For some reason I've been thinking lately about some of the stupid stuff I did when I was much younger. So my question for you on this Sharing Day is:
If you could go back in time and give the Young Nerd You one piece of advice, what would it be?
You can go all Time Traveller if you want and say "Bet on the Saints to win the Super Bowl next year!", or you can dig a little deeper. As for me, I'd probably say something like "Don't be ashamed of who you are. You're a geek -- force your way into that D&D game and revel in it!"
If you like, in return for answering my question to you, you may ask a question of me on any topic and I'll do my best to answer honestly and completely. Just leave your reply (and question, if any) as a comment. The goal is to learn a little more about our community!
I’d pimp slap my Young Nerd Me and say, “Stop wasting time with action figures and PROVE you’re one of the good guys by staying in school and make your own damn Iron Man suit! If you don’t, the alien invasion of 2012 will succeed and Earth is toast!”
Laughing, I’d go back to my future and ask Mr JH, “Will you publish a one-shot comic featuring your original super characters using only HM3? My only request is that you take a one panel jab at Liefeld. Pweeze?”
While I’m generally very satisfied and happy about my life, I think if I could give my younger, shy and insecure (nerd, geek, loner, etc.) self one piece of advice it would be: Don’t be afraid to take a chance and be bold, but still be smart… just don’t over-think everything. Find and follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to disappoint your family or be judged by them. It’s your life, not theirs. Same goes for anyone else who may judge you or think you’re crazy for following your heart because at the end being the “good son” doesn’t get you very far. The economy sucks, you’re stuck all alone for 40hrs/wk in a grey cubicle at a stale job that has no future even though you just FINALLY graduated college several years after all your friends, and you don’t really get a grasp of your dreams and what you want to do and be until your mid to late 20s. So yeah, don’t delay kid!
P.S. Given you take this advice, do find (insert my wife’s name) as most likely this new path will take you away from meeting her in the way I have. It all depends on what rules time travel abides by. Either your path will inevitably lead to her in a romantic time travel sort of way, you will still meet her and all the things that have happened to me will still sort of happen because time cannot be changed, or a new time line is created and you need to find her as it won’t naturally happen.
No questions come to mind, but thanks for keeping HM alive. Thanks to a friend, ever since 2003 or so I’ve been playing around with the hero builder. Mostly it was just for fun to create random superheroes and characters when I was bored or feeling creative, but in the last few years it’s been an invaluable resource in creating tangible, visual concepts of characters for two different book series’ I’ve been working on. I’ve still got a long way to go in the writing process, but it’s good to pull up an image to go with the images in my head or at least have a launching point to work from. So thanks!
Patriot Missile: Interesting! But no.
Thanks for the kind words, JRW, and good luck with the writing!
I would have told my young self to work out. 🙂
Honestly I would have liked to be more confident in my younger days and being comfortable in my own body would have been nice.
So what non-geek activities do you like to take part in when you are not geeking it up? I would say dancing. I even have an infatuation with movies that contain dance no matter how bad they are.
I used to love to dance! I was actually a Teaching Assistant in Ballroom Dance in college, believe it or not. Haven’t been in ages, though. I also like old dancing movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers … just magic.
Most of my “free” time is spent doing stuff around the ranchito. For instance, yesterday I got to spend a thrilling three hours moving irrigation pipe around! It was so much fun I almost broke an ankle.
Invest in Apple when graduating High School. Yeah, I’m THAT old!
I would tell my Nerd younger self to be more assertive and eat healthier. Its amazing how many women that I havent seen in like 20+ yrs say things like ” I wish you would have asked me out in HS…” Damn!!! Of course that ship has now sailed for most of them since just about all of them are married, lol! But Im in better shape now than I was in HS and lacked the self esteem that I now have. Plus being a 14 yr cancer survivor gives you a WHOLE new outlook on Life! Live each day as if it were your last.
So questionn for you Jeff: Are you a self-taught artist or have you had any schooling?
I’d tell myself not to be so afraid of sharing my geekness. Since geeks are the ones that create pop culture, be proud. Besides, younger me would be surprised how many women like geeks. Not the D&D geeks necessarily, but comic and gamer geeks. I’d say to be proud of the comic project I’m going to be working on and to get my @ss in gear and go make it happen.
