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Monday, 31 December 2018

Season 4, Episode 2 – Special guest Tracy-Ann Leith; Just for Laughs 2017

The top SeanGeek episode of all time is this one. Tracy-Ann Leith​, famous of Voicesbytracy joined the show for the very first time. Tracy and I have been friends for a real long time and it was an honor to have her on the show. I've loved every time she has been on the show.

Season 4, Episode 2 – Special guest Tracy-Ann Leith; Just for Laughs 2017

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 11 – Blizzard’s Hoarfrost Reception

Season 6,
Episode 11 – Blizzard’s Hoarfrost Reception

Seanorama and
co-host FastFretFingers talk about the release of Blizzard’s new Diablo game,
Diablo Immortal --- exclusively on mobile platforms. You could hear a pin drop
when the announcement came at Blizzcon --- misfire? The duo talk about the
release, why people got angry at the company, and how to move forward.

#diabloimmortal #blizzcon 

Season 6, Episode 11 – Blizzard’s Hoarfrost Reception

Friday, 28 December 2018

It's good to be a Geek - By Seanorama from SeanGeek

Last night we bid adieu to 2018, as the Geeks from SeanGeek got together (minus Voicesbytracy) to talk about all the pivotal points of the last year, from great moments in each of our lives, to Meet The Geeks happenings, to the best episodes of the year on the SeanGeek Podcast.

The Geeks truly are a brotherhood--- screw that a geek-hood. It is a place where I feel totally at home, able to talk about anything that comes up in the most comfortable of places. Between my blood in Todd and time served with Corey, I feel like I have some really great company, people I can implicitly trust with everything. These are great men, people that would do anything for me, and that I only want to reciprocate to.

Despite the challenges we have faced over the last year, our bond reduces the bad to manageable, and brighten the good to greatness. I am truly blessed to have these two in my life.

They aren't my only friends by far. Never forget those sweet things I have in my own home, my wife, a human being so incredible that I laugh all the time with her, and constantly blinded by her kindness. Yes, she is my best friend, and I am better for it. My three little angels, two human babies and one fur-baby, make every challenge worth the fight, and every victory that much sweeter.

I have a great family and a large supporting cast of characters that keep me going. Even the people that are gone have never really left, always there to remind me to count my blessings and to take the challenges positively.

Gang, I am a lucky dude.

It's hard to believe, and feels so long ago, where I was miserable a lot of the time. I was dragged down by insecurity, a self-doubt so paralyzing, that some days I couldn't get out of bed. It is only because of all of these people that I can keep the smile, and truly appreciate what I have, and learn from the experience when stuff goes sideways. It's not always a walk in the park, but I am lucky to be steered right but the good people.

Thanks 2018. Let's make 2019 another year of experience and let's all get another level or two in the great game of life.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Season 4, Episode 19 – Dome at the New Club St Boniface

Taking a trip down the top episodes of the SeanGeek podcast, this one was a post review on Dome's gig at the Club St B alongside Quoth the Sun and Willswitch Engage.

In the best of all time, this episode came in at number 3. It was a monumental show that our band Dome played at the Club St B, alongside Willswitch Engage​, and Quoth the Sun​. Both bands were kind AND rocked out like crazy. It was probably my personal favorite show we played as Dome​. The venue was awesome, the crowd was good and the sound--- our best.

Season 4, Episode 19 – Dome at the New Club St Boniface

Monday, 24 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 10 – Bethesda Failure to Launch

Season 6,
Episode 10 – Bethesda Failure to Launch

Seanorama and
co-host FastFretFingers talk about Fallout76, the latest in Bethesda’ Fallout
series, the lukewarm reception to the game, the ongoing bag-gate saga, and how
Fallout76 mirrored their release of Elder Scrolls Online a few years earlier.
#fallout76 #bethesda #bag-gate

Season 6, Episode 10 – Bethesda Failure to Launch

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Special Edition - Merry Christmas from the SeanGeek Podcast

Edition - Merry Christmas from the SeanGeek Podcast

All the best in
this holiday season. The duo talk about Christmas’s past and starting new

Special Edition - Merry Christmas from the SeanGeek Podcast

Monday, 17 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 9 – Meet The Geeks Podcast Edition

Season 6,
Episode 9 – Meet The Geeks Podcast Edition

The Boys
(Seanorama and FastFretFingers) invited CoreyGeek from Meet The Geeks to the
recording studio. This is what we ended up with.
discussion covers upcoming stuff with both the Podcast and the webcomic, the
love of Sweden, some podcast tips for beginners (hint make sure to share your
RSS feed), some Podcast players we use, what it was like playing the work
Christmas party (Seanorama did), and what to expect with some future guests.

#swag #sweden #ikea #zoomrecorder #singers #drummers #godaddy

Season 6, Episode 9 – Meet The Geeks Podcast Edition

Monday, 10 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 8 – Special Guest Lauren Alder – The Codex of Desire

Season 6, Episode 8 – Special Guest Lauren
Alder – The Codex of Desire
SeanGeek’s Seanorama and FastFretFingers bring out their big gun (that’s Corey
Toews beautiful mug) to facilitate this special format episode of the show.
Laurie E. Smith, writing as Laren Alder has just released the Codex Of Desire
(which has not become a #1 bestseller) joins us at the Radisson Hotel in
downtown Winnipeg to talk about the book. They get in depth into the novel, as
well as covering some great topics including Keycon, Wild Prairie FurryCon, the
Radisson Hotel, McNally Robinson and a host of other topics. But yeah,

#keycon #Wildprairiefurrycon #radissonhotel #winnipeg #mcnallyrobinson

"The Codex of Desire: A Tragic Tale of Prehistoric Love"
Love and violence, war and lust, lies and betrayal — even intelligent
feathered dinosaurs fell prey to such savage impulses, more than 67 million
years ago. 

