Nerd HQ, Year One

A few weeks before San Diego Comic Con, I started to notice more and more people using the hashtag ‘#NerdHQ’— a mystery event. After investigating, I traced it back to The Nerd Machine, a site founded by Chuck’s Zachary Levi. Naturally, I was giddily curious. A NERD headquarter?! I was picturing a giant tree house for nerds. With geek tech blinking and making noises inside, comic books, toys and all that cool shit.

Turned out, Levi’s vision was almost as good as mine and within less than a month he organized an off-shoot Comic Con event. The headquarters established itself and set up its shop a block away from the convention at Jolt n’ Joe bar and restaurant.

Nerd HQ 2011
I fail at looking sultry. Gizzy, on the other hand, is an expert.

You do not need to have a Comic Con badge to enter Nerd HQ but they did sell tickets to the individual “Conversations” events throughout the weekend. The money went to charity, Operation Smile, and the event raised $40k ( Pretty amazing but not surprising! Each “Conversation” panel that Nerd HQ offered was only $20 a pop but you spend an hour with the guests and then most of them had a free autograph session afterwards. Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin were among some of the stars that participated in these panels.

Who did Gizzy and I went to see?

On Friday, we went to the Conversation with Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, LOST). We couldn’t deny ourselves our very first hobbit love after all. Gizzy will hopefully report more in detail about that panel but below is one of the photos I took. We got very lucky and our assigned seats were right in the middle section on the front row.

Nerd HQ, Dominic Monaghan

On Sunday, we saw Jared Padalecki (Supernatural). Gizzy and I were separated (unfortunately) during this event so I am not sure if she was taking notes. The videos from these panels are floating around the internet somewhere. Both Monaghan and Padalecki were fun and very gracious to their audience. Padalecki was pretty much hyper and energetic on stage. The highlight for me was when he claimed the tiny electric fan as his “biggest fan” and kept kissing it. He’s a strange, giant tall man-moose, that one…

NerdHQ 2011, Jared Padalecki

Now, for the most important story: BOBA!JARED.

After a silly conversation between myself, Gizzy and Gypsy via good ol’ twitter, I was compelled to create this masterpiece:

Here comes BOBA!JARED!

How did this happen? Well, on a recent interview, Padalecki revealed his love for the Star War’s character, Boba Fett, which brought Gizzy to a frenzy because she too loves Boba Fett very, very much. We decided that she MUST get a print out of my beautiful artwork signed by Padalecki after the Nerd HQ signing.

How did he react when he saw this fabulous rendition of his bad self? Well, watch the video:

Right? Amazing, yes? Better yet, since I printed out extra copies, he took one for himself. I wonder what he did with it?

Not only that but during the autograph line, I was texting back and forth with Gypsy and this basically happened… yes, Padalecki used my phone to text her back. It was seriously exciting for everybody, you guys. I wished I had captured the moment on video also. Still, more awesome points for all of us.


Overall, we had a great experience at Nerd HQ and we can’t wait to go back for more next year. What a great supplement to the Comic Con experience. Levi was a great host and kudos to all the staff members and the volunteers. The volunteers were very sweet to us during Padalecki’s autograph session especially and I appreciate this because I know we were all very tired and feeling somewhat cranky by Sunday. But some of them did embrace our fangirly ways! Hooray!

Thank you for the fun memories, Nerd HQ!

Nerd HQ, Dominic Monaghan

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