All week long we’re showcasing the various nerdy pursuits, pastimes, and passions of the contributing staff of Nerds on Earth. The beauty of these lists that I hope you’ll not miss is their diversity. We love lots of different stuff here at NoE!
This diversity hopefully makes this place feel like home to you; that you can drop by and tune into something that appeals to your own likes and loves.
But enough about us. I wanna talk about me! Here are 7 nerdy things you can find in my home that’ll clue you in to what I love most. Me. Earth Nerd Adkins.
7 Nerdy Things You Need in Your Life
Dragon Ball Z Vizbig Edition Manga Volumes
What it is. The Vizbig editions of the Dragon Ball Z manga collect 3 volumes of the series into one 500+ page book. As the name implies: Everything is bigger! The pic to the right will give you a small sense of the scale difference between a standard manga and the Vizbig editions.
The former could wear the latter like an Iron Man suit. Each also features a couple of the chapters in color, with a sort of water color vibe to them. No filler; just the original manga cleaned up and enlarged. In English, also!
Why you might like it. If you love DBZ and don’t already own the entire series’ full body of 26 volumes, this is a simple and cheap way to get your hands on them. They run about $20/volume off the shelves of your local bookstores, but can be snagged up for as little as $15 from Amazon. They also retain the back-to-front, right-to-left reading style of manga, which I dig! Owning the manga in some format is a must for DBZ fans.
Where you can get your hands on it. The easiest place to snag them is definitely online. Amazon is always a good place to start!
Limited Edition and Custom Art
What it is. These come in many formats and from many avenues/venues. I never thought I would be an “art guy,” but I’ve found that I absolutely love commissioning an artist for something wholly original and all mine.
Sometimes my pieces are 100% originals, like the commissioned recreation of the most manly handshake ever from Predator between Schwarzenneger and Weathers…only shared between two of my favorite characters of all time–Goku and Vegeta (from Dragon Ball Z; you’re going to notice a pattern in my list…). Other times, I’ll jump on something from Mondo, which are usually limited releases and numbered. I own a Jaws poster from them that is a treasure of mine!
Why you might like it. Even if you can’t draw, you might have ideas for something amazing. Get that idea into the hands of an artist and let them bring it to fruition. Display them with pride all over your home. They make for great brag pieces and conversation starters, in my experience. They also make fantastic gifts. I hooked my friend up with a custom Yoda piece for Christmas last year and he was over the (that’s no) moon!
Where you can get your hands on it. I’m lucky enough to know of at least one talented artist that I utilize and highly recommend, so if you’re interested I can hook you up with him! He is also connected to other commissionable artists. Or you can ask around on Twitter or within Facebook groups. I’m constantly seeing folks offering to do custom art for RPG characters or comic character pieces.
You can also try contacting your favorite artists directly and see if they’ve got some availability, or even search Ebay for original cells and pages available for sale. And if you’re at a convention of some kind, I can guarantee you there is an artist with one-of-a-kind works for sale and/or willing to whip up a piece for a commission right there on the spot! It is everywhere.
What it is. Nothing fancy here, I will just occasionally snag non-posable statues or fully posable action figures of my favorite characters across all sorts of franchises and display them in my office or home. I’ve got Pop Vinyls, Marvel Legends figures, and more all over the place. And I’m not the “keep it in the box so it holds its value” kinda guy!
Why you might like it. For some, like Earth Nerd Clave, these are toys that he can enjoy with his daughters! For me, they’re mostly little do-dads and baubles I’ll have on my shelves or desk. I don’t play with them at all; heck, I hardly touch them once they’re staged! But I do love to look upon them, and they add character to every room they’re in.
Where you can get your hands on them. Again, Amazon is a good place to start, but I’ve also had some really good luck at conventions with vendors selling them at lower prices than I’d usually find them “in the wild.” I’ve also purchased a few from the Wish app that I’ve been more than happy with for pennies on the dollar!
NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books
What it is. I’ve already written an entire post on NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy list, so I’ll direct you
there. But the tl;dr version is that the Top 100 is actually the Top 300+ once you explode a series into
its constituent parts. That’s a whole lotta books, friends! So over the years I’ve snagged a significant chunk of them and have them on my shelves at home so I can keep making progress through the list.
Why you might like it. Sometimes it is difficult to find a book or book series worth every page and every letter. There are so darned many of them! It was convenient to have a collated list of high acclaim and renown that’ll take me years to complete and is living; ie there are series reflected on the list that are still ongoing. If you dig the genres it focuses on, its a no brainer.
Where you can get your hands on them. Most of the books are older, so you should be able to find them easily enough for practically nothing at a local used book store. Barring that…I think you know where to look by now.
Dragon Ball Series and Movies
What it is. I don’t know that I’ve made it clear yet, so I’ll reiterate my love for the Dragon Ball franchise. It is undoubtedly one of my greatest nerdy loves. So of course I’m working on rounding up the various series and movies on Bluray! And I mean all of it; even the older movies that many don’t love. I enjoy them. They’re incredibly nostalgic to me!
Why you might like it. I enjoy having the option to rewatch the movies and episodes at will…as well as the option to put them into the hands of friends who are unfamiliar with the franchise! I totally dig lending my copies out to the curious. Or, better yet, having them over so I can enjoy the show with them. You can also hunt down copies of Dragon Ball Z Kai and get a cut of the show that more accurately reflects the manga I mentioned above. No filler episodes!
Where you can get your hands on it. You can, of course, snag them from Amazon at your leisure. You can also snag a subscription to certain streaming services that give you access to every iteration of the show in their entirety, if not the movies.
Pop Culture Psychology and Philosophy
What it is. I have a degree in psychology and philosophy and do a lot of reading along those lines. Those subjects continue to arrest my attention, and so when you pair them with pop culture franchises and characters that I also love – done deal. They’re hardly textbook quality, mind you, but they’re fun. They ask really interesting questions or explore intriguing angles and expose you to different schools of thought. I dig ’em.
Why you might like them. They’re not necessarily deconstructive, so before you write them off as “attacking” or “overthinking” stuff we should probably take at face value and with a grain of salt, give one a shot! I’ve never felt like reading them ruins any of my experiences with the medium, franchise, or characters the book might focus on. On the contrary, I very much enjoy the alternative perspectives, critiques, and analyses they offer. They are fun exercises in thought wrapped up in stuff I already love!
Where you can get your hands on it. It goes without saying at this point in the list, right…? But you can also find several really neat examples of the genre over at Sequart. I particularly enjoyed their Humans and Paragons: Essays on Superhero Justice! Read my review of that one here.
Weekly Board Game Night
What it is. I’m probably cheating here, but this is a nerdy thing and I do think you need it in your life: A regularly scheduled and honored tabletop gaming night. For me and my gaming crew, it is every Wednesday night and most Sunday nights. We use the time to play through copies of games I receive for review on NoE, work through a friend’s collection of unplayed games (who can relate?!), or circle up to tackle a game we thoroughly enjoy and want to play again and again.
Why you might like it. Why wouldn’t you like this?! Camaraderie and victory points and deck builders, oh my!
Where you can get your hands on it. You’re going to have to take some initiative here, folks. Ask around. See if you can get a verbal commitment from at least 5 and hope for at least 3 week in and week out. That gives you plenty of people to play most games on the market with regularity. You can rotate venues (read: houses) if need be, and even make it BYOB/food to keep it simple. You won’t regret it.
There you go. If you want to be a nerd in my mold, then these are a few of my favorite things. Nerds on Earth is a website for nerds who love stuff, so I hope you enjoyed looking in on a few of the things I love. Share your loves over on our Facebook page.