When Raoul Deguchi, a human palaeontologist,
touches the alien-forged metal band wrapped around the forearm of a small
theropod dinosaur fossil, he is mentally transported back in time to experience
the tragic intersection of five dinosaur lives. Girn'ash, a shrewd and
secretive female slave, falls in love with Tir'at~Esk, a dashing military
prisoner — and will do anything in her meagre power to win his freedom. But
Girn'ash's queen is determined to coerce the handsome warrior into her harem,
and when so many ferocious desires collide it might doom an entire civilization
to nuclear extinction.
The book can be found where better books are sold.
You can also get it on Amazon here:
If you want to follow Lauren, here are her social
media homes:


Season 6, Episode 8 – Special Guest Lauren Alder – The Codex of Desire

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Season 4, Episode 28 – Deep Dark Cave/Disraeli Dreamers/Moon Tan show revue

Taking a trip down memory lane, the 6th most downloaded episode of the SeanGeek Podcast was this one. I reviewed the Disraeli Dreamers album release, with Moon Tan and Deep Dark Cave. It was also the show I voted for in the Uniter30. Take a listen for a review of the show, and please go check out all three of the bands that played that show. The Disraeli Dreamers are really that great a band and deserve all of the great stuff coming their way.

Not as great a review as you might expect from a professional like Ticketmomster​, but I try.

Thanks to Ryan Sorensen​ and Peter Vander Hout​, who have always been more than generous to myself and the boys in Dome​.

Disraeli Dreamers​ Moon Tan​ Deep Dark Cave​ The Uniter​The top 6 episode of all time.

Season 4, Episode 28 – Deep Dark Cave/Disraeli Dreamers/Moon Tan show revue

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 7 – Cheech and Chong and snowblowers

Season 6, Episode 7 – Cheech and Chong and
On the way to
the Cheech and Chong show, Seanorama and FastFretFingers talk about snowblowers,
Black Friday, gas prices, Sweden, winter, CAA, and of course Cheech and Chong.
They review the show, the legalization of marijuana in Canada, their Canadian
ties, signing to Motown, being mistaken for driving high, the smell of
Archibald, changes to Netflix, and their typical driving shenanigans.

#snowblowers #legalization #caa

Season 6, Episode 7 – Cheech and Chong and snowblowers

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Season 6, Episode 6 – Stan Lee (Extra Episode)

Stan Lee. What more can be said about the legend? He was Marvel Comics. He co-created Spider-Man, Dr Strange, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and a host of others. He ran Marvel Comics. He was the pitchman for comic books as an industry and was integral to bringing it to the masses. Without his tireless plugging, and without his rich and deep comic work, he is the most prolific writer of the 20th century, the most influential man in comics, and the best pitchman for the underdog.

We talk about his influence, his wife Joan, his importance to society, and the moral compass that came with his work.

#stanlee #stanleeforever #marvel #writing #comicbooks #comics #mcu
Season 6, Episode 6 – Stan Lee (Extra Episode)

Monday, 26 November 2018

Season 6, Episode 5 – How to Buy a Car and Handle the Canadian Winter

Seanorama and FastFretFingers talk cars. What kind of tomfoolery is this?

The duo educates and tells stories (in their own inimitable way) how Canada in the winter is, including temperature, car care, add-ons to our cars, and the general problems we go through.

They also share their stories of purchasing their own vehicles, and the pitfalls they went through, on what to look and ask for.

Want to advertise on a Podcast with global exposure. We have a listenership with strong exposure in Canada, Sweden, the UK and the US. Contact us to advertise with us.

Zohar at A-Z Electronics

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Early episode: Season 6, Episode 5 – How to Buy a Car and Handle the Canadian Winter

Want to hear the latest episode of the show before your neighbors do? Want to be talk on the block with spoilers? Make a donation on Patreon and be cool.

The latest on Sweden: the Novel - SeanGeek

There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes here at For those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it is a yearly tradition where writers across the globe spend 30 days writing a novel. That's 50,000 words in 30 day.

This time out I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to take the book I had been working on (working title: Sweden) and get close to that final edit. This meant going back to a book I put a hold on when the kids were born. I have been spending my days and nights working through it, reworking parts, changing the sequence of the book around, and writing new sections. I am hoping to get the majority of the work done in 30 days. So far I have worked through over 35,000 words. A lot of the things that seemed thin were beefed up, some of the action was tightened up, some things have been trimmed down to keep up the pace in the story.

I have to admit, the changes have been worthwhile. It took 4 years, but it really seems like daddy brain might have some room back in it for creative brain again.

So what does this mean. I have some internal timelines I hope to make concrete soon. Once I have made it through this edit, I can timeline how I plan to get the book out there and where you'll be able to get it.

As per usual, I believe in go big or go home, so the novel probably won't stop with just publishing the darn thing. I have some big ideas with where I want to go with it. Stay tuned here at or the Meet The Geek Blogspot and keep updated with the story on getting this to press.


Monday, 12 November 2018

Season 6, Episode 3 – Kiss versus Kiss, featuring Danny Roy

In this all-star episode, Danny Roy and Seanorama talk about their top 5 Kiss Albums. With moderators CoreyGeek (from Meet The Geeks) and regular co-host Todd FastFretFingers, the boys talk about their love of Kiss, their introductions to Kiss and their top 5 Kiss Albums.