As for the question this is more of a market research question and thus open to everyone. It’s also a two-part query: 1) Are you more interested in solo titles, dual titles (World’s Finest/Batman & Robin) or group titles (Justice League/Avengers)? 2) Where should a new title be based? Some well-known place like New York or LA, a smaller town or should it go globe-hopping?
STAY SINGLE until your kingdom is built.
Date at least twenty women BEFORE you even think about marriage.
Take care of your teeth.
Don’t borrow money for school. Pay as you go.
Live like a Spartan, stuff is just stuff.
Wear kilts more often.
Turn off the TV and play in the sun.
Don’t be so damn serious.
Do what you love.
Be unapologetically authentic.
Value people over things. Things wear out. People grow with you.
Remember….geeks eventually rule the world.
I’d probably go back and tell my younger self: “Don’t listen to that ticket guy behind the counter and get on the train as soon as it arrives!” Because when that guy said the train wouldn’t leave the station until he waved it off, he was lying. And missing that train cost me a hot date (and maybe more?) with a cute blonde.
Question for you Jeff: Are you thinking of running any PBeM-type games in the near future? 😉
I had a nasty few years where I spent like a maniac and ran up huge credit card debts, and then a nastier few years when I agonized about how to pay it down while also paying rent, utilities, etc. I eventually had to borrow money from friends and relatives to pay it all off (and I’ve barely touched a credit card since). To this day there is one friend I borrowed over $500 from that I still haven’t paid back. Fortunately he graciously agreed to forgive the debt, but it still shames me that I let it get that bad.
My advice to my younger nerd self:
A) Credit cards are the Devil. Stay away from them.
B) Save money, don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck.
C) If you can’t afford it, you don’t deserve it.
Mine is “if you don’t have the cash, you can’t afford it.” Similar, but basically comes down to “don’t put it on the card.”
I’d say, “In the year 2012, The Avengers will be the biggest movie ever, and everyone of these people who make fun of you for wearing comic book tee shirts to school will be standing in line to see it.”
I have a BA in Art (and English, two useless degrees for the price of one!) from Trinity University.
I am split between solo and group titles. I follow Invincible on the one hand, and Fables on the other.
I don’t particularly care where a title is based, so long as it’s a good story. I’m probably a little sick of New York stuff specifically, it’s just been done to death.
I haven’t had very good luck with PBeM. We had a whole community up at Uber-World.com but none of the adventures I got caught up in panned out. Kind of disappointing.
So no, no plans in the near future. It’d be fun to do one here on the site, though, wouldn’t it?
Oh, forgot my question.
Jeff: Since you mentioned D&D I was wondering if you had any advice for those who have no experience with tabletop gaming but would like to get into it. I was aware of D&D as a kid but none of the people I knew back then were into it. As a complete beginner who knows almost nothing about tabletop RPGs, what would you suggest as a good starting point?
Good to know. Invincible is fantastic and the only Image comic I regularly purchase, though I still prefer DC over most Marvel titles, except for Scarlet Spider, Incredible hulk and Wolverine & The X-Men.
Good, because my comic is set in the west coast, particularly around Monterey, California and up to San Francisco. Every so often they go to other countries such as Ireland and South Africa.
I will be perfectly honest with what I would say with my hypothetical advice to my younger self; I will warn readers now that this is bound to offend or scare someone, or otherwise make people feel uncomfortable. I must, however, answer honestly, because I’m trying to make myself a better person, and lately I’ve been lacking in the “integrity” department when it comes to both my personal life and my life among my close friends. If you feel you will not like in any way what I have to say, then stop reading. You have been warned.
“Hey. Hey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you. Listen. This is going to sound ridiculous at first, but trust me, I know. I just know. First of all, don’t buy into the religious ideologies that you’ve been believing so far. You’ve got enough crap in your head from your mental disabilities, but honestly, you would probably have seen things a lot clearer by now if those were the only things wrong with you. You’re in a critical time when your brain is still developing, and being insane is not going to help you at all. You know well enough that what they’re telling you is wrong, that it’s self-contradictory, that it’s overly convoluted, and that about 98% of it has already been proven false through empirical evidence. You’re only hurting yourself when you make excuses so you can avoid having to deal with the truth. It’ll hurt you for a while to think this, but there is no God. And when it stops hurting, you’ll be stronger.
