What do you get when you cross ultra-creative cartoonist Len Peralta
and 52 influential geeks of various disciplines? Answer: A set of trading cards, featuring adored nerds like Wil Wheaton
, Weird Al Yankovic
and Steve "Woz" Wozniak
Peralta, who's also the mastermind behind viral creative projects like Flip Face
, Tent Town
and Monster by Mail
, began this new project in March. After appropriately dubbing it "Geek a Week
," the talented illustrator/cartoonist/radio host
challenged himself to interview one geek per week for an entire year.
"My main challenge is to find people who not only mean something to a broad section of geekdom, but to also introduce some new geeks to people," says Peralta in an exclusive Asylum interview. "Some of them have some very high name recognition while others are more 'deep cuts,' like game designer Steve Jackson
and genuine nerd Toby Radloff
Continue after the jump to see pictures and to learn who else has been featured so far.
For each geek, Peralta interviews the nerd of the hour, illustrates a playing card with their cartoon likeness and fills the back with fun facts, quotes and other amusing content. For example, film director Kevin Smith
's card tells collectors about his special attack move (hockey stick up your ass), astronomer Phil Plait
's informs us of his battle cry ("The universe is cool enough without making up crap about it.") and we learn about Wil Wheaton's special power from his card (reality enhancement/reality distortion).
Other geeks who've been featured in the series include lovable "Daily Show
" correspondent John Hodgman
, famously red-bearded "Mythbusters
" co-host Adam Savage
, and Edgar Wright
, director of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
"The geeks in the project influence the rest of the deck by suggesting people and, in some cases, putting me directly in contact with the person they think would get a kick out of the project," says Peralta, " Because of that, I've gotten to talk to and draw some very diverse and interesting characters."
With 29 geeks down, the challenge is just over halfway completed. And though Peralta's keeping upcoming names under wraps, it sounds like he's breaking out the big guns for the final 23.
"There are some names in the second half that, when I read them, I'm like 'What? Really?'" he explains. "I'm just amazed at the caliber of geek has agreed to take part in the project, and that I was actually able to connect with these people for my little project."
He adds, "If I've learned anything, it's been this: Geeks are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. It's pretty obvious from everyone that I've featured so far that being a geek is just about being passionate about what you're into. It doesn't necessarily mean you are socially awkward or bad with members of the opposite sex