Interview w/ Geek Orthodox

If Darth Vader and Lady Jaye had a son, his name would be Reis O'Brien.
It's Geek Week here on Strange Kids Club (isn't it always, though) so I figured what better way to kick things off than with an exclusive interview with the High Priest of Geek himself, Reis O'Brien of Geek Orthodox. With a self-described "insatiable lust for all things geeky" and a list of active followers that exceed 200, action figure aficionado and graphic designer O'Brien has rightly earned his title. His blog, the aforementioned Geek Orthodox, has quickly become a favorite here at the clubhouse for its infectious sense of childhood fascination with toys and cartoons, not to mention O'Brien's new series of video blogs in which he showcases his latest obscure collectible(s).

O'Brien was recently kind enough to come by the clubhouse and answer a few questions about his mysterious past as a luchador, what motivates him to be the best geek he can be and just how many different kinds of Batman-oriented action figures one man can collect.
So Reis, tell us a little about yourself. How does one become a High Priest of Geek?
Well, it turns out that if you just start calling yourself something on the internet and no one debates you on it, people just believe it's true.

Does that title come with or without the mask?
Man, that's a deep question. Is Batman still Batman when he's not wearing the mask? Does Darth Vader go by Anakin when he takes the helmet off? This is messing with my brain.

Which weapon wins in an old fashioned saloon showdown: Luke's Jedi lightsaber vs Indiana Jone's trademark bullwhip?
Seriously, lightsabers beat EVERYTHING! They can block laser blasts, even reflect them back at your enemies. They can cut into an AT-AT, and they're covered in blast armor! It doesn't even matter who's using the lightsaber. Alf could beat Chuck Norris if he had a lightsaber. They're that bad ass.

How many toys do you have exactly? Which one is your favorite?
Good grief... I couldn't even begin to count. I have more than a "casual collector" might have, but far less than a "toy hoarder" would have. And my favorite toy changes day by day. Some biggies are my 1978 15" Darth Vader, my Warduke figure and my original He-Man from 1981. I've recently been going insane trying to score my favorite childhood toys on eBay and at toy shows. I'm planning on devoting an entire bookshelf to what I'm referring to as The Shelf of Epic Nostalgia. I also have a Batman collection so awesome that it frightens toddlers.

Who was your favorite cartoon hero growing up? Did you ever dress up like him (other than on Halloween)? I've always been a Batman guy, but oddly enough, I have never dressed up as Batman. I have on several occasions dressed up as Spider-Man, starting when I was a kid when tried to go to school as Spidey. I thought I could run through the halls and everyone would be all like, "Look! It's Spider-Man! He's real!" And then I was going to go into the bathroom, change clothes and come out like, "What's going on? What's everyone all excited about?" But I just got in trouble. They all knew it was me. And then I got to dress up as Spidey a couple of years ago for my friend's nephew on his 5th birthday. Now, he believed I was Spider-Man, so I guess my dreams have come full circle. Wow, that's nice.

Who's the better detective: Batman or Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock Holmes is a two-bit PUNK!

What/who inspired you to begin writing?
I guess it was just a perfect storm for me. I had moved to a new city where I didn't know anyone except my wife's friends and they were all far too cool to listen to my geeky ramblings, so I needed an outlet. Also, for some reason (mostly due to my wife's attitude of "just be yourself, and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it"), I started to re-embrace all of my old geeky interest that I had to, or felt I had to for various reasons, let go of or squash, like comics and toys and gaming. Around the same time, I started stumbling onto peoples' geeky blogs, like Branded in the 80's and Jon's Random Acts of Geekery and thought that maybe I could do that too. Next thing I know, I'm a geek blogger!

You're also a Action Figure Collecting Guide for, how'd you score that gig?
A friend of mine pointed out a link to me and said that I should apply for it, so I did. It was that easy. I literally clicked a button and after sending in some sample writing, and a little online training, I was hired. Now I can go around and get all uppity on people because I'm an official action figure expert for the New York Times. So all you haters can suck it!

What motivates you to keep writing?
My innate inability to shut up.

Let's pull out that finishing move... what's the strangest thing you remember doing as a kid?
Ha! I can only pick one? You all know that one weird kid in every neighborhood? Yeah, that was me. For example, I once tried to convince the girl on my block that E.T. was real, so one evening, after dinner, I snuck over to her backyard and hid in the bushes, waiting for her and her little brother to come out. While waiting, I put on this rubber E.T. mask that I had and this fake E.T. finger that glowed on the end when you pressed it. She and her little brother finally came out to the backyard (this was Summer, lightning bug catching season) and as soon as they got about 10 feet from the bushes, I slowly stuck my head out, lit up my finger and went, "Oooooooouuuuuch..." They both ran off screaming, "Mom! E.T.'s in our yard!" It was epic. I went home and never owned up that it was me.

God, I'm a nerd.

For more of O'Brien and his geekery nostalgia, be sure to check out Geek Orthodox or catch his video blog on YouTube.


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