Ask The Bastards #20: Comics We Hated, Where In The World Is Zachary Levi and What To Name Your Fish
Welcome to another scintillatingly sick edition of Ask the Bastards, the feature where you the readers get to ask us, the staff at Nerd Bastards, anything you want about our strange nerdy lives. This week we’re talking about how we made Nerd Bastards into the bastion of awesomeness it is today, where the hell Zachary Levi went, comics we just couldn’t stand, and fish names.
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What would be some advice you would like one to follow to make something as great as Nerd Bastards? – Rich
You’ve got to have a great, creative, humble, awe-inspiring person in charge that writes the checks like Luke . . . and never be afraid of shamelessly kissing his ass at every opportunity. OK, now that that is out of the way, just make sure you write about what you give a shit about. People will pick up really quick if you don’t and after eviscerating you in the comments section will stop coming to your site. – Mark Poynter
Be genuinely passionate about what you do and deliver quality material. Be true to who you are; that in itself will offer a unique quality to whatever it is that you decide to do. Take advantage of all the online resources available to you to get your work out there — social media, SEO, online networking, for example. And be committed to do whatever it takes to make it happen; if you treat it like a hobby, it will stay that way. – Chris D.
I’m going to be 1oo% honest on this one, it’s all about not worrying how you write. When I started I was constantly stressed that whatever I wrote would be rejected and it messed with my head greatly. After some pep talks, practice, and a lot of rewrites, I got comfortable with what I wrote and you should do the same. Have fun with what you do, it’s never a job as long as you love doing it. Also, being able to recognize the difference between “your” and “you’re” is going to save you a ton of trouble, mark my words. –Nick Bungay
Well, I didn’t make it, I just came along later and helped spruce it up. But, I will give you my secret to being a superstar blogger. It’s Doritos. – Matthew Jackson
Being a pro blogger is a pretty sweet gig. You get all access passes to movie screenings, conventions, and other events. You’ll bump elbows with celebrities, influential bloggers, and a bunch of other really cool people. You’ll receive free swag (movies, toys, books..etc) for review and contesting purposes. And, best of all, you get to be smug about it with your friends and family. Doing all these things makes you look like a rock star to them, and to yourself. Suffice it to say, it’s really rewarding.
Here’s the flip side. It takes a lot of time and work to earn all these perks. It’s so demanding, that if I ever had to start over again… I probably wouldn’t. Launching a new site, getting it ramped up, churning out (quality) content, trying to build in audience, etc. is almost a fruitless effort. You’ll bleed, sweat, stress and obsess, all for maybe a few hundred hits a day. I can’t begin to tell you how discouraging that is. But, you power on. Eventually, and almost magically, you’ll start to get peoples curiosity and attention.
There’s no one thing that makes you a successful blogger. It’s a culmination of efforts. I could write a book on the do’s and don’t, but for the sake of time, here’s a few core things:
- Name, niche and page design. Find your niche (sports, games, movies, television..etc), come up with a marketable name, and design an attractive webpage.
- Stay on the pulse of pop culture. Devour every bit of knowledge within your industry. You won’t be able to justify yourself as an authority other wise.
- Write feverishly, and always demand perfection. You either die an idiot who can’t spell, or you live long enough to see yourself become a grammar/spelling Nazi.
- Cultivate lasting relationships. Make friends with people in the industry that will exchange links and kinds words about you. Be kind, respectful, humble and incredibly thankful. Never give anyone a reason to not like you. A bad rap, no matter how big or small, can ruin you.
- Answer every goddamn email that hits your inbox, with the idea that it could lead to an opportunity, or at least make a lasting fan.
- Treat your blog with the utmost importance. The hell with personal matters, and fuck your social life. If some big news hits the blogosphere, you gotta drop what you’re doing and get on that shit. You don’t want to be the last guy to the party. In fact, you want to be the first guy to the party. Being first on the scene gets people to float to you as opposed to you floating to them.
- Be a presence on Twitter and Facebook. Social networking sites are free marketing. Build your audience (which is hard in it’s own right), interact with them, and get them to share your content.
- Don’t do it alone. You’ll start alone, but as you truck along, try to build a team of writers and marketers you can trust. You can’t do it all. You’ll burn out very quickly if you try to be a one man show. Oh, and try not to work with friends and family. It tends to never end well.
All these things are easier said than done. How you approach and handle matters is a craft. It’s years of trial and error. Keep at it, though, you’ll adapt and evolve.
My biggest piece of advice is to keep at it and believe in what you’re doing. Strive for success, and never get complacent. Be better, do better.- Luke Gallagher
What was your least favorite comic book/ graphic novel that you ever experienced, and what caused you to have that reaction to it? – Staffan A.
