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Serenity now!Nitrozac and Snaggy at the UAT's Technology Forum!

Snaggy and I were invited to do a presentation at the University of Advancing Technology, in Phoenix Arizona, as part of their Technology Forum 2008. I have to say, we had a fantastic time!

Our presentation was called, ”The Joy of Geek Culture”. We discussed and illustrated the history of the word "geek", talked about its present meaning, and about geek culture in general. In essence, the word has gone from an insult to a badge of honor. Our message was that one should be proud to be a geek today, to be part of a rich and diverse culture that is doing such world-changing things.

Our presentation featured a lively animation of what a geek used to be known for... biting the heads off of chickens!

We examined the stereotypes and cultural perceptions of "geek".

We then held a geek trivia contest so as to give away some of our propeller beanies and JoT books. The students enjoyed that very much, and we were quite pleased to see them proudly wearing their beanies afterwards (which they looked great in!).

In the final part of our presentation, we demonstrated how we go about creating a JoT comic. Luckily, we had a very good sport who volunteered to be "Nitrozac'd". His name was Chris, and he was a delight to draw. As I drew Chris, I talked about my illustration techniques and how I go about capturing a likeness.

Nitrozac demonstrated how she draws her comic characters.

Fun changing expressions!

Once I had completed Chris's portrait, we added a body and dropped him into a comic template. Together with input from the audience, we came up with the idea. As I was browsing my characters folder, one keen-eye geekette saw my Klingon Babe character, and shouted out to put her in the comic with Chris. Another suggested the text (Robbie, a fellow Canadian!), and I finished it off with the tagline.

The UAT students were very lively, had some great questions for us, and actively participated in the creation of the comic, which I found very impressive. It made the whole teaching/speaking experience a whole lot of fun. Earlier in the week we had enjoyed viewing some of the student's portfolios... wow, were they good! It truly is a fantastic school with brilliant students!

Thanks to all at the UAT who made our trip possible, in particular to Craig and Sarah who did so much organizing and put together a fantastic conference! We met such wonderful and interesting people there and it was an awesome experience. We hope that you enjoyed having us as much as we enjoyed being there, ... which is an enormous amount!

-Nitrozac (and Snaggy too)


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