PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Featured: Top of Home Page

Mag Review: Geek

Rachel Smucker


Issue 2, 96 pages, $5.99

Geek is cool. No, really--in an "I'm so uncool I'm cool" kind of way. It doesn't take an avid gamer or Harry Potter fanatic to appreciate Geek's passion for comic books and robots, and I found it easy for even a person as nerd-ignorant as myself to flip through Geek's pages.

Based on the website geekmonthly.com, which houses more articles and geek-related news than the magazine itself, Geek has its roots appropriately fixed in technology. Offering podcasts, blogs, reviews, and sneak peeks at Geek magazine content, the website addresses the same nerdy pastimes via an even nerdier medium. But unlike the sparse, simple website, the print version of Geek is colorful and well-organized, aiming for visual appeal in ways that the website does not. Others might argue that it's the perfectly symmetrical face of Kristen Bell, star of television hit Veronica Mars, that gives Issue 2 its allure. Either way, the point is clear: get it in print.

If Bell's appearance on the cover of a magazine called "geek" seems slightly oxymoronic, check out the interview on page 40; contributor Jeff Renaud manages to bring out the geeky side of Bell with wild success. "I have been a game freak for awhile," Kristen admits, "and I had a phase where I would not come out of my room and I just solely played Sonic the Hedgehog for like a year. I would actually dream in Sonic the Hedgehog at one point."

And Veronica Mars is not the only bit of popular media that makes it into Geek. Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men, and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer are featured prominently between pages of miscellaneous geek-related articles, getting thumbs-ups from both Geek writers and myself. This mag has already gotten on my good side--not only does it look fondly upon two of my favorite movies from 2006, it explores their "geeky" aspects from the perspective of avid sci-fi fans and techies, giving the articles an unconventional edge.

There were a couple of pages in Geek that didn't sit quite well with me. "The Big List," or "108 things that rule," seemed more like a way to fill up eight pages than a truly useful guide as to what makes life wonderful. But the caption tells me otherwise; apparently, the list is a way for writers to "use our superpowers constructively for once and compile a titanic list of everything we find fascinating, alluring, and utterly cool in the world, and then present it to our readers for their pure astonishment." Right.

But such an awkward section highlighted what I liked best about Geek--its integrity. The magazine is unabashedly nerdy. It puts geekdom in a friendly, approachable package, but by no means pretends to be something it's not. Geek goes beyond the movie reviews and delves deeply into hardcore geek matter: Battlestar Galactica, internet fanfic, World of Warcraft, the newest in Star Wars figurines. Naturally, the advertisements are on a similar track: Dungeons & Dragons, up-and-coming underground sci-fi thrillers, newly-released Superman DVDs.

For a non-gamer and stranger to its world, the honesty with which Geek presents its content makes me appreciate the magazine all the more. There are no attempts at "trendification," so to speak, nor do its writers try to hide the fact that they are utterly obsessed with technology and its ever-developing gadgets. I found the "Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD" feature immensely informative, giving the same facts as would Consumer Reports, but with a little more zest. Ditto for the comparison between "gaming's newest big three": Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation3, and GameMate Vol. 5. And can we talk about the adorable new limited-edition Chewbacca-shaped USB flash drive? I think I may be a convert.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.


Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.


Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.


In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.


When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.


20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.


The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.


Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.


Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."


50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.


Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.


The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.


Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.


'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.