Second of all, you see that guy over there? Yeah, that guy’s your friend, right? No, he’s not your friend. He never was, and he never will be. Think of all the time you’ve spent together. Yeah, he’s willing to “hang out,” but has he ever respected you? Has he ever treated you like a human being? No, he hasn’t. He used and abused you every chance he got, and you’re just pathetic, lonely, and desperate enough to make excuses for him so you can pretend that he’s your friend. The only reason he even pretends that he’s your friend is so that he can manipulate you, so he can make you think you’re secure around him, and then he’s going to turn around and wipe the ****ing floor with your emotions. He will build you up just so you fall that much farther when he knocks you down. And you’re not going to be able to save your friendship, ’cause like I said, there never was a friendship in the first place. He is a sadist, a sociopath, and an overall magnificent bastard. You know what that means? It means that, even though he knows the difference between right and wrong, he chooses to do wrong, and when he makes that choice, he makes it not in spite of it being wrong, but BECAUSE of it being wrong. He’s pure evil, and the only reason you never saw it is ’cause A. you’re pathetic, lonely, and desperate, like I said, and B. he’s just that good at what he does. And you know what? You’re not the first schmuck he’s gotten, and you certainly won’t be the last. By the time he’ll be expelled out of high school, he’ll have made a whole ****load of people as ****ing miserable as possible, peddling drugs, assaulting the disabled and minorities alike, all kinds of stuff. Before too long after that, he’ll have personally killed at least one person, taken the homes of dozens of others in arson fires, and that’s not even counting all the stuff he’ll do by proxy through his gang members, and the worst part is, no one’s gonna do **** about it. You know that. The justice system is just as incompetent as the administration of the school you’re in, which you already know does nothing to stop students from doing bad stuff. The justice system will give him a slap on the wrist and send him right back out to do more ****. Are you just going to let that happen? No! I’m telling you now, you have to walk up to him, you have to kick his irredeemable *** until there’s no more *** to kick, and you have to make him pay for all the stuff he’s done, and all the stuff he will do. But first, let me show you what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at, in a fight…”
I have no questions at this time.
I would start as simple as you can. There are some good “One Page RPG” games around that literally have all the rules you need on one page.
The challenge with these things is usually having someone creating the adventure. If that’s the holdup, you can also go with old-school Original D&D (OD&D) as outlined here for about ten bucks total. Then you can start with the classic B1 or B2 modules like “Keep on the Borderlands”.
And I say, go into it with abandon, not getting too attached to any one character. Getting your guys killed is part of the fun!
Yeah, being a ‘member’ of the Uberworld stuff, its disappointing that the games I was in didn’t pan out too. 😉
And, sure, it’d be nice if one started here on the site. 🙂
Thanks for the answer.
I walk up to my middle school self and give the following advice:
Keep loving your family and friends, even when they hurt you. Use the pain to help yourself and others instead of letting it shut you down.
Be excited about homeschooling. It will be one of the best things that ever happened to you.
Don’t bother with an English major. Lit Theory won’t do anything but squash your confidence, and you’ll end up majoring in something way cooler anyway.
Start NaNoWriMo this year. Don’t wait until the last year of high school.
Here’s a list of books and authors you should start reading ASAP; don’t let anything get in between you and good literature.
You’re smart, but you don’t know everything even as much as you think you do. Learn some real humility.
Put God first. Don’t just say you do, actually do it. You won’t survive long without him, and it’ll all be easier the earlier you start.
My younger self politely agrees to all advice and takes the book list in order to get rid of the crazy lady (what could possibly ever get in the way of enjoying good literature??), then proceeds to not change much, except for looking into at least some of the books on the list. Because I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t just a little hard-headed when it came to that sort of advice, or if I just ignored a book recommendation.
Jeff: You have a choice between two comics. The first has the most amazing story ever, but the art is unbearably horrible, to the point that it makes you wish you could feast your eyes on even something by your old pal Liefeld. The second has the most beautiful art you’ve ever seen, but the story is as worthless as the art of the first one is. If you have to read one of them, which do you pick?
First off, stop being so afraid of rejection that you never put yourself out there. This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but those people in school that were outside your social circle of other geeks, and were trying to talk to you actually thought you might be interesting, they weren’t doing it to try to publicly humiliate you later. The reason why you’re a social pariah is because you think you are.
