Today marks the fifth anniversary of the first post on Nerdvana. During that time we’ve twice been named a persona to follow on Twitter by Wired magazine’s GeekDad blog, then twice won the first-place award for best features blog from the Arizona Press Club. We’ve seen a thriving pop culture and tech community in the Valley expand, contract, struggle and carry on. We’ve also gone through many changes ourselves.
Creating and maintaining this blog has been an amazing adventure that has seen changes for me and many others involved. My co-founder Scott Kirchhofer and comics connoiseur Chris Adams both left the East Valley Tribune long ago, though their fingerprints are still all over the site: Scott designed the distinctive Nerdvana logo, and Chris still contributes when the muse taps him on the shoulder, covering the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con and DC’s New 52 launch. And of course I left Arizona entirely late last year, though I still am involved as time allows. But we’ve had a ton of great contributors in the Valley step up: Bob Leeper with his movie reviews and insights on comics and pulp publishing, Russ Kazmierczak Jr. of Amazing Arizona Comics with exclusive strips and previews, Ryan Biggs on social-tech issues and gaming, Christen Bejar on video games, Dustin Diehl on Star Wars geekery, and many more. Then there are our syndication partners Jim Miller and Tatiana McEntire at Geekssociated Press, whose videos and photo galleries have offered us more coverage of local nerd events after the fact than has ever before appeared on Nerdvana.
Recently I returned to Arizona for downtown Mesa’s 2nd Friday block party, which was dubbed NerdvanaCon in honor of our five years and the geek community that has blossomed during that time. It was a great chance to help give back to the artists, writers, followers, and everyone else who has made Nerdvana all that it is. I am truly grateful for all the support Nerdvana has received from the Tribune, the East Valley and Arizona community and our small army of contributors.
Here’s to the future!
Above: Tatiana McEntire, Russ Kazmierczak Jr., Jayson Peters, Bob Leeper and Jim Miller — just a fraction of the forces behind Nerdvana, at Queen’s Pizzeria in downtown Mesa.