Geek- a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things.

Odyssey- an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest.

Synopsis-

My Geek Odyssey follows the adventures of an elementary school teacher as he tries to discover and embrace his inner geek, be that in the world of pop-culture, technology, geocaching, teaching, Mini Coopers, and whatever else he encounters along the way.

Reasoning  Behind the Comic-

In February 2009 the Lilly Endowment announced their 2009 Teacher Creativity Fellowships.  This project was funded as part of a real odyssey to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mini Cooper.  As I have become involved with various groups I have discovered that everyone (whether they admit it or not) is a geek.  Not the carnival freak who bites the heads off of live chickens, but a person who is really passionate about something.  I hope to take this summer and really learn as much as I can about the heritage of the Mini (by traveling to England) but also to learn about comics by creating one.  I have said for a while now, as I see events or just plain stupid things happening how that would make a funny comic, now it’s time to shut up and start creating.

I do want to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving this chance and Bryan Falcon for helping me with some of the technical basics (answering my stupid questions and giving me advice).

The weird and twisted mind behind it all-

I’ve always loved comics, I remember my dad buying me Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon when I was in elementary school and that was what turned me on to reading.  After a summer in Ketchum, Idaho I started collecting comics- mostly DC.  In high school a friend introduced me to Marvel (John Byrne X-Men, Frank Miller Daredevil) and I bounced between publishers.  I also read Mike Grell’s Jon Sable and Dave Stevens Rocketeer. In college I still read comics but started to get distracted by other pursuits (I met my wife in college), and returned to comics as a escape when I went to grad school to become a school principal.  I’m a little concerned with the way both Marvel and DC are trying to remake their respective universes, but have learned to be patient.  I presently read some of the same things I did as a kid – Teen Titans, The Flash, Justice League, Justice Society, Daredevil, and Captain America.  I have also picked up on Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, and Walking Dead along with David Petersen’s Mouse Guard.

I own two Mini Coopers (for those in the know: one MINI and one Mini)  I’m sure I’ll cover how I managed to end up with them in future strips.  Penfold, my 2005 Dark Silver (not grey) and White MINI Cooper S has been “Slightly Modified” including a Way Motor Works 15% Super Charger Pulley, a DDM Cold Air Intake, and a “Zoomer’s” Exhaust which my Mother in-law would love for me to get rid of.  Tink, is a “1979” Mini that I’m still tracking down her exact lineage.  I was told she came from New Zealand (so she’s Right Hand Drive) but I have started to question everything I was told (another great storyline).  Tink is Tahiti Blue with a White top and has had numerous things that needed to be fixed in her three short years with me, but is worth the effort.

I have geocached with numerous devices including a  Garmin Etrex H, an iPhone now a Garmin Oregon 550 along with an iPad. I spend most of my time dealing with a stuffed monkey that has taken on a life of his own.  Geocaching has taken me to some of the coolest spots and while I tend to cache with my wife, the proudest moment of my geek life was finding CYBret’s “Get a Life” GCZJZ5 which I was able to figure out and find all by my lonesome.  Too bad the original container has been lost, I just remember the pure joy of seeing that blue ammo can with “You Found It” in gold Star Trek font and the command insignia  above it.

What else?  I am into all sorts of science fiction but some of my favorites are anything by Robert Heinlein, and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s series.  I played D&D as a kid growing up and a little fantasy role-playing while in college.  Star Wars or Star Trek?  I’ll go with the originals of both (though Next Generation got me to drink tea).  As this project continues more of me will seep out on the screen.

What about all those pretty colors on some comics?-

In January 2010 I thought it would be really cool to add a Sunday strip into the mix.  The funny part is I kept thinking that I can’t do five strips a week so I end up doing the equivalent of five strips a week… I wouldn’t be able to get the colored strip out to you if it wasn’t for a very talented young man (who I still need to pay), Ben Majercak.  I asked Ben to at least introduce himself to you and here’s what I received:

“Hi. My name is Ben Majercak, and no; I don’t have a talking car, a super intelligent monkey, or anything cool like that. I’ve been coloring the strip for about a month in half now and it’s been alot of  fun coloring Bruce, Sue, Cecil and the gang… Even if Cecil is a little difficult ( he’s got all those little hairs on head! its crazy!) but I digress:

Bruce told me to tell you something about myself. Well there’s really not that much to me. I enjoy movies, comics, video games, and drawing.  I’ve been trying to get into comics for a long time. Which is why I was thrilled when I figured out I could get paid for coloring one! I definitely have room for improvement, but I still like to think I bring some of my own style to Bruce’s artwork. Speaking of which (random segway) you can find my artwork here.”

After the start of the 2010-2011 school year things have been a little chaotic (just look at the mob mentality when it comes to public education) so while I have been making an attempt to get back on a schedule it has been difficult.  Color strips compe when they can although Ben’s schedule and my schedule don’t always match.