Special thanks to Decibel Geek for the germ of this idea.

#kiss #thunderfunk #dannyrocks #decibelgeek #thedivorcees #melaniemorgan #top5

Danny Roy – A musician formerly from the East Coast, he has been in the bands Thunderfunk, The Divorcees and the Melanie Morgan Band. Most notably for this episode, he is a member of the Kiss tribute band The Love Guns.
The Divorcees
Melanie Morgan

FastFretFinges – Todd is the man. Period.

CoreyGeek – Corey is the genius behind Meet The Geeks and not a Kiss fan.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

That Laugh

I have been blessed in my life with some of the best of friends. My friends are always there for me. They are incredibly loyal. I can count on them at any and every time.

I had a fun evening recently with some of those friends, and I let out a familiar laugh. It isn’t one that comes out all the time, but it comes out at special times. We all are capable of that laugh. Everyone’s laugh may sound a little different from each other, but the intensity of that laugh is the same. The laugh is the one that you make when you are surrounded by people you are so comfortable with, that you can be sincere with, that you aren’t worried about being judged by, that you can simply ‘be’ with. It is the laugh that comes out when your every guard and defense is let down and the laugh simply happens. Mine comes out as a “tee-hee”, that my wife equates to the Pillsbury Doughboy. It is a silly sound, that comes from my gut.

Being a geek back then, meant that I got picked on, teased, and taunted regularly, and eventually beat up. I was able to lessen the frequency of these incidents by blending in, pretending to like sports, and being less geeky. By shutting up, not seen openly having fun or laughing. By disappearing.

I had no friends like me. I didn’t even know there were any like me. Then I met Richard. We liked all the same things. We read comics, listened to the same music, liked the same movies. Instead of being made fun of, every little geeky thing I talked about was one upped by a geeky thing he would say. Our frequency of hanging out directly coincided with the decrease of being beat, mocked and teased. This was an epiphany moment where I was able to laugh again. Like, really laugh.

Richard was my best friend. But he passed on at a young age. Eventually I found other friends. I took some time. I was leery of who was out there, and I reverted to putting on the mask again to protect myself. I learned how to blend in and be normal. I had friends that I wore the mask with, but I soon found friends I could take the mask off with and just be me.

And eventually I just grew up. I don’t wear the mask anymore. But I still only truly laugh when I am with my real friends, the friends I trust, the friends who are there for me. I don’t hide my love of nerdy stuff in public. I still get weird looks, even in this day and age where nerd culture is more popular than sports, but I don’t hide what I like. I don’t shut down and blend in anymore. I am me and unique and I am happy in my own skin. I am not embarrassed for being me anymore.

That laugh comes often now. That feeling of being so comfortable, that it just comes out, unfiltered.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

What Happened to Matt?

What happened to Matt? The answer is both simple and not-so-simple.

Matt, when he first joined us back in the long past days when we were filming Clayton's fan film Star Wars: The Evil Within, was at that time a young man with ADHD and a sheltered and naive outlook on life. We delighted in shocking him. Through us he witnessed his first transaction for sexual services, never believing that it happened outside of television and, one fateful Sunday morning he discovered that some of those "ladies of the night" were not as they seem.

The Matt that was introduced into the comic was that young and naive Matt. However, as time went on Matt was suddenly not that young and naive man anymore. He got a job with crown corporation and was suddenly doing some especially dangerous work for some very good money and subsequently became quite the stable and steady man.

We still see Matt at Keycon but rarely beyond that. As time went by we began to drift apart as friends sometimes do.

It felt insulting to the person that Matt has become to continue to portray him as that young man and somewhat one-dimensional character. So an executive decision was made by myself to replace him with Thomas.

And that's all there is to say about that.

Don't forget to support us on Patreon!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

And we are on Patreon - SeanGeek

So why did we do it?

As a youngling, I plied my art, certain I would be doing this as a career. I was writing and drawing my own original comic books and man I was good at it.

As all artists do at some point, I started to question my abilities, and the drive required to make it. I was living in a small town, on Canada's East Coast. The logistics of getting to New York from there, getting my work in front of the right set of eyes, of scrounging by until that could happen--- If I got my work in front of the right eyes, was my work good enough?

As I watched my own father struggle to feed his family, I started to wonder if I could make it, hit the big time and work for Marvel or DC. Practicality set in. I really got hung up. In the "regular" world, any one can get a job and if you worked reasonably hard you could get work. I wouldn't get rich but at least I could make some money.

University came around. The drive to create was ever-present. But I took practical courses, going for a practical degree, in the hopes of getting a practical job. I wouldn't be an artist.

I wouldn't be an artist.

Despite everything I had done up to that point --- the hours and hours of creating, writing, drawing --- the research into the stories, studying --- all of this was irrelevant when I decided I wouldn't be seeking a career in art. I was a business major. I was not an artist.

Even though I easily spent less time in school then I had put into my art, the pursuit of the degree immediately ended any thought I would be a true artist.

As I developed a career in Logistics and became pretty darn good at it, I kept up with my art, expanding my knowledge with classes, stretching what I knew and learning more.

As I got some work published, I had the inkling that I maybe I was an artist. That self-doubt crept in: am I good enough for someone to pay for what I love to do?

Now, with some decent podcast numbers, releasing an album with the band Dome, 3 years of the Symka published online, damn it, I am ready. In fact, I am overdo. My art and what I do is good. Some people out there like what I do. I like what I do.