I actually don’t know. I’ve been pretty good with only reading things that are quality material. Actually, don’t Twilight graphic novels exist? I’ll go with that and there’s no explanation necessary. – Chris D.
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, I could never get over it. This was supposed to be a sequel to Freddy vs. Jason and thanks to the studios and a number of issues, we got left with a lackluster comic book mini-series. –Nick Bungay
I think for me its the sequel to Vengeance of Bane, which did nothing to expand the character and instead, through scenes like Bane carrying his therapeutic teddy bear in the Blackgate prison yard, discredited a lot of the character’s menace and mystique. There was also this weird awkward period on Spider-Man after McFarlane left when no one knew what they wanted to do with the book. – Adam A. Donaldson
I’ve always tried to maintain the philosophy that ever comic I read (at least as far as superheroes go) is just a particular interpretation of the characters and the situation, and therefore if I don’t like everything’s fine because other interpretations will be arriving in short order. This allows me to read with an interest in the interpretation itself, and not just my love of the character, if that makes any sense. Having said that, I had a lot of trouble (as did many readers) with Spider-Man: One More Day. It just smacked of desperate retconning. – Matthew Jackson
Do you think they should make a Dredd sequel and how likely do you think it will be? – Matthew S.
I would love to see a Dredd sequel if only to get the Judge Death, Dark Judges versus Judge Dredd. Will it happen? Probably not, the movie just didn’t perform at the box office. Even if DVD sales are strong, it just won’t be something that any savvy studio executive will want to take a chance on. –Mark Poynter
What Mark said. – Adam A. Donaldson
This is the kind of thing we’ll probably have to wait another 20 years for, because sadly enough people just didn’t go see the damn movie. – Matthew Jackson
Sexiest female character ever? (And please don’t say Catwoman *facepalm*) — Tathra L.
I have always had a thing for Batma . . . I mean Batgirl. Probably because of Yvonne Craig on the Batman TV show. Those purple skin tight suits . . . a young boy on the cusp of manhood, needless to say, I spent a lot of time in my bunk. – Mark Poynter
I’m going to be the feminist and say that chick that Tony Stark couldn’t function without. What’s her name again? Oh, yeah. Pepper Potts. – Chris D.
I’m going to be breaking a long standing rule of not discussing crushes, but Cyd Sherman of The Guild has my pick. It’s not because of the whole “nerd girl” thing people have been going after lately, I just really dig Felicia Day. –Nick Bungay
I’ve always had nerd on for Powergirl. I apologize for the lewdness of this comment, but man, if she was real… I’d bury my junk so deep in her gigantic bosoms, that whomever could pull it out would be crowned the new King Arthur. – Luke Gallagher
Maybe it’s just because of the way she was drawn in the ’90s, but I’ve always had a thing about Huntress. – Matthew Jackson
Catwoman. – Jason Tabrys
Where is Zachary Levi, did Chuck getting canceled break his spirit for acting? – Nathan D.
You’ll see him in Thor: The Dark World as Fandrel. He’s been doing voice work with Seth MacFarlane in Star Wars: Detours. He’s around, just nothing big story lately. –Mark Poynter
What Mark said. –Nick Bungay
No, but it should have! Zing! – Adam A. Donaldson
He’s not gone. There’s the Thor thing and he’s also got a voice role in Seth Green’s Star Wars: Detours. It’s important to remember that making a TV show, especially one that lasts half a decade, is a real grind, and very often actors will take some time to themselves when it’s done. How often do we see James Gandolfini anymore? – Matthew Jackson
What should I name my fish? – Beth B.
I vote for Bilbo, because that fish is gonna swim there, and then back again, for the rest of his life. – Mark Poynter
My friend’s kid just recently named his ghost fish after me. There’s now a Christafish living on the other side of the world and representin’ pretty hardcore. I’d say go with that. – Chris D.
Name him Magikarp, that way if someone ask’s where you got him from you can say you caught him on Cinnabar Island. If not one person gets that reference I’ll weep for the world. –Nick Bungay
I’m a big fan of the non-flashy, not-necessarily-a-reference name. Call your fish Chris. – Adam A. Donaldson
Benedict Cumberfish. You’re welcome. – Matthew Jackson
Wanda. – Jason Tabrys
You step into the cave and see a great red wyrm dragon. You roll move silently but it sees you, what do you do? – Leo G.
Dance, like no one is watching. – Mark Poynter
Can’t beat Mark’s answer. – Chris D.
I don’t think Nerd Bastards is the place to ask about your imaginary hijinks with imaginary dragons. Now, if you want to talk about hunting real dragons… – Adam A. Donaldson
“MY BABY TAKES THE MORNING TRAIN…” – Matthew Jackson
Engage him in the theater of tickle-fight combat. – Jason Tabrys