I owe a lot to a little site called GEEKPR0N.com.
After over five years of serving the Toronto geek culture scene as an online editorial and events organizer of some of the strangest parties in town, the boys and girls at GP are closing their doors. Digital doors. E-doors? i-doors? I digress.
Readers of this site might know my relation to Button Masher, but not so much to GEEKPR0N. Let me explain why I’m so thankful to them. Whereas Button Masher was created by myself and Nicholas – giving us control to pretty much write whatever the heck we want – GEEKPR0N was the first site I ever freelanced for. In other words, an entirely different editorial staff looked at my previous writing, saw what I had to offer, and said, “we want that.”
Those three words did a great deal for my confidence as a writer. As small as it may seem in the grand scheme of things, it felt like a validation. A triumph. The next step. I’ll never forget seeing my first piece about how the Killing Joke animated movie was a recipe for disaster (called it!) get published, and later that day seeing it was read by over 500 people. Sure, that number isn’t exactly huge, but at the time it was mind blowing to think my opinion could reach that many people. GEEKPR0N let me do that.
I have no idea what the founders Joey and Jess saw in me, but in the two years that followed my first piece, they kept offering me new and incredible opportunities to grow. I was able to attend Fan Expo as press and meet local media folks I adore, like Sam Maggs and Shaun Hatton. I covered Unplugged Expo, where I got to interview Carlos from YTV…FREAKIN’ CARLOS! Biggest of all, though, was the interview with Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman and my childhood hero. I remember tweeting at Kevin in 2013, “come to Toronto Fan Expo! We need Batman!” and being dumbfounded that he replied to my tweet. Never in my wildest dreams did I think three years later he’d actually be at Fan Expo, and that I’d be in interviewing him.
But enough about me. What made GEEKPR0N important was the sense of community their site fostered. Founders Joey and Jess were at the helm of an amazing group of contributors and fans whose opinions were always welcome. Gorgeous local art was showcased, cosplayers’ best work was featured, and up and coming authors had a forum to let their words be read.
GEEKPR0N taught me a simple but immensely valuable lesson for content creation that anyone pitching or trying to gather an audience should follow: don’t just write what you want to write, write what you’d want to read. In my eyes, that’s step one in building a community online, whether you want to get into written content, YouTube, comics, etc.
So thank you. Thank you Jess, for standing at the front lines of this awesome community. Thank you Joey, for teaching me by example how to lead an editorial team and trusting me to represent the site at cons and on social media. Thank you Rob, for giving my pieces that extra “oomph” through your editing and teaching me the secrets of SEO. Thank you Jen, for showing me the ropes of convention coverage.
In my mind, GEEKPR0N was the Justice League of Toronto nerd culture: an assembly of talented writers, artists, interviewers and interviewees joining together, each one of them a superhero in their own right. And if there’s one thing comics readers know, it’s that superheroes never die. The site may be out of the game, but GEEKPR0N’s alumni creators are alive and well, and I can’t wait to see what they all do next.
Corey is a student and writer by day who moonlights as the masked vigilante, “Michael Cera.” His days are spent either gaming, reading, or trying to convince people that Kevin Conroy is the definitive Batman. His last name is 100% real, though that whole Michael Cera thing might not exactly be true.