So yes, it is time for Patreon. In fact, it is long overdo. With my brothers-in-arms with me, the Meet The Geeks comic and the Podcast, this is just the next phase folks. There is lots more to come with all this. Come join us for the ride.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

I gots to play with Todd again

In 1978, I heard Kiss Alive II. I was nothing but a babe at the time, but the sonic bombast of the album forever changed my life.
In 1982-1983, Todd was playing guitar, and blew my mind. From that point on I vowed to share a stage with him.

While I was waiting for that dream to happen, I had hooked with Dan Saltel in a band we would call Salty Bear. It was this garage-y thing that I was quite proud of. But it was nothing quite approaching the technical ability of what Todd was doing with his band MiToMa. I mean, hell, they were playing Rush and Van Halen. Dan and I were getting better as musicians with a lot of hard work, but Todd was Todd.

Todd was shredding. I was writing.

Salty Bear was pure songwriting. What we were missing in musical ability we made up with in sheer integrity and experimentation. We might not have had the chops to play along with these technical bands, but we were crafting some different rock and roll. I will be honest, I don't think I will ever be able to write anything like that again. It was different and freeing and cool. As a team, Dan let me try anything I took a fancy for. In turn he came up with some really crazy ideas, weird chord progressions and timings. I don't think the Salty Bear sound will ever be replicated.

Because Dan and I gave each other the ultimate freedom in writing, I progressed unhindered as a songwriter. Instead of getting stuck writing songs in the same format, I was able to adapt to different types of music. This also pushed my drumming in different directions as I worked in funk, reggae, hard rock, bluegrass and others styles into our rock songs.

So Todd became a guitar god and I really learned how to write songs. In a way, it was a great thing we didn't play together. We each developed into the players we would become. Todd sat in on 3 or 4 jams with Salty Bear, and Todd and I had 2 to 3 songwriting sessions together. But really, the McGinity brothers had not become a thing yet.

Finally, it was dad that brought us together. Dad had recruited Todd into this band he had started with Bayne Robertson. Now, it was pretty common knowledge in the family of Todd's prowess on the guitar. He had played live a number of times for all to see. I was an unknown, with Salty Bear never getting past playing out of the basement. Of course, dad knew I played drums. He had bought me my first kit after all. My in with Dad's band was that their drummer spent a fair amount of time in the theatre and was not always available. I was brought in to play drums. Somehow that ended up not being permanent as Richard Brasher was in the wings, so I may have only sat in for a session or two. The band needed a singer. So I became the singer instead.

The Classic Embers classic lineup was born. The name was derived on the initials M - B - R (for McGinitys, Bayne, and Richard) as in MBR, or Ember. I felt like I was barely in the band and would last until they learned that I was not really a singer. I was playing with THE Todd McGinity, after all. My vocals were not going to cut it. I had spent all of my time working on getting my drum chops up. Singing was an afterthought.

I had remembered that Todd really progressed as a guitar player because he put in the time. He would play from the moment he came home from school with little breaks for supper and homework until he went to bed. I think he may have fallen asleep with the guitar even a number of times. If I was to keep up I would do the same.

Not willing to waste the opportunity to play with my brother,I had to be good enough to play with Todd. I took singing lessons, and began practicing at every opportunity. I put in 15-20 hours a week.
Finally, we booked our first real gig. The Classic Embers played a sold out show. The audience was amazing. Everything about the show was out of a dream. It was surreal. And to my left stood Todd. I kept wanting to face that side of the stage, just to watch him play. I was able to reign it in enough, thankfully.

I had achieved my dream. I had played with the mighty FastFretFingers.

The coolest thing? Doing it many more times over 5 years. And then we did it again in Dome.
Last weekend we did again. This time it was for a surprise birthday party we had planned for him. I had his gear lined and ready for him so he could plug and play. The chemistry was still there. I can't wait to do this again. And again. And again.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Sandra Stewart

Many of you have heard the story of how the Geeks got together, but there is a huge part of that backstory that needs to be told.

Everything that became Meet The Geeks, the SeanGeek podcast, Star Wars The Evil Within --- all of that had it's start with Sandra Stewart.

I met Sandra sometime after I auditioned for Clay's Star Wars The Evil Within film. I had likely gotten in by the skin of my teeth on the audition. And now here I was at a reading surrounded by these professional actors, writers, and Star Wars enthusiasts. I was nervous, out of place, and overwhelmed by what I was getting into.

At some point, I was to meet Clay at his home. And there was Sandra. We spoke as I waited for Clay. In minutes she made me feel at home. She was able to break through the layers of fear and anxiety I had and make me feel worthwhile. I deserved to be on this film.

As the filming schedule was in full effect I visited many more times and really got to know Sandra a lot better. I learned very quickly the following: She had a level of respect and belief for Clay that most mothers could only dream of. She was a force of nature in her support.

She also incredibly generous and kind. To the cast and crew, Sandra looked after us in any way she could.

I don't know if it was just her way, but I felt like Sandra believed in me, too. She was quick to give a hug and offer her support of me. There was nothing preposterous or off-limits. If you needed to talk about anything she was quick to offer her ear. She was there, front and center as I was going through the worst time of my life, and there when I was able to turn it all around. I could see that gleam in her eye when I got through the eye of the hurricane when she said, "You deserve to be happy". She had a knowing smile on her face when I told her I was going to have a baby with Silvy. I felt like she was so proud of me. Like she always knew I could do it.

I was lucky to be able to hear her stories and adventures. She lived an amazing life we all could only dream of. She had done anything and everything she wanted, with no fear. It was that quality I admired the most: Fearlessness.

