How did Geek Speak start out?
Chris Quinn, who works in the Express-News’ Business section, started GEEK SPEAK about three years ago, maybe even four years ago. He’d find stuff on the Internet and link to it. If it was geeky, then it ended up in the blog. I wanted to contribute for the longest time, but didn’t want to step on his toes. So, I started posting here and there, and just found myself writing for it more and more.
And, now, it seems like you’re the primary contributor.
Yeah. Chris hasn’t done anything with it for quite a while. He’s been busy with all his responsibilities in the Business section. I guess that’s just the way it’s worked out.
Did you think it would last this long?
Good question. You know, I just really enjoy doing it, and when you really enjoy something, it doesn’t seem like work. There’s still plenty of stuff to write about. I’d probably be doing this thing regardless of how many people are reading it. Even if it was just my wife and my mom looking at it. But thankfully that’s not the case. The (paper’s) website has really turned a corner. It’s easier to use and it’s getting a lot of traffic. Twitter’s also helped bring people to the blog. Every time I update GEEK SPEAK, I put something out on Twitter to let people know it’s there.
How many people are visiting GEEK SPEAK on any given day?
I’d say roughly 1,000 a day, and that’s great. I’m happy it’s well read.
Most of the hits are coming from San Antonio?
I think most of the hits are probably coming from San Antonio. I’d like to think so anyway. But I’m not sure.
There are a lot of sites out there that write about comics and the media side of sf. What do you do to differentiate your content from theirs?
I try to be myself as much as I can and let my own voice come through. There are so many sites out there that do a good job covering this stuff — some of them with really big staffs. I just try to do what I do and use my own voice as much as I can get away with. I try to be as genuine as I can. I’m silly about it. I’m a big goof, and it shows. There are sites that do a great job being serious and taking a look at things from that perspective, but I try to have some humor and be fun with it.
How’s GEEK SPEAK changed since you first became involved?
I’ve really tried to make it a mix of local goings on with stuff from the national or global scene. That’s one way. I get press info from the comic and toy companies all the time, so that stuff’s easy to find. Local content isn’t always so easy, but I try to include as much as I can. I try to talk to people who are doing interesting things around town and say, “Hey, let me know when you’ve got something new going on.”
You know what I’ve got to ask next. Locally, who’s doing interesting stuff?
Not to make it too much of a love fest, but what you guys are doing is great. I was happy to see Missions Unknown, and John (Picacio)’s artwork is just exceptional. There’s also an artist named Cat Staggs who was in San Antonio for quite a while —a really talented illustrator. She did a lot of Star Wars trading cards. Really great photo-realistic stuff. The beauty of the Web is you can really reach out beyond just a local audience, so hopefully I can help people like that get some wider exposure.
On that note, I thought your piece on the Jackie Earle Haley signing at Atomic Comics was a great way to differentiate your blog with some local content and show what we’ve got going on in San Antonio.
Thanks. It was fun how that worked out. You look at an actor like Jackie Earle Haley, who’s really riding high on the whole WATCHMEN thing, and it was great to see him actually take time to interact with the fans in his own city. I enjoyed being able to blog about that, both to let people know about their chance to meet the guy, then to report on what the event was like. It was cool to be there blogging onsite and giving people a chance to see the actor in a way that’s so different from the usual press junket stuff you see the media covering.
You were born and raised here. Obviously a smart and creative guy like you can move anywhere. Why stay in San Antonio?
I love the feel of this city. I wouldn’t consider myself well-traveled by any stretch, but I’ve been enough other places to know we’ve got something special here. There’s this interesting dichotomy about the city. San Antonio wants to be taken seriously as a big city, but in a lot of ways it’s a small town. It’s always wrestled with that, but I don’t think it’s bad. It’s kind of interesting, actually. People here are genuinely friendly. It’s a very warm, inviting city. At the same time, there’s also a thriving intellectual community. There’s a passion here for the things I’m covering. I think the audience here is not only smart but shrewd. They don’t like pretention, and they don’t always accept everything at face value.
Alright. Let’s say you’re forced to leave the Alamo City. What one thing do you bring with you?
Obviously, I’d bring my wife and child. But beyond that, my knee-jerk reaction is to say I’d bring the food with me. Because it’s just ridiculously good. There’s just so much that goes with the food here — culture, community, good times. Yeah, I’d say fajitas. Whenever I leave for a while, that’s always one of the first things I want when I come back to town.
GEEK LOVE: Guzman gives us his faves.
Top 5 Comics
1. THE SWORD
2. AMAZING SPIDERMAN (I know it really sucks right now, but he’s my favorite character so I’ve got to stick with him.)
3. THOR by J. Michael Straczynski
4. THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Top 5 Books
1. FAHRENHEIT 451ahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY by Arthur C. Clarke
3. IT by Stephen King
4. THE STAND by Stephen King
5. THE BLACK CAULDRON by Lloyd Alexander (I read it as a kid, and it was the book that showed me fantasy was out there. I loved being able to open it up and escape.)
Top 5 Movies
1. RAISING ARIZONA
2. STAR WARS
3. BLADE RUNNER (It was the first really smart sf movie that I saw.)
4. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
5. DIE HARD (I mean, it’s pure fantasy, isn’t it?)