Geek-A-Week cards: Collect your favorite nerd celebs
Geek elite including Steve Wozniak, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Guillermo del Toro, and Stan Lee get their own trading cards complete with stats, trivia, and quotes. The artist talks to Crave's Bonnie Burton.
If sports stars get their own trading cards, why not the best and the brightest of the geek elite?
For a personal art project originally started in March 2010, artist Len Peralta challenged himself to see if he could contact 52 different geeks for 52 weeks, then interview them and draw them as trading cards he named Geek-A-Week. He succeeded. Now he's on a Kickstarter quest to raise funds for a whole new 52-card Geek-A-Week set sporting a new design.
"I call Geek-A-Week a multimedia art project because you can enter it from a lot of different avenues," Peralta told Crave. "You can just admire the project from an artistic standpoint and just enjoy the art. There are podcasts that go along with most of the cards, so you can listen in and then find the art. Or you can find the project just because you are a fan of someone I've drawn and then be pulled into the project that way."
The cards are a standard size of 2.5 by 3.5 inches, with full-color digital paintings of each subject. The design is styled similar to 1977 "Star Wars" trading cards and the Wacky Packages cards.
"There is a part of every geek that is 'The Collector,'" Peralta told Crave. "The project appeals to a person at the base level. On one hand, you are collecting these unique trading cards. But when you find out what I have to go through to get one of these geeks, you have a deeper appreciation of 'The Quest' -- which is another aspect that I think people can relate to. I like to think that I am doing a lot of the hard work for people who wish they could meet some of these incredible people."
Some of these "incredible people" featured in past Geek-A-Week cards include author Neil Gaiman, director Guillermo del Toro, Marvel comic book legend Stan Lee, the cast of "MythBusters," actress Felicia Day, comic singer Weird Al Yankovic, "Big Bang Theory" creator Bill Prady, director Kevin Smith, musician Thomas Dolby, actor Wil Wheaton, magicians Penn & Teller, actor Seth Green, actress Jeri Ryan, humorist John Hodgman, author Cory Doctorow, astronomer Phil Plait, comedian Chris Hardwick, actress Brea Grant, "Munchkin" RPG designer Steve Jackson, director Edgar Wright, comic book artist Jill Thompson, actor Aaron Douglas, cosplayers Team Unicorn, DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, director Amy Berg, musician Mark Mothersbaugh, and Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak, to name a handful.
"There was a couple of people who had me freaking out a lot, Stan Lee for sure," Peralta told Crave. "I felt so incredibly lucky to be able to talk to him and draw him. That card almost made the entire first series of Geek-A-Week worth it. Guillermo del Toro was another one for sure. In series two, it had to be George RR Martin. But the one that actually had me scream at my desk was when I got an e-mail from one of my musical idols Thomas Dolby that simply said, 'Were you trying to get ahold of me for your project?' I honestly think I screamed at my computer screen. That was a huge turning point for me. People were actually seeking me out. I was floored."
The new Geek-A-Week card set, which is still in progress, features geeks including Pendelton Ward (creator of "Adventure Time"); Mark Millar (creator of "Kick-Ass"); John Roderick (singer/songwriter of The Long Winters); Chloe Dykstra (cosplayer); Amanda Palmer (singer); Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News founder); Patrick Rothfuss (sci-fi/fantasy author); The Doubleclicks (musicians); Kelly Sue Deconnick (comic writer); James Urbaniak (comedic actor, voice of Doctor Venture on "Venture Brothers"), and many more.
In addition to the 52-card deck, people can also purchase additional geeky perks on the Geek-A-Week Kickstarter, including original songs by The DoubleClicks, Molly Lewis, and Mike Phirman, or a custom barber shop quartet voicemail sung by YouTube stars The Gregory Brothers.
Collect 'em all!