I can't quite remember when, but at some point it seemed redundant to call her Sandra, or Miz Stewart. I called her mom. It was appropriate. For her belief in me, for her faith in me, for her pride in me, I could call her no less.

I miss you, mom. You were one of a kind.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Back in the Saddle now with Video!

On Friday, July 27th, 2018, I filmed my second (third?) live feed via the Meet the Geeks Facebook page while I was working on a comic.

The comic is a re-do of one that had been previously published back in 2007. I was originally going to re-scan and re-colour the original one but since I was already working on new strips I figured I would draw it again in the updated style.

Re-drawing the comic also gave me a chance to address some continuity errors regarding the clothing that the characters were wearing and keeping everything in line.

So here you can see a scan of the original comic. The comic also features what will be the first of a look between Corey and Clayton that will mean that trouble lies ahead.

The Script

Panel 1

Corey: Hey Clay! Check it out! We have a flagpole!

Clayton: Huh! Too bad we don't have anything to hoist up it.

Panel 2

No Dialogue

Panel 3

Matt:(off panel) What? Hey! Wait! What are you... AHHHHHHHHHHH!


Panel 4 

SFX: Creak Creak Creak

And below you can see the updated one. The layout of the panels is almost the same. However I've updated Corey's look and have him wearing the black leather jacket that I wear most often now as opposed to the brown leather one that he was wearing in the original strip. Not that you can tell that in black and white. 

Clay's outfit pretty much stayed the same. 

The last two panels are almost identical to the original except that I left room for the dialogue at the top. 

Overall it's still pretty much the same strip. Same dialogue. Same gag. I just updated the artwork somewhat.

I hope that you enjoyed this little sneak peek. Stay tuned and I'll probable share more of the behind-the-scenes goings on in future videos and blog posts. 

And, as always, feel free to let me know what you think!.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Importance of Being Ernie (or why Bert is so important) - By SeanGeek

Bert and Ernie are probably the greatest comedy team in history. Their lasting legacy built on their puppeteers  Jim Henson and Frank Oz was pure genius. But what made this duo so special and why is their legacy so enduring?

Ernie was the troublemaker, the instigator, the chance-taker, the silly one, the crazy one, the one swirling in chaos and a lack of rules. Bert was all about rules, routine, safety, taking care of things and being reliable. The were the perfect foils for one another, the ying to the yang, the order to the chaos. They each brought out the best of each other. Ernie taught Bert to be adventurous, to take chances, to laugh out loud, the skip the chores from time to time, to break routine. Bert grounded Ernie, teaching him to be reliable, to take the time to look after things, to be responsible. They were polar opposites but it was that middle ground that made each of them better, and provided the true comedy of their pairing.

They weren't the first pairing to have this dynamic, but the execution on the writing and performance from these two is what made them who they are: the kings of comedy.

But when people speak about the pair, Ernie tends to get the accolades. It's his crazy and erratic behavior that gets the laughs. He is more fun. Things happen because of him. Each crazy scenario is instigated by Ernie. But at the root of it all, Ernie is nothing without Bert. Without Bet at his side, Ernie is just a raving lunatic. He isn't funny, he's destructive. He's a menace, really. It's that play off of Bert where the true comedy lies. Without each other, the comedy falls flat. One is annoying and the other is boring.

In Meet The Geeks, my character if often played as a Bert character. And you know what? I am okay with that. Without me, the chaos that ensues with Clay and Corey have less relevance. They are just two troublemakers. And without them Sean is just the nerd.

Recently, a favorite podcast of mine lost one of their hosts. The originator of the show departed for various reasons (but left on good terms). The originator provided the play by play for the show, plotting the episodes, creating the format and executing on all of the technical sides of the show. The co-host provided the color for the show, disagreeing with the host, taking shots at him, and finding issues with everything they spoke about. He created heat on the show much to all of our entertainment. They worked well off each other, and had the Bert and Ernie dynamic.

The dynamic worked so well that the podcast became a huge hit. I subscribed to the show, never missing an episode. The topic of each show was irrelevant. Their banter back and forth was really the best part of the show. The topic just gave the two a way to perform their shtick.

With the host's departure, the foil was left behind to run the show. Another co-host was brought in fill in the gap. The dynamic completely changed. The foil of the show had no one to really play off of. Like Ernie without Bert, he became annoying. His persona on the show became trite and boring. Passing no blame on the new co-host, even though the two are friends, their online camaraderie just was not as entertaining. I have tried to give the new show a chance, not willing to let myself fall into the current troll-like Star Wars fans who are attacking everyone on Twitter these days.

So maybe I just need to breathe, accept that the show has changed, enjoy the old episodes as they were, and try to find the joy in the new version of the show. It is hard being a fan.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Back in the Saddle

Yesterday was productive.

Yes friends and geeks yesterday good ol' CoreyGeek was kicking ass and taking names. Let me tell you a story.

It began with a simple comment to the WifeGeek that I wanted to spend a couple of hours sequestered in my basement studio working on a strip. The plan, or so I hope, is to get new comics going up weekly starting on the seventh of August, returning to putting new strips up on Tuesdays.

The WifeGeek agreed on one condition, that I have a new comic up by the end of the day. Well friends, sometimes that's easier said than done but I figured, I can do this.

I spent the afternoon working on a revamp of a previously existing strip, updating the artwork and working at my craft. By five I had managed to finish the four panel strip and just needed to come up with another strip by the end of the day. Fortunately I had a plan.

