MTV Geek debuted on October 4, 2010 with a video introduction by none other than Stan Lee:
It has been my pleasure to, as Stan says in the video, “enjoy the ride” with MTV Geek for most of its two years. During that time we have put out a massive amount of original content that I’m really proud of, and which I feel has helped redefine what a “geek culture” website can be.
We’ve aimed to embrace the whole of this culture, not only “traditional” comic books but hobby gaming, toys, gadgets, animation, manga, webcomics, cosplay, cult movies, and new and emerging fandoms. We’ve put a spotlight on the pioneers of these fields (such as Joe Kubert, Ralph Bakshi and William Shatner), and showcased the work of the creators of tomorrow. Above all, our goal has been to make MTV Geek a destination for all fans — young and old, male and female, Whovians and Browncoats. Because who among us isn’t geeky about something, whether it be Spider-Man or Sailor Moon, science or Settlers of Catan?
Here are some of the highlights from the last 720 days:
“Avengers VS X-Men: War Journals”
The goal was to create a professional-quality documentary focusing on Marvel’s universe-shaking event of 2012, and the result was the video series “Avengers VS X-Men: War Journals”. We brought our readers to places that they normally would have no access to, like behind-the-scenes at Marvel writer’s retreats, or at the drawing table of John Romita Jr. and Olivier Coipel. It was especially important to us to showcase not only the “AvX” story itself, but the many talented people behind the comics; visiting writer Jason Aaron at home and digging through his collection for the first comic he ever read, for instance, and talking to the father-and-son team of Adam and Joe Kubert. It was all about taking comics news coverage to the next level, and giving these projects the mass-market spotlight they deserve.
“MTV Geek Live!”
We sought to redefine convention coverage with a fully-produced livestream show from two of the biggest pop-culture events of the year, San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con. “MTV Geek Live” evolved into a talk-show format — hosted by the ever-affable Steven Smith — giving equal time to TV stars and comic creators, toy makers and video game voice actors. We’ve chatted with the casts of ’Mythbusters,” “Firefly,” “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and “Legend of Korra,” had an intense one-on-one with William Shatner, were surprised when Anne Rice casually announced her new book, and got to the nitty-gritty with the head-honchos at DC and Marvel Comics. But most of all — we just had fun!
“Battle Arena Otaku”
Anime and manga have an enormous fanbase that spans the globe, and part of our mission was to bring more attention to these fandoms through our site. One of our most successful initiatives along those lines was “Battle Arena Otaku,” a month-long “March Madness” type event that pitted the biggest names in Otaku culture against each other to discover the most popular character ever! Readers were invited to vote for their favorite manga & anime stars — and it was a real nail-biter towards the end, with Luffy from “One-Piece” beating out such luminaries as Naruto, Voltron, Sailor Moon, and Domo.
Fabulous Video Interviews and Studio Tours!
We just can’t stop interviewing our fave fandom peeps — it’s an addiction! George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman at Worldcon, the creators behind the controversial ’Before Watchmen,” the cast of “Doctor Who,” Joker creator Jerry Robinson…there’s no place we won’t go to grab our camera and chat with the titans of pop-culture.
It’s not just about just adding more content to the site…it’s about recording history, creating a video archive of the top talents in comics, books, animation and more. That’s what our Studio Tour series was all about, documenting the history of publishers like Top Cow and visiting the studios of mega-talents like Mike Mignola.
And I am just so proud of the diverse and talented team of writers we’ve assembled for this site — they are really the heart-and-soul of what makes MTV Geek work, day-in and day-out:
Brigid Alverson: When we decided that we were going to cover manga, we wanted the best in the business and (lucky us!) we got her!
Don Hatfield: “Don Knows Tech!”™
Sean Kleefeld: One day I asked Sean “so tell me about webcomics,” and after almost 100 columns he keeps finding new things!
Lemonjuice McGee: Our toy expert writes the most detailed reviews — and takes the most fabulous photos — we’ve ever seen.
Matt Morgan: Matt has never ceased to amaze us with his ability to write hobby gaming posts that entertain and inform both veterans and newbies to the field.
Charles Webb: Cult film and anime expert Webb tells it like it is, and doesn’t pull punches.
Laurel Woods: It has been a treat to get “Star Wars” coverage from the “inside” — from one of its biggest fans!
Alex Zalben: He’s the only guy I know who can ask potentially controversial questions of high-profile people and have them answer candidly with a smile (this comes in handy).
Together with the most dedicated staff I could possibly have the good fortune to work with — Eddie Wright, Clint Mize, Bradley Hatfield, and Ashley McCollum — and the mastermind behind the entire site, Tom Akel, we’ve had two pretty awesome years. With a lot of plans for the future.
And on a personal note, several years ago I was very frustrated by a “geek” media that didn’t seem to include content of interest — or feel welcoming — to all fans. If comic books were treated by the media as just another entertainment option along the lines of TV, films, and video games — instead of some exclusive and arcane domain of a few — a lot of positive progress would be made for that industry. It would also probably increase the number of females, like myself, who would enjoy them, as well as reach out to the newest generations of potential readers. But how to do that?
23 months ago, I stumbled onto the beginning of the answer. And I’m interested in seeing what is next.