget that. Plus, the way he stretched his arms out in the alley scene in Nightmare on Elm Street kept me awake for weeks. The Cenobites were just fulfilling a destiny (forget the Hellraiser sequels that say otherwise, because they deviate completely from Clive Barker’s original intention. Yes, I am very serious about my horror!) and Pinhead was once a human who’s mind was utterly destroyed by war. Poor guy.
FW: You are a superhero vigilante who fights for the rights of the downtrodden and jobless. If you had to pound on the villains behind our economic crisis, who are the baddies you would target and which of your powers would you use to dole out furious justice?
CT: One of my biggest targets would be the [New York Metropolitan Transit Authority]. I HATE the MTA. Total crooks who drove themselves into billions of dollars of debt just because they mismanaged a budget (well, OK, and relied on real-estate revenue), and then turned around and said, “Hey, Citizens of New York, how’s about you pay a lot more for your public transportation and get service cuts so we can cover our asses? What, you don’t like it? Then we’ll toll your East River bridges too, how’s about that?” I imagine them as cigar-chomping villains, with red eyes and smoke coming out of their asses. I’d have to go the “Death Note” approach here. I’d have to say that I’d go ahead and [write] an actual death note like the heroes [on that show] do, on the MTA. How would that solve the problem? I’ve no idea, but it sure would make me feel better, damn it!