Going back to December, the wife bought me a cell phone. She had been playing Pokemon Go since it's release back in 2016 and I had struggled to understand the appeal. I liked the idea of a game that encouraged the user to get out into the real world and walk around but I didn't, at the time, have a way of checking it out.

So with my new mobile phone I downloaded the game and quickly found myself addicted. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked. It is fun and getting out to a park with the family looking for Pokemon is rewarding. I quickly came up with the idea for the comic and drew it out in one of my sketchbooks. And there it sat, never finished beyond being inked.

So when I needed a finished strip I just needed to pull the artwork out of my sketchbook - fortunately for me it has perforated pages - and scanned it into the computer. I finished up the border panels, speech balloons and lettering in an open source editing program which has become my preferred alternative to Photoshop.

I had to download a few plug-ins and fonts as I was working on the family computer rather than my laptop, but I managed to hammer out a the double paneled strip in a couple of hours.

Moving forward Meet the Geeks and SeanGeek's podcast, available on his website and Podbean will be creating new content and will have a Patreon account available (you have seen the button in the sidebar right?) with exclusive content and swag available to subscribers.

But the strip and this blog will always be free. So friends, keep coming back, look for new content and support the Geeks. We'd do the same for you.


Monday, 16 July 2018

Sean on Ditko

Steve Ditko. Despite his most famous co-creator credit, the creation of Spider-Man, Ditko never really seemed to really get his due. At Marvel, there was Stan Lee, almost single-handedly writing most of their books, and there was Jack Kirby who was drawing most of the titles. Ditko had always been “the other guy”. When I started reading comics, Spider-Man had already gone through Romita Sr, and Andru on the art chores, and Stan Lee wasn’t even writing the book anymore. I was introduced to John Byrne and Chris Claremont’s run on the team-up Spider-Man book called Marvel Team-Up. Sure I had read Spider-Man’s first appearance a bunch of times in various re-prints, but I had largely been unaware of Ditko or his influence. I was aware of Stan Lee and his larger than life writing ability, as it was often talked about reverently by everyone in the industry. Because I had been groomed on John Byrne’s Spider-Man, I was very receptive to John Buscema and John Romita Sr’s version of the hero. And I was always being drawn to that style, emulating it on my own comic book creations years later.

The initial run of Spider-Man had often been mythologized by the other creators and eventually I came around to reading more of Ditko’s run on the title. And since there were rarely any interviews with Mr Ditko, I was unware of his involvement on the book other than the artwork, thinking everything was in fact Stan Lee’s ideas.
I was a big Spider-Man fan and I was collecting back issues of Spider-Man, working my way as far back as Buscema’s work and quite a few Russ Andru issues. Eventually and quite finally, I was unable to go any further back without completely breaking the bank.  Marvel started putting out collected editions of their early titles under the Essentials trade format series, a black and white chronological reprint of an entire runs of titles. I was a completist and I needed to fill in what I could to have all of the Spider-Man issues. This was how I glomed onto Steve Ditko.
I also learned that Ditko’s involvement on the title was far more involved than what I had at first assumed. Ditko was not only drawing the title, he was co-plotting all of it. In fact, it was Ditko that controlled the narrative, the pacing, the invention of all of those early villains that have forever remained one of the best rogue’s galleries in all of comics. Peter Parker’s pathos, his frustrations, his anger--- all key elements to the book, were from the mind of Ditko.
I found Dr Strange immediately thereafter. Here was another Ditko co-creation (with Stan Lee again). For all the greatness of his Spider-Man, Dr Strange was on a whole other level. Spider-Man was grounded in reality, with the art really sharing a real New York to the world. Dr Strange was abstract, other dimensional and really trippy. My young brain exploded on the visuals Ditko came up with. Even in black and white, the art was out of this world.
It became apparent that Ditko’s roles in both Dr Strange and Spider-Man were much more than artist. His work raised these characters into the public consciousness. He made them relatable that they were just like us yet they were fantastic enough that we all could escape from the real world. All due credit to Stan Lee as well for his work on both of those titles. His role in both characters should not be minimized. It took Stan’s vision to pick Ditko, who was NOT the mainstream artist designed for Spider-Man and later for Dr Strange, but the one Stan chose to go with. It took Ditko’s quirky art to elevate Spider-Man. Without Ditko, it is entirely possible and plausible that Spider-Man and later Dr Strange might have never taken off. It was essentially Spider-Man that was responsible for Marvel Comics’ growth as a company, and the first title to really push Marvel to the next level.
We all owe a debt to Ditko. Without him, we likely would never have had the Marvel Comics we know and love today. Without him, Marvel might not have taken the chances they took. Marvel not only changed how comics were created, they created a revolution, a movement that extended far beyond the comic books. Comics were being quoted in the mainstream press often, and the edgy stories within the pages of these “funny books” were changing the sociological landscape.
Decades later, I still find myself going back and losing myself in those pages. Every time I forget my writing ethos, Ditko takes me back. I re-read all of Ditko’s early Marvel work to re-ignite my own writing.  It is essential to taking chances, bucking the norm and finding the character within the character. It is about making things relatable yet fantastic, about writing visually, about believing in what you are creating and just running with it anyway, even if others think it wouldn’t work. Ditko was revelatory and revolutionary. There will never be another like him. 

Long live Ditko.


Friday, 6 July 2018

My introduction to the Scumdogs of the Universe and seeing them live.

Back in 1990 I came across a band and album that would eventually change my life and outlook on the way that things could be.

That band of course was the immortal GWAR and the album was that bands second release: Scumdogs of the Universe.

