I’ve been a big fan of Jill Pantozzi, aka: @TheNerdyBird, since I started blogging and Tweeting about all things geeky. She generous with her nerd knowledge and is an inspiration to many. Thanks Jill for accepting the crown of Geek of the Week!
How old were you when your mutant powers started manifesting (when did you become a nerd)?
Well, I’ve always said I was a geek from birth. My mom and brothers were into Star Trek, Doctor Who etc. so I grew up around “nerdy” things. I also can attribute another big part of my nerdom to my mom. I dressed as Supergirl for Halloween in Kindergarten. We actually talked about this just the other day. Neither of us can remember whose idea it was to buy the “costume” which was actually pajamas. But yeah, it’s safe to say, early on.
I think I fell somewhere in between. I was friends with pretty much every group in school but I was never an outcast, nor was I popular. I didn’t actually know I was a “nerd” until around middle school when I started talking with a fellow classmate about some of my favorite things that he also happened to be into and another student told us we were weird. I never considered liking sci-fi or supeheroes weird but that’s when I realized other people did. I might have kept it more to myself after that but I eventually grew to embrace what I was and love it for what it truly is, something positive.
Clearly there has been a shift in our culture, where nerds and geeks are more accepted. What/who do you think significantly contributed to that?
I think the latest round of comic book movies was one of the biggest contributors. The X-Men films and Batman Begins specifically. These were things a lot of people had always appreciated but their mainstream success drew a lot of other people to them that might not have otherwise. Besides films, I think the internet was the other big factor. With so many people out there blogging about the geeky things they loved it was hard for the public to not take notice and realize hey, maybe this stuff isn’t so bad after all.
Ok, since you said items I’m going to take family, friends and pets off the table because they’d be the most obvious answer. I’d take the two props I own from the film Return to Oz and my personalized Adam Hughes sketch of Zatanna. No way in hell am I letting those get destroyed. Before I left I’d leave a note telling Galactus what a jerk he is.
Now to get political… Ninjas, Pirates, Zombies, or Vampires- which are better and why?
Vampires will always top my list. Baring any recent adaptations that have caused people to hate vampires, they remain perpetually awesome. I mean, they’re just the most interesting. They drink blood to survive and can create an army while remaining powerful and intelligent. If I had to go with second place I’d say Ninjas because there’s one behind you right now.
Star Trek villain, Q has decided to grant you love from your secret celebrity or fictional character nerd crush. Who do you ask for and why?
First, let me say, I adore Q. Second, this is so easy to answer it’s laughable. The answer is Batman. The true embodiment of Bruce Wayne from the comic books. That would be….I….he…I’ll be right back….Ok, all better. Instead of trying to explain further, I direct you to a list I once wrote for Topless Robot, 14 Reasons Why Batman’s My Dream Man.
Aww, Doc! I hope that he’d tell me I was hosting a show on a major network where I got to talk about comics, video games, movies and pop-culture and interview those responsible for/involved in them.
The nerdiest thing I ever did or owned or experienced (and no one knows about) was…
…that time I got hit on by a Klingon at the Star Trek Experience restaurant in Las Vegas. He complimented me on my smooth forehead and told me I was pretty for a “terran girl.” Yup. That happened.
After finding a Yellow Lantern Ring, you decide to use its powers to kidnap your favorite role model/hero to spend an evening of intellectually stimulating conversation. Who would you nab and what would you talk about?
I think I’m gonna have to go with Milla Jovovich on this one. Ever since The Fifth Element I’ve adored her. She’s an amazing woman and has accomplished so much in her life. I’d love to talk about her start in acting/modeling when she was very young and how that affected her, who her inspirations are, what were the biggest challenges she faced and what advice she could give me for my career. I’d also ask her to design me a rocking outfit and spend a good amount of time having her teach me how to kick ass like she does.
Clearly you blog and Twitter like the Borg, why do it and what has it meant to you? What advice would you give to someone interested in doing the same?
Are you saying resistance is futile when it comes to reading my work? Cuz, awesome! Regardless, my blogging and Twitter are two different animals. I blog because I enjoy writing. It just so happens that I chose to write about something I was passionate about, which helps. And for anyone looking to work in this realm, make sure you really love it because just like any job, you’ll have bad days but those bad days are easier when you enjoy it more than just in passing. I’ve had so much fun blogging on my own site and writing for others and the people it has allowed me to meet and sometimes become friends with.
The same can be said for Twitter. I’ve made so many great friends on there it’s ridiculous. Not just people in other states or countries but people who are in my own backyard I never would have met otherwise. Like I said, Twitter is different than blogging because it holds a lot more random thoughts and hopefully jokes that people find amusing. It’s a way for me to promote my work sure, but it’s also a way to keep connected with friends and fans and that’s invaluable. The most important thing to remember for both is – be yourself. Cliché I know, but seriously, who you are will make you stand out from the crowd so don’t hide it.
The final question in which the fate of the multiverse hangs in the balance… San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con? Why, what, and how do you do it?
Oh boy. Are you really asking me to choose between the biggest con there is and my hometown show? Don’t put that kind of pressure on me. I have loyalty to NYCC for sure but I think it’s still finding its legs. Give it a few more years and some more space and it will be the best show around. I’ve only been to SDCC twice but it’s a monster of a convention. So much fun but so crazy and exhausting. There’s really nothing like it. The most important thing to remember about big shows like these two are make a list of what you want to do and expect that you won’t get to do half of it. Besides that, hang out with your friends, act silly and take the opportunity to meet people you’ve never met before and see things you’ve never experienced.