Heroes emerge in catering to the nerd herd

Comic-Con 2012

In a bit of a twist, one of the biggest publicity stunts of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con could have come not during the convention, but in the days leading up to it.

With Jabba the Hutt’s luxurious sail barge forging the way, a massive relay of Star Wars fans walked from Santa Monica all the way to Comic-Con’s doorstep in San Diego, passing ceremonial lightsabers in place of batons along the way.

“I’m the psychopath who came up with the idea,” says Nerdist CEO Peter Levin of the event, a partnership with Lucasfilm dubbed “Course of the Force” and designed to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. “When I brought it up with (Nerdist founder) Chris Hardwick, he laughed.”

Such inspired fanboy brainstorming seems to define Nerdist Industries, an ever-growing multimedia empire catering to the passionate geek community. Formed by comedian Hardwick, who also hosts G4’s “Web Soup,” Nerdist counts a popular online site, 19 podcasts and a brand-new YouTube channel to its name. Hardwick credits much of the brand’s success to a recent partnership with Levin, who paid his dues at CAA and Disney.

“I don’t believe in astrology, but there was some astrological thing that happened when me and Peter met,” Hardwick says. “It’s given me infrastructure and a real business model.”

Whereas traditional media companies “don’t always represent nerd culture right,” according to Hardwick, the Nerdist crew addresses the pop-culture-savvy community on its own terms — which is one of the reasons Hardwick has been tapped to emcee five different panels at Comic-Con this year.

“There’s an idea of what it means to be a nerd: ‘Oh, they can’t talk to girls! They live in basements!’?” Hardwick says. “That’s all bullshit. There’s no marketing chart, no spreadsheet for this.”

Comic-Con 2012
Fanboy flight fight | Confab feeds smallscreen sect’s growing appetite | Heroes emerge in catering to the nerd herd
Return to Comic-Con main page

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Digital News from Variety

Loading