On the cassette cover stood five grotesque monsters brandishing outrageously oversized and bloodstained weapons. Clad in armor that Warhammer Orcs would find impractical they dominated the cover under the bands name, rendered to look like cartoonish blood. The band stood on what I now know is the bleak, fissured landscape of Antarctica, the location of the bands fictional home (they really hail from Richmond, Virginia) but what, for the longest time, I thought was a sunny beach in front of a lake or sea.

Equally bizarre were the creatures names, Oderus Urungus: lead singer. Balsac the Jaws of Death: guitarist. Flattus Maximus: another guitarist. Beefcake the Mighty: Bass. And last but certainly not least was Jizmak the Gusher: Drummer.

Monsters playing metal? What more could a young comic book enthusiast and metalhead want from a band? I think their film "Skulhedface", filmed by the band to accompany the album "This Toilet Earth" best sums it up in this piece of dialogue:

Mr. Big: Mr.Martini, I must congratulate You on creating such an... innovated concept.

Glomco Executive: Yes, Barbarians from Outer Space playing Heavy Metal, joining your Comic book Nerds and Metal Heads together under one Product Banner. Your Demographics were right on Target!

Sleazy P. Martini: Hey, Asshole, Demo whatevers had nothin' to do with it. GWAR is for real Man!

Mr. Big: Come come now Mr. Martini, we're not your pimply faced Teenage Fans.

Sleazy P. Martini: ...and this ain't yer typical poser Band whipped up by a bunch of D&D playing Art School Flunkies! I... had to go to the ends of the Earth to find GWAR...

The album wasn't mine. I borrowed it from a classmate in my metalworking class. I quickly copied it and spent hours, then years, followed by decades, listening to it.

GWAR is a concept that probably never should have worked. A bunch of guys in monster costumes, playing heavy metal and spraying down their audience with gallons of fake blood and other fluids while dismembering varied victims and fighting various enemies? The band was a totally Gonzo concept that thirty years later is still touring the continent and putting out new albums.

GWAR is in many ways a satirical band, encompassing the decadence and depravity of the 80's metal scene, through Glomco roasting the corporations that exploited bands and musicians to their own end and over time satirizing politics, politicians, news and just about anything else they please.

But the way to experience them is in all their glory, live onstage, a grand guignol spectacle that I doubt many bands could ever hope to reproduce.

I didn't get to see the band until I was well into my twenties and I was fortunate enough to see them with Clayton and Sean when they appeared at the Pyramid Cabaret in downtown Winnipeg.

As I recall the location was packed to capacity. My first impression of the band as they made their way to the stage was the way that they dominated the room. These five band members in their battle armor. They seemed superhuman in height. In reality Dave Brockie, who performs as Oderus Urungus stood at about 6'7". At least that's how tall he seemed to me.

The show was everything I could have hoped. The band showed their social satire killing caricatures of the various politicians and villians in the news at that time. My love for the band was firm as they left the stage and the venue began playing "Beat it" by Michael Jackson while the bands slaves hosed down the people on the floor with the "Biledriver", a tripod mounted water cannon.

After the show we decided to hang around for a bit and I noticed with some amusement that the band, out of costume, was milling around packing up gear. One harried looking stage manager was wandering around amongst the chaos shouting "Has anyone seen Dave?". That was interesting. Where was the singer?

I looked over towards the stage and, yes, there he was. I'm talking about the slave of his Lordship Oderus, the late, great, Dave Brockie. I immediately ran over and said (I might have shouted) "Dave Brockie?" thrusting out my hand as I dove over the railing that seperated us. He turned with a look of fear on his face and went "yeah?".

"Great show man!"

Any stories about his copious drug use was immediately confirmed. his pupils were dilated to the point of being black. But after realizing that he wasn't under attack from this bald headed, goateed gorilla, he was affable and willing to talk not only with us but other fans that had stuck around. If my love for the band was firm following the show, after talking with Dave Brockie my love was cemented. He was a true gentleman and showed a great fondness for his fans.

It was a terrible blow when on March 24, 2014 I found out that he had died, later confirmed as a heroin overdose, in his home in Richmond.

While the band could have folded and died they have instead soldiered on with the original Beefcake the Mighty, Michael Bishop, donning new armor as Blothar the Berzerker and taking over the lead singing duties of the band.

Their first album post-Oderus was a solid thrash-metal offering called the Blood of Gods and confirmed, via a line in "Fuck this Place" "We ain't done yet man...".

And neither am I...

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Coming Back To Me... SeanGeek

When it comes to playing music, I have a fair amount of insecurity. It still feels like a fallacy when I say that I am a musician. I see musicians as true royalty. They create emotions and feelings, or more properly, turn our own emotions and feelings on. They concisely shape stories, crafted in small dense time capsules of 2½ to 5 minutes long. Each of these songs have the ability to take you back in time, to key moments in our lives, awakening all our senses in pure recollection: your first crush, your first rebellion, your first adult moment, your first win, your first loss. The pure craft of creating all of those moving parts and making them fit together into that perfect song that can purely capture a single moment in your life, is pure genius and pure madness. Am I a musician? I sure hope so, but those are lofty heights.

(And please don’t get this confused with the other “musicians” out there that are created, packaged, produced and put out there, that have all of their parts scripted for them. I am talking about the real musicians that master their instruments AND craft their own music, creating masterpieces with their own two hands.) 

A few years ago, I made a conscious change. Although I had played a variety of different musical styles I had yet to play heavier music as a frontman. Although I began as a drummer, and I did front another couple of projects, I had more often been the drummer and singer in bands I was in. I found a heavier band to audition for and decided to take a break from drumming. I was going all in.

During that time I played on my kit less and less and gave it up altogether. I could always come back to it later. I rocked out, learned some new skills, played a lot of shows. Hell, the band did very well for itself, too. We actually got up to some good up there.

Now it was time for another change. The band had finished what it had set out to do. Now it was time to get back behind a drumkit again. Logistically it was still an issue. I picked up an electronic kit despite an initial strong aversion to it. It would allow me to play and not blow my kids and wife out of the house
I was nervous and afraid to try this out. I likely had accumulated a lot of rust. Before I had taken my hiatus from the drumkit, I had finally been comfortable enough to say that I was a darn good drummer. Now I would be back to square one.

I stared at the new kit, butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I took a deep breath, stepped behind the kit and then sat down. I held the sticks in my hand, popped in my earbuds, queued my music player, and turned the kit on. Here we go. 

The first few minutes were a little awkward but soon the magic took over. I was able to handle the standard beats and then some more complicated stuff. About twenty minutes in I found my groove and began playing instinctively.

I played for an hour. I wasn’t tired. I was wired. I was awake. I was alive.

I was back.


Saturday, 16 June 2018

Introductions to Music Part Two - SeanGeek

During the year 1983 something was happening. This guitar player named Eddie Van Halen had been making headlines all over the world with his band Van Halen. However, in our neck of the woods, stuck with AM radio, we’d never heard of Van Halen. Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, and Gordon Lightfoot were all the radio would give us.

When Van Halen’s 1984 came out, it revolutionized the music industry. Seriously. In our neck of the woods, the album broke open what we could listen to the radio. I mean Kiss never got radio play. But Van Halen was getting a lot of radio airplay. And a lot of other bands were getting airplay too. All of a sudden, hard rock was now being made available to the masses. Music with searing guitars, monster drums, pounding bass, and wailing vocals was now on the radio and I couldn’t be happier. Kiss had been my only island amidst all that AOR (Adult Oriented Rock) that saturated the airwaves. Now I could take my pick.

It was my brother who glomed on Van Halen first. He had heard a song or two and went out and picked up their album. And it played incessantly. I could hear it through our walls in our home. Todd was playing guitar and trying and trying to figure out what Eddie Van Halen was playing. He would play and pause rewind and play again, until he would learn the parts.

The music was alien and different. While Kiss had served up everything I could ever want in a band at that tender age, Van Halen was about growing up musically for me. This music was technical, complicated, yet still catchy as heck. This was technical ability and songwriting all in one. My brother really went to school when he heard 1984, and I was worshipping my brother’s emergence as the most influential guitarist in my life.
He picked up Van Halen I and Van Halen II, and then slowly he had all of their music. I would steal the music from his room when he wasn’t home and play these albums to death, imitating David Lee Roth’s gruff and growl, air drumming to Alex Van Halen, and prancing around like the frontman I wish I could be.

Todd eventually mastered all of Van Halen’s songs. He would rip on Eruption from Van Halen’s debut, pluck around on Spanish Fly Instrumental from Van Halen II, smooth through the knob effect of Cathedral… Todd could do it all. He was as good as Eddie in my book.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Looking for a place to happen...

“I’ve got a job, I explore
I follow every little whiff
And I want my life to smell like this”

I remember listening to the radio when that song, “Looking for a Place to Happen” by the Tragically Hip came on. As I listened I realized that it summed up everything I’ve ever wanted for and from the Geeks.

For me Meet the Geeks has been a journey towards the savage heart of my dream: The idea of one day becoming a cartoonist of note, joining the ranks of the likes of Berkley Breathed, Jim Davis, Bill Watterson and the new crop of web cartoonists such as Jennie Breeden and Lar DeSousa. The thought of traveling down an unknown road and finding fortune at its end. Exploration and discovery.

The two works I come back to on a regular basis during this journey is that song, sung to perfection by the late and great Gord Downey, held with reverence in my heart, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. That book/comic/movie explores the search for the American Dream, found in Las Vegas, the dream of making it big and ultimately shown to be a “lame fuckaround, a waste of time”.

But it isn’t that lesson that I took away. Preserverance and a little bit of madness will take you through to your goals.

It also helps to have a travelling companion.

I won’t lie. The greatest obstacle towards the success of Meet the Geek’s has always been me. It’s not a fear of failure, I’m an old hand at that: It’s been a fear of success. I’m afraid of getting that momentum up and then having to keep it up. Let’s face it, if you’re working for yourself you have to stay hungry and never stop moving.

It sometimes seems easier to just sit back and embrace the status quo. Work for the man. Take home your paycheck. Do the least amount of work you can get away with.

But sometimes on your journey you acquire a traveling companion, or maybe they were there all along, and you let their enthusiasm infect you.

That’s what’s happened here Geeks.

Sean, my stalwart companion - he’s been there from the git-go - and I are off on this savage journey to the heart of the fannish dream, exploring new avenues, making friends, seeking companions and moving forward. Ours is an older journey, not in a bright red Chevy convertible seeking through the glitz and chintz, finding the big win in Las Vegas, the easy out. No, ours is a journey in the old wood ships of the explorers of yore. Get on a pile of canvas and timber and set out on the raging seas looking for a new land. A Place to Happen.

And maybe, just maybe, with a little work we can find a place to call our own.

"...Jacques Cartier, right this way,
I'll put your coat up on the bed
Hey man you've got the real bum's eye for clothes
And come on in, sit right down,
no you're not the first to show
We've all been here since, God, who knows?"