Which brings me to my second point: Yeah there’s some legitimate stuff going on in High School that’s bringing you down and making you feel worthless. The day after High School ends, that will all go away, for real. The close friends you have right now will stick with you for a while, but most of these people you will rarely, or never, see again. But in the meantime, you should at least say hi to a few of them, because the sooner you actually learn to socially interact with your peers, the easier it will make it for both of us later on.
Oh, and invest some money sooner rather than later. I have the names of some up and coming companies you should look into when they go public.
Any plans for Mother’s Day, Jeff?
Oh, and welcome back logosgal.
Hi, Myro! Good to be back!
I would just go back in time a couple of years and tell me self to try and join a mutants and masterminds game some kids at school were starting. Still not sure why I didn’t do that. And while I’m on the subject, what is your favorite type of rpg? (D&D, M&M, exalted, etc.)
I have two that are tied for my Favorate, both by Palladium books ( same game mechanics just different settings ) Heroes Unlimited( Superhero RPG ) and RIFTS
Well, lets see…here’s how I’d imagine how this scenario would go down. I’m at the local restaurant/bar my family has gone to every Friday night for the past 19 years of my life (I’ve lost two teeth in this place, and know everyone by name now). I go up to the High School Freshman me after a basketball game (or for me, an opportunity to play pep tunes in the band, as a trombonist, thats the more important thing).
Future Me: How you doing? (My name is Joe, and that’s how I say hi. I refuse to be called Joey though)
Me: Not bad.
FM: Want to know why I’m here?
M: You know what I’m going to say, so why should I say it? (Me, being the observant (with anything not relating to women) person I am, would recognize that I was talking to a future version of myself)
FM: It’ll be better if you just say it out loud. It’ll make the memory stick better.
M: How would I forget meeting myself?
FM: In order to properly preserve the timeline in the best possible way, I’ll have to wipe your actual memory. Any feelings and subconscious impulses that you get due to this conversation will stick, but only if we have a proper conversation. (sits down).
M: So why are you here?
FM: To plant an idea in your mind.
M: *Quizzical look*
FM: It’s called Inception. It’ll be big in the future, started from a Christopher Nolan movie with the same name. *sees confused stare still* The guy who did Batman Begins. Anyway, the point of it is to plant the idea to do something in the person’s mind without that person knowing it is coming from an outside source. With time travel, I have decided to come back in time and do this to myself.
FM: So first you’ll build the machine parked outside.
M: DeLorean, classy.
FM: I try. Anyway, this won’t really affect you just yet. But you need to start to think for yourself. What you want to do is important, not what you think our parents want you to do. Think beyond becoming an engineer like your father. You two have so little in common, so why do you want to become like him?
FM: But you want to be an engineer? You like science, and space and the idea of engineering, but when it comes time for you to start your engineering program, you’ll be shocked to discover its not what you think it is.
M: Then what do I want to do?
FM: You’ll have the idea your sophomore year of high school. Instead of thinking “I can’t do it. Its impossible.” remember that you can do anything as long as you set your mind to it.
FM: I’m actually done with that one.
M: Anything else?
FM: Oh, try to date her while your still here. It’ll be too late when you go to college.
FM: You’ll see. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to see a certain man about a certain prequel, and have him put it off for a couple years. And not write the dialog.
So Jeff, what was your most memorable D&D experience? The one time I played, I was hit on by a drunk, gay cleric, went into a brothel run by Lanna (Archer), fought kobold paratroopers, and tripped out a window of said brothel after everyone in there was turned into insects and tried to kill me. The cleric then went nuclear, blinded himself, and was killed by exploding insects. As the brothel was collapsing, our warlock appeared next to me and said “whoops.” Funniest thing I’ve done in a while.
Hm, good question. I’d definitely go for the “good art” one. Because good sequential art can still tell a story on its own and is not something you can find anywhere else, while if I want a good story told only in words (in effect) I’ll just go pick up a novel.
What about you?
I sent my mom some lilies, but otherwise no — I’ll be in Austin while she’s in Baton Rouge. Boo!
Yes, definitely welcome back! Great to hear from you again 🙂
I would go back in time and make myself stay way from all the girls that I was running around with and focused on doing good in school, getting in even better shape, and getting a higher paying job. @Jeff, So…Any big vacation plans for this year?
I’ll have to go with “Champions” just because that’s the one I played the most. It’s cumbersome and dice-heavy and odd, but I like it!
Nope. Dragon*Con is the closest I’ll get to a vacation. My wife and I like to say we don’t really need to take vacations because our home is better than anywhere we’d go.
Of course, there’s no room service at our home so maybe we should rethink that …
Plan better for life after high school. Take better steps, make more contacts, become involved outside the classroom. Work an after-school job, volunteer, go to the Sunday French round-table brunch, or even join your Army recruiter for PT or morning runs.
Four years are over before you know it. If you choose to focus on high school, take extra classes. Go to summer school. Graduate early.
@Jeff: Are you a “Janet” or a “Chrissy?”
I’m usually drawn more to teams or even team-ups but I have read a fair share of single hero titles as well. I have to agree with Jeff about New York being done to death in comics, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a story take place in a mid-sized city. Or Canada, as long as it isn’t done cheesy, like I kept getting from Alpha Flight most of the time (that’s the Canadian in me talking, and I can completely understand if you don’t go that way, especially if your familiarity with The Great White North is limited). Globetrotting is also good, because it brings some variety.
Hope that helps, McKnight.
@Jeff, I just thought of the movie Tommy Boy where the guys knocking on the door pretending to be house keeping LOL That was a funny movie.
get off yer ass!
One thing I’d tell myself: Don’t try to reason with unreasonable people. It can’t be done. Oh, and most of those a-holes will eventually grow out of it.
Well, then as a Canadian you’ll be happy to hear that my Canadian villain is VERY cheesy. Yukon Jackhammer. He’s basically a Canadian version of Colossus who’s always in hockey fight mode and can’t turn off his powers. He’s also made of very lightweight titanium carbon fiber mesh, but thinks he’s made of thick steel. How’s that for cheesy?
Just one thing.
“Don’t fall in love. And if you do, shut the hell up”
Hey, kid. Pretend I’m a telepath. [campy gestures] That waitress is going to drop her tray. [crash] You have a crush on a redhead in 1rst period. You won’t like the new soup–see? Told you. Don’t freak out or anything, I’m not a telepath; I just have the gift of telling people what they will need to know. Don’t stare at my fake nose too hard. . .here’s your advice:
Don’t buy any more cassettes. Give up on the redhead. Your parents advice on every major decision will ALL turn out to be WRONG. Start practicing hunting for better paying jobs now. Get a safety deposit box for copies of all your 2d art. Don’t be polite to the rich twit pretending to help your family. Don’t date a woman if she hates her family. Buy power tools. Remember that most things people say apply to them and not you.
Jeff? I have a ridiculous schedule–I want to enter an OCD but it would be like 2-3am NY/DC time. Is there going to be an OC2D or would it be better for me to put it in forums and ‘invite’ people to come see?
Can I vote “Jack” instead? Janet irritated the hell out of me, she was so uptight. And her haircut bugged me. And Chrissy was so dumb … ugh.
Yes, definitely Jack.
Oh fine. If I had to choose one of the girls I’d go Chrissy.
This makes me sad 🙁
The forums are always a good choice. But yes, I’ll be doing an OCD this coming Friday (I alternate them with the Sharing Day). If you get it up at 3 in the morning on Saturday I’ll go ahead and take a crack at it when I get up myself.
Join the Navy when you first thought of doing it.
Jeff if you could see one Superhero movie made who would that superhero be, who would be the villain and who would play them?
I’m terrible at this. I’ll go Green Arrow versus Shado, with Oliver Queen played by some unknown but totally awesome actor. Plus you’d probably get Black Canary thrown in as a bonus.
Sharing Day’s now over folks (note it’s DAY not DAYS).
Thanks! Good to be back; I missed you all so much! (Senior year of college + computers breaking + bad time management skills = no Hero Machine time…)
Being as much of a story-driven person as I am, I’d probably go for the good story.
(Sorry I’m posting this on Saturday; I tried last night & couldn’t connect to the site…)
Yay, I’m not the only college senior struggling with the last two weeks before graduation! Finally, someone who understands my pain…
Ha! Mine is similar… I’d say, “In the year 2012, The Avengers will be the biggest movie ever and all of the flack you’ve taking from mom for incessantly trying to get her into comics will be worth it. Seeing her root for heroes by name and give the movie a standing ovation will be priceless.” oh, and “That girl in school that you like is spending time with you because she already like you, dork. make a move or forever regret it.”
im only 16 so i would tell myself to be more out going and go back even farther and tell my